Which Of The Following Aspects Of Communication Is More Important In A Low-context Culture

Test 2 Ch 5 Flashcards by Trevor Cook

The manner in which individuals interact with one another varies greatly from culture to culture. The need of understanding these disparities and their origins has never been greater than it is now, in our totally globalized world. One approach to gaining such an insight is through the use of the high and low context culture framework, which was established by anthropologist Edward T. Hall and is described below. Hall argued in 1976 that cultures may be split into two categories: those with a high context and those with a low context.

What are the differences?

The distinction between high and low context cultures is intended to draw attention to the variations in verbal and nonverbal communication styles among people. Highly contextual cultures will employ communication that is concerned with the underlying context, meaning and tone of the message rather than the actual words themselves. Japan, China, France, Spain, Brazil, and a number of other countries fall within this classification. Low-context cultures, on the other hand, demand messages to be precisely expressed so that there is no danger of confusion, and if a message isn’t clear enough, it will cause the communication process to be slowed down.

Cultures in the Western world, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, are among those that engage in low-context communication.

High Context vs. Low Context Culture Characteristics

Cultures are rarely able to be categorised into either high or low contexts in a strict sense. Most cultures lay somewhere in the middle of the range, and they can exhibit features of both high and low context traits to varied degrees in different situations. Although the degree to which a culture has high context or low context can be a complicated quality, it can influence a wide range of other elements of a particular culture. For example, resemblance is a significant trait in cultures with a high level of context.

Messages can be contextualized by assuming that the audience would think in the same manner and will follow the underlying meaning implied in someone’s speech or writing as a result of these common experiences.

They are frequently diversified in nature, and they place a strong emphasis on the individual rather than the collective.

Forms of Communication

Communication in general differs between high and low context cultures, and the styles of communication, as well as the sorts of media that they choose, varies as well. Despite the fact that these forms can change in today’s fast-paced digital world, fundamental inclinations remain constant. In general, oral communications are preferred by high-context societies, whereas written communications are preferred by low-context ones.

Those from low-context cultures rely on electronic communication to communicate quickly and frequently through emails, texts, and online messaging. Low-context cultures also prefer that these conversations center around fundamental topics, such as, for example,

  • What exactly is going on
  • What is the location of the action
  • When is it going to happen
  • How is it going to happen
  • What is the timeline?

It is true that high-context societies will inevitably shift their emphasis away from fundamental inquiries and toward lengthier modes of communication that are less focused on them.

Communicating in International Business

In order to communicate effectively and avoid making embarrassing or offensive blunders, it is essential for a multinational firm to understand the differences between high and low context cultures. Having a thorough awareness of these distinctions will help you to improve both external, client-focused communication as well as inter-organizational connections significantly. Will your attempts to be succinct and to the point be appreciated by a Japanese company? Is it possible that a German corporation may grow bored if you speak around a problem rather than immediately address it?

Explore the rest of our blog for additional information about global communication techniques.

