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Aiming to please within Chinese society

cartoon 'pleasing'

Quotes from the book 'leer mij ze kennen, de Chinezen':

[...] People with different cultural backgrounds often go out of their way to communicate with others in a civil and kind manner. The difference in Westerners and Chinese communication styles are so considerable that miscommunication is the rule, not the exception. [...]

[...] By veiling their intentions, Chinese often avoid putting someone else in a difficult position and potentially lose face. When Chinese intend to ask a favor, or must confront someone about a mistake, the most discrete, indirect approach is used. The more sensitive the topic, the more cautious theapproach. To openly express complaints or raise sensitive topics, which might put someone else in a poor light, is seen as very injurious by the Chinese. [...]

[...] This indirect approach is seldom appreciated by Westerners. Western culture favors a 'tell me how it is" strategy and this is how Westerners generally react to the Chinese indirect manner of approaching sensitive topics. "Stop beating around the bush, and get on with it" is a thought that has crossed many Western manager's minds while dealing with Chinese who are indirectly asking for a favor or expressing a complaint. [...]

[...] Chinese do appreciate well made comparisons and analogies that help make a point without being blunt. A Western negotiator figured out a way to tell his Chinese counterpart that he wanted to take bigger steps forward by using a pair of new wooden clogs still tied together. He said: "I often took them out to dinner when we reached an impasse or sticking point in the negotiations. Dinner meant many drinks and speeches. When it was my turn to speak, I pulled out a pair of Dutch clogs that were still tied together by a piece of rope as you would buy them in the store. I told them that 'to this point we, like this pair of clogs closely tied together, have done business with the rope still attached and have taken tiny steps forward as the rope restrained us from making bigger ones. I believe it is time to cut the rope today towards a brighter future. You are in the one clog and I am in the other and we need to learn how to take bigger steps together.' My counterpart loved this analogy." Chinese very much appreciate this kind of humor. [...]

[...] To avoid your staff continuously trying to 'please' you when replying to your questions, it is wise to ask your questions in a clear manner that leaves no room for interpretation beyond what you have asked. If your questions are straight forward, the answers will soon follow suit. [...]

[...] Once you have won the trust of your Chinese staff, you can explain to them your views regarding their sensitivities. Explain that even though you very much appreciate their way of communicating, they still have to keep in mind that the corporate goal is important to you and this means that all of you will have to find a healthy balance between human sensitivity and business goals. It is not only your task to teach the Chinese that quality, productivity and profit are key words in your dictionary, but also to find a way to get the message across without being offensive. [...]

cartoon 'goed handen schudden'

Go to The taste of the Chinese, their choice of the 'menu'

Keeping quiet
within Chinese society
Over Compensating
within Chinese society
within Chinese society
within Chinese society
cartoon 'Keeping quiet' cartoon 'Over Compensating' cartoon 'Fighting' cartoon 'Fleeing'
Safety in numbers
within Chinese society
Keeping distance
within Chinese society
Aiming to please
within Chinese society
cartoon 'Safety in numbers' cartoon 'Keeping distance' cartoon 'Aiming to please'