Cross-cultural management and communication, although recognized as one of the key competencies of the 21st century manager, is often underestimated.

This article is about one of the most important, and at the same time one of the most ignored, competencies of the 21st century manager in Poland and other places in the world.

Some time ago the leading Polish HR portal started publishing a series of my articles called “Cross-cultural roller coaster”. The publication was in Polish, so I could not fully share it with many of you. Thanks to my daughter Aga Zyzanska, it is now translated to English and I am proud to share it with my non-Polish speaking friends.

The concept of “having face” is a valuable asset, which one builds through relations with others and fulfilling ones role in society, in the firm, family, or circle of acquaintances. The phenomenon of “losing face” exists throughout the whole world, as in the end no one likes to be looked down upon, embarrassed, and humiliated. However the importance of “having face” is much more significant in the East than in the West.

In my previous articles I discussed themes associated with awareness of ones own culture, one’s distance towards a superior, and the meaning of “having face”. Today we’ll consider the attitude towards time in different cultures, and the associated traps encountered when working in international teams.