By its very nature, Korean facing business is the interaction of worldwide teams.
This necessitates colleagues of different cultures working together on a daily basis. How we see others culturally is often in the differences and similarities. (I like to focus on the later; as differences pull us apart and similar brings us together. More effective, too.)
Most old-school cross-culture books and program content dwell on sharing differences… so be wary.
Particularly for U.S.-based western teams engaged in Korean operations, I believe in the importance of learning about the workplace in Korea—the 2018 norms, practices, and day-to-day life. These insights allow us to better understand our Korean teams and their expectations. Recognizing can dispel stereotyping, prejudices and ethnocentrism.
Recognizing similarities is one of the most powerful cross-cultural bridges. In other words, to what can you relate in routine day-to-day life? This requires identifying the local beliefs, values, expectations, traditions, and culture.
BTW They are ever changing.
Although there is bound to be friction between home and host country cultural values, a successful model accomplishes:
Awareness and appreciation of both the home and host country with the ability to gain an insight into one’s own personal traits, strengths, weaknesses, attitudes, and interests.
Realization of similarities and shared values, along with an awareness of and respect for the cultural differences.
Noting the 2018 generational differences. ( if you missed my recent article on Korean generational in the workplace, let me know and I’ll get you a copy). Lots vary in how Korean generations see and do business.
How do you see this applying to you and your own experiences as well as working with Korean teams?
I look forward to your thoughts and comments.