Readers Respond: Bridge Cultural Differences for Better Business in India
Readers respond to the eWEEK editorial, "Bridge Cultural Differences for Better Business in India."I read with interest Stan Gibsons March 6 column, "Bridge Cultural Differences for Better Business in India" ("Understanding the Indian yes", Outsourcing & Services), and I sympathize with all those who have not taken the time to fully understand this issue. These differences are actually more widespread, applying not just to India but to much of the Asian continent. When I was a senior technical officer in a large banking IT department in Houston, my reports spanned many of the Asian cultures. After a particularly bad misunderstanding, we initiated a series of 1-hour "role-play" meetings, wherein each member of the group was obliged to say "no" or "I cant do that." The Asian members of the team found this very difficult. We eventually adopted a policy of "positive choice" to overcome the problem. This involved the "lead" phrasing crucial questions in a way that would give individuals response options.
Heres a simple example:
Delivery Director, Software Quality
Spherion Professional Services