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The No word - chinese problem (short lessons)

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the greatest frustrations for many foreigners when they begin working in China is the inability for many people to say one simple word: no.

the greatest frustrations for many foreigners when they begin working in China is the inability for many people to say one simple word: no.

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  • 1. The ‘No’ Word - Chinese problem www.china-business-connect.com @intelligence2a how doing business with China Company:trainings, step-by-step guides, reports, case studies
  • 2. The ‘No’ Word - Chinese problem One of the greatest frustrations for many foreigners when they begin working in China is the inability for many people to say one simple word: no. Teaching your staff and the people around you to say ‘no’ can be hard – especially when we are, after all, in China and saying ‘no’ can sometimes be regarded as impolite in Chinese culture. China Business Connect: Trainings, Step-by-Step Guides support@china-business-connect.com © china-business-connect.com www.China-Business-Connect.com
  • 3. Why is Saying ‘No’ so Difficult? West China• Many employees see all the work that is • In Chinese culture, saying ‘no’ is often delegated to them as essential – and in regarded as impolite. many cases feel that they have no • Even when some Chinese people say no, choice but to accept it and get on with they will often respond with indecisive it. answers like ‘you keneng’ (maybe), a• However, a key priority for any manager slight nod of the head or ‘bufang biande’ is to know that their employees are (it’s inconvenient). working to maximise their time – a key • The purpose of this cultural to any company’s productivity. conditioning is to maintain harmony• If an employee takes on a task that then and avoid any response that may be prevents them from working on considered upsetting. something of a much higher value to the • Unfortunately, in the west, ‘it’s company, this may not be the most inconvenient’ or ‘maybe’ can often effective use of their time – particularly mean ‘yes’. when the task in hand could be • In addition to this, a common way of completed by someone else who is saying ‘no’ in China is to raise possibly even more willing. objections. China Business Connect: Trainings, Step-by-Step Guides support@china-business-connect.com © china-business-connect.com www.China-Business-Connect.com
  • 4. Why is Saying ‘No’ so Difficult? A western colleague who proposes a project and hears objections might respond with, they think, reasonable solutions. At the end of a conversation the Westerner might think that the Chinese person is agreeing to take something on, as they have raised no further objections. Likewise, the Chinese may feel that they have made their objections clear and consider the matter closed. This type of miscommunication can quite clearly lead to problems. A clear approach to communication is therefore essential. China Business Connect: Trainings, Step-by-Step Guides support@china-business-connect.com © china-business-connect.com www.China-Business-Connect.com
  • 5. Getting to ‘No’ We all want to get to ‘yes’, but the truth is, getting to a clear and decisive ‘no’ can be equally valuable. Here are some useful tips for managers and employees when dealing with the issue of ‘no’: As a As an manager: employee:China Business Connect: Trainings, Step-by-Step Guides support@china-business-connect.com© china-business-connect.com www.China-Business-Connect.com
  • 6. Getting to ‘No’ - As a manager: • Be aware of your employees’ workload. Take the time to be aware – your employees will thank you for it. 1 • Encourage your employees to look at how they use their time. Good managers should take the time to get regular updates on big and small projects alike, so they are clearly 2 aware of who’s doing what. • Why are some employees staying later than others? Are they managing their time effectively? Are they taking on their colleagues’ tasks out of politeness? Identify the 3 scapegoats. • Identify your employees’ key strengths and weaknesses through means such as aptitude testing. This will ensure all tasks are delegated to the person best suited for the job so 4 employees will not have to say ‘no’ in the first place. • Create an environment where saying ‘no’ is not seen as failure of any kind – and doesn’t mean people are not capable of doing their jobs. 5China Business Connect: Trainings, Step-by-Step Guides support@china-business-connect.com© china-business-connect.com www.China-Business-Connect.com
  • 7. Getting to ‘No’ - As an employee: • Know your own goals and priorities – it’s easier to legitimately say ‘no’ to something when you know what’s going on. A clear plan of your goals, objectives and priorities 1 will give you the ammunition to stand up and politely decline to do something. • If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well’. Be honest and direct – this will benefit both you and the person delegating the task to you. 2 • If it is something you are really interested in doing, but still feel that your other projects are taking all your time, suggest dropping another project to make room for it, 3 or that your current project is passed on to someone else in the team. • Remember – you are saying no to the proposition and not the person. Saying ‘no’ should not be personal and should not be seen as such. 4China Business Connect: Trainings, Step-by-Step Guides support@china-business-connect.com© china-business-connect.com www.China-Business-Connect.com
  • 8. more information about China Business Training, free packs and trial version in:www.china-business-connect.com how doing business with China Company:trainings, step-by-step guides, reports, case studies