Doing Business in China
White face = bad person
Good and trusted person have red face
Always answer yes when someone asks have you eaten
(toujours attenuer ses propos : frequently, sometimes, usually..)
Yes doesn’t mean yes
Importance of the hierarchy
The cultural Bell Jar
(ordonnée ‘’number of person’’ / abscice vers la gauche ‘’reserved’’ (chinese for example), vers la droite ‘’emotional’’ (italians for example)
When we speak about culture: we must generalize but we mustn’t personalize
Article: “Chinese face 101” (face = mianzi)
The importance in the west of self image and self esteem
Chinese face = showing respect to the other person
Face, idiomatically meaning dignity/prestigeLin Yutang considered the psychology of "face: "the psychological face makes a still more fascinating study. It is not a face that can be washed or shaved, but a face that can be "granted" and "lost" and "fought for" and "presented as a gift. Here we arrive at the most curious point of Chinese social psychology. Abstract and intangible, it is yet the most delicate standard by which Chinese social intercourse is regulated. * Losing face" means that one has lost his dignity, social standing, honor, and trustworthiness. * Traditionally, the most common insult in China is "You have no face."
* Primary method of social control
* Powerful influence on behavior
* Social relationships are defined (If you take someone’s face, he will use his network to push you out) * Personal responsibilities are maintained
* Following standards of address
* Do nothing that’s face-threatening
* Seek consensus
* Use appropriate formality
Face in the workplace
* Excessive formality and politeness (for example, au lieu de me critique mon boss va faire l’éloge de mon collègue) * Indirect or implicit speech
* Conformity to social norms
* Use of intermediaries
* Chinese are extremely sensitive to criticism
Face is often the reason that
* Employees won’t ask questions.
* Sales people don’t probe.
* Employees won’t follow through on complaints
* Managers won’t correct employees
* Negotiators are intransigents on contract terms.
* Teachers are expected to have every answer (Chinese teachers never ever say ‘’I don’t know’’ or ‘’let me get the answer and we talk about it the next week’’) * Subordinates to foreign managers fell worthless
How do Chinese people feel about face?
A lot of Chinese want to move to global culture
‘’Having face makes you happy. If you don’t have face, you’re no different than an animal’’
The cultural Bell Jar
THE DOCTRINE OF THE MEAN (the golden mean)
In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example courage, a virtue, if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness and if deficient as cowardice.The Doctrine of the Mean (Chinese: 中庸; pinyin: zhōng yōng), is both a doctrine of Confucianism and also the title of one of the Four Books of Confucian philosophy. The text is attributed to Zisi (also known as Kong Ji), the only grandson of Confucius.The Doctrine of the Mean represents moderation, rectitude, objectivity, sincerity, honesty and propriety. The guiding principle is that one should never act in excess. The Doctrine of the Mean is divided into three parts: 1. The Axis – Confucian Metaphysics 2. The Process – Politics 3. The Perfect Word/Sincerity – Ethics (The Great Digest and Unwobbling Pivot, 1951).
Represented by moderation, objectivity, sincerity, honesty
This is mean with the signification of average
Don’t try to be heroic, just try to get the middle, to be modest Taking the middle path, the Middle way
Concealing oneself rather than standing out
Some principles of the doctrine of the Mean:
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