Friday, October 02, 2009

Thought of the Day: Korean Global Business # 30

Day 30
This is day 30 of Bridging Culture Worldwide's month of cross- cultural thoughts and hints to boost your understanding on Korea business, norms and expectation.

We hope the posting build upon your experiences, while providing new understandings that lead to solutions.

Some final thoughts...
1. In Korea, no two individuals have the same rank or status. Understanding your “place” is important.

2. Vendors, suppliers, and subsidiaries are seen as having a lower status than the mother organization.

3. Age, the firm one works for, position/title, and education determine a person’s status. These factors then determine protocols such as where one sits in meetings and who sits next to whom in social events. BTW, don’t worry about learning all the rules that apply to the Korean workplace, but just be aware.

4. Business cards serve as way to help determine status and position. Koreans will use the cards you share to determine your “place." In Korea, a business card holds significance and should be treated with respect. With senior management—present and receive with two hands.

5. And finally, communication styles differ between Korea and the U.S. (the West). Korean is a high content language, which means communication is subtle and less verbal. Lots of information is shared indirectly through body language, facial expression, silence, and mood. English ( German, etc) is a low content and direct language—we “say what we mean” and “get to the point.”

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