We received an email from a reader that inquires about the Chinese protocol around having meetings. Here in the paragraph below is the classic protocol or understanding about how Chinese meetings work, which stresses the importance of resolving conflict outside of public meetings in order to avoid causing any lose of face, etc.:

 Chinese like to work things out personally in one to one meetings or in informal small groups.  In public meetings, they like everything to go smoothly, having worked things out ahead of time.  In public meetings, they are afraid of saying something that will embarrass themselves (lose face) or offend someone.  They also don’t want to “break anyone’s rice bowl” – cause them to lose face and lose a job.  This seems to come from the idea of “harmony.”  Everything in the public meetings is supposed to be harmonious.  In short, they don’t like public debate in meetings.  In other words, it is not seemly to disagree with someone in public since you might hurt their feelings.  But then they will disagree a lot with each other informally and in small groups.

But we’d like to put it out to the rest of our readers: Does it still work like this, or maybe it never did…comment with your opinion and let us know whether or not the Chinese handle meetings like the paragraph above states?