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Abstract

How we voice our disagreements may say a lot about our cultural influences. Confrontations are not always angry fights; sometimes they happen when there is a need to deliver bad news, or to say no to what another person is asking of you. Many managers ask questions such as 'What is the right way to say no to a boss?' 'What is the right way to challenge or oppose someone else's opinion?' 'What is the right way to deliver criticism to a colleague?' The answer to these questions depends to an extent on the context. And one important element of context is whether the parties are from direct- or indirect-confrontation cultures. This technical note offers insight and research on distinguishing the difference between the two and strategies to pick up on and appropriately interpret expressions of confrontation in a way that allows you to respond effectively.

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Abstract

How we voice our disagreements may say a lot about our cultural influences. Confrontations are not always angry fights; sometimes they happen when there is a need to deliver bad news, or to say no to what another person is asking of you. Many managers ask questions such as 'What is the right way to say no to a boss?' 'What is the right way to challenge or oppose someone else's opinion?' 'What is the right way to deliver criticism to a colleague?' The answer to these questions depends to an extent on the context. And one important element of context is whether the parties are from direct- or indirect-confrontation cultures. This technical note offers insight and research on distinguishing the difference between the two and strategies to pick up on and appropriately interpret expressions of confrontation in a way that allows you to respond effectively.

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