Key concepts to building a successful relationship and doing business in China
FACE : SOCIAL ETIQUETTE & MANNERS
Face is related to respect, reputation and status of an individual within a society or relationship. A conduct of anticipation to recognise, show respect and gain acceptance within a group.
HIERARCHY : THE GROUP DYNAMIC
This social norm allow one to evaluate their peer's position within a group. One’s profession, education, family background, seniority or relationships dictate ones position within a society.
GUANXI : RELATIONSHIP FOR TODAY & TOMORROW
Relationship or network of people such as relatives, friends or business associates whom one rely and trust. Use of informal network to build social capital, good will and influences is natural.
IN-DIRECT COMMUNICATION : PROMOTE & MAINTAIN HARMONY
A group-oriented and hierarchical society uses in-direct communication style to avoid explicit conflict and to maintain harmony. Anticipate and take note when communicating bad news or feedback.
HOLISTIC : UNDERSTAND & WORK THE BIG PICTURE
“The natural world has long been conceived in Chinese thought as a self-generating, complex arrangement of elements that are continuously changing and interacting”, - Metro Museum of Art NYC.
CONTRACT : RELATIONSHIP MATTERS, NOT THE PAPER
A contract is a mean and not an end. It does not and cannot substitute a relationship but rather confirmed a good business relationship. A strong relationship is beyond any written contract.
NEGOTIATION : BEYOND WIN-WIN
Build a good relationship before any negotiation. Ready to think holistically and work toward unlocking opportunities for both parties beyond the negotiated stakes, context and time line.
PERCEPTION : WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Traditions and paternalistic habits often meant that woman requires additional effort to overcome stereotyping, gain respect and acknowledgement. Overcome this with a thorough preparation.
Culture : Different ways to get to the same destination
These concepts seem evident and simple. Their implications are far reaching and influences all aspect of relationship building in business context and beyond. Open your eye, observed and learn.
Culture : like nature is dynamic and changing
Culture, societal development and norms are constantly in a flux. This does not sum up more than 8000 years civilisation but rather some learning from my experiences of doing business in China.