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COPE PR presents:

‘The Guide to Cultural Adjustment’

Overview 

Workshop for US employee transition

Variety of theories/models

Range of activities

Chinese Norms and Values 

The Importance of ‘Face’ – honour, respect, good reputation

Group Affiliation – sense of harmony throughout everyday life

Non-Verbal Communication – reliance on reading body language instead of verbal language

Kwintessential Ltd (2012)

Non-verbal Communication What is NVC? • Behaviour that creates or represents meaning •

Includes facial expressions, body movements, and gestures

Talking without speaking a word

“Actions speak louder than words.”

Potential Barriers

Verbal – inability to speak host language

Physical – non-verbal communication, e.g. body language, facial expressions, gestures, etc

NOTE: not working around these barriers can result in

Chinese NVC speaks volumes!

Strive for harmony, group dependent

rely on expression, tone and posture

Example: frowning – sign of disagreement

Most locals maintain an impassive expression when speaking

Eye contact – disrespectful

Locals avoid eye contact to give themselves privacy

Kwintessential Ltd (2012)

Translations 

Free gift for employees!

Book of basic words/phrases

Useful for everyday conversations

Translations from English to Chinese and vice versa

Mehrabian et al (1967) 

Mehrabian conducted some research into none verbal communication

It was found that tone and body language are far more important when conveying a message than the actual words themselves.

He found that of communication :

7% happens through words

38% happens through tone of voice

55% is body language

Changing Minds (2013)

Words Voice tone Body Language

The Key Differences A few examples are:

Too much eye contact in is considered disrespectful

Facial expressions are extremely important

It is usual to look to the ground when meeting someone

These are just some examples, there is a more extensive list on the hand out

We would suggest that a full length session is conducted into the key differences between UK non verbal communication and Chinese non verbal communication.

Activity Active listening 

Each person will be asked to tell the other something interesting about themselves, whilst the other listens actively ◦ (nodding, asking questions, keeping good eye contact)

Non Active Listening 

Each pair will tell something else interesting about themselves, whilst the other does not listen actively. ◦ (Looking away, not asking questions, looking at their phones etc.)

Role Play 

Take into consideration some key differences. Repeat activity but as though you’re meeting a Chinese colleague. ◦ (Keep impassive face, look at the ground, don’t make eye contact)

Active listening is different wherever you go.

American colleagues must be prepared to adapt their usual communication style.

Opportunity to feedback

Hall and Hall (1990) High Context: Middle East Asia

Africa South America

Low Context: North America Western Europe Beer (2003)


Hofstede’s 5 Dimensions (1965) e c n a t s i D r e Pow Individualism vs y t n i a t r e Unc e c n a d i o Av Long-term vs Short-term O r ie n t a t io n The Hofstede Centre (2013)

Collectivism Mascu linity vs Femin inity s v e c n e g Indul t n i a r t s e R

Activity: China or USA? u als d i v i d n i th a t s i t i y l e e” “how lik n the workplac ei integuraalistm vs Collectivism) (Individ

“it is ve ry traditio important to n and stick to (China s - high o ciety n UAI) orms”

“members of an organisa tion should have the opportunity to pr ogress based on their own perfor mance” (US A - Power Distance)

dulge in in o t d e e n not ld u o “there is no w h ic h hings w t y r a s s e c e unn unity” m m o c le o h w benefit thae int) str (China - Re

The Kubler-Ross Change Curve

Why Use the Change Curve? • Minimise negative impact of the change • Help people adapt quickly • Provide information and help they need • BUT dependent on their position on the Curve

What Do They Need? Denial

• • • •

Know where to go for information Understand what’s happening Know how to get help Have their questions answered


• Clear communication and support • Be listened to carefully • Be prepared

Gradual Acceptance

• Be well-trained • Have opportunities to experience what the change will bring • Help and support

Stop and Think •

Have you ever experienced change?


How do you think you would cope with the different stages?

Something to take away… Includes: • Basic Chinese words and phrases • Descriptions of Chinese norms and values • Overview of relevant theories and models • Key points covered throughout this workshop all on one disc!

Summary Non-Verbal Communication Mehrabian (1967) Hall & Hall (1990) Hofstede (1965) The Kubler-Ross Change Curve

References 

CHANGING MINDS, 2013 ‘Mehrabian’s communication study’ (online) (viewed 3rd January 2014) Available from: http ://

itim International, 2013 ‘Dimensions’ The Hofstede Centre (online) (viewed 5th January 2014). Available from:

Kwintessential Ltd, 2012 ‘China – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette’ (online) (viewed 5th January 2014). Available from: http://

MIND TOOLS, 2013. ‘The Change Curve’ (online) (Viewed 3rd January 2014). Available from:

Beer, J.E., 2003 ‘High and Low Context’ (online) (viewed 6th January 2014). Available from:

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