No news is good news

Working with a multi-cultural team is very interesting. For the past few years, I have been interacting with collaborators who have a different cultural background than me and also spread geographically all over the world. Recently a French collaborator  shared his viewpoints about his Indian counterparts with me. He has been interacting with his Indian counterparts for over an year now.

Despite a grueling experience, the French collaborator wishes for a hassle free interaction between his team and the Indian counterparts. If you want everything to work smoothly, all nasty surprises have to be identified at the onset and addressed. He explained the French culture using a proverb “Pas de nouvelle, bonne nouvelle”. This translates to “No news is good news. In the past few months, he has come to the conclusion his Indian counterparts are the opposite. For Indians, no news does not translate to good news. It might be the mighty silence before a catastrophe.

Of late, he has been looking actively for the silent topics which are never discussed in meetings. He deliberately brings it up to check if all is well.

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Tags: Musings,Indian,French


  1. A very good observation.

    So I hope things are working out now.

  2. My God! I read the title, and it reminded me of my father, for his favorite proverb is "No news is good news". But it is true with Indians it could very well be very bad news.
    Happy Mother's day.

  3. @Dominic - It is too early to say. :)

    @Rama - I need to tell my friends that even Indians use this idiom! They might not practice this. But they do use it. :)

  4. I was speaking to a potential client from Netherlands recently and he said almost a similar thing. He said, "Indians never say no, and I love to hear no as an answer, it helps me plan things better."


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