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Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby maneo » Tue, 16 Dec 2014 3:54 pm

carteki wrote:The reply was "Nope".

Thinking about this further, this seems very strange.

When I first came to SG almost 30 years ago a common expat complaint was that people would not say "No."
Instead there would be a variety of nuanced replies (e.g. sucking air through one's teeth), some of which even may even have sounded like "yes," when in fact they really meant "No."

My, how things have changed in just one generation.

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby JR8 » Tue, 16 Dec 2014 3:59 pm

Japan used to be like that, and maybe still is.

They'd say anything but reply 'no'.

'Hmmm... it's difficult to say', was usually about as close as you'd get, even when trying to simply clarify and confirm that their previously given answer did in fact mean no.
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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby x9200 » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 7:18 am

maneo wrote:
carteki wrote:The reply was "Nope".

Thinking about this further, this seems very strange.

When I first came to SG almost 30 years ago a common expat complaint was that people would not say "No."
Instead there would be a variety of nuanced replies (e.g. sucking air through one's teeth), some of which even may even have sounded like "yes," when in fact they really meant "No."

My, how things have changed in just one generation.

Try to get "no" in the situation where somebody is not really interested in something but he/she prefers not to admit to it (for variety of reasons).

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby Brah » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 8:40 am

It's when they won't simply face up and just say 'no' and instead do that talking in that all-too-common forehead-smackable unconvincing platitudes thing with wide-eyed innocence and confidence that elicits my challenge response.

Although usually I just say, 'it's ok if you don't know, really"; other times it's "you really don't know anything about this, do you?".

The former more often than not draws a look of relief; the latter, sheepish acceptance.
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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby x9200 » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 9:21 am

It could be much worse than this. Many times people feel like obliged to convince you they are interested and only later if it's no longer convenient for them they start to ignore you or come up with all sort obvious-lie excuses. I had collaborative projects terminated for such reasons. Hudge waste of time and efford.

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby maneo » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 10:02 am

Perhaps you all have been too focused on getting the answer you wanted, striking a deal, etc., and forgetting about the answer you needed, the truth.

You can't impose your way of doing business nor your way of communicating.

Smarter questions would help.
Instead of asking whether someone would do something, you should be asking what it would take, what would need to be done to get them to do that something you want done.

Get beyond the "Yes or No," which is merely a pointless self-serving affirmation, and get to the heart of the matter, the actual tasks required.

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby x9200 » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:41 am

maneo wrote:Perhaps you all have been too focused on getting the answer you wanted, striking a deal, etc., and forgetting about the answer you needed, the truth.

You can't impose your way of doing business nor your way of communicating.

Smarter questions would help.
Instead of asking whether someone would do something, you should be asking what it would take, what would need to be done to get them to do that something you want done.

Get beyond the "Yes or No," which is merely a pointless self-serving affirmation, and get to the heart of the matter, the actual tasks required.

It is really not that simple. In a broader context It is like with this never-ending discussion about the courtesy. Should I bend and do something I consider questionable just because everybody around does it or should I stand to the values I consider mine and universal.

Funny enough, in both of the cases it seems even the SG gov supports these values and not the most common local habbits. Unless I am completely desperate in getting something I will not waste my time for some silly adoration dance to get somebody involved in some collaborative (so supposingly for mutual benefits) work.
This, especially, that getting the involvement as a result of such approach would only mean bigger troubles at the stage of actual project execution and I would probably need to get to the heart of the matter to get quality results or any results at all. No, thank you.

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby maneo » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:31 pm

Your values with regards to business communication are not universal.
That you and others like you are keen to perpetuate this myth does not make it so.

In fact, you may find your "way" becoming even more irrelevant as this Asian century continues to develop.

That you consider adapting to be giving in to "some silly adoration dance" shows an underlying disrespect you have.
It actually is just a matter of respect.

You might do well to follow Stephen Covey's 5th habit (of highly effective people):

  "Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood."

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby nakatago » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:43 pm

maneo wrote:In fact, you may find your "way" becoming even more irrelevant as this Asian century continues to develop.
"


I, for one, welcome our new Mandarin overlords.

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby Barnsley » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 1:12 pm

nakatago wrote:
maneo wrote:In fact, you may find your "way" becoming even more irrelevant as this Asian century continues to develop.
"


I, for one, welcome our new Mandarin overlords.


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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby Barnsley » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 1:14 pm

maneo wrote:In fact, you may find your "way" becoming even more irrelevant as this Asian century continues to develop.



Is this all of Asia , or just the Eastern bit?
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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby x9200 » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 1:33 pm

maneo wrote:Your values with regards to business communication are not universal.
That you and others like you are keen to perpetuate this myth does not make it so.

In fact, you may find your "way" becoming even more irrelevant as this Asian century continues to develop.

That you consider adapting to be giving in to "some silly adoration dance" shows an underlying disrespect you have.
It actually is just a matter of respect.

You might do well to follow Stephen Covey's 5th habit (of highly effective people):

  "Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood."


Respect should be mutual. Failing or neglecting to notice that other people time and money gets wasted because of one's action when it comes to highly educated players is surely not the best way of showing you care. It's not underlaying disrespect, it's just an adequate response for lack of respect. See, you have no insight about the situations I was referring to yet you have chosen to generalize and give me some lecturing. Is it the right way with proper understanding, smart, and getting to the heart of the matter? A rhetoric question.

Local MNCs are hiring people for heavy money to come over to Singapore and fight on their local ground against what you call myths and irrelevant standards. You likely work in a completely different environment than myself so perhaps you could realize this as a part of all respectful understanding exercise? The company I work for is local, managed by local managers and we can blacklist other companies for what I described earlier. Apparently despite of your impressions some standards are pretty universal.

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby maneo » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 3:18 pm

Barnsley wrote:
maneo wrote:In fact, you may find your "way" becoming even more irrelevant as this Asian century continues to develop.



Is this all of Asia , or just the Eastern bit?

Might be a double whammy with the 2 nations containing almost half the world's population gaining economic clout.

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 3:39 pm

maneo wrote:
Barnsley wrote:
maneo wrote:In fact, you may find your "way" becoming even more irrelevant as this Asian century continues to develop.



Is this all of Asia , or just the Eastern bit?

Might be a double whammy with the 2 nations containing almost half the world's population gaining economic clout.


That's a damned scary thought! :o

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Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

Postby x9200 » Wed, 17 Dec 2014 3:52 pm

I wouldn't worry too much. The "way" is based on pragmatism that comes down to money. It's not really a clash of the civiliztions. After some critical mass is reached always more time/money effective approach will be adopted.


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