Mar 6, 2013
How to Criticize?
When I finished my first drawing assignment in the art class, the teacher let students put their assignments on the wall. Then, he started to ask students from farthest to the right what the weakness and strength on the drawings were. Many students were good at explaining their drawing and their strengths. In my turn, even though I really liked my drawing, I said, “I don’t’ like it, I should make darker.” Good drawings fortunately could avoid other’s criticism. However, weak drawings brought strong criticism. The teacher pointed at my friend's drawing and asked me what she was missing. Her drawing looked incomplete and felt very flat. I was afraid that she would be disappointed so I just said “not bad.” In contrary, other American students criticized her drawing in the same way like my thought.
Why could I not show others my strengths? Why could I not judge and criticize my friend’s drawing? Why should I talk to them differently from my real thought? It was not just my problems, and I realized that the blame is on my culture. Korean is a society based on Confucian values, and humility is the most important virtues to us. Confucianism, which is come from China, is one of representative Oriental idea. And the idea considers human harmony more important than justice. Humility is the most important thing to live in harmony, so Korean regard self-effacing as true power. Besides, most Koreans think that criticism hurts other’s feeling and ruins relationship. So we do not easily criticize other's things. Lip servicing and self-effacing are the way to get on with people in a small country like Korea.
A humble person is considered good by many people in Korea, but does it still work in America? I don’t think so. In America, I think that a humble person will be overshadowed by a person who is able to show his or her strong points. If I still want to be a self-effacing person in America, I will fall behind any competition. What should I do? The answer to the question is When in Rome, do as the Romans do. This means that I should learn to control my humility and to show my ability to others while I am in America. Intercultural communication
Inaccurate Assumptions in Meaning * Among different cultures, combinations of verbal communication and body language can have different meanings, and this can lead to misunderstandings. For example, if you ask a co-worker if he understood the report you gave him and he smiles, you may interpret his reaction as an affirmative. However, in some cultures, this is a nonverbal signal that the listener does not understand, and that he needs it explained to him.
Formality Differences in Communications * The Western cultures of America, New Zealand and Australia are informal when addressing a business associate