Saving Face

How to Preserve Dignity and Build Trust

Maya Hu-Chan

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, June 2020

Organizations now need to attract, retain, and motivate teams and employees across distance, time zones, and cultural differences. Building authentic and lasting human relations may be the most important calling for leaders in this century. According to management and global leadership specialist Maya Hu-Chan, the concept of “saving face” can help any leader preserve dignity and create more empathetic cross-cultural relationships.

“Face” represents one’s self-esteem, self-worth, identity, reputation, status, pride, and dignity. Saving face is often understood as saving someone from embarrassment, but it’s also about developing an understanding of the background and motivations of others to discover the unique facets we all possess. Without that understanding, we risk causing others to lose face without even knowing it. Hu-Chan explains saving face through anecdotes and practical tools, such as her BUILD leadership model (Benevolence, Understanding, Interacting, Learning, and Delivery). This book illustrates how we can give face to create positive first impressions, avoid causing others to lose face, and, most importantly, build trust and lasting relationships inside and outside the workplace.

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About the Author

Maya Hu-Chan is a globally recognized management consultant, executive coach, author, and speaker. She is the founder and president of Global Leadership Associates. Hu-Chan was an anchor for the Broadcasting Corporation of China in Taiwan, CEO of a nonprofit organization in California, and columnist for Inc. She has trained and coached thousands of leaders from Fortune 500 corporations, nonprofits, and public sectors in North America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Latin America and is the coauthor of Global Leadership: The Next Generation.