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Missions 101

Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Give a Compliment

May. 27, 2015By: Darren CarlsonAuthor Bio

David Livermore has a helpful post on how to navigate giving culturally intelligent compliments.  I think many of us assume or take for granted how compliments and feedback are received in different cultures. The next time you want to offer some feedback, ask yourself the following questions: 

  1. Livermore_pic_c8cdd975daWhat’s the nature of your relationship? (e.g. your history together, your roles within the organization, etc.)
  2. Should the compliment be directed to the individual or to a group? (if this is a “typical” Chinese person, a compliment directed more toward the person’s ‘in- group’ would likely be better received than just directing it toward the individual).
  3. How explicit should the compliment be? (again, if this individual fits Chinese norms, an indirect approach will likely be better).
  4. What are you affirming? (character, performance, reputation, etc.)
  5. What is the ideal context for sharing the compliment? (private vs. public, written vs. verbal, etc.)
  6. Do the cultural norms for compliments apply to this individual? (Don’t assume that all things said about Chinese preferences apply to this individual. You have to get to know him/her as a person.)

Darren Carlson is the Founder and President of Training Leaders International.  As President, Darren oversees the general direction of the ministry and serves as an advocate for pastors with little access to formal training and thoughtful cross-cultural theological engagement. You can connect with him on Facebook and Twitter

Tags:  practical, culture
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