Context of Cultures: High and Low

1.4.6 – Context of Cultures: High and LowContext ofCultures: High and LowHere is another concept that will help you pull togethera lot of the material you have read so far about culture. It is called “highcontext” and “low context” and was created by the sameanthropologist who developed the concepts of polychronic and monochronic time.They complement each other and provide a broad framework for looking at culture.The list below shows the kind of behavior thatisgenerally found inhigh and lowcontext cultures within five categories: how people relate to each other, howthey communicate with each other, how they treat space, how they treat time,and how they learn. One thing to remember is that few cultures, and the peoplein them, are totally at one end of the spectrum or the other.Theyusually fall somewhere in between and may have a combination of high and lowcontext characteristics.
  • Relationships are based on trust, which develops gradually and is stable. One makes a distinction between persons who are within and those who are outside one’s circle. The ability to work with others and pay attention to the group process are essential for getting things done. One’s identity is anchored in groups (family, culture, and place of employment)
  • The social structure and authority are centralized, and accountability is at the top of the hierarchy of power. The person in charge is concerned with the well-being of the group.
  • Relationships begin and end in a blink of an eye. A large number of persons can be found within one’s circle
  • The circle’s perimeter is not clearly defined. By following processes and keeping an eye on the end objective, things get accomplished. One’s sense of self and accomplishments serve as the foundation of one’s identity. The social structure is decentralized
  • Responsibility is distributed more widely (rather than being concentrated at the top)
  • The use of nonverbal aspects is extensive
  • The tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and eye movement all contribute to the overall meaning of the discourse. When communicating verbally, the message is implicit
  • The context (situation, people, nonverbal aspects) is more significant than the words themselves. It is indirect to communicate verbally
  • One speaks around the topic and embellishes it. Communication is regarded as an art form apart from the act of engaging someone. Disagreement is unique to the individual. One is sensitive to the expression of conflict in nonverbal communication by another person. In order for work to develop, either conflict must be resolved or conflict must be avoided since it is personally threatening
  • There is a limited usage of nonverbal components. The verbal communication is more explicit than the nonverbal message
  • The verbal message is more direct. Language is more significant than context
  • A verbal communication is straightforward
  • One lays out exactly what they want to say. A method of exchanging information, ideas, and opinions, communication is considered to be a sort of exchange. Disagreement is depersonalized in this manner. One withdraws from a quarrel with another in order to focus on the work at hand. The emphasis is on logical answers rather than personal ones. It is possible to express one’s dissatisfaction with another’s troublesome conduct
  • People stand near to one another and share the same space since space is common.
  • Space is segregated and privately owned
  • Privacy is paramount, thus individuals are separated by a greater distance.
  • Everything moves at its own pace. Time is difficult to schedule
  • People’s wants may interfere with the ability to stick to a timetable. What is crucial is that something is done
  • Change is slow to happen. Things are firmly entrenched in the past, are difficult to change, and are steadfast. Time is a process
  • It belongs to others as much as to nature
  • It is cyclical.
  • Things are set to be completed at specific times and one at a time, according to a timetable. What matters is that task be completed efficiently, and that change occurs quickly. When one changes his or her behavior, one may witness instant benefits
  • Time is a commodity that can be spent or saved. One’s time is his or her own
  • Knowledge is integrated in the context
  • Things are interconnected, synthesized, and global in nature, There are a variety of sources of information used. Deductive reasoning is a process that moves from the general to the specific. Learning comes through observation of others as they model or demonstrate, followed by practice. When it comes to learning and problem solving, groups are favored
  • Accuracy is highly regarded. It is crucial to assess how well something has been learnt.
  • Realism has been divided and isolated for many years. When developing knowledge, one source of information is employed. Inductive reasoning is the process of moving from the specific to the general. Individual orientation is favored for learning and problem solving because it allows for greater attention to detail
  • Learning happens by following specific directions and explanations from others
  • And The importance of speed cannot be overstated. It is crucial to consider how quickly something may be taught.

anthropologist Edward T. Hall’s writings, all of which were published in New York by Doubleday in the 1950s and 1960s: The Silent Language(1959), The Hidden Dimension(1969), Beyond Culture(1976), and The Dance of Life(1979) (1983). The 1993 Annual: Developing Human Resources is the source of this information. PfeifferCompany. Let’s try out the following task to see where you fall on the low and high context continuum.

Instructions:Foreach of the following twenty items, check 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 to indicateyour tendencies and preferences in a work situation.
Hardly Ever Sometimes Almost Always
1 2 3 4 5
1. Whencommunicating, I tend to use a lot of facialexpressions, hand gestures, and body movementsratherthan relying mostly on words.
2. Ipay more attention to the context of a conversation�who said what andunder what circumstances�thanIdo to the words.
3. Whencommunicating, I tend to spell things outquickly and directly rather than talking around and addingto the point.
4. Inan interpersonal disagreement, I tend to be more emotional than logicaland rational.
5. Itend to have a small, close circle of friends rather thana large, but less close, circle of friends.
6. Whenworking with others, I prefer to get the job donefirst and socialize afterward rather than socialize first andthen tackle the job.
7. I would ratherwork in a group than by myself.
8. Ibelieve rewards should be given for individual accomplishment ratherthan for group accomplishments.
9. Idescribe myself in terms of my accomplishmentsratherthan in terms of my family and relationships.
10. Iprefer sharing space with others to having my own private space.
11. Iwould rather work for someone who maintains authorityandfunctions for the good of the group than work for someone who allowsa lot of autonomy and individual decisionmaking.
12. Ibelieve it is more important to be on time than to letotherconcerns take priority.
13. Iprefer working on one thing at a time to working on avariety of things at once.
14. Igenerally set a time schedule and keep to it rather than leave thingsunscheduled and go with the flow.
15. Ifind it easier to work with someone who is fast andwantsto see immediate results than to work with someone who is slow and wantsto consider all the facts.
16. Inorder to learn about something, I tend to consult many sources of informationrather than to go to the one bestauthority.
17. Infiguring out problems, I prefer focusing on the whole situation to focusingon specific parts or taking one step at a time.
18. Whentackling a new task, I would rather figure it out on my own by experimentationthan follow someone else’s example or demonstration.
19. Whenmaking decisions, I consider my likes and dislikes, not just the facts.
20. Iprefer having tasks and procedures explicitly defined tohaving a general idea of what has to be done.
Your High context score is: Your Low context score is: The difference between your scores is:Beforeyou see the interpretation of your scores, read this. Compare your High and Low Context Culture scores. They can provide a pretty clear indication of how you prefer to interact in work and other social settings. All this means is that you are likely to feel more comfortable using one or the other contexts. Neitherone is better or worse than the other. Preferring one style does notmean that you can�t interact effectively in many contexts, but justthat you might have to make some adjustments if, for example, yourstyle is predominantly high context and you find yourself functioningin a largely low context culture, or vice-versa. It also indicatesthat overseas adaptation might be easier if you were intending tolive in a culture that generally reflected those cultural values.Asuseful as it is to know what your “natural” style is, it is even moreimportant to understand how your preferred style might differ fromothers, and what that means when interacting with those who do notshare that preference. If you want to know more about theinterpretation of your scores.clickhere.

