I felt this was a seasonal post.

Around the Christmas season, we endeavor to think the best of others.

Charity goes the extra mile for our fellow man.

We’re all working with people we never actually see. Be they suppliers, logistic providers or service companies.

Do we ever find ourselves being a respecter persons? In other words, we need to ask ourselves if we play favorites.

A simpler way to word this to self would be “hey self, do I treat others like an ass?”

Attitude Chameleon

These are people who have different attitudes towards different people. They prioritize rank on who’s deserving super polite human treatment.

In my 18 years of China sourcing I’ve seen this sort of lack of professionalism 1000 times…

Here’s just 1 type example:

Over the years I’ve seen buyers accidentally email my office and my colleagues. Unbeknownst to them, communication was below the email where they were speaking with THEIR CUSTOMERS. In other words they didn’t delete the forwarded email.

No problem, it happens.

What we noticed, was the difference in speech and professionalism they put towards their clients.

It was as if they were different people.

The politeness, the overboard service…I mean it was great.

But when they emailed my colleagues, in this case, Chinese staff, it was a completely different.

I don’t just mean one time

It was over periods of working with them.

It was how they would habitually treat their vendors.



Supposing nefarious plots at every obstacle.

Flat out rudeness.

You won’t get far in offshore sourcing and cross cultural communication acting like this

Believe me when I say this. After my years of working offshore manufacturing, being an ass to your service providers and vendors will cause:

  • Production problems. You’d be surprised how our mental is connected to our physical. As bad vibes spread over communication, it actually affects production quality. Equip your supplier to be a better partner.
  • You will have no favor. You won’t have the boldness and assurance of asking your supplier for special help. When a supplier is demotivated, getting help is like pulling teeth.
  • More resistance from the factory to low minimums. Small buyers pay attention. The lower your quantities, the nicer you should be. This is human nature. If large amounts of money change hands, we can take more from the customer. But even this has its limits.
  • People will be glad to serve you. You’ll stand out from other buyers.

An expert habit in working cross-culturally is to build a repertoire with your counterparts.

You want to create goodwill.

Garner favor and give favor.

Why? Just so you can get what you want?


But you also do it, because kindness is the rule of the day.

If you expect professionalism and politeness, you sow the same.

Remember, we’re all part of the human race and we all share the basic trials and tribulations.

Your factory contact also wants to grow; feed their family, earn some money.

Are they any less important than your client?

Or than the people that buy your product off the shelf?

Imagine, in the spirit of transparency, your brand or your buyers saw how you spoke with your vendors? Would you want that information to be revealed to your market? Or to the world?

With social media, transparency continues tightens it’s hold.

It may behoove us in 2019 to start doing all things as if all eyes are on us.

That can make us standout.

It’ll make us be on our best behavior.

Our best behavior pays off while others stumble.

But we don’t necessarily do it to “get ahead”. We do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Will end this with Holy Writ:

Luke 2:14 KJV Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Merry Christmas.