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In the bustling business landscape of Vietnam, where rapid growth meets cultural complexities, individuals and professionals continually seek avenues for personal and career development. That’s when enters Ms. Denise Truong, certified Trainer, Coach and Founder of Tyde Consulting, with whom Source of Asia had the chance to hold an interview. Her expertise provides perspectives on overcoming obstacles, setting professional goals, and thriving in an environment characterized by both tradition and innovation.

Ms. Denise Truong Certified Trainer, Coach & Founder Of Type Consulting

Interview by Source of Asia


Could you please provide a brief introduction of yourself along with a description of Tyde Consulting’s missions?

My name is Denise Truong, I’m a certified trainer and coach and I’ve built since 2020 a consulting firm based in Ho Chi Minh City called Tyde Consulting, specialized in Learning and Development programs for businesses in Vietnam because at Tyde, we believe that the business growth goes hand in hand with the personal and professional growth of its people. We intervene with our clients to prepare them for the next growth stage, and we do that by empowering the middle management layer.

Often in Vietnam, there is a weak middle management layer because people do not dare to take initiatives to inspire other teams and to communicate without the authorization of their own managers. But without a strong, empowered and autonomous Middle Management layer, organizations can’t reach their next growth stage.

We create those training and coaching programs for middle managers to feel more confident to collaborate and communicate clearly in order to perform better together. And without this strong middle management layer, I believe organizations can’t reach their next growth stage and will be stuck at a certain ceiling. But if they empower the middle managers, then they will be able to have a layer becoming the ambassadors of the company. Therefore, willing to take initiatives aligned with the corporate values and dare to expand their influence within the company and beyond. With external partners for instance, or even give public speaking speech at university to share their expertise and personal experience. I believe that if they inspire others, as managers, the corporation will benefit as they will also represent the company.

As Vietnam’s business landscape is rapidly evolving, what most important advice would you give to business leaders managing a local team to allow their team to grow?

Great question. In a nutshell, manage yourself before managing others. Often, we don’t realize how we are projecting our stress or our frustration onto others. It’s important to know and manage yourself. If you don’t do that, it’s going to be very difficult. As the CEO of Source of Asia Thierry Mermet has said in the Doing business in Vietnam e-book, “human capital drives economic success”. If your human capital thinks that you are projecting your stress on them, they won’t last long. It’s very crucial for business leaders to have strong interpersonal skills, to recognize their own behavior and how their emotions affect others.

After COVID, I have noticed and observed that people do not hesitate to quit toxic environments. If they see that the boss is aggressive, that the work environment is not healthy, if there’s a lot of gossiping or if some people are manipulating others, they won’t hesitate to quit.

“In Vietnamese culture, people prefer to stay silent or avoid conflict rather than facing it.”

People are fed up with autocratic leadership with high pressure, stress, aggressive communication style that a traditional leadership in Vietnam could have. In today’s work environment, business leaders must realize and make sure their behavior doesn’t negatively influence their team.


Can you share an example of a successful employee training program that has had a significant impact on employee satisfaction? What were the key components of its success, and how was it measured?

Once, we had a client, a Vietnamese company just acquired by an American one. When the Americans came in, they realized the management style wasn’t aligned with the international standards: the local manager was nurturing a strict communication with the team and that’s when Source of Asia and Tyde came in, to help the team and the local manager to communicate better with each other.

We deployed a discovery phase, by understanding the team dynamics, interviewing the team members, to get all the perspectives on the situation. There were many internal conflicts: high potential members were quitting, and the team was underperforming: basically, a lot of pressure and tensions. After having analyzed the perspectives from the different stakeholders, we realized that if the local leader adjusts a little bit of the behavior, if one understands that stress is projecting on others and if the manager doesn’t open up by using active listening skills, the team won’t be efficient.

After the discovery phase, we implemented a coaching journey for this leader, where we went through the emotional intelligence components, namely Self Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Social Management, in order to understand the human dynamics, and how the way of communicating could affect the relationships with the teams.

I’m very happy because as a result after a 3-month journey, we observed a tremendous growth in the manager’s interpersonal relationships with the teammates, that noticed how the leadership style had changed by being more democratic, with more listening, more space to talk and express their ideas.

What are the overall expectations of local leaders from an international company?

Expectations of local leaders always vary depending on the corporate values. However, from our experience, there are three general expectations that people have: sub conflicts, adopt an explicit communication style, and be proactive in managing your stakeholders.

The first one is solving conflicts effectively, as soon as possible. As we mentioned before, even though I don’t like to generalize, Vietnamese tend to avoid conflicts, or to just go away from it. It’s important as a manager, to see the conflict, to recognize that there is one, to face it and manage it effectively, rather than just waiting for it to pass away. It’s funny because I was talking to one of my team members, and asked, “When there’s a conflict and somebody is disagreeing with you, what do you do?” my colleague told me, bluntly, “I wait until the other person changes her mind or when the other person is too tired to fight.” It’s important for local leaders to realize that conflict management can’t be avoided, especially for businesses where internal conflicts can become a cancer for the company.

The 2nd expectation of local leaders from an international company is to adopt an explicit communication style. By this, I mean voicing out the challenges, seeking help when needed: often, people want to show they are strong. However, nobody knows everything so they must learn how to be vulnerable in order to be more explicit in their communication style. Plus, taking risks and initiatives is something people don’t really do here; they play it safe, resulting in staying silent and waiting for decisions to come from the top management. I believe Vietnamese people are resilient and adaptive, but only in a certain context, where it is safe, where they know the instructions from the top management and where they won’t lose face.