To illustrate how cultures fallalong the context continuum, here is a chart that includes some culturesthat have been studied.Nowthat you have learned how to think aboutcultures in general, we will look at a culture that you are very closeto, US-American. Section 1.5 looks at those characteristics of US culturethat will go with you but will not require a suitcase to carry.

High-Context vs. Low-Context Communication

In this section, the information is based on the four publications by anthropologist Edward T. Hall, all of which were published in New York by Doubleday: The Silent Language (1959), The Hidden Dimension (1969), Beyond Culture (1976), and The Dance of Life (1979). (1983). The 1993 Annual: Developing Human Resources is the source of the information in this paragraph. PfeifferCompany. Let’s do the following task to find out where you fall on the low and high context continuum.

  • How well do I identify implicit signals from others, and how well do I recognize the verbal and nonverbal indicators that allow me to grasp what the speaker is trying to convey? (High-Context)
  • What do I mean when I say “let my words speak for themselves?” Do I like to be more direct, relying on what is openly expressed in my speech, or do I prefer to be more indirect? (Low-Context)

Amy Tan, a novelist, portrays the variations in cultural communication in the following way: “”Let’s strike a deal,” may remark an American business executive, to which a Chinese management might respond, “Is your son interested in learning about your widget business?” might suggest the Chinese manager. Dedicated to each or her own goal, everyone on his or her own language journey.” It is common for issues to arise during the sharing of information when people from high-context and low-context cultures work with one another.

Employees from high-context cultures such as China and France, for example, exchange highly precise and lengthy information with their “in-group members” as a matter of course (good friends, families, close coworkers, etc).

High-Context Communication

Hall says that the majority of the knowledge is either in the physical context or has been initialized in the individual.

  • Knowledge is contextual and relational in nature. Less information is communicated verbally, in writing, or in a formal manner. Increasingly internalized understandings of what is transmitted (for example, through “in-jokes”)
  • In long-term, well-established partnerships, this expression is frequently employed. Personalized face-to-face contact, generally centered on a single, authoritative figure, is at the heart of all decisions and actions
  • The ability to distinguish between those who are accepted/belong and those who are “outsiders”


  • Relationships are built on trust, take time to develop, and are rather stable. Relationships with individuals and attention to group process are important factors in how things get done. One’s identity is founded in social groupings (family, culture, and place of employment)


  • Nonverbal communication is heavily emphasized
  • Tone of voice, facial expression, gestures, and eye movement all contribute significantly to the flow of a discussion. It is indirect to communicate verbally
  • One speaks around the issue and embellishes it
  • Communication is seen as an art form—a method of interacting with another person. Disagreement is unique to the individual. One’s nonverbal communication is sensitive to the expression of conflict in another’s nonverbal communication. In order for work to advance, either the conflict must be resolved or it must be avoided.


  • There are a variety of information sources employed. Observing others as they model or display, and then practicing, is how deductive thinking works
  • Learning occurs by first observing others as they model or exhibit, and then practicing When it comes to learning and problem solving, groups are favored
  • Accuracy is highly regarded. It is crucial to assess how well something has been learnt.

