Author Archive

New Interview on Voyage Dallas Magazine! “Meet Gayle Cotton of Circles Of Excellence”

Posted on July 26, 2017 by Leave a comment

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gayle Cotton

Gayle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

My background is in Humanities and Behavioral Science, with an emphasis on Neuro-Science and Cultural Science.

In the early nineties, a California-based company asked me for my expertise and help with training programs at Citibank in Zurich, Switzerland. The training went very well, and I was soon traveling regularly to Zurich, and Geneva as well, to facilitate training programs with other U.S. based companies in Switzerland.

Within a year, I was asked by a training company in Geneva to move there and develop Management, Marketing, Presentation Skills and Cross-Cultural courses for The United Nations and international companies throughout Europe and around the world. It was a fantastic opportunity, so off to Geneva I went!

Read on here… Article Link: http://voyagedallas.com/interview/meet-gayle-cotton-circles-excellence-plano/

To learn more about Gayle Cotton or Circles Of Excellence and how we can help you, please visit www.gaylecotton.com and www.circlesofexcellence.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Watch the ‘Say Anything-5 Keys’ Video

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural training. She is a leader in the field of public speakers, motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers, and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Leadership Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized training programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Teambuilding, and Time Management Training.

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

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New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Posted on May 24, 2017 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z

It’s easy for business travelers to think that even when they travel, business is going to be done pretty much the same way it is at home. But that’s not always the case. Cultural differences can have a big impact on global business etiquette. That’s why it’s important for business travelers to make sure that they understand the culture of the country that they’re doing business in.

The interview on cultural travel tips for the UAE is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for the UAE, tips for communicating in the UAE and business strategies for the UAE to help with understanding the culture in the UAE. It’s important to keep in mind that as we homogenize as a ‘global culture’, cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is the first step when it comes to cultural do’s and taboos for the UAE and tips for intercultural communication!

Cultural Tips for the UAE – including some valuable business travel tips for the UAE!

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is very progressive, modern, and the most westernized of all the Arabic countries.

In the UAE, each of the seven United Arab Emirates is a sovereign principality ruled by the head of the leading family of the tribe that first settled there.

Tourist visas are available and a single visa is valid for all seven emirates. The national airline, Emirates, is renowned for excellent service.

Islam is the official religion. Because of the relatively small indigenous population [especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi], however, the western visitor does not feel its influence as much as elsewhere in Arabia, except during the fast of Ramadhan.

The official language is Arabic but Farsi heavily influences the local dialect, making it sound strange at first. English, Farsi, Urdu and Hindi are also widely spoken.

The UAE encourages foreign enterprise, and many businesses are foreign owned and run. You just need to satisfy the financial criteria to open a business there.

Business etiquette varies according to nationality, but following the general guidelines when dealing with people from anywhere in Arabia is helpful.

Appropriate business dress for men is shirt and trousers during the day with collar and tie in the evening. Traditional robes are also popular and suitable for the climate

Business women are more common than in other Arabic countries, and need not dress as modestly as elsewhere in Arabia. Typical western business attire is appropriate as long as it’s not too revealing.

Business cards are commonly exchanged but not essential. English language cards are fine, but it’s a nice gesture to have Arabic printed on one side.

Detailed brochures and material should be printed in Arabic, either with or without an English translation.

Gifts are challenging, because virtually everything can be purchased there less expensively than elsewhere in the world. Gifts must also be the very best affordable. It’s wise to research gifts in advance to make sure they’re appropriate and will be appreciated.

As in the west, the basic working week is 5 days, save that the week begins on Saturday instead of Monday.

Generally, businesses in the UAE open at about nine in the morning, close for most of the afternoon and then re-open from late afternoon until mid-evening.

Although prayer times vary around the year, current ones are always printed in the daily newspapers and the visitor should keep abreast of them when making appointments.

If a meeting room is carpeted, it’s common to remove shoes and leave them outside to avoid bringing in impurities and making the room unclean for prayer.

At the start of a meeting, shake hands with the most senior person first, usually, but not always, the host. Then make your way around the room in an anti-clockwise direction, shaking hands with each person in turn before taking your seat.

If there are more than fifty or so people in the room, there may be a consensus to shake hands with the host and wave a greeting to the others.

Once seated, crossing legs is perfectly acceptable, provided you do not direct the sole of the foot to an individual, which is a ‘go away’ gesture.

Business initially proceeds more slowly than in the west, and then often unexpectedly speed up as business dealings solidify.

There may be several meetings required in the discussion phase, and then negotiations may be swift but not necessarily easy.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • General questions such as “How are you” are often used.
  • The UAE is an oasis of variety and modernism and this is always a good topic of discussion.
  • Intelligent argument is admired and welcome, but only if it is courteous and reasoned.
  • Do not change the topic of conversation except by logical opportunity or invitation.
  • The more feedback you provide, even if it’s forceful so long as it is not angry, the more highly you are esteemed

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Quarreling with anger is regarded totally differently than intelligent argument and should be avoided.
  • When seated opposite someone, don’t sit with your legs apart, or cross your legs where the sole of your shoe is pointed at someone because this is considered an insult.
  • If you continually agree with someone, and are afraid to offer a differing opinion, they may begin to doubt your sincerity.
  • The UAE is very cosmopolitan, so to avoid offending be sure your manners and cultural etiquette adapt to the nationality of who you are with.
  • Since the UAE is primarily a Muslim country, before suggesting alcoholic drinks with someone be sure that they drink.

