Morris (US) has just finished a late night of work with Jean-Marie, his visiting colleague from France. Morris said: “next time you visit the USA, you should come over to my home for dinner”. Jean-Marie wonders how Morris can be so dishonest, since Jean Marie has already been in the USA for ten days without having been invited.
Art (US) asked Wang (China) “what does this quarter look like” on a concall with 6 other participants . Wang said “looks good”. After the concall, Wang called Art and told him that the quarter looked bad. Art told himself that Wang cannot be trusted as he is a pathological fibber.
Oya (Japan) call Max in Detroit and told him emotionally, “Max-san, if you do not fly over 3 engineers now to Japan, the customer will throw us out”. Max thought to himself, “Oya always bs’s to get me to act with a false sense of urgency because he thinks we so not care about his Japanese customer”.
Peter (UK) told Moshe (Israel) that “that’s a good idea which needs more work”. Moshe wrote off Peter as a sweet-talking phony.
Stan (US) told Miyamoto (Japan) that the product was “commercially deployable”. When 4000 bugs were discovered, Miyamoto thought he had been stung because Stan claimed the bugs were not “revenue impacting”.
Bill (US) corrected Zhang (China) in front of Zhang” subordinates on a minor factual issue. Zhang believes Bill’s “vulgar correction” means than he has lost Bill’s trust, because face to Zhang is a more important truth than stupid facts.
So, when working globally, leave your personal judgement about truth at home. Understand the cultural context which basically says, truths are often culturally defined artifacts.