Shortcomings of the “Nigerian culture” in official places of management abroad
If you’re planning to migrate abroad and especially to work at a position of authority where you have to manage people, the major cog in the wheel of your progress remains the culture where you grew up with.
1. Hesitation to correct people:
The Nigerian culture raised us to be very nice and respectful. Niceness will bring you nothing but turn you into a footmat by a very rude people of the west.
2. Body language/facial signals in-lieu of direct verbal warning:
This started at our early years growing up when momma will give us “eye signals” when we’re about to do something unacceptable in front of visitors. This culture is inherited from our parents when we grow up and is exported overseas with us. When an employee of ours misbehaves, we tend to start giving such employee facial signals and body language indicating we’re not satisfied with his/her quality of work instead of calling such employee, look him/her in the face and let him/her know you’re not satisfied with such job performance. This body language and facial signals is seen as a rude means of communication in the west.
3. Hesitation to report poor job performance:
This is an extension of the first point, I have noticed most Nigerians in position of authority find it hard to report poor job performance of their employees to their superiors. They believe this act will paint them as a snitch (Nigerian mentality) which in the actual sense is a way of covering your behind. Every write-up/official warning you fail to report to your boss(es) about an erring employee could spell doom for you. One day, they might suspect you have a soft spot for such employee especially if the employee is the opposite sex to yours.
4. Wanting to please everyone:
This will do nothing but decrease your self esteem and respect. Nigerians believe the number of friends you have, the more your respect in your street and hence becoming a local champion. Westerners want to come to work, do their job and go back to their crazy/abusive wives/husbands/bfs/gfs.
5. Excessive respect to their bosses:
This is common with Nigerian employees calling their bosses “boss”. In the western settings it looks a bit weird and strange. Westerners believe every position is temporary and humans are not gods. As a matter of fact, the same way a boss can write official query on an employee, same way an employee can write an official query about his manager/supervisor.
6. Special treatment to other Nigerians/Africans:
Nigerians fail to realize that when you manage people, it should be irrespective of their race, age and nationality. They bond excessively with their Nigerian employees which angers other employees. This act will get you fired faster than you got hired. They call it racism!
7. Speaking excessive local languages in corporate environments:
This does not mean you are not proud of your culture but remember, corporate environment is not a place to showcase your strong and indigenous beautiful local language. Most Nigerian managers fall for this by speaking local Nigerian languages with their Nigerian employees in offices. Westerners are very sensitive and they could term it as gossip within the walls of corporate establishments. If you have a Nigerian employee(s) and you bond well, wait till you get to your isiewu spot in the evenings before you blast your local dialect with pride and reckless abandon.