There is no mystery to working with the Chinese. Chinese ways make sense ... to the Chinese. They can make sense to you too. It depends upon whether you can 'see' things as Chinese see them. You need a pair of Chinese glasses!
In my 25+ years (since 1985) of helping Westerners and Chinese work together I have seen businesses fail, opportunities lost and money wasted from wearing the wrong cultural glasses. You do not have to "be Chinese," nor should you try to be, but you must show some respect. A little respect goes a long way.
How (not) to Go Broke in Chinese Asia
Business success in Chinese Asia doesn't come easy.
One cross-culture mistake by a trader, buyer or sales
rep can hurt a relationship or ruin a deal; a cross-culture mistake by a
manager can cost millions or destroy employee motivation. That's the bad news.
The good news is you can learn how to prevent (or at least minimize)
cross-culture mistakes. It's not that hard. The key is learning to wear Chinese
glasses. My job is make sure that you get a pair, and learn how to use them and
to not go broke in Chinese Asia.
Easily avoidable cross-culture mistakes are the biggest hidden cost in international business.
Wearing Chinese Glasses affects more than what you see. It means that you are thinking like Chinese do, no mater the situation. How? By understanding Chinese values, beliefs, basic motivations.
Wearing Chinese Glasses means more than learning how to handle yourself in a few situations. It means that you understand why Chinese act, talk and make decisions like they do.
Wearing Chinese Glasses means you can start to predict the right thing to do even in new situations. It means you have a good idea of what is going on around you, which changes things in amazing ways!
What do you do when (not if) your Chinese partner asks you, "But how can you ask me to lose money?"
You can do business culture blind or you can join one of my seminars and get what you've been missing, a pair of Chinese glasses. Understanding what your Chinese partner or employee, vendor or bureaucrat is thinking and expecting is more than just important, it is needed for success. Not wearing Chinese glasses (working culture blind) makes life in Chinese Asia very difficult. Unnecessarily difficult. Come get your pair of Chinese glasses at an upcoming seminar. I look forward to meeting you.