In China, people use logical persuading (5.91) much more frequently than any other influence technique.  Then they use the other four power tools:  socializing, stating, appealing to relationship, and consulting.  In this culture, relationships are extremely important, and the Chinese use appealing to relationship significantly more often than the global norm.

They also use legitimizing, alliance building, and exchanging significantly more frequently than the norm.  In China, it would be far more common and acceptable to influence by appealing to authority, by building and using alliances, and by bargaining or exchanging.

In this culture, the power sources of role and resources are considerably greater than the norm, and expressiveness and reputation are considerably less than the norm.  This suggests that one’s position in an organization and control of resources are important factors in how influential one is.  Being expressive and having a strong reputation are relatively less important than they would be in many other cultures.

The people in this culture rate significantly higher on avoiding than the global norm.  This is likely true because of the cultural inhibition about disagreeing openly and directly with someone.  Saying “no” without being explicit can be interpreted as an avoiding behavior.  Nonetheless, the third most-used influence technique for the Chinese is stating.  They are comfortable being direct, but they will so do in a way that may not seem direct unless you know how to properly interpret what you’re hearing.

To influence effectively in China, remember that existing relationships matter as much as one’s formal role in an organization.  Citing rules, regulations, laws, traditions, and revered or important people is more common in China than in many other cultures.  The Chinese will be more willing than other cultures to use alliance building, and they’ll be more accustomed to and comfortable bargaining or trading for cooperation.  Use logical persuasion but bear in mind the complex underlying influences of relationships and roles and the apparent ambiguities in how ideas and agreements are communicated.


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