How can you embrace an enemy of the USA? More important–why would you? If these questions have not been outright asked of me–they have been implied. Why I chose to speak highly of China, and its people, is something that I do willingly and with pride.
I am not the Manchurian Candidate. I was never brainwashed during my visits there. I was not tortured or forced into my feelings in any way. Subliminal messages were not piped into my hotel room at night. I did not have bamboo shoots shoved under my fingernails. I was not drugged or impaired in any way unless it was done willingly by drinking too much of that fine Chinese beer.
Within my small circle of business contacts, experiences, and associations I would say it is Western business people who are trying to brain wash the Chinese. As I developed my business relationships, I both read and experienced failures mainly because Western companies tried to “Westernize” their Chinese business partners rather than adapting to their Chinese partners way of doing business.
Maybe it has been different for others who have done business within China but for me, personally, my successes came from letting the Chinese conduct business in “their way”, and I tried to educate my customers in their methods and ways. I won’t say it was not frustrating at times—in fact, it was frustrating most of the time.
However, in the end, it was what worked best for me while others failed. Honor and “saving face” are very important to the Chinese—I tried not to put any of my associates in a position that threatened either.
Again, just from my experience, I have to say that people from any part of the world can work together to achieve a common goal if all parties can be flexible and understanding. From my perspective, this is the true receipt for success among the world’s population.
If you would like to read other guest posts by Bob Grant, see They All Look Alike.