June 23rd, 2010
Why your Asian employee is silent in meetings
If your Asian employees not born in English-speaking countries are silent in meetings, it’s probably not the result of a totally conscious decision on their parts. Yes, many times people who might speak English as a *second* language are shy about speaking up in public, but usually the main reason is cultural: in Asian cultures, if you are not 100% sure of what you are saying or asking, you keep quiet. I explain that for most Americans and even Europeans, being 30 to 60% sure is good enough. Imagine the impact of this difference on group participation… and their careers. It’s huge.
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