Saturday, April 4, 2009

Following the leader

Yesterday I went to a Chinese culture presentation put on by a third-party our school's International Programs office hires. It didn't offer too much new information but was interesting never-the-less to review all the things I saw over the past two months (it was exciting to realize how much I had learned last night!).
Anyway, I had a semi-interesting realization during the presentation while we were talking about education and how the Chinese were historically (and still predominantly) taught through repetition and memorization, which can affect how employees act and how you should support them as a manager. A few slides later the presenter asked us (a predominantly western group of students) to define a term that was defined explicitly in the following slide on our handout. Everyone saw the definition on their handout and yet no one would speak. We've been so well trained to be innovative and creative and not repeat things, that the idea of reading off this slide, even though it's exactly the answer she was looking for, paralyzed us. She finally had to point to someone and explicitly tell them to read off the page.

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