Don't Get Lost In Translation: How To Manage Overseas Relationships

by May 16, 2015

Working in a global agency? Take a look at Vanessa’s tips on  how to get to know your colleagues overseas. 

I’ve always worked for large global agencies, there is something about the diverse creative talent across the offices that fascinates me, the potential to travel draws me in but above all the opportunity to work with other agencies, collaborate and share knowledge is what gets me most excited.

Here are some tips on how to nurture relationships overseas to help build your network:

Don’t get lost in translation. Transparency creates trust, boosts credibility and improves understanding. Sounds simple but it’s easy to get wrong. As it’s so easy to misread the tone of an email, make sure you pick up the phone every so often!

Align your objectives. This can be tricky, different locations will have different priorities but if you’re working with a team based overseas then it’s more than likely that you’re aiming for the same objective, make sure this is loud and clear, don’t create competition, you may be in different countries but remain on the same team.

Meet – physically or virtually. FaceTime, Skype or Google hangout –  move around the office if you can so that your counterpart can soak up the culture. if you ever find yourself on holiday in a city where your company is, pop in and say hello  especially if you’ve worked with people there – there is nothing better than putting in some face time.

Make sure you’re using a good project management system if you’re in a delivery role. Pivotal Tracker is a good one to use as it allows for real-time collaboration wherever you are in the world.

The benefits of having good relationships with teams from around the world are endless, even if you’re not directly working with your counterpart agencies overseas always express an interest in knowing and understanding what they do – there is so much to learn from other cultures. Overall savvy up and the possibilities are limitless.


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About Vanessa Toby

Vanessa is a keen traveller with no sense of direction. She has an insatiable love of fashion and a spare room full of shoes she has hoarded over the years. If Vanessa isn’t taking over the New Business world at work, you will find her trying out your new favourite exercise class. As a strong believer in the importance of a healthy work-life balance you will find her documenting mind and body advice and top tips.