East vs. West General Trends


East

  • Silence is valued
  • Knowing is emphasized
  • Interrupting is generally not OK
  • Asking a question to a supervisor might embarrass him/her because it implies that he/she didn't explain well
  • Non-verbal communication is important
  • Indirect communication can be considered most polite and often helps to "save face"
  • "Opinions don't necessarily need to be shared"
  • Expect honest answer after asking several times
  • No eye contact can show respect
  • Greetings are for friends and known people
  • Group
  • Rest (or being) is valued

West

  • Silence is "to be filled"
  • Clarify with words. Check for meaning, "Oh, do you mean..."
  • Interruption is OK at appropriate times
  • "There is no such thing as a dumb question." Questions are perfectly OK and preferred ("We like interaction!")
  • Verbal interaction and words are important
  • Direct communication can be considered most polite and often helps to "save face"
  • "I want to know your opinion!"
  • Expect honest answer after asking once
  • Eye contact can show respect
  • Greetings are for anyone and everyone
  • Individual
  • Action (or doing) is valued