High context cultures are more prevalent in eastern countries than in western ones, as well as in countries with a low level of ethnic diversity. Cultures that place a high importance on the collective above the individual encourage group dependency. High context cultures, such as tribal and aboriginal communities, are characterized by a strong sense of tradition and history, and they change little over time. For example, the French presume that the listener is well-versed in the subject matter.

During the Camp David peace talks, former President Jimmy Carter recognized the significance of communicating in a high-context with his colleagues from Israel and Egypt.

As he gazed at the photographs, the prime minister spoke aloud the names of his grandkids, pondering on the importance of the peace negotiations to the futures of his grandchildren and his own grandchildren.

Read More From Toughnickel

“The explicit code possesses the majority of the information,” says Hall.

  • Organizing by rules
  • More knowledge is available to the public, is external, and is easily accessible. Communication sessions will be shorter in duration. Knowing something is transferrable. Task-centered. Determining what has to be done and dividing duties are at the forefront of decisions and activities.


  • Relationships are short-lived and frequently terminate abruptly. A large number of persons can be found within one’s circle
  • The circle’s perimeter is not clearly defined. By following processes and keeping an eye on the end objective, things get accomplished. One’s sense of self and accomplishments serve as the foundation of one’s identity. The social structure is decentralized
  • Responsibility is distributed more widely (rather than being concentrated at the top)


  • The message is communicated more effectively via words than through nonverbal ways. The verbal communication is direct
  • One expresses himself or herself clearly. In the context of communication, it is considered a means of communicating information, ideas, and views. Disagreement is depersonalized in this manner. One withdraws from a quarrel with another in order to focus on the work at hand. The emphasis is on intellectual answers rather than personal ones


  • In order to develop knowledge, one source of information is used
  • Inductive reasoning is the process of moving from the specific to the general. The attention is on the details
  • Learning comes as a result of following precise directions and explanations provided by others. When it comes to learning and problem solving, an individualistic approach is recommended. The importance of speed cannot be overstated. It is crucial to consider how quickly something may be taught.

It is necessary for an individual coming from a high context culture to adapt and/or be accommodated while moving to a low context culture. Small, close-knit groups are expected in high context cultures, where work and personal life are intertwined and interdependent. As a result, an individual with a high context sensitivity is more inclined to ask questions rather than attempt to figure out a solution on their own. Remember that communication is essential in business, so be certain that you know not just what to say but also how to say it.

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We were not equipped with the most up-to-date data sets when we arrived.” A high-context communication style is more reliant on contextual signals (such as how and where you say something): Following a dissatisfactory meeting with a client, the boss summons an employee to their office.

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Context is Everything

Due to the fact that you have just recently arrived in a new culture, you are paying close attention to how people interact with one another. One of the more perplexing aspects of human behavior is the way individuals greet one another. As you investigate the procedures for greeting women, men, and each other, you want to learn more about how they greet one another. A meeting for families is being hosted by your spouse’s organization. You observe how people connect and engage with one another.

  • The right hand of some people is shaken, yet they move close for an embrace as well.
  • Some will kiss on the right cheeks, while others will kiss on the left.
  • You want to be pleasant and appropriate, but you also don’t want to upset anyone by being overly friendly or inappropriate.
  • Each solution has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
  • A. Simply extend your right hand, since this appears to be the most secure way to welcome both men and women. Locate a “cultural informant,” a local somebody who can describe the customs of the area
  • C.Be patient and observe how others welcome you before responding in the same manner. D.Take advantage of your observations at the party to start a discussion with someone and ask them to explain themselves

This will most likely work in many countries for welcomes between persons of the same gender, but it may not work when men and women greet each other, depending on the culture. As long as you witness men and women shaking hands, you can do the same if it feels comfortable to you. Pro:This will most likely feel familiar to you because it is the most popular kind of greeting in the United States, and it will be greeted positively in many regions around the country. Negative:There is a chance that this will cause you some difficulty while welcoming someone of the opposing gender.

  1. Examine each alternative to determine the advantages and disadvantages of selecting that choice.
  2. Some cultures are particularly specific about their customs (“everyone gives two kisses, first on the right cheek, then on the left cheek”).
  3. Cons: If there isn’t somebody available to fill this position, you may find yourself in a bind.
  4. When you offer your hand and the other person moves closer for a hug, it might be an unsettling experience for a beginner, though.
  5. If you’re in a hierarchical society, the other person may be expecting you to take the initiative, which might make things unpleasant.
  6. A great technique to strike up a discussion with someone you don’t know at a party, and it also provides an opportunity to learn about the local culture.

