Archive for February, 2014

Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos: Communication Guidelines for MALAYSIA

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z: MALAYSIA Malaysia

The article series ‘Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos’ is a brief synopsis of conversation guidelines, tips for successful communication, and some strategies for business that will help increase your understanding of different cultures. Keep in mind that we are homogenizing as a “global culture”, and as we change and evolve these cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is always the first step!

While first names are more frequently being used in business, some businesspeople prefer to be introduced with a name and title (Professor or Doctor), or surnames such as “Mr.” or “Ms.”. Titles and surnames are definitely less important with younger businesspeople.

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy of nine royal houses. Foreigners are likely to encounter one of them eventually. Ask a native how a particular royal should be addressed.

Although most Malaysians are Muslim, not all of Malaysia follows the traditional Islamic working week where Friday is the Islamic holy day and the weekend takes place on Thursday and Friday. Some Malaysian states follow the Islamic workweek of Saturday through Wednesday. These include Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, and Johor. The Malaysian capital city, Kuala Lumpur, is in the state of Selangor where the working week is Monday through Friday.

Since most of the country is Muslim, it is helpful to schedule meetings around prayer times. Friday at noon is a particularly busy time for prayers.

The majority of Malaysian businesspeople are Chinese, and you can expect them to be punctual. Many government officials are ethnic Malays who have more of a relaxed attitude toward time. Business travelers are expected to be on time, although ethnic Malaysians may not necessarily do the same.

Indian Malaysians are Malaysians of Indian origin. Many are descendants from those who migrated from India during the British colonization. The Indian’s perspective on time is similar to that of the Malaysians, although the Indian professionals you encounter will expect punctuality.

Alcohol will not be served at any social event hosted by observant Muslims. Expect that meals will be served close to the time given on the invitation.

With the exception of handshakes, there is no public contact between the sexes in Malaysia. Hugging and kissing, even between husbands and wives, is forbidden in public.

Physical contact between the same sexes is perfectly acceptable. Men may be holding hands with men or even walking with their arms around each other. These actions are interpreted as gestures of friendship.

When you are being introduced to a Malaysian woman, shake hands with her only if she has extended her hand. If she does not extend her hand just smile and a nod to greet her.

When introducing a man and a woman, the female’s name should be said first. As in many other countries, when presenting a higher-ranking person to a more junior person, the senior person’s name is said first.

Out of deference, give a slight bow to elderly people you are introduced to. Keep your hands out of your pockets when in public. When exiting a room, say “Excuse me” and add a slight bow.

When you must indicate something or someone, use the entire right hand (palm out). You can also point with your right thumb, as long as all four fingers are curled down. It is considered rude to point at anyone with the forefinger. Malays use the forefinger only to point at animals.

When passing an object, reaching for something or touching someone, do so with your right hand. The left hand is considered unclean.

Feet are also believed to be unclean. Never point your feet at another person. Apologize whenever your shoes or feet touch another person. Don’t show the soles of your feet or shoes. You may cross your legs at the knee, but not place one ankle on your knee.

5 Key Topics to Use in Conversation

  • Your Malaysian host’s family, heritage and culture
  • Business and plans for the future
  • Praising the local cuisine
  • Malaysian culture, art, and music
  • Sports, especially soccer which they call ‘football’

5 Keys Topics to Avoid in Conversation

  • Criticizing any aspect of Malaysian culture
  • Comparing life in Malaysia to life in the West
  • Politics, bureaucracy, and religion
  • Ethnic relationships in Malaysia
  • Sex and roles of the sexes

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for MEXICO!

To learn more about the communication and business styles of Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East order my book ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Cross-Cultural Communication’ from AMAZON!

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Check out the Article Archive ‘Cultural Clues Do’s and Taboos’ for countries you may have missed!

 

Website: www.gaylecotton.com

MEDIA: Newsroom/Media/Interviews

Circles Of Excellence website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming on: My blog

Cross-cultural article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos for MALAYSIA

Coming on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

Cross-cultural article: Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for SCOTLAND

Article archive for what you missed! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos

Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton, for your next meeting or conference to help you or your company become more successful in today’s global business marketplace. Gayle is the author of the bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communications’ and President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire audiences of any size with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications and social business etiquette! Gayle travels worldwide from business bases in Texas and Switzerland as a distinguished professional keynote speaker.

