The Chinese are risk averse. Individual risk is an especially sensitive matter. The consequences of suboptimal decisions can be severe. Chinese invest much time in risk-reducing analysis.
Americans believe that there are no decisions without risk. Often the higher the risk, the greater the reward. A bad decision is almost always better than no decision. Americans are risk takers. Only poor analysis and/or poor judgement is punished.
Americans are too risky. Their proposals do not address risk sufficiently. We check carefully numbers and underlying assumptions. Americans are too optimistic.
The Chinese are too risk-averse. They are a deeply sceptical, untrusting people. Too many questions asked. Too much date required. And often they keep restating their reservations.
Advice to Americans
Focus on minimizing risk as much as possible. Protect key people from negative consequences. Always evaluate what you are proposing from multiple angles. Help Chinese decision-makers to evaluate the risk involved.
Advice to Chinese
Yes, focus on the risk involved in what you are proposing.
But do not overstate that risk. Focus more on potential benefits. Provide all information needed to calculate the risk. You will seldom be blaimed for a suboptimal decision.
Back to Persuasion ch:us