Communicating with the chinese


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Advice for traveling in China

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  • Jessica,

    Thanks for the powerpoint. I intend to make notes to refer to during the trip. Looking forward to meeting up with you in Korea and traveling in China with you.

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Communicating with the chinese

  1. 1. Communicating with the Chinese
  2. 2. The ultimate goal of communication in Chinese culture is to preserve harmony
  3. 3. The Chinese Business Mentality <ul><li>The followers of Confucius –all of East Asia—emphasize mutual needs </li></ul><ul><li>Western humanists emphasize individual needs </li></ul>
  4. 4. Chinese Attitudes about communication <ul><li>Do not value verbal skills </li></ul><ul><li>Action trumps smooth talk </li></ul><ul><li>No universal rules for all </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Respond to level of relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In-group/out-group distinctions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitated by informal intermediaries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mix business/personal relations </li></ul>
  5. 5. Guanxi <ul><li>Connections, but exponentially </li></ul><ul><li>More than networking---it is obligation </li></ul><ul><li>ALL important to have –develop over time </li></ul><ul><li>Spend & bank it like time and money </li></ul>
  6. 6. Face & Facework <ul><li>Face is a person’s sense of positive image in a relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moral/internal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social/external </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Facework is communication that upholds another’s face </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Important to bolster face of others </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Approach to Communication <ul><li>Lack of dichotomies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In U.S.: good/bad, right/wrong </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore unshakeable confidence in judgments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In China: shades of gray </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Therefore fewer conflicts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Speaking style </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listener responsible for meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thesis comes at the end </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Patterns of behavior <ul><li>Based on Confucian values </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social stability through tolerance, harmony, group solidarity, non-competitiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compassion through patience, courtesy, kindness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restraint & moderation—the middle way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confucian work dynamism through persistence, thriftiness </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Advice from Confucius <ul><li>Moral character is reflected in the words one uses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ he who does not know the force of words, cannot know men” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Analects XX 3 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Beautiful words lacking substance are to be blamed <ul><li>Real power of words rests on the attributes of sincerity & truthfulness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Beautiful words, insinuating manners, are lacking in human-heartedness” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Analects I 3 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Actions are more important than Words <ul><li>“ The superior man is ashamed of his speaking exceeding his actions” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analects XIV, 29 </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Relationship defines type of communication <ul><li>Be attuned to emotions of listener </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of context </li></ul><ul><li>Frankness without propriety leads to rudeness </li></ul>
  13. 13. Protocol
  14. 14. Chinese Names <ul><li>Chinese give their family name first, followed by their two-part given name </li></ul><ul><li>It is helpful to spell family names in capital letters </li></ul><ul><li>CHEN Wei-Ming </li></ul>
  15. 15. Addressing people <ul><li>Titles are important. Use in salutations & face to face </li></ul><ul><li>Use “Madame” if you do not know if a title-less woman is married or not </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use a Chinese person’s given name. Use their family name only. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Tips <ul><li>Handshaking is common </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chinese often nod or bow slightly as well </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dual-language business cards are desirable </li></ul><ul><li>Present & receive cards with both hands </li></ul><ul><li>Read thoughtfully & don’t mark on card </li></ul>
  17. 17. More tips <ul><li>Seniority & rank are important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make introductions in order of rank </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“No” should not be used </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use “it may be difficult” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do not back-slap, hug, or touch </li></ul>
  18. 18. Conversation <ul><li>Good topics: history, culture, family, economic progress in China </li></ul><ul><li>Bad topics: Tibet, Taiwan, Tiananmen Square, sex, wealth, politics </li></ul><ul><li>Chinese may ask questions about income, value of your home, etc. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Banquets <ul><li>The more courses, the higher the honor </li></ul><ul><li>Counterparts of equal rank are placed opposite each other </li></ul><ul><li>Toasting is important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Toast to your designated opposite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only group leaders should toast the attendees as a whole </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Meals in general <ul><li>Learn to use chopsticks </li></ul><ul><li>Pour others’ drinks, not your own </li></ul><ul><li>Cover mouth when using toothpicks </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t blow nose at the table </li></ul><ul><li>Rice is served last as a filler </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eating too much shows you didn’t have enough to eat </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Gift-giving <ul><li>Gift should be modest, or give one gift to a group </li></ul><ul><li>Do not unwrap gifts in the presence of the giver—unless they ask you to </li></ul><ul><li>Have “reciprocal gifts” on hand </li></ul><ul><li>Do not use black or white wrapping; Gold or red is best </li></ul>
  22. 22. Helpful phrases <ul><li>Hello: Ni hao (knee how) </li></ul><ul><li>Please: Qing Ni (ching knee) </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you: Xie Xie (she-ya she-ya) </li></ul><ul><li>You’re welcome: Bu Xi (boo she) </li></ul><ul><li>Down the hatch: Gan bei (gone bay) </li></ul><ul><li>Good bye: Zai Jian (sigh gin) </li></ul>