Acceptance entails a readiness to listen to a partner’s ideas, wishes and needs and to positively accept both the partner and his/her views, even though they may differ considerably from one’s own. Conveying any degree of superiority in relation to the partner and his/her views can be highly detrimental; a sense of mutual acceptance is needed for smooth working relations.
This is often very difficult to achieve, yet lower degrees of acceptance can still be valuable. Genuine acceptance (despite different viewpoints) is the ideal to aim for, but surface acceptance is usually better than outright hostility.
Case Study Example: Surface Acceptance
One of the project teams decided to divide up the work by module, with one module being developed by a Chinese partner and two other modules being developed by British members. The British members soon found that they disagreed strongly with the style of the Chinese partner’s materials. They provided feedback and were told that he was ‘honoured to receive it’; yet they never saw whether he had done anything with it. In the end, the British members simply decided that the three modules would be written in significantly different styles. For the sake of smooth relations, they accepted their differing viewpoints over materials design.