Members of different cultures view feedback differently. In the United States and Europe, for example, individuals prefer direct communication, expecting feedback to be honest and reflective of the feelings of the person giving it. In contrast, members of Asian cultures, such as the Japanese, prefer communicating in a less specific and more indirect way, perhaps because of the value they place on politeness and the maintenance of a positive image. Consequently, members of Asian cultures, may expect feedback also to be more indirect, confirming their belief that bluntness could injure the self-esteem of the person to whom feedback is directed. This may happen not just out of concern for others’ reactions, however, but because of the understanding that their fate and fortune are bound up with the fate and fortune of others. Of course, at times Americans are also indirect, particularly when discussing sensitive topics or when nervous about another’s response.
Similarly, in close relationships, interacting with people they know well and trust, members of Asian cultures may choose to be direct. Asian cultures also instill in members a respect for silence. Silence, rather than talk, communicates. As a result, when interacting with members of Asian cultures, rather than break a silence with talk, persons from other cultures can benefit from learning to use the quiet in a way conducive to feedback once the silence ends.
Construct a 300-word original response that answers the questions below:
1. Would you adapt how you offer feedback when
interacting with someone from a culture different from
yours? Why or why not?
2. In what ways, if any, might using your typical way of
offering feedback pose problems for you when you are
responding to someone of a different culture? Explain.
3. Provide textual support for your answers.