Okay, we have talked about a number of different intercultural communication problems so far. So let's try to integrate some of these concepts and we'll do it with a critical incident with a small case. Imagine the following situation: Jack Ryan is a young American engineer, and he's traveling to China for the first time. The company that employs Jack has made a manufacturing joint venture deal with a Chinese partner. There's been long negotiation of legal work, and now they're to talk about how they're actually going to make this deal work, how they're going to cooperate, how they're going to deal with the operations of the joint venture. Jack is the right person to talk about these technical details. He's the technical expert, he can talk about the nuts and bolts. And so he happily accepts the task. He is setting up an agenda with the chief operating officer of the Chinese partner, Peter Chang. And he arranges for a two-day schedule. First day he's presenting the production system to the Chinese partner tells them all about the state-of-the-art that the American partner will contribute and the second day, he visits the production facility of the Chinese party to see whether there are any incompatibilities, any technical issues to be aware of. He travels to Beijing to meet the Chinese party, travels to the headquarter, and meets Peter Chang, the CEO and a whole delegation of Peter Chang's colleagues, and direct reports. They're all there in the meeting room and Jack is by himself. He relies on a translator, he doesn't speak the language so he goes through translator and says at the beginning of the presentation that this is a very important deal for his company. And they really want to make it work. He encourages any questions if there's anything that his audience doesn't understand they should ask questions. And then he launches into his presentation. It's very precise very well put together a very professional presentation that he's giving. And there are no questions. At the end of the presentation he again repeats his invitation, if there's an ambiguities, any open issues, please let me know. Again, nobody asks any questions. so then we ask questions, Jack thinks, “This went perfectly all right. I nailed the presentation.” On the next day though he learns from his translator that the Chinese partner was actually very displeased with how the first day went. And he's very surprised by that. He's also getting very anxious that he is somewhat ruining this attempt to make the partnership work and gets angry at the translator saying why didn't you tell me yesterday, you should have warned me. Okay, so let's think about what went wrong here. You know, what were the problems, why was the Chinese Party displeased? We can also think about what Jack could have done differently. So take a few minutes to reflect on this then we'll see what you what you came up with, whether you spotted some of the problems. Let's think about what happened herein this situation. Jack Ryan is going to China for the first time. He's ill-prepared for that situation. He's a junior guy traveling all by himself to meet a whole delegation of fairly senior representatives of the Chinese partner. That is already problematic. He also gives no time at all to actually build a relationship. He's coming into this deal very late. There's already been a lot of negotiation that his boss did with the Chinese partner, but he had no part on that. This two-day schedule that he set himself doesn't give any room for relationship building, for trust building with a partner at all, so even before he starts his presentation, the whole context that he’s setting for himself is already very problematic and the chips are stacked against him. So let's talk about the presentation. He gives this presentation, this is really what he sees as the objective in this trip as a information transmission this is what you should be doing, this is what the US technology looks like, this is how you should be implementing it. It's a very one way conception. should be implementing it. It's a very one way conception. Here's the junior guy talking to senior representatives of the partner. He tries to open it up. He tries to make this work and tries to get feedback from his partner by saying, if there are any questions, please let me know. But this business of inviting questions during a presentation is very tricky in a Chinese context where there's a lot of concern about face, about maintaining face and preventing the losing of face. So when you ask someone to ask questions, when you invite someone to ask questions, what that basically does is that the person asking you the question could demonstrate their own incompetence that they have to ask the question. They don't understand what you're saying, that's why they have to ask. That's how it could be interpreted. That would cause the person who asked the question to lose face. If you step over that barrier, if you find a point that's particularly pertinent, you absolutely have to ask the question you might actually put the presenter in a bad position if the presenter doesn't have a good reply to the question. So that causes the presenter to lose face and because you, as the question-asker made the presenter lose face you lose face. You would make them look incompetent, that reflects badly on you. Okay, so that's the whole problem with the asking questions. The other thing about asking questions is we have the chief operating office of this company with his direct reports. Now are the direct reports going to ask any questions in the areas of expertise? Probably not because that would make the boss look bad if the direct report spots an issue that the boss didn't spot that makes the boss look bad. The boss loses face, bad situation for the direct report. So the questions don't really help Jack Ryan much. to elicit any response and any constructive information to make this deal work. Let's think about what he could have done differently. to make this deal work. Let's think about what he could have done differently. Clearly he should've allocated a little bit more time, maybe a day extra, maybe a couple of days extra before he actually gave the presentation to establish a relationship with his Chinese partners Peter Chang and, ideally, some of the direct reports. Even better if he could've brought somebody who was already involved in negotiations with him, ideally somebody more senior who can basically, give him legitimacy as the technical expert from the U.S. side. That's the situational side. The presentation itself also could have been done differently. Even the intention of the presentation could have been re-framed, Not as linear transmission of information, but instead as an attempt to actually learn from the Chinese partner of how to make this deal work, how to ensure that the productive production side, the operation side is working smoothly. That would have been a very different framing. And probably would have been received with more appreciation by the partner. Let's think about this in terms of the four dimensions communication that we talked about. So the factual information that Jack Ryan could've stressed is actually not the competence of the US partner, and what they know is the best way to do things, but instead, stress all the competencies of the Chinese partner, and how those competencies, those skills actually complement very nicely with the U.S. partner and that they're very excited that this match is, is going to happen. That already has a relationship implication as well. Rather than saying my company's very interested in making this deal work he could have said, we want our relationship to be an harmonious one, one characterized by trust, so that we have a successful partnership which is, again, very different framing and puts the relationship on a very different footing. With this relationship statement, when you say that the relationship, what is important for the relationship is trust and harmony, that could also be coupled with a particular appeal, with the appeal side of the message. Now on the appeal side he could've said, well trust for us means that we share information openly and that we critically discuss, so that we can identify issues before they become problems. So that we can maintain the harmony in the relationship. The last point then is the self-statement. How could Jack Ryan have positioned himself in a more effective way? the self-statement. How could Jack Ryan have positioned himself in a more effective way? Coming there as the technical expert to talk down to the Chinese partners is not very effective. More effective would have been to put himself into a serving role. To say, I am here to try to facilitate, to serve this deal, and to serve the relationship between the more senior people that have made this deal possible in the first place. And that is something that would be more in line with his junior status essentially. These four sides of the message could have been maybe a productive start. This is not a surefire recipe for success. There's a lot of things that can happen, but at least it's a nudge in the right direction. Now the translator that Jack Ryan was so upset that he didn't warn him earlier, he could have been the test audience. Clearly that's something that Jack would have managed and said to the translator, look this is the first time that I'm in this context, help me out, give me signs, give me feedback if you have the perception that something is going wrong. He could have tested the presentation with the translator first and give clear instruction that he wants feedback, not just the literal translation off anything that the partner says, but some guidance of how it might come across. That's something that he could have used as a resource and support for making his trip more successful. Okay, so that ties together a number of the ideas that we had. The four dimensions of the message kind of the high context and culture that we talked about, and more collectivist attitude that he could have adjusted to more to make this a more productive relationship.