Leadership Course for Chinese Government Delegation - November 17th 2013


I am running a leadership course for The Office of Scientific & Technological Industry of National Defence in Sichuan Province. The focus is on the differences in British and Chinese business leadership models and I also have to provide communication strategies to help enhance trade opportunities. The group has little English (and I have no Chinese) but the translator is brilliant and we are able to explore all topics are thoroughly. I discover that a side aim of everyone is to improve their English so I set them overnight tasks of saying hello to everyone they see in the hotel and making lots of small requests to the staff. Everyone does their homework diligently and tell me that they also stopped several people to ask for directions to the Chinese restaurant they were eating dinner at. I am delighted. We spend the last hour of day two with them practicing questions to ask in English at their upcoming visit to the National Science Institute. Having learnt that Chengdu is famous for both Giant Pandas and Shu Brocade I am glad at the end of the  course to be presented with an exquisitely embroidered panel of the latter, much easier to get home on the train.

 

Am pleased to tell BBC’s Head of Ethical Sourcing not one single text sent during the sessions. Thanks to my friends at Aspire Leadership for inviting me to lead the course for them. 

The delegates present me with a Shu Brocade panel from their home city of Chengdu

The delegates present me with a Shu Brocade panel from their home city of Chengdu

Learning Chinese at the Gherkin - November 4th 2013

Today I have a Chinese Lesson from David Halford, the BBC’s Head of Ethical Sourcing, at the top of the Gherkin. We only have 30 minutes so I know I’m not going to master the language but what I do hope to gain is vital etiquette tips ahead of my leadership course for a delegation from The Office of Scientific & Technological Industry of National Defence in Sichuan Province next week.

David tells me that the two-handed business card offering is key, as is studying both the front and back of the cards with interest. I can do that. I mustn’t mind that the delegates talk or text during the sessions, this is quite normal he tells me (my view is always that as the presenter I should be so very interesting and engaging that no-one even thinks of doing so – but I haven't presented to wholly Chinese audiences before so we’ll see.)