If you’re already feeling uneasy, it may be tough to begin up a discussion with a complete stranger. Examine each alternative to determine the advantages and disadvantages of selecting that choice.

High Context and Low Context Cultures

According to anthropologist Edward T. Hall’s 1976 book Beyond Culture, the concept of high and low context refers to the manner in which cultures communicate with one another. The majority of communication occurs implicitly in high context cultures, which means that the context and relationships are more important than the actual words, and therefore, only a few words are required. Since words are the primary means of communication in low context cultures, they must be as explicit as possible in order to be understood.

  1. To comprehend how this occurs, one must first comprehend the way in which communication is processed.
  2. To make sense of information, it is necessary to consider both the information that is transferred in and out and the information that has been stored, also known as the information in context.
  3. B is significantly higher in high context cultures because they rely on traditions, very deep personal relationships, and well-established hierarchies, and thus have much more B.
  4. For lack of a better expression, the main information in high context cultures is either contained within “the physical context” or is internalized by the individual.
  5. 91) describes the process as follows: Cultures with a high level of context:
  • Traditions are important
  • Encourage the development of long-term connections. Use non-verbal cues such as tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, and so on to communicate effectively
  • They have a tendency to be non-confrontational and more straightforward. Non-explicit communication should be viewed as a rejection of the request. There isn’t much to say about them
  • Are more collectivistic in their outlook. The group is the source of one’s identity. Group harmony is highly valued. Individuals should have more defined limits, such as belonging to a certain group. They are sluggish to adapt

Cultures with a low level of context:

  • Tend to engage in a large number of superficial, short-term partnerships
  • Because they lack extra context, they necessitate explicit communication. Communication is more direct and combative these days, which is good. Are more individualistic in their outlook. The responsibility for identifying is with the person. Individual requirements are taken into consideration. Require that the message contain all of the necessary information. Can alter in a short period of time

Another component that is connected to this is the perception of time. High context cultures are more likely to have an apolychronic experience of time, whereas low context cultures are more likely to have a amonochronic view. For monochronic persons, time is a physical and sequential concept — it is something that can be saved, spent, and so on. They set and stick to rigid deadlines, and they concentrate on completing a single task at a time. Polychronic persons have a flexible perception of time.

  1. Polychronic persons, on the other hand, work on numerous things at the same time, going back and forth between them.
  2. Similarly, someone from a low-context culture may behave in a way that would be considered ignorant, rude, or incompetent in a high-context culture.
  3. Additionally, a high-context individual may be perceived as unclear, secretive, undependable, unable to follow through on ideas, or inept owing to a lack of capacity to function independently.
  4. Japan, China, and the Arab countries are examples of countries with a high level of context sensitivity.
  5. It should be emphasized, however, that not all of the traits listed above and below are applicable to all cultures classified as high or low context.
  6. Sources 91-131 in Edward T.
  7. Sorrels, K.

Edward T. Hall,” accessed on 10 February 2013 from:Tung, R. (1995), “International Organizational Behaviour,” Luthans Virtual OB McGraw-Hill, pp 487-518; Sorrels, K. (1998), “On The Past and Future of Intercultural Relations Study Gifts of Wisdom:An Interview with

Yes, but also no? The role of context in the Chinese workplace

China, the world’s second-largest economy and the world’s most populous country, has enormous prospects for foreign businesses. China, on the other hand, is frequently seen as one of the more difficult nations in which to conduct business — not only economically and politically, but also interpersonally and culturally. Being able to communicate successfully in China demands an extensive awareness of a variety of complicated cultural ideas as well as the capacity to see beyond what is being said and perceive what is not being said.

China as a high-context culture

People from different cultural backgrounds do not always share the same values or communicate in the same way; for example, they may be more or less direct in their communication, they may use gestures differently, they may be more or less comfortable with silence, or they may have different attitudes toward hierarchy, to name just a few examples of possible differences between them. According to the notion of high and low context cultures, which was created by Edward T. Hall, a well-known anthropologist and one of the pioneers in the field of intercultural communication.

  • As a result, the message is typically implicit in high-context communication since it relies so largely on shared context.
  • When communication takes place in a low-context, it is more clear since it is based on the words spoken rather than on a shared context or the connection between the speakers.
  • It is more vital to respond in the appropriate manner than it is to convey the appropriate message.
  • Hall is a well-known author.
  • If you ignore the significance of context in Chinese communication, you raise the likelihood of misunderstanding, uncertainty, and even conflict amongst people.

