ARTICLES / RESOURCES
VIDEO-PODCAST: Wie führt interkulturelle Kommunikation zum Erfolg? (German)
In this video podcast from the series YANG & YANG I talk with Yannick Sommer about the following topics:
👉 How I ended up in Wuhan and what my impressions were in this exciting culture.
👉 How my path from R&D director in China to trainer for intercultural communication went
👉 Why I took the leap from the safe corporate world into self-employment to follow my passion
👉 What the most important cultural differences are between Chinese 🇨🇳 & Germans 🇩🇪 and how to deal with them constructively
𝘿𝙄𝙁𝙁𝙀𝙍𝙀𝙉𝘾𝙀𝙎 𝙄𝙉 𝘾𝙃𝙄𝙉𝙀𝙎𝙀 🇨🇳 𝙫𝙨 𝙂𝙀𝙍𝙈𝘼𝙉 🇩🇪 𝘽𝙐𝙎𝙄𝙉𝙀𝙎𝙎 𝘾𝙐𝙇𝙏𝙐𝙍𝙀
I had the great pleasure to discuss my experiences with German & Chinese business culture with Lena Xiong who runs the 𝗖𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗕𝗮𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁 (𝗖𝗪𝗖𝗕), a non-profit NGO project that aims to improve cross-culture communication for better mutual understanding. We had a very intersting exchange as we both passionately try to build bridges between China & Western cultures.
𝗜𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘄𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝘄𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗰𝘂𝘀𝘀:
👉 Task- vs Relationship-orientation
👉 Direct vs indirect communication
👉 Power Distance & Hierarchies
THE MAIN CULTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHINA & GERMANY
I would like to give you an overview about the biggest differences and pitfalls when it comes to x-cultural communication between Germans and Chinese according to my experience during the last decade of working in and with Chinese partners and teams. Of course in this short form the list is full of stereotypes & generalizations - not every German and not every Chinese is the same - but still you should be aware of general cultural differences and how to handle them in a productive & efficient way. If you are not prepared for these differences you might have to learn by failure & frustration.
THE MAIN CULTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHINA & GERMANY PT 2 - TASK-ORIENTATION VS RELATIONSHIP-ORIENTATION
Germans tend to focus on the tasks on hand and do usually not invest a lot of time into relationship-building whereas for Chinese, establishing a good relationship is the fundament of every business connection.
Germans get straight to the point to be efficient while Chinese struggle to collaborate if their emotional need for relationship-building is not met first.
HOW CULTURE IMPACTS RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PART 1: INDIVIDUALISM
In extreme situations, during life-threatening challenges, people tend to show their real character in an undisguised and pure form. Under stress everyone tends to move into the extreme corner of his or her personality grid. The caretaker will care for others and forget to care of their needs, the leader will organize teams and delegate tasks, the introvert will look for a quiet place to reflect on possible solutions.
This is the case for individuals, but it is also true for societies or cultural groups. The current pandemic is definitely an extreme and unprecedented challenge for a lot of societies around the world. It started in China, spread in Asia and arrived quickly in western countries in our globalized community. Even if the extent to which different countries are hit by the pandemic is different, all of these cultures are going through very similar challenges with a certain time-lag and it is interesting to observe how they deal with these challenges and which deeply-routed cultural traits are surfacing in fast motion.