What an interesting find! In line with traditional Chinese collectivist thinking, I found this link that describes China’s basic educational culture. It is known that conformity is expected in Chinese culture, but what you may not know is that unlike American children, these kids extremely are uncomfortable, and are even dishonored by being “singled out.” American children love attention, but the Chinese would much rather fit in and become just another face in the crowd. Standing out and expressing individuality is discouraged by their society and undesired by the kids themselves. Another interesting tid-bit: Chinese kids are not normally grounded for their inappropriate actions, but are instead encouraged to think about what they have done wrong and basically beat themselves up for it. Fascinating, yea?
This blogger entails that Americans, (ranked numero uno in terms of individualism), have a distinct way of communicating that is shared by few other cultures. American discuss stories and information in a general format that involves telling the overall point of a story and further filling in the details later. This style of communique is polar opposite to the method of speaking shown in Germany. Germans tell all the details and names of people involved before “getting to the point.”
We all know that climbing the socio-economic ladder in today’s world is by far the most important accomplishment to be made in one’s lifetime. But where Americans and Chinese differ is the approach in which they rise to the top. Americans are so focused on promoting self-value and personal achievement, that they are blinded to the needs of others. In the U.S., we build work relationships to “get ahead” and advance in the workplace. Conversely, in China, workers strive to develop overall harmony and endorse the common good. They grow closer to their peers because they want everyone to feel accepted. Who knew? If someone disagrees with another, they will take them aside privately and express their differences. Publically saying “no” to a coworker, or anyone for that matter, is an extreme blow to the other person’s dignity. Of the utmost importance is “saving face”; both thier own honor and that of others. If you have any respect for them, that is. The workplace embodies a much more harmonious, respectful air, which, my fellow Americans, doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me.