How To Persuade Americans, Germans, Spaniards, and Chinese

When asked to do something, Americans ask what’s in it for them. Germans ask if the request complies with rules and regulations. Spaniards consider whether or not the person asking the favor is a friend. And Chinese consider the status and connections of the requester.

– Yeh’s summary of this interesting multi-cultural perspective on persuasion.

4 comments on “How To Persuade Americans, Germans, Spaniards, and Chinese
  • I think there are gender differences as well. What about “how to persuade men”? I guess that would be too easy.

  • @”Morris and colleagues surveyed Citibank branches within four different countries-the United States, Germany, Spain, and China (Hong Kong)”…

    Not a very representative sampling of those countries, and I wouldn’t make blanket statements about the Chinese based on a sample taken in a Hong Kong Citibank.

    This is supposed to represent stereotypical cultural norms for the whole of China?

    It’s an insult, although I find China’s heavy-handedness with dissident bloggers an insult to humanity.

  • Every ‘formula’ is eventually a stereotype masquerading as a conclusion drawn from an (ill-defined) experiment. Even using ‘profit’ does not work (try that in a socialistic society, noting that I did not say ‘country’). People interactions involve people, each of whom is shaped by their own exposures to and experiences of different cultures.

    Seeing a whole country as a homogenous cultural entity is one of the biggest mistakes a management expat can make. Is it possible to make a fair assessment of ‘Americans’ by meeting a few people in a small La Salle branch in Skokie (if there is one)? Swiss German attitudes differ greatly from those of Swiss French; attitudes of Zuerchers very different from the folks of Geneva. In India, differences amongst people from 7 states of the North East (which even Indians outside the region see as a ‘blob’) are striking; the difference between North and South are eye-popping; the difference between Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra surprising (not unlike the ‘country’ of Paris and the country called France). Shanghai and HongKong may belong to PRC but things are very different and so are the people from those places.

    Only through actual experience, making mistakes and learning will one come up with a formula and that will still only be that person’s own recipe. And only one thing works universally – saying sorry for mistakes and asking for help in not repeating it..

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *