Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Korea Facing: 10 Day Coaching-- Day Five

It's Day 5 of the 10 day Korea Facing coaching series. The lessons' share hints for Korea facing business. In part, content will be excerpts from Korea Facing: Secrets for Korean Global Business. Plus, I will include some timely comments based on recent consultancy.

Lesson 5 "Counter-measures"

When I first began coaching at a top Korean brand a few of the older Americans (highly experienced industry veterans) got some satisfaction in pointing out "issues." More so, if they had previously warned the Korean team what would happen if the company took a certain approach and it ultimately failed to meet expectations. It's no surprise that tensions ran high.

My strategy to improve relations was to persuade the American team that pointing out "issues" wasn't culturally productive. It was obvious to all when mistakes and poor judgements surfaced. Moreover, Koreans often took a trial and error approach. What was needed were "counter-measures," an English term the  Koreans were using.

This mindset was reconfirmed a few years later while conducting a team building leadership workshop. In the discussion, one of the Korean participants pointed out that they looked for at least 3 options to solve a situation. He went on to explain that in Korea when a problem surfaced, they would prepare at least 3 or more "counter-measures" providing a solution for senior leadership to review.

Just pointing out the problem, he said, which is common in the West was not productive--noting that "his boss" already knew there was a problem. They want to see options. Most often the best approach turned out to be a combination of the 3 possible solutions.

My suggestion
When issues and problems surface be the one to step forward with solutions.


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