How we give feedback varies tremendously from culture to culture. Canadians are similar to Americans in how we give feedback and often even less direct. Many new immigrants have difficulty hearing negative feedback given by Canadians since we generally start with positive statements. The key is to listen for the linking words which follow the positive opening feedback. Words and phrases such as but, unfortunately, on the other hand, etc., indicate contrast and, most likely, something critical.
The following article compares how people from 12 cultures give feedback. Since we all have individual variations depending upon our personality and upbringing, it is important not to stereotype. Nevertheless, the dominant culture in which we are raised provides the acceptable range of ways to provide feedback.
Here Are The Wildly Different Ways People Give Feedback Around The World
As anyone who has worked abroad will tell you, a communication strategy that’s effective in one country doesn’t necessarily work in another.
For instance, the direct negative feedback given by a German boss might seem unnecessarily harsh in America, while an American worker’s enthusiasm might come off as excessive and insincere in Germany.
We spoke with Erin Meyer, a professor at the international business school INSEAD and the author of “The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business,” about how praise and criticism are given in 12 different countries.
Here’s the most interesting stuff we learned: