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Giving Face

Epiphanies

11 May 2015 | 0 Comments

Giving face. Big thing, really a big thing.

In some recent dealings and communications with people of the Oriental origin, it is worth to keep in mind that for them, the face, or pride is very important. This means, we need to give them face and hold their pride, as much as we can. And this means lots of it!

Let me share an example: when giving some instructions on how to do something, the person on the other side actually did not understand me. I suspected so when there was a very long pause when I asked, ‘Is this okay?’

The long pause meant that it was not okay. But since I am dealing with an Oriental, I had to word it differently by then asking, ‘Am I speaking too fast?’ Then they will answer, ‘Ah, yes, can you please slow down a bit?’

Okay I agree, I do speak fast as I also think fast, and therefore expect everyone to as well. Silly me!

So on explaining again, I asked for a reconfirmation, ‘Is this now ok?’

A pause. Hesitation. What does it mean? It is not okay!

So this has been another epiphany!

When speaking to someone, particularly someone of the Oriental origin, their culture is set to not admit that they do not understand or do not get it. Rather, it is up to you to know it. Yes, get good at reading their minds or to keep it simpler, get good at reading at their long pauses and hesitations.

This person cannot say, ‘Sorry, I did not understand’ Their culture isn’t geared this way. So the ball is in our court now!

I sensed that I was not getting through so I took a deep breath and then quickly figured that by giving face, this will help the situation a lot. To which I asked, ‘Would you like me to repeat and go through with this again with you?’

This would mean that I offered, not that they requested.

Giving face. With the existing problems of language barriers, this is much needed. An epiphany?

Hope this helps you when dealing in such situations.


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