I am currently volunteering as a corporate English coach (of some sort) at where I work now (the COE of an industry leading IT infrastructure provider in China). Recently during a training session a Chinese team manager came to me for advice on how to combat difficulties communicating/dealing with an American boss from another GEO (US Eastern).
As I observe the language skills of this manager are not part of the bottleneck here as she is far more than capable of expressing herself adequately in English. However, located at two vastly remote sites of different GEOs this manager and her boss work completely different hours and has between themselves very limited opportunities for face to face interaction, practically as rare as occasional teleconf. And to add insult to injury her boss proclaims NOT to be an email guy (how her boss, with this special trait, manages to hold down an upper management role at an organization of such calibre is certainly beyond my widest dreams)... Which is to say the majority, if not all, of her emails are ignored or at least rarely afforded due attention by her boss regardless of their importance . Any chance of effective communication between them has hence been virtually reduced and confined to weekly hour long one on one meetings occuring at late nights for her and early mornings for her boss... And no, her boss doesn't even take calls from her during his office hours either, saying it can wait till they catch up at weekly meetings.
The above situation gravely undermines this managers ability to perform tasks and drive initiatives that require the approval of the her boss. She finds it hard to talk everything through during weekly meetings, especially to win the support of her boss to acquire critical resources that need the nod of the boss. Her immediate concern for now is that her team is seriously burning out and in dire need of reinforcement, but her boss is not giving her requests due consideration given this difficulty to communicate, with her requests constantly subject to flipant, spur-of-the-moment dismissal by her boss during the meetings.
I told her to keep sending emails and thereby set defaults in the absence of any response (i.e. I am convincdd that we should do abc to achieve xyz . If I do not hear back from you by some date I would presume you agree with me and I would set out to make it happen). But that doesn't really help when she needs her boss to act and play with her. What else can she do?