China Intercultural Training

When Doing Business in China, Which Hand Should You Use to Present a Business Card?

Both hands.

And doing it right is more important than you might think.

Now, it’s not as if a small mistake like this will scuttle your business deal. In any case, it’s one of the first things you’ll learn when you prepare to do business with China.

Having said that, many organizations doing business in China experience frustration and unsuccessful communication. Projects don’t advance as fast as expected, or a Chinese Senior executive suddenly clams up and nobody can explain why he’s not working along any more.

In the latter case, it could be a simple case of ‘You don’t send a junior to tell a senior bad news in China’. A simple cultural notion that can be prevented or corrected – if you know the culture. You simply can’t allow another person in China to lose face, and that’s exactly what just happened.

A project not flowing smoothly? That can be down to the fact that the mentality behind workforce motivation is almost diametrically opposed to ours. ‘The people’ is a thoroughly abundant concept in Chinese culture, but over here ‘The Individual’ runs the show. A different method is therefore required.

Good to know?

You’ll agree that it’s absolutely vital to successful business to know as much as you can about the culture and its idiosyncrasies. Nobody wants delays, frustrated executives or even loss of profit. Especially if the reason is nothing more than a lack of ‘When in Rome…’

Business in China? Don’t Just Learn Chinese: Learn China!

The Chinese business culture is wildly different from ours. Many small aspects of culture and etiquette compound to the impression you make in business settings. Your ability to adapt to this wonderful and amazing culture will largely determine your success in China.

Imagine the following situation:

You’ve explained your plans, you’ve given your pitch, and laid the numbers on the table. You politely ask the CEO across the table if he would like to share his opinion.


The CEO is completely silent and nearly motionless as the seconds tick by. Is he angry? Uncomfortable? Outraged, even? Your mind races and prepares to back down on some of the terms.

When the CEO finally opens his mouth a full ten seconds later, you have already slashed into your profit margin, but the man was just… thinking. He was ready to jump in and go along on your terms, but you missed – simply because you had no cultural reference to understand that he was just thinking.

Not outraged or angry as would be a likely assumption in our culture– Just thinking, as is the everyday custom in China when one is asked a direct question.

TLI-The Mandarin School Prepares You for Remarkable Success In Doing Business with China

In our  many years of  working  with many high-profile organizationswe have successfully prepared them for various kinds of profitable business transactions. Whether you want to import Chinese goods or set up production facilities, you can’t afford to not be prepared.

“You offered such tremendous value with customized support…the cultural awareness training and insights offered thoughtful leadership for cultural sensitivity.”

Mary Anderson, President
Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters

“You have indeed been very informative and helpful…strange that this [feedback] comes from a Hong Kong native!”

David Tsang, President
The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT)

Our track record shows that a thorough understanding of the Chinese culture enables North American organizations to conduct business in China with stellar results.

Our programs are designed to enable you and your team to communicate respectfully and effectively, and with understanding of the sometimes baffling cultural tendencies you might come across – which aren’t baffling or strange at all once you understand how culture and customs drive behavior in China.

Most companies don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to doing business in China. That is why organizations of all kinds and size seek our trainings. Smart companies understand how important it is to have understanding and thoughtful communication in business.

In other words, cultural intelligence training is indispensable before going to China.

Three Services to Fix or Prepare Your Business in China. Can You Afford Not to?

We offer various customized training programs, geared specifically to your individual business goal in China. Programs range from half day to full day and can equally comprise multi-day corporate training.

TLI-The Mandarin School offer three targeting services to organizations who do business or are about to, in China:

  1. Fix that, quick: If your doing business with China has suffered from communication mishaps and cultural misunderstandings there’s only one thing you can do to fix it: Learn to understand what went wrong, how to avoid it in the future, and get back on the right foot.
  2. Proper Preparation: Before you even book a ticket, be confident that you know what to do and not to. Excel, don’t goof.
  3. Your First Trip Was Good: …but you weren’t as prepared as you thought, or you are not sure how to take the next step. The ideal option for organizations or individuals who have made a good start but realize that true success can only be reached when the two parties communicate on the same plain.

For Chinese young professionals and executives entering the Canadian workforce, the situation is equally as challenging. We offer custom made workplace integration training for Chinese professionals wanting to excel in their North-American work experience.

Whatever your needs are, however big or small your team: TLI-The Mandarin School has the experience and the experts to send you to China feeling confident and prepared.

Of course no business should even consider doing business in China without a basic knowledge of the language. TLI-The Mandarin School offer online Chinese courses based on proven technology. Send us an email for more information and pricing.

Send us an email today and receive a tailor made quote for your customized Cultural Intelligence training.

There are many ways in which business can halt or even fail in China.

There’s one simple solution that makes sure social and cultural differences won’t be the culprit. The Mandarin School is your perfect cultural safeguard. We help you get the most out of your business contacts so you can scale up in China.

Get in touch today – make your business in China a blast!

Contact today for a quote and a free consultation.