What Does Respect Look Like?
As the #worldcup2022 continues to make its mark on many people and in many homes across the world, I have seen countless examples of how the Japanese players and fans have shown their respect for their environment, for the tournament as a whole, and beyond.
How have they shown this respect?
By leaving their space as clean, if not cleaner, than when they entered.
From what I know (which isn't very much), this is a major part of the Japanese culture.
This afternoon, I will be meeting with a group of structural engineers and architects to explore culture through the lens of "The Culture Map" by Erin Meyer.
Although this book circle consists mostly of employees in Canada and South Africa, the company is global, and has projects that span from east to west, and north to south.
This morning, I received this email from one of the participants:
"Hope all is well, and again thanks for introducing this fantastic book to us...we have been talking about these issues surrounding our business for a long time.
Just to give a few examples:
1. Late to meetings with Japanese clients
2. Slouching and crossing legs (allowing others to see the bottom of the shoes) in meetings with clients from Hong Kong
3. Touching client’s head in South-east Asia
4. Thinking of selling technical capabilities is utmost important rather than getting to know what the clients really want in China, where personal relationships trump everything else.
All these are very subtle but potentially deadly (business and etiquette-wise) acts.
This email, on top of the posts about the cleanliness of the Japanese players and fans, have left me reflecting on what respect looks like across cultures.
And so many more.
Have you ever been in a situation where you bumped up against a different culture, and were seen as disrespectful, though perhaps you were simply just uninformed?
Originally posted on LinkedIn with comments.
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I am Theresa Destrebecq (I dare you to try to pronounce it...)