Wearing Chinese Glasses: How (Not) to Go Broke in Chinese Asia


If you don't see things as Chinese see them, you will go broke in Chinese Asia. To succeed you need to wear Chinese glasses.
What does it mean to be polite in China? Chinese think Western polite is impolite. You need to see politeness as Chinese do.
What does it mean that relationships are important to the Chinese? Use a Western definition of relationships and you will never develop deep relationships with ...
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If you don't see things as Chinese see them, you will go broke in Chinese Asia. To succeed you need to wear Chinese glasses.
What does it mean to be polite in China? Chinese think Western polite is impolite. You need to see politeness as Chinese do.
What does it mean that relationships are important to the Chinese? Use a Western definition of relationships and you will never develop deep relationships with Chinese. You need to see relationships as Chinese do.
The list is long. What does a contract mean to the Chinese? Why do Western motivation techniques hurt Chinese motivation? Why does Western efficiency make Chinese think Westerners are selfish? How do Chinese develop trust? Why do Chinese have meetings? When do Chinese negotiate?
You don't always have to do things the Chinese way, but unless you know how Chinese see things you will be blind to the Chinese reality, hitting walls instead of opening doors. Cultural misunderstandings hurt even the best-intentioned Westerners.
Communication misunderstandings are worse. If you can't communicate without misunderstandings you can't build a relationship, business or otherwise.
Chinese and Westerners use different languages, but also use language differently. Two examples, questions and disagreements: Westerners say, ask questions if you don't understand, Chinese say, don't let people know you don't understand: Westerners say, disagree clearly and honestly, Chinese say, don't disagree openly.
When Chinese don't ask questions Westerners think they understand, so don't follow up. When Chinese don't disagree openly Westerners think they agree, so go ahead with their plan. The formerhurts results, the latter kills relationships.
Westerners must listen with Chinese ears and speak with a Chinese mouth. Wearing Chinese Glasses teaches this, and more: how Chinese say no without saying no, invite without inviting and use public secrets. Get your Chinese glasses now.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781425111861
  • Publisher: Trafford Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 1,339,046
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Bissky arrived in Chinese Asia in early 1985, planning to stay for 18 months then to return to Canada for a Ph.D. His plan changed, and, to his surprise, he returned home fourteen years later, bringing Chinese wife, young daughter and list of Chinese clients with him. He now lives in Canada but works in Chinese Asia, traveling often and living in the Chinese time zone.

Greg knows the Chinese like few others. Business owner as well as consultant, he negotiates and implements contracts, leading region-wide productivity-improvement projects (reengineering, performance management and balanced scorecard). He is as comfortable on the factory floor as in the boardroom, and as familiar setting region-wide strategy as he is implementing it at the lowest levels. Greg has been there and done that.

An accomplished teacher, since 1988 he has taught Chinese his 3-day Logical Thinking and Communication workshop. Teaching logic gives him a unique view into Chinese thinking and communication. Greg also teaches cross-culture to Chinese and Westerners, teaching Westerners about Chinese complaints and Chinese about Western complaints. Working both sides of the street is a virtuous circle: the more he teaches one side the more he learns about the other.

Greg is an optimist, and believes that working with the Chinese is not as mysterious as many think. If you know how to make a marriage work or how to make a best friend in your hometown, you already know how to succeed in Chinese Asia. The key is the ability to see things as Chinese see them. A cultural optometrist, he wrote this book to give you a pair of Chinese glasses. Don't wear them and you do business in Chinablind, and that is never good.

Greg never did the Ph.D., attaining instead an MBA (Masters of Business in Asia).
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2007

    Wearing Chinese Glasses-

    Wearing Chinese Glasses: How (Not) to Go Broke in Chinese Asia is a clever treatise on how to see the business world the way Chinese people do. It is apparent from author Greg Bissky¿s painfully funny stories that he learned this valuable lesson through much trial and error at the cultural school of hard knocks. His business culture book is part biography, part reflection, and part reference tool for cross-cultural communication. Wearing Chinese Glasses presents Bissky¿s 20 years of experience in business as a Westerner immersed in the Asian culture beginning with his first disastrous forays into Asian society with his myopic Western glasses firmly in place. The culmination of his experiences and insights into this culture, so foreign from his own, is creatively presented in this his debut work. Bissky wittily depicts the good, the bad, and the ugly American from the Chinese perspective. In each instructional segment of the work he manages to weave in some tidbits of wisdom and humor. It is easy to see oneself, so worried about how to use chopsticks or to know some other Chinese habit that we fail to even recognize we are completely ignorant of the customs of communication. Fluency in the language and knowledge of an obscure dialect will never seal the deal! Grammar and vocabulary are not going to be the source of business problems in Chinese Asian business deals. Instead, the ¿way the language is used¿ will be the epicenter of ruin according to the author. The Western Rules of Communication are very different from the Chinese Rules. Violating these rules can mean the difference between the success and the failure of the Westerner in the Chinese business community. Understanding the rules of Chinese communication comes from understanding Chinese culture and its origins. What makes Westerners uniquely different from our Chinese counterparts culturally is not our family values, our history, or even our Judeo-Christian religions it is our philosophy that keeps us apart. Bissky maintains our philosophical origins are so vastly different that it is like comparing an apple to an orange. Western culture has a Hellenic philosophy, influenced by Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle based on learning and discovery. Chinese culture, heavily influenced by Confucius, has a philosophy based on relationships and rules. No wonder they think we are barbarians we are the proverbial Venus and Mars when it comes to philosophy! Wearing Chinese Glasses will be an important guidebook for anyone brave enough to venture into the complicated business world of Chinese Asia. Fear not! With this book in hand, you too can attempt to master the ways of the Good Westerner by educating yourself and embracing the fact that the Chinese do things in a different way. Success will come through study, practice, adapting and trying to be a good, sensitive barbarian.

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