During this week, we learned and discussed aspects of the culture and commerce of China. There are many aspects, but the one aspect about Chinese culture that was illuminating to me was the aspect of community/collectivism and the concept of guanxi. In the Chinese culture, collectivism and the sense of community is important. Everyone does everything for each other, and most importantly, for the state of China. The Chinese build relationships to make connections for personal and business gains. These networks are and will be helpful in the long-run. This culture of collectivism and community can be dated back to the philosophical ideas of Confucius, and his teachings of how to treat people.
There are some similarities and differences between the American culture and the Chinese culture. One similarity is the aspect of being punctual. Punctuality is important in both cultures; one is expected to arrive on time or even early for events such as meetings, appointments, and other social gatherings. One difference between the cultures include communication and showing emotion. In the American culture, people tend to deal with conflict more directly and openly. In the Chinese culture, it is appropriate to take the indirect approach when dealing with a conflict. There are a lot of context clues and nuances that need to be detected in the Chinese language when it comes to communication. The emotional aspect is different as well in both cultures. In the American culture, it is fine at times to show emotion when something is bothering oneself. However in the Chinese culture, if something is bothering you or if you are upset with something, one should never show emotion about it, specifically in business matters. One should just smile and keep it within.
The communication and emotional aspect of Chinese culture may have an impact on my personal and professional experience in China because if there is an issue that needs to be dealt with, I must take the indirect approach in order to possibly get my point across to others in terms of personal and professional gains. As for the emotional aspect, I anticipate there will be times when something will possibly upset me in the business setting. However, I must be able to hold back emotions and continue to push forward. Although these might be challenges, I look forward to seeing how I face these challenges and grow from them as a person. I am anticipating a great experience on this trip and becoming more excited as the time to leave approaches.