Benedikt Scherer from Cogneon asked me to share my experience – specially when it comes to train colleagues in Asia. He wrote a summary of his one week visit in Tokyo for training reasons. Here are some statements experience by testing new leadership and social collaboration (on eye level) as well as lessons I have learned:
We often hear that colleagues from Asia seem not to give much feedback. In my eyes many (specially) german colleagues just want „Yes, understood“ as a feedback, but not really an open discussion, or even own ideas. The reason is on one side, that we typically involve other countries after everything is decided and rolled out in Germany. Second it is so easy to call their „culture“ as – no need for explanation or change management effort… they do as told and don’t question things. This totally denies that we are talking about humans:
No matter from which country or culture,
humans have a lot more in common,
than what is separating them!
I experienced in various projects that real interest, changing perspective, real listening and understanding their hierarchy and social connections drives great results and most of all participation, engagement and of course feedback, too.
A different approach – Learning by Teaching:
Why not sending them your training material upfront, have 2 sessions for questions via phone or video, than haven THEM doing the training workshops for their colleagues (and you just observe).
Learning by Teaching… ( I first heard about that from Jean-Pol Martin, who „invented“ that for schools) a great method in Business context to also verify your training material, to learn about your target groups a lot more and involving them a lot deeper.
Of course the LDL method offers a lot more – including networking spirit… this is just to make you curious ;-)
Handing over responsibility
They can do it without us, if we let them (and don’t let them „alone“, but providing honest support, ones they really need it)
With our GUIDEs I went even one step further – I handed over responsibility, organization and even let them plan the agenda… we just aligned on the overall goal and some major achievements.
That „Freedom To Act“ and „Trust“ made them become very active and we could experience THEIR way of „Getting things done“ – in this case WE learned a lot / while they learned the tools and usage.
As soon as we accept that they (and that is true for every nation) are great themselves – and we are not the „german emperor* bringing the only truth“ ;-) … a great collaboration journey can start – for both sides
Within the last 25 years, I experienced this behavior many times in leaders „collaboration“ with the markets – it is improving a lot lately ;-)