Cultural Differences Between Asia and America

Asia and America are two very different continents, and although a lot of their cultures may appear similar, as they cross a number of different aspects. However, there are quite a few differences when it comes to the culture between the two, as many would expect. The first is the visa waiver program that America has in place, which is a visa for USA, and allows citizens from some other countries to enter the country without a visa if their country of citizenship qualifies. In Asia however, there is no such scheme and all visitors will have to obtain a visa in order to gain access. We’ve put together a list of the main cultural differences between Asia and America.

Individualism vs. Collectivism

In America, a lot of the culture derives around individualism – with one’s personal goals being more of a priority than a collective. This is said to encourage ambition and drive individuals to succeed, and a lot of the culture in America does definitely revolve around this. However, in Asia, a lot of the decisions that are made culturally are done so for collective greater good rather than individual gain. Collectivism is a huge thing in Asia, and the difference in culture can often be seen as quite odd as each culture visits the other. One difference with this however, is the structure on authority particularly in the workplace. In Asia, the person who is the highest authority figure in the workplace is generally the one who makes the final decision. However, in the US a lot of decisions are made collectively amongst colleagues, and lower down employees tend to be more influential in an American workplace than they would be in an Asian workplace.

Relationships vs. Economics

In many Asian countries, when dealing with business, there is a very strong emphasis on relationship building and social networking. Before many Asian businesses sign deals, they tend to spend a lot of time getting to know them and trusting them, before business comes into it at all. This is quite fascinating in an age where people do business online without ever actually meeting the other person. For instance, any person who has a seller account on Amazon or similar platforms can engage in business, no matter if it’s a single purchase or a wholesale deal, with a very large population without ever having to meet them and only conversing with them on the phone. In fact, that is likely how a lot of American businesses work. Relationships and social networking are regarded as casual, and unrelated to business, and business deals are tied quickly and efficiently. In America, personal and professional relationships are two very different things that should never be overlapped. However in Asia, relationships play a big role in both their personal and professional lives and people tend to know a lot about their colleagues and employees, while building genuine trust between them. This can play a part in some companies in America too, with team building activities for remote employees and in-office employees being held at certain points so that staff can connect and trust their colleagues, opening up the lines of communication.

To some extent, this plays an important role in allowing the businesses to get a taste of success. Wondering, how? When an employer knows the details about his employees, he might have an idea of what may upset his employees or make them feel more encouraged in the workplace. The employer can then use this to his advantage to avoid employee turnover. For instance, if an employer knows that appreciating or acknowledging the works of his employees can easily impress them, he can simply do that and retain them for a long time. Additionally, by doing so, the employer can also reap the benefits of increased employee efficiency and productivity (more help on how to improve employee efficiency and performance can be found at the likes of Eden Health).

That said, if an employer does not know what upsets his employees, then he may be at the risk of employee turnover. Usually, most employees leave their jobs because they feel overburdened with their work or they experience workplace burnout. However, in order to avoid losing employees constantly, you, as an entrepreneur, can use your offboarding process to improve employee retention. And in addition to this, you can also try to learn more about your workers so that you can prevent them from putting their papers down.

Styles Of Communication

America is stereotyped as being quite loud and overly friendly, and many of the citizens that are very upfront in their manner of communication. More often than not, they are defensive about their ideas and are happy to lead into confrontation if another party does not necessarily agree with their opinion. However, in Asia the style of communication is very different. In some countries in Asia, some cultures result in people greeting each other with a bow instead of a loud hello and a handshake. Also in Asia, some people would simply nod on their opinion even if they don’t agree with what you’re saying in order to respect and honour others.