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Business and Culture

In: Business and Management

Submitted By roxie1
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How should you handle the introduction, greeting, and handshaking?
The female boss should enter the room followed by myself. We will both be wearing neutral colored conservative dresses with flat shoes. The Chinese businessman will introduce himself whom my boss will respond to with “Hello, we are pleased to meet you” and begin to formally introduce herself as Manager Johnson and myself as Mrs. Fowler. I will not attempt to introduce myself as it would be considered rude. We will wait for him to initiate a handshake at which time my boss will first shake his hand gently and then myself. How do you exchange business cards?
Following the introduction it is expected exchange of business cards. It is important to have business cards that are printed on sides; one in English, the other in Chinese. These should include: Company Name, Personal name, title, fax and email. They should be clean, neat and printed in gold lettering. The exchange will occur one at a time standing up and holding the card on the corners with both hands with the Chinese side up. You will hand your card carefully showing him respect, you will show the same respect when accepting his card. Once I receive the card I will need to study it prior putting it on the table, showing interest by reading the details; if I had collected more than one business card, I would line them up in vertically in order of seniority going down on the table (NBC Universal, Inc, 2008). The culture coach informs me that they should never go into a pocket, get written on and that showing up without business cards could possibly cause irreparable damage to the business relationship.
How do you explain your position and your boss’s position?
Provide job description information to explain the positions and how they fit into the organization. Provide information about our educational backgrounds and experience beginning with my bosses, along with other credentials for which she earned her position.
Where should you take him to lunch, and when?
The best way to decide what time to go for lunch would be to directly ask our Chinese colleague what time he would prefer; midday or early evening. Once a time is determined, chose a quiet restaurant with a menu that has a wide variety of choices, which could provide either light or heavy meals. It is not acceptable to discuss business at lunch, until the end. The guest may drink and offer toasts but it is not acceptable for women to drink and should toast with juice Should you exchange gifts?
It is not appropriate to exchange gifts at the first meeting. Once you have met it is appropriate to exchange gifts if you are invited to a meal.
How will you begin business discussions and what should not be brought up in business discussions?
Business discussions in China start with small talk; this is a terrific opportunity to begin to form a relationship with our colleague. This talk should include topics such as weather, travel, and personal topics such as marital status, and salary (Chaney & Martin, 2011). Once our guest appears to be more at ease the discussion can change to business. My boss should control the meeting, speaking at a moderate tone, laughing softly and never showing anger or frustration. She will need to seem relaxed and stick to the agenda. She will start with the main issue and work her way down to the minor issues. She should avoid negative topics and never say anything that he could perceive as offensive causing him to “lose face” and always provide a way out.
Is there anything else you should prepare for?
The culture coach wanted me to understand the importance of “saving face” and how it can be gained or lost. Failures, insults and losing your temper will cause a loss of face; compliments, accomplishments, and others showing respect can add face (Etiquette in China, 2008). He also stressed the importance of being on-time and to be prepared for a timely negotiation process which takes time and patience. Some may even want to consult the stars or wait for the lucky day on the calendar before making a decision.
How did the culture coach respond to these questions?
He answered each question appreciating my interest in the Chinese culture. He seemed to enjoy discussing each answer to my question and sharing his knowledge, eager to tell someone about a culture he seemed to understand.
Works Cited
Chaney, L., & Martin, J. (2011). Intercultural Business Communication, Fifth Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
Etiquette in China. (2008). Etiquette in China-Business Meeting. Retrieved from Etiquette in China: http://www.etiquetteinchina.com/businessmeeting.html
NBC Universal, Inc. (2008). Doing business in China . Retrieved from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loL97DgsvdE

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