備忘録 印象深い日々の出来事や、気付き等を記す

Review of 'Watching the English'

I started to read this book to work smoothly with British colleagus, customers, and any other stakeholders. Although this is about English people, technically speaking not about overall British people, it was informative. Especially the following topics left the biggest impression on me (there are lots of other usefule rules, but what I remember now are the follows) :

  • The importance of not being earnest
Sincerity is allowed, but Earnestness is strictly forbidden.
  • Weather-speak
English weather-speak is a form of code, evolved to help us overcome our natural reserve and actually talk to each other. It is a form of ‘grooming talk’ - the human equivalent of what is known as ‘social grooming’  among our primate cousins
  • The money-talk taboo
English just cannot talk about money face-to-face, you have to do it in writing. It can be explained, at some extent, with reference to other basic rules of Englishness to do with modesty, private, polite egalitarianism, and other forms of hypocrisy.
Of course these rules cannnot be applied to all English people, it depends on individuals, but these information was very helpful, because some of them are difficult for me - Japanese person - to expect.
For example, Japanse encourage to be the earnest. We sometimes even pretend to be the earnest to leave the good impression on others. However, in UK, I should not say 'I will do my best!!!' to appeal my motivation to my boss.
I need to observe colleagus carefully and consider how to behave so that I make them feel unconfortable.
Again I realized that how great this experience is. I will never experience this concerns if I keep working in Japan... I want to maximize this as much as possible... :)