When does ‘yes’ mean ‘no’?

Words can be understood differently depending on the context in which they are spoken, therefore a simple ‘yes’ might be regarded as a ‘no’ in some cases. People in high context cultures such as China are more likely to respond affirmatively when their superiors give a job to them and inquire whether or not they can finish it. This is true even if they don’t comprehend the assignment or know that they won’t be able to do it. Even when they sincerely mean ‘no,’ it might be difficult to say ‘no’ because it makes you feel uncomfortable.

In Chinese organizations, the hierarchical gap is sometimes great, and subordinates are reluctant to bother more senior colleagues with specific queries that may lead them to become irritated or make them appear less capable.

When does ‘no’ mean ‘yes’?

However, the word ‘no’ can occasionally be taken to signify the word ‘yes.’ The act of expressing gratitude to a team member by saying things like “You did a fantastic job” or “You are a true expert in your field” sounds like an excellent thing for a manager to do. A Chinese employee, on the other hand, will still be appreciative for favorable comments, but he or she may downplay the complement in order to exhibit their humility. If they respond affirmatively and accept the compliment, they may be viewed as arrogant, and this will not create a positive impression on other individuals.

Silence is golden?

On the other hand, occasionally the word “no” might be taken to signify “yes.” Complimenting an employee with words like “You did an excellent job” or “You are an expert in your field” seems like a wonderful thing for a boss to do. However, this is not always the case. An employee in China, on the other hand, will still be appreciative for favorable input, but they may downplay the complement in order to exhibit their modesty and humility. Even if they respond affirmatively and accept the compliment, they may be viewed as arrogant by others, and this will not create a positive impression.

How can we avoid those awkward moments?

However, the word ‘no’ can occasionally be taken to signify the word ‘yes’. The act of expressing gratitude to a team member with words such as “You did a fantastic job” or “You are a true expert in your field” looks like an excellent thing for a manager to do. A Chinese employee, on the other hand, will still be appreciative for favorable comments, but they may downplay it in order to exhibit their modesty. If they respond affirmatively and accept the compliment, they may be viewed as arrogant, and this will not create a positive impression on other people.

  • Consider devoting time to developing personal ties and identifying common ground, as harmony and relationships, known as Guanxi in Chinese, are extremely essential in the Chinese workplace. If you can tell that there is a misunderstanding, try to offer more precise information and paraphrase or explain again. You may consider pulling one of the participants aside to explain the situation honestly if you see a tough conversation between them. There could perhaps be a valid explanation for the harsh comments. Allow them some space and time by pausing or leaving the room for a moment.

How to give negative feedback to Chinese colleagues and clients

Maintaining personal ties and establishing common ground is vital in the Chinese workplace, where harmony and relationship, known as Guanxi in Chinese, are highly valued; If you believe there has been a misunderstanding, try to offer more comprehensive background and paraphrase or explain again. Take one of the participants to one side to explain the background objectively if you see a tough conversation amongst others. There may be a valid explanation for their harsh remarks. Allow them some space and time by pausing or leaving the room for a moment;

  • Delivering negative comments in front of a big number of people should be avoided
  • Sensitive talks should always be held in private
  • Giving feedback face-to-face is preferable to putting it in an email. Because written communication lacks the contextual indications that are present in face-to-face conversation, it is more likely to result in misunderstanding. As the sender, you are unable to read the recipient’s face expression or determine how they are responding to the feedback. Instead of approaching them when they are plainly busy working or under pressure, wait for the ideal opportunity to approach them. You’ll feel less pressure while you’re away from the workplace or on a break. Always strive to provide solutions rather than merely articulating the problem.

Finally, keep in mind that while Chinese organizations, as well as your Chinese colleagues and partners, share many cultural elements in common, you will notice differences across various areas of China, different organizations, and even individual teams. Take your time to establish a working connection and create a common context wherever you are, since this will allow you to interact more professionally and successfully in your work environment.

China Culture Quiz

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Intercultural Training for China

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Yuemeng Tang

Yuemeng is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Intercultural Communication at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. She is originally from Shanghai, China, and is currently employed with LSIC in London. She had previously worked in the luxury goods industry before moving to this position. She recently gave a presentation at a conference on Culture, Language, and International Education Research, which she attended with her husband. It is about the ‘integration’ of Chinese students at an internationalising institution in the United Kingdom that her research is focused on.

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