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Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos: Communication Guidelines for JORDAN

Posted on February 14, 2014 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z: JORDAN Jordan

The article series ‘Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos’ is a brief synopsis of conversation guidelines, tips for successful communication, and some strategies for business that will help increase your understanding of different cultures. Keep in mind that we are homogenizing as a “global culture”, and as we change and evolve these cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is the first step!

Being on time for appointments is one thing that Jordanians admire in westerners, so it is helpful for you to do so. However, it is typical of Jordanians to be around a half hour late.

During the month of Ramadan, business hours are shortened and work ends about two or three in the afternoon.

Jordanians normally mix personal conversation with business. A little personal conversation will help with rapport and relationship building.

A loud voice may be considered domineering so don’t speak overly loud. Jordanians can be emotional in their conversation so show some emotion, just don’t raise your voice too much when you do.

It is quite normal to talk about money, wages, how and how much you pay for things, or how old you are. However, it is considered impolite to discuss your relationship with your spouse.

Compliment giving is like entertainment, a source of pride, and done with good sportsmanship. Giving compliments is an important part of relationship building.

Avoid all derogatory humor, even with friends. Personal put-downs, criticism and sarcasm are not well accepted.

Avoid making comments on current political events. The perspectives of the east and the west can be very divisive.

Honor is very important in the Jordanian culture. Questioning the honor of someone is a sure way to destroy the relationship.

Lots of titles are used in Jordan. Social standing is based on the level of education, age, military rank, tribal position, and political office.

Negotiating a deal is one of the things Jordanians love most. It is like a sport and they thoroughly enjoy it, so have fun with it! One of their mottos is, “Everything is always negotiable”.

Your first meeting should start with full introductions and the exchange of business cards. Every other meeting should also include formal greetings. This is an important part of relationship building and the foundation of business.

Business moves at different speeds, it can be quite slow or move quickly depending on the situation. Excessive stalling is a polite way of saying that there is no interest in continuing the business discussion.

Jordanians stand closer than most westerners are used to, so stand about half the distance apart as you typically would in western cultures.

Patting or holding the arm or shoulder can be a sign of affection, acceptance, or an offer of assistance.

Holding hands indicates emotional attachment and is appropriate among good friends or relatives of the same sex.

5 Key Topics to Use in Conversation

  • Sincere personal compliments
  • Praising the Jordanian hospitality
  • Social conversation on topics of mutual interest and vision
  • History, language, culture, art, music
  • Sports, especially soccer which they call ‘football’

5 Keys Topics to Avoid in Conversation

  • Current events and politics
  • Religious preferences
  • Eastern versus western philosophies
  • Anything that negatively affects personal honor and pride
  • Criticism of any type

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for MALAYSIA!

To learn more about the communication and business styles of Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East order my book ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Cross-Cultural Communication’ from AMAZON! 

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Check out the Article Archive ‘Cultural Clues Do’s and Taboos’ for countries you may have missed!

Website: www.gaylecotton.com

MEDIA: Newsroom/Media/Interviews

Circles Of Excellence website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming on: My blog

Cross-cultural article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos for JORDAN

Coming on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

Cross-cultural article: Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for SCOTLAND

Article archive for what you missed! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos

Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton, for your next meeting or conference to help you or your company become more successful in today’s global business marketplace. Gayle is the author of the bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communications’ and President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire audiences of any size with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications and social business etiquette! Gayle travels worldwide from business bases in Texas and Switzerland as a distinguished professional keynote speaker.

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My Interview on About.com for ‘Tips on Doing Business in India’ is posted!

Posted on February 1, 2014 by Leave a comment

ABOUT.COM: ‘Cultural Tips’ for Doing Business in INDIAIndia

My interview on cross-cultural business and travel tips for India is featured on About.com at the following links:

Interview Links:

Business Travel Tips for India

http://businesstravel.about.com/od/resources/fl/Business-Travel-Tips-for-India.htm

To learn more about the communication and business styles of Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, order my book ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Cross-Cultural Communication’ from Amazon!

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The Cross of Cross-Cultural

 

Website: www.gaylecotton.com 

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming on my blog

Cross-cultural article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos on JAPAN

Coming on the Circles Of Excellence blog

Cross-cultural article: Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos on SAUDI ARABIA

Check out the Articles ArchiveCultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos’  for countries you may have missed!

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