Thursday, October 28, 2010

Observations About World Views

Professor Carr made some excellent comments during our info. session this morning about the importance of understanding others. This trip will provide me with the opportunity to practice interpersonal effectiveness through understanding the different world views of the people that I will come into contact with through this experience. One way to practice this skill is in gift giving. He emphasized the importance of giving gifts that are thoughtful, personal, and reflect our understanding of the way that the Chinese perceive the gift giving process. According to Carr, presentation of a gift in Chinese business can be as much an expression of gratitude as the gift itself.

This discussion ties directly to our Organizational Behavior discussions about interpersonal effectiveness hinging on our understanding of the world views of others. This class has revealed two important characteristics about the people that I will come into contact with through this experience. First, those I interact with will have a very different world view from my own. Second, those I interact with will have a very different world view from all of the other people that I interact with on this trip. True cross-cultural effectiveness depends on going beyond a basic understanding of the differences in world view between two nations of people and learning to recognize and appreciate the uniqueness of everyone. One of my goals for this trip is to learn how to recognize and respond to the differences in world view held by the many subgroups of people that make up China. The subgroups that I am referring to will be defined by factors such as city, region, industry, firm, and others that will surprise and delight me. Furthermore, my goal is to go beyond "grouping" people for the sake of understanding and practice the art of recognizing and responding to the unique world views of every person that I come into contact with through this experience.
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