All posts tagged: Cultural Differences

5 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to China

1. No Need to Leave a Tip Unlike most Western cultures, in China you are not expectedto tip. The waiters and waitresses get paid a monthly salary, and in most casescomplimentary accommodation (boarding and meals), and therefore do not expectto get compensated through tips. Therefore, on a restaurant bill, you are notgoing to find the tip fields you may expect. Several years ago, when traveling in China, my husband (whois an American and doesn’t feel comfortable not tipping) left 20 Yuan (roughly3 dollars) on the table as a tip after paying with cash. As we were leaving,the waitress hurriedly caught up to us, holding the change in her hands, “Sir,you forgot your change!” When my husband told her that it was a tip, theexpression on the waitress’s face was more bewildered than anything else. Similarly, when a bellboy helps you with luggage at a hotel,or when a pool boy brings you new towels, there’s still no expectation for atip. In my view, an underlying reason for this “no-tipping”culture is an abundance in labor which leads …

Find The Leader in You

In the summer of 2014, I arrived in the US from China for an MBA education with a top 20 university in the US. One of the core courses in the first semester was titled “Leadership”. At the beginning of the semester, the professor conducted a class-wide survey, which was composed of a “self-assessment” and a “peer-assessment”, in which the students rated each classmate on how they perceived that classmate: Do you consider he/she a leader? Do you think he/she is a valuable contributor in the classroom? Do you think he/she is difficult? And so on. The same survey was then re-run a few more times throughout the semester, as the students got to know each other more through various activities (and, of course, as the learning from the Leadership class progressed). I never cared for the class, as I believe “leadership” is a mindset you grow in yourself through real life events and mature self-reflection, rather than something dryly taught in a classroom by watching mediocre documentaries and participating in half-hearted discussions. I didn’t …