How can I impress my Chinese boss?

Chinese managers have been described as authoritarian or consensus-oriented. Soft and heavy. That's partly because bosses come in many shapes and sizes, and partly because Chinese culture may cloud our perception of who we're working with. Workplace customs vary by culture. Foreign and Chinese business procedures and office cultures vary. If you work for a Chinese firm, you will need to know how to treat your boss well.

Knowing how to interact with superiors can help you succeed at work, and some of the same ideas apply to working successfully with colleagues. Knowing how to deal with your employer can help you deal with the Public Security Bureau and other bureaucracy. To advance in a firm, you must learn certain Chinese workplace customs. These five suggestions should gain you respect, if not save you from being fired.

Here are five ways to cope with authority in China:


Across the nation, hierarchy is respected in both public and private. A subordinate respects a boss. If you're working with a superior in a Chinese corporation or a government official, respect them. Giving advise is generally appreciated, but criticizing someone in front of others is not. Face is vital. You may have reasonable criticisms, but keep them to yourself. Avoid being too forthright. While Chinese individuals might be direct about their weight or blemishes, you'll get greater results if you deliver your advice discreetly.


To establish a friendly connection with your Chinese bosses, address them with their right titles. The titles usually follow the surname. Here are a few examples:

Manager: Jingli (the latter, which means head manager, can be shortened to zong)

Vice-manager: Fu jingli (can be shortened to fuzong)

Shaoxingguan Shouxi


Director: Zhuren Principal: Xiaozhang Director: Changzhang

To demonstrate respect in Chinese, modify the word “you” from ni to nin.

Correct parse

If you want to know what your employer thinks of your work or your ideas, look for criticism rather than praise. In China, they're commonly intermingled. If he compliments your product, then points out errors, then praises you again, he may have just ripped you apart. Even if you're unfamiliar with Chinese culture, bear in mind that most bosses and coworkers will communicate in less straightforward ways than you're accustomed to. If you are unsure about what was stated, ask clarifying questions. Expect ambiguous answers to challenging queries, and avoid being too forthright yourself. You'll get nowhere if you don't speak out. Strive for “passive assertiveness”.

Do it

Hard labor is respected in China. Even if they accomplish the day's chores, most will promptly start the next day's tasks. They often work late. In the Chinese workplace, deviating from this ethic makes you seem terrible in practically everyone's eyes. Showing your supervisor and coworkers that you are busy can help you get respect. This is critical since your Chinese colleagues and even supervisors know you earn significantly more than they do.

Go outdoors

Outside of work, Chinese typically speak business. It's not the most relaxing habit, but it's useful. If your employer asks you out for a dinner or drink, it's a terrific chance to express yourself. Her ears may be wider than normal.

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