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2018-19 NACA LDP In-Depth Group Sharing Session

The LDP in-depth group sharing session took place on Jun. 30 at ROAM -Dunwoody (Perimeter Pointe Shopping Center) on June 30, 2018. 11 attendees joined the meeting, with mentors, mentees and the guest speaker Pamela Dong, one of our mentor who is a culturally competent HR professional with rich global experience.
This time, the working committee decided to run in the open and in-depth discussion as well as build closer connection between mentor and mentees. The topic theme is “Intercultural Communication.” Our guest speaker Pamela Dong is a culturally competent HR professional with rich global experience. She conducted an in-depth group sharing of how to better work out in today’s multi-cultural working environment by sharing her experience from China to the US in various industries and leading the deep discussion within the whole group. The meeting started with Pamela’s self-induction and her career highlights with mentors to build on and arose questions, insights around the theme with relevant topics. During the 2 hrs meeting, people shared, built on and had a truly hot discussion around the theme topic.
In the beginning, Pamela prepared a 5 Major Cultural Continuums sheet for each of the participants [1]. Then the whole discussion is build based on the flow of the topics on the sheet. Everyone was attracted by the interesting topics regarding the cultural differences between each pair of the follows:
 Direct Communication
 Indirect Communication
 Task Oriented
 Relationship Oriented
 Individual
 Group
 Risk Avoidance
 Risk Tolerance
 Equality
 Hierarchy
All participants came from different working experiences, industry background, brought their understanding and preference regarding the comparison in each sub-topic.
Most of the left side terms in the discussing sheet were considered as kinds of western style, but surprisingly, many points popped up different from the traditional understanding. Many of the audiences believe that the culture of China and the US are changing all the time, the Chinese culture today also becomes more direct communication, task-oriented, individual, and equality, especially in the young generation.
Understanding direct and indirect communication is a great tool for the business between different culture. Lynn Yang, Jung Mar mentioned many interesting examples, and Pamela, etc. The point that the style of communication is not just a culture issue, but also a leadership style, highly relevant to the leader in a team and the culture of a company.
The relationship-oriented style was considered as one of the featured styles of Chinese culture traditionally. However, most of the discussion pointed out that the relationship-oriented broadly applied in the market of the US, even the name has been decorated as “Networking.” During the discussion of Individual versus Group work, the focus is more targeted at the best strategy in the proper situation. Pamela suggested “Don’t take business personally” and be professional during the business activities.
Besides, the discussion also covered some most recent topics such as the Trade War, the production process of Tencent, etc. Also, the mentors and guests provided very valuable suggestions for the future development and organization of LDP program.
Thanks again for Pamela’s Dong’s great insight and well-organized discussion on “Intercultural Communication.”
We’ll also set up the 3rd LDP group session on Aug. 11, 130-4pm at ROAM – Dunwoody, (Perimeter Pointe Shopping Center), 1155 Mt. Vernon Hwy., NE, Suite 800 (2nd Floor), Atlanta, GA 30338. Our mentor Zaheer Faruqi and his friend Sean Casey will lead the talk regarding:
1. How to start running a business, key triggers & preparations
2. Challenges, wins/loss, lessons learned
3. The difference in working in corporate and operating own business, leadership role
4. Personal highlights
[1] Solomon & Schell (2009). Managing Across Cultures: the seven keys to doing business with a global mindset (1st ed.). McGraw-Hill.

By Meng Han

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