I have grown up in China, received my college education there, and did my MBA in Europe. I realized that my education in China has taught me to be "obedient", "humble", and not encouraged to challenge other's views. The learning experience is more about passively receiving information from lectures, and I would say the education system in Japan and Korea is also quite similar.
After I started working for a US firm in China, I realized that my working habits would backfire me in this company that values "aggressiveness". I find myself always "over humbled", "over-polite", and afraid of defending my views when my manager disagrees. I want to form a closer relationship with my seniors, befriending them instead of treating them like "respectable elders". As a new joiner, I don't lack the confidence to stick to my own views and challenge my seniors.
Another senior told me that in order to earn respect, I need to fight for my own views and be "tougher" instead of "obedient". Also, I need to treat my line manager as a friend, instead of being "too respectful", to develop a closer relationship. Could anyone provide some advice on how could I improve these points? I feel that my education and background has influenced me a lot, so it's a bit of twist to change my working habit. Thanks a lot.