Doing a professional job in China requires putting yourself in the other person's shoes. This is something we do with people from other cultures, but also with people from our own society. You treat your children differently than your boss and socialize in a different manner with your parents than with your friends. You behave differently with some people in order to get closer to them, out of need or curiosity. To do this, you must, consciously or unconsciously, put yourself in their place.
Likewise with Chinese people, your efforts should focus on this interaction and that means knowing more than just how Chinese think about harmony and honesty. Of course this knowledge contributes to building your relations, but the most important thing is looking at the possibilities for success. It should be about questions like how do I approach this matter?¹ and what are the consequences' of a specific action?
In order to find out more about the Chinese you will need a model, a model that is used to look at human behavior. The model that I use is part of a larger model that is based on the characteristics that everyone in the world, to a greater or lesser extent, posses at birth. One of these characteristics is fear. In order to deal with fear, everyone has certain built-in defense mechanisms. These defense mechanisms can be observed in all members of the animal kingdom.
The model used offers Westerners the opportunity to observe how they deal with feelings of fear and insecurity within their own culture, and how the Chinese deal with these same feelings. Using this model, Westerners can start exploring how to work with Chinese successfully and vice-versa.
The model used is not a standard scientific methodology used in the field of behavioral psychology, but rather a practical model that is based on experience developed at our psychology practice. It is an attempt to explain human behavior to others. It has proven to be an effective method of communication during our China days¹ for Western managers working in China, because people gain a better understanding of themselves and others from the model.
Go to fear.