Proper Understanding of Chinese Behavioral Patterns

The Western business professionals must fully aware themselves about the behavioral patterns of Chinese people, so that they do not have to come across any embarrassing situations or have to go through an alien like feeling.   Let’s have a look at some of the major behavioral aspects Chinese are so proud of.

Ethical Foundation of Confucianism

Confucianism is an ethical system rather than being a religion in itself.  In a very small time after it’s invent, it has lured a great proportion of Chinese people towards it. Its foundation is constructed around the system of harmony. The harmony should be achieved with persistence between various relations and emotions as well. The most important harmony for a businessperson is harmony between one’s duty, respect and loyalty. The businessmen coming in China should understand that Confucianism is a daily deal for the native people and with proper adaptation and understanding this can be a driving force for him too. Apart from that, it will help in gaining respect in the foreign situation.


Understand and Try to Adopt Principles of Li, Yi, Lian, Chi

The behavioral aspects of Chinese people are built around the concepts of Li, Yi, Lian and Chi, although these are complex ideologies to understand their approximate meaning is Sacrifice, righteousness, purity and shamefulness. The concept of Li, which is pronounced lee holds a specific position in the way people think and behave in this most populous country. It means sacrificing one’s personal gains for the society and nation. In fact, this is considered to play a very important and dynamic role in uplifting China’s status in the global scenario. Today the situation is that Li controls all aspects i.e. business meetings, seating and conduct. It demands tolerance, honor, and appropriate conduct for the party or person in front of you. Similarly Yi requires being righteous and ensures person’s loyalty for the employer. Similarly purity and shamefulness as constructed around Lian and Chi are also very important characteristics of Chinese society. Various elements are still there with Confucian theme. Thus the atmosphere in China may be very different as faced by the entrepreneur in their homelands. The willing entrepreneurs should try to learn these concepts. Their approach should not be superficial and they should try to adopt the best they can of these principles. It will help them achieve credibility and will make them recognizable by the Chinese. For sure, it will serve as the first step in the right direction i.e. a great business relation.

Behave Appropriately with Chinese Business Associates

Chinese people treat each other very respectfully and carefully. There are various things which one must not do at all here. The environment here is not at all similar to Western countries. The difference can be understood with this example that while touching and patting the back might be general gestures of care and recognition in the Western world, in China they are rather considered offensive. Touching an elderly person is considered even far disrespectful. The business associates in China too should not be treated lower in authority or rank but proper consideration must be taken for making sure you treat them respectfully. These are small things which may make a lifetime of difference.

Prepare Beforehand

Although it is a general rule to do business anywhere but it might have a special significance here. As you are going to face completely different and unfamiliar circumstances one must minutely take care of things that may go wrong. Apart from saving you from possible misunderstanding and errors it helps you give your business the momentum it deserves.

Dress Appropriately

Dressing should also be appropriate. It should be kept in mind that China is a conservative society and so should be your dressing. Nothing fancy and out of turn. Ladies are required to pay special attention in this regard and should make sure that their dress is not inappropriate for the Chinese social construct.

Use Of Interpreter  

One might have to use an interpreter for most of the conversation purposes in china. You should prepare exhaustively with your interpreter for better understanding. There are various things which you cannot understand just with the simple translation. So your understanding with the interpreter really matters a lot.

Official Hospitality

If you are meeting for the first time at an office, you will be offered either warm or hot water or hot Chinese tea. Many Chinese prefer to drink hot water because it is believed drinking cold water affects a person’s qi.

Understand the “Real Meaning” not “Apparent Meaning”

In China Yes doesn’t always means “yes”. I mean what is said can be different than what is really intended. So if your business colleague asks "chī le ma?" which means "have you eaten yet?" then its suggested not to take it literally, this is just a simple greeting, not a lunch invitation. In fact it goes back to the days of food shortage in China they just want to express concern or caring for the other person. If Chinese person asks you such a question which he does not really want to know like "where are you going?" or "what did you do?" so you can simply reply "chī le" which means "yes, I have eaten", “sea air sea air” thank you.