My son’s name is Kaka
Here is another story from China. I was meeting with a Chinese business owner and we were getting to know one another. In an effort to build the relationship and develop a better understanding of each other, I asked him about his family. He started to tell me about the various family members, and when he came to his son, he told me that his son’s name is “Kaka.” He quickly followed it up with, “I think that means _hit in English.” Although that remark might seem “politically incorrect” and/or inappropriate in a business conversation here in the U.S., we had a good laugh and it definitely helped break the ice in a new relationship. This gentleman’s knowledge of our culture enabled him to use humor to make a connection and build a bridge. It reminded me of how important humor can be (I do not mean sarcasm, obscenity, or biting comments, but down-to-earth and genuine humor). Does your company culture make room for a healthy dose of humor when warranted?