First I would like to apologise that I haven’t written anything for the past 3 months. Sometimes you find it really hard to squeeze time and to clear your mind and sit down to type for a couple of hours. Every single day is occupied by work and when you return back home, you’ve got a life to lead. Actually my friends have been complaining that they haven’t seen me for over 6 months as well.
I found another interesting topic to talk about, which is the difference between how the West and the East evaluate employees. Have you ever sat down and evaluated yourself? I never have until now, and even scarier was needing to talk about my own performance.
Recently I’ve watched TV programmes like “American Top Model”, “Project Runway”, “The Apprentice”, and “Hell Kitchen”. They are all basically the same show, and are designed to evaluate who is the very best. The evaluation process is generally performed by a panel of judges who are experts in their chosen field. The most important parts of the shows are when we watch the contestants perform under pressure, and see what they have to say about themselves and their abilities.
I never thought about this process until it happened to me at work. A few weeks ago I was asked to evaluate myself, and told that my answers would directly affect my bonus. As a Chinese who has never worked for a foreign company before, and who has therefore never taken an evaluation, this was quite a challenge for me. The fact that it affected how much I got paid made it even more nerve-wracking.
I was told to talk about my achievements and the contributions I’ve made to work, and not to exaggerate or be embarrassed. This I found very difficult as it’s just not part of the Chinese culture. Even though I am a confident person, I still did not like talking about myself in front of my superiors, and especially did not enjoy being criticised or praised. This is a very noticeable difference between how the West and East operates
As a Chinese person, if you are working for a Chinese company, you always undertake the exact job assigned by your supervisor. You are not expected to do anything else, and you are not expected to show initiative – a job is a just a job. This how it works in China. In the West, however, it seems that a job is more of a ‘career’, and an employer is wanting to help improve your whole career, not just wanting you to work more efficiently.
Confucius tells us to always be humble and stay low, even if you are outstanding. This is the opposite of a Western viewpoint where they are taught to express themselves and try to shine as much as possible. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the West is typically more creative.
This is not an argument about which side is better. It really depends on your knowledge, personality, and background. I do admire the West’s openness, honesty, and decisiveness. I find it fascinating to learn what life is like in another culture, and look forward to experiencing more differences.
相信大家可能在追 “美国模特真人秀”, “天桥骄子”, “飞黄腾达”, 或 “ 地狱厨房” 都是强者为王,弱者淘汰的商业电视节目. 我相信大多都是真人秀, 有血有泪才赢得光荣嘛! 最紧张的时候就是看淘汰选手的那几分钟, 大家站在评委面前, 说出自己哪里表现得最好,自己哪里不足?
我从没想过自己在工作岗位也要面临这样的 “命运” . 在外企, 大家每半年都要向最高领导评价自己, 不只是领导评价你,你还要自己评价你自己对工作的贡献和不足. 当然啦,多劳多得嘛. 但不能天花乱坠夸奖自己, 别人有目共睹的嘛,再说,还有你的上司评价你呢? 对我来说, 真是个挑战阿. 之后,我觉得这个也是体现中西方文化不同和教育不同的差异.
虽蛮自信的我, 还是觉得有点别扭. 感觉就像在评委面前说自己哪里好,自己哪里不足, 我们不是在这种文化长大的嘛! 我有点尴尬的实事求是的说了我自己的情况拉.
大家都知道, 在中国的企业或机构, 总是领导给你任务你就执行;或者自己跑业务打关系赚提成. 我们都是在这种文化熏陶长大的嘛. 我想大多中西方思维和文化的不同. 就像我之前谈的 “ 功夫茶”, 西方国家的人很独立自主, 也毫不修饰的别人或事业上面前表达自己; 作为孔子的后代, 就算你是成功人士, 也总是学会 “ 谦逊为主, 低调为辅”. 可能西方国家更注重培养主动权在自己, 而不是任何事都被动去接受, 这也是他们多于创新主义的源头.