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China and America - a Cultural View

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A Cultural View

Yiyi Zhao

I come from China and have a wish to work in America. However, there is a gap between my own familiar culture and the foreign culture. I further raise my level of consciousness by learning 8 scales Meyer used to map cultural differences, and thus could better perceive where an issue may arise.

When it comes to communication, China and America are just two extremes. In low-context countries such as China, people tend to only suggest between the lines the real meaning of what they are saying. To better adapt to communicating with Americans, I had better not assume the message beyond spoken words.

In terms of evaluation, Chinese often start with positive feedback and try to balance positive and negative feedback. Whereas, Americans tend to give negative feedback more frankly and honestly. To improve the adaptation in such aspect, I would adopt positive coping methods by thinking of the benefits of being mentioned about the areas for improvement.

When persuading each other, Chinese tend to first develop concept first since people may think the fact that something is the best practice for a plenty of cases is not quite convincing without outlying the principles ahead. To accommodate Americans’ expectations, I will learn to provide an application at the start by reflecting on ‘for the purpose of what’ am I sharing a concept.

As to leading, Chinese learn the hierarchy and use it to guide actions, such as greeting others and seating arrangements. To adapt to an Egalitarian culture, such as American culture, I will feel more relaxed using coordinate action, and even to express disagreement.

When confronted with making decisions, Chinese often do not view decision as finals and have more discussion and possible alternation of decision during implementation. However, Americans are prone to spend much more time on discussion with no more discussion during implementation. To improve performance in this aspect, I will learn to be patient without pushing for a quick decision.



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