On Thursday 30 June, Henrik Larsen the principal coach and consultant at HWAO Consulting, did an exclusive business talk for the partner companies and interns of InternChina Zhuhai, the talk focused on the cultural differences between the East and West and how understanding these differences and adapting to them will ensure that a multi-cultural office is managed more effectively. With experience across three continents, including 18 years of management experience in China, Henrik has a comprehensive understanding of working in cross culture environments.
Henrik started the session by interacting with the participants, ensuring that he knew what cultures and work-backgrounds people in the room were from, this enabled him to deliver his talk in the most effective way. Henrik has a background in banking, IT, manufacturing, R&D high-tech electronics, coaching and consulting, meaning he has worked with a wide range of people from multiple different work backgrounds.
Throughout the talk, Henrik constantly asked questions and got the participants to interact with him. The atmosphere of the talk was up-beat yet comfortable – all participants were able to discuss their experiences in a judgement-free zone and often get Henrik’s advice. Matters regarding hierarchy, individualism, body language and humour were openly discussed. The talk gave the interns the opportunity to engage with some of their soon-to-be colleagues and employers in a business environment.
Hofstede’s theory and Meyers cultural map were also mentioned, this lead to them being analysed and questioned, participants would often look at the map and compare first-hand experiences. Often this would lead to discussions which would eventually lead the participants to evaluate their own managerial skills.
The talk that Henrik provided for InternChina and our partner companies was highly educational, eye-opening and enjoyable. The constant involvement from the participants ensured that they understood what was being discussed and helped them gain the most out of this experience.
The interns who participated in the talk were given the opportunity to learn about Chinese business culture before starting their internships. This has enabled them to go into their work placement with an open mind, and with the expectation or the working environment to differ from that they are used to.
HWAO Consulting works with individuals and corporations who desire to better understand and improve their position in China – through Business Consultancy, Board Work, Executive Coaching and Training. Find out more about the business here.
If you are interested in working in a cross-cultural environment all while experiencing Chinese business culture, please apply here.