Korean senior junior relationship

5) Language and Culture: Honorifics | Korean

korean senior junior relationship

denotes intimacy and closeness. In the same way, retaining honorifics in a senior /junior relationship can create a big sibling/little sibling sense of comradery. [Pann] Senior/junior relationships within college majors Seniors think they look intimidating or something but other majors laugh at them. 3. [+15 . now i understand why a lot of koreans are studying here in our country's big. The bow is the traditional Korean greeting, although it is often accompanied Direct eye contact between junior and senior businesspeople should be Building trust and relationships is vital to establishing a successful business relationship.

The establishment of hierarchy according to age is derivative of Confucian thought, where a younger person owes their senior respect and an older person owes their junior concern.

While this of course exists in many other cultures, it is not so entrenched in the language, mannerisms and every day interactions as it is in Korea. This is why Korean people are so quick to ask you your age — not because they are nosy but because it is important in deciding how one regards and addresses another person.

This is the case all the way across society, because whether you are older or younger than someone determines the relationship you have with them, and the way in which you address and speak to them.

Therefore determining how old someone is has to be done quickly and right when you meet a new person. The method of counting age is different as well — your Korean age will always be either one or two years more than your real age.

The Senior-Junior Relationship in Korea - Nojeok Hill: My View from the Top

How do you count Korean age? Getting your head around Korean age can be a bit strange at first: Your Korean age will therefore always be either one or two years older than your actual age. Here are a couple of examples to demonstrate how it works: Theoretically, you can be two when you are only, say, six weeks old. A baby born at the end of December is already one. There is no good translation into English because the concept is not really a part of Western culture. Koreans will typically say "my senior" and "my junior" when speaking English even though these expressions sound awkward to Western ears.

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  • The Senior-Junior Relationship in Korea

A senior is regarded sort of like an older brother or sister and is expected to provide support and guidance to juniors. A junior is like a younger brother or sister and is expected to show respect by speaking in a more respectful form of Korean.

Juniors and seniors can become close friends but depending on the circumstances, the heirarchical nature of the relationship can bring about a different dynamic than ordinary friendships in the West.

Korean honorifics

Socializing is an important part of building a strong senior-junior relationship. The senior can expect to spend more money on the relationship than he gets spent on him by his junior. And in some cases, the junior can expect to spend considerable time carrying out tasks for his senior with no or little direct reward. Address him as Mr.

Lee or Lee Sonsaengnim which means "teacher".


Body Language Koreans consider it a personal violation to be touched by someone who is not a relative or close friend. Avoid touching, patting or back slapping a Korean. Direct eye contact between junior and senior businesspeople should be avoided. This is seen as impolite or even as a challenge.

Do not cross your legs or stretch your legs out straight in front of you.

korean senior junior relationship

Keep your feet on the floor, never on a desk or chair. Always pass and receive objects with your right hand supported by the left hand at the wrist or forearm or with two hands. To beckon someone, extend your arm, palm down, and move your fingers in a scratching motion. Never point with your index finger. Corporate Culture Koreans expect Westerners to be punctual for social occasions and business meetings. Call if you will be delayed. However, you may be kept waiting up to a half hour.

korean senior junior relationship

This is not a sign of disrespect, but reflects the pressure of time on Korean executives. Professionals meeting for the first time usually exchange business cards.

Present your card and receive your colleague's card with both hands. Building trust and relationships is vital to establishing a successful business relationship. Koreans prefer to do business with people they know. The first meeting is to establish trust, so business should not be discussed. Be formal in meetings until the Korean delegation loosens up. Negotiations are generally long and require several trips.

Be prepared for business meetings to go well beyond business hours. Koreans generally start negotiations at an unreasonable position and prepare to compromise. Koreans are tough negotiators and admire a firm, persistent negotiator, but refrain from being too aggressive.

A low, deep bow from Koreans at the end of a meeting indicates a successful meeting. A quick, short parting bow could mean dissatisfaction with meetings. Send a meeting review outlining all discussions and agreements to your Korean counterpart after you leave Korea.

Make several visits during negotiations and after business is established. Instead of saying "Could we sign the agreement by next Friday? Your business success is directly related to your social relationships. Do not pour your own drink, but do offer to pour others'. It is common to trade and fill each other's cup.