“It’s okay to not be okay and it’s okay not to know everything.”

The 3rd expectation is to be proactive in managing external and internal stakeholders, by showcasing their expertise at universities for example or simply by maintaining contact with their clients and business partners on the ground, to get market intelligence of what is happening in real life. Sometimes, the top management is so far on what is concretely happening on the ground, they need this middle management layer.

I have some clients spread around the world that have great mobility programs, and they want to empower local leaders from different countries, where they can go work in France or other countries for instance for several years and then come back. Local leaders aren’t taking the initiative to spread the influence they could have in global teams. They do not dare to proactively approach them and convince them that they are the talent to be granted for this mobility program. They don’t have the confidence nor the communication skills to present themselves in front of a global team.

What I have observed throughout the years is that international companies are currently struggling to find the local succession of their top management. The cross-cultural communication expert, Fons Trompenaars highlighted in his cultural dimensions that Vietnam, unlike the US that are highly future-oriented, has a strong orientation towards the past. They tend to think and make decisions according to the context of history: what has been working well so far? If work has helped them to provide a good enough life for their family, local leaders will not proactively move outside of their comfort zone to build a future full of uncertainty and responsibilities they do not know.

We say that Vietnam is an entrepreneurial country. I believe it is true for small and medium size businesses. We see all the sellers at every street corner, having their small business and nothing else. Although they succeed, they don’t seek nor want to expand. They have their own comfort zone, so they settle. If your growth was limited to what you already know, you would miss tons of opportunities.

“It takes effort, trainings, learning and development plans to understand that outside of your comfort zone is where growth is.”

What are the common obstacles Vietnamese individuals face in their personal development journey in the Vietnamese business context?

To be short, themselves. They are their own obstacles. As we said, they restrict themselves to go out of their comfort zone since they are past-oriented.

The past experiences built a fear of not voicing out their ideas and expectations. In the educational system here, people are asked to have perfect marks, to do word by word what teachers are expecting from them. There is no space for open questions, it’s about following the rules of elderly people. I think that’s one of the reasons why people are going into burn outs. They are fed up with those expectations and rules they didn’t create. What they see on TV, with the Western influence, creates a big discrepancy, therefore an imbalance with themselves. It can be avoided thanks to coaching sessions, to gain clarity on how to achieve their future goals, or psychotherapy sessions, to understand situations in the present that are linked to the past. But they need to be proactive in terms of personal development goals.

Thousands of workshops are available in Ho Chi Minh City in terms of soft skills on a regular basis. If their company does not have the budget, they can attend meaningful ones (in public speaking, emotional intelligence, conflict management, active listening and other soft skills), where they walk out of the room with actionable tips to apply in their daily life at work.

Can you share (some of) the core principles and methodologies you apply in your work, and how they contribute to professional growth, considering the Vietnamese landscape?

I’m a certified trainer in Process Communication Model (PCM): it is a tool that revolutionized my life, personally and professionally. Before that, I was just as other Vietnamese workers. I grew up actually in a family where I had to respect my elders, not ask any question, and stay silent. So, I know the struggle. When I entered the job market, I started my career in logistics back in Shanghai; I stayed silent and didn’t dare to ask any questions. When I wanted a salary raise, I cried in front of my boss. I was very emotional, didn’t control anything and worked overtime over 12 hours/ day. I basically didn’t know how to manage myself.

So, when I discovered the PCM, which is a model scientifically validated and developed by NASA in the 1970s, I discovered that I have a personality, but it is not limited to who I am: I am so much more! Before, I did MBTI and I felt I was put into a box: with PCM, it was the first time I didn’t feel put inside a box.

The reason why is that you have one question, six different answers, you select the answers that apply the most to you and then you hierarchize them. This produces a personality structure, nuanced compared to other personality assessments. There is one basis, but you are not limited to it and other personalities are influencing you, helping you to go through life according to values and principles you have set to yourself. Understanding we all have 6 personalities within us means we can all adapt to other people if we want to. How I communicate also influences relationships with others.

“If I take care of myself first, then I’ll be able to manage and care for others.”

Like in the plane: when there is an emergency and there is the oxygen mask coming, you put it on yourself first and then on your kid. This is a principle in daily life.

I’m training local teams in Vietnam in this Process Communication Model both in my coaching and my training programs. It has helped a lot of them to be more confident, to communicate more clearly, to accept each other as they are and to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) within the company. I’m using it within my team to manage them, motivate them, talk to them.

“How you manage your stress influences your relationships with others.”

Something else I do is to organize weekly reflection with my team, where we discuss their highlights, their lessons, their focus for the following week, etc. Those relationships between the team and the leaders are important to show that you are here to support them. It works well with my Vietnamese team even though it is a new concept to them. It only takes 30 min/ week and is very efficient! It’s motivating to track the small learnings you had across the week.

Another practice I recommend to business leaders is take the time for daily journaling: it can take only 5 minutes: what are the small wins of today, congratulate yourself, write down ideas, opportunities of growth for your company, for yourself, for your team. Or write down your worries.

Most importantly, because I’m an emotional intelligence expert, it’s super important for business managers to track their emotions and their stress level. By acknowledging it, you create that meta-cognition process when you recognize what you need to manage. It’s a great way to reset and realize tomorrow will be another day.

Thank you, Ms. Denise Truong for your time and for sharing your expertise with us!


If you are looking to enhance your communication and leadership skills, to work on fostering a more open, constructive, and empathetic workplace, connect with us at and you’ll be directed to Denise, your guide on the way to professional and personal growth. We’re here to ensure your journey is headed in the right direction!