Next to language training, I have a strong interest in cultural factors and their impact on communication. Below is a handout from an intercultural training that I conducted in San Antonio for business persons, some years ago. Some of the same differences listed most likely have an impact in the ESL classroom. Check them out.
Comments are welcome.
Doing Business in Mexico; Some Differences
Some adjustments will have to be made on both sides to achieve success in working together.
Following are some of the biggest differences:
|Product oriented.||People oriented.|
|Power oriented in many situations.||Harmony oriented in most situations.|
|Hard working, with emphasis on the value of time.||Hard working, with emphasis on enjoying time.|
|Decision making by middle management with concurrence of top management.||Decision making by top management.|
|Confrontation acceptable.||Confrontation not acceptable.|
|Pride in competiveness.||Pride in cooperation.|
|Empahasis on getting down to business.
"Time is money."
|Emphasis on getting to know clients before doing business.|
|Direct communication style, even on painful subjects.||Indirect communication style for dignity of both parties.|
|Accept close supervision.||Feel that close supervision shows a lack of trust.|
|Try to be informal as soon as possible.||Prefer formality until a real relationship exists.|
|Patriotic and convinced that "we are the best."||Proud of culture and wary of people who are convinced they are the best.|
|Perceive Mexicans as apathetic.||Perceive U.S. Americans as arrogant.|
|Perceive Mexicans as corrupt.||Perceive U.S. Americans as being hypocritical on the subject of corruption.|
|Perceive all Mexicans as poor.||Growing and prosperous middle and upper economic brackets with great purchasing power resent being thought of as poor.|