The following is a guest piece by Michael Landers.
The power and importance of building relationships with others is something that’s seems to be universally understood by people from all cultures. Our web of relations creates the foundation for our lives as social creatures, no matter what culture we come from.
However, the way that we establish and expand this web of relations can vary from culture to culture. And even within a particular culture, people may network differently depending on whether or not they are doing it for work (and what kind of work they do), or to cultivate relations with friends or within other kinds of communities. Networking is a nuanced game, and it can be challenging for an outsider to learn all the subtleties of networking within another culture.
Think about why you would want to add someone to your network. In many cultures, connections are often made to accomplish a specific task, like finding a babysitter or candidates for a job. Sometimes it’s because the person has a particular expertise that is relevant to our own work, personal interests, or communities. These connections are often established—and set aside— fairly quickly, requiring little maintenance.
In other cultures, you might be more likely to add someone to your network because of their group affiliations than for their individual expertise or achievements. The networking goal is more likely to be about developing deep and long-term strategic relationships than for completing short-term tasks.
In cultures where group dynamics are paramount, the process of building networks tends to be much more Click here to continue reading »”Building Relationships Across Cultures In Today’s World”