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for the United States of America (USA)!

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the cultural communication styles for Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Watch the ‘Say Anything-5 Keys’ Video

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural training. She is a leader in the field of public speakers, motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers, and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Leadership Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized training programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Teambuilding, and Time Management Training.

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for TURKEY

Posted on April 20, 2017 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for TURKEY – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z

It’s easy for business travelers to think that even when they travel, business is going to be done pretty much the same way it is at home. But that’s not always the case. Cultural differences can have a big impact on global business etiquette. That’s why it’s important for business travelers to make sure that they understand the culture of the country that they’re doing business in.

The interview on cultural travel tips for Turkey is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Turkey, tips for communicating in Turkey, and business strategies for Turkey to help with understanding the culture in Turkey. It’s important to keep in mind that as we homogenize as a ‘global culture’, cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is the first step when it comes to cultural do’s and taboos for Turkey and tips for intercultural communication!

Cultural Tips for Turkey – including some valuable business travel tips for Turkey!

In Turkey, your success is defined by your ability to build effective personal relationships combined with a clearly outlined and well-presented proposal.

Business is personal. Although this is changing with the influx of big multi-nationals and a more corporate culture in some of the larger companies, many businesses are still family owned and run.

Where professional titles exist, such as Doctor or Professor, always use them.

Business dress is somewhat conservative, so you will be expected to wear a suit and tie. Similarly, women should wear fashionable professional outfits.

In the summer, especially in the cities of Istanbul, Izmir and Anakara, the weather is very hot and humid so it is acceptable for men to wear a shirt with trousers and in most cases not to wear a tie.

There is a West-East divide in Turkey on the issue of Islam. Generally, the Eastern Turks are a lot more conservative due to their closer adherence to Islamic values. Western Turks, especially those in Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir are usually a lot more westernized. Islam takes on more of a cultural feel rather than a religious one. Depending on where you are, be careful how you approach any topic about Islam.

Turks will want to do business with those they like, trust, feel comfortable with and with those that can provide a long-term relationship.

The first meeting should be solely focused on getting to know each other. Once a relationship has been established, you can safely move on to business matters.

When meeting, shake hands firmly. When departing, it is not always customary to shake hands–although it is occasionally done so follow the cues. Friends and relatives will greet each other with either one or two kisses on the cheek.

When entering a room, if you are not automatically met by someone, greet the most elderly or most senior first. At social occasions, greet the person closest to you, then work your way around the room or table counter-clockwise.

Holding hands with someone from the opposite sex is acceptable in the cities and vacation areas. In rural Turkey and the East, this would be frowned upon.

The Turkish gestures for ‘yes’ and ‘no’ can be quite confusing. ‘Yes’ is indicated with a nod of the head upwards, while ‘no’ is also an upward nod but accompanied by the raising of the eyebrows. A sure sign that a ‘no’ is meant is if it is accompanied with a hissing of the teeth.

Queues do not operate as they do in the US or Europe. It is not uncommon for people to jump queues or even go straight to the front. It is best to be patient and politely point out that you were in the line before them–although most of the time this will make little difference.

Turks are very astute businesspeople. Ensure any proposal clearly demonstrates the mutual benefit and profitability of any agreement or partnership.

When negotiating, the Turks may start at extremes to gage your response. Prior to negotiations know your target figure and work slowly towards it through meaningful concessions.

It may not always be necessary to focus solely on financial benefits when negotiating. It is Also useful to point to areas such as power, influence, honor, respect and other non-monetary incentives.

Decision making can be slower than in many other cultures. It is likely that you will meet and negotiate with less senior members of the company first. Once you seen as trustworthy and your proposal financially viable, you will move on more senior leaders. A decision is ultimately made by the most senior in charge.

Most business entertaining will take place in restaurants. Turks enjoy food, and the meal is a time for relaxing and engaging in some good conversation outside of business.

The protocol of Turkish hospitality is that the host always pays for the meal. The concept of sharing a bill is completely alien to them. You may try and offer to pay to be polite, but you will likely not be allowed to do so. The best policy is graciously to thank the host, then a few days later invite the host to dinner at a restaurant of your choice and inform the restaurant manager that they are not accept payment from your guests.

Evening meals may be accompanied by some alcohol, however since many Turks don’t drink be sure to let your host be the guide on this. Tea or Turkish coffee is served at the end of a meal, sometimes with pastries. Turkish coffee is a national drink and should at least be sampled.

If you visit a mosque, never enter with your shoes on. There is always a rack where shoes can be kept. Make sure your feet are clean and will not bring in dust or mud. Men should not wear shorts and must wear a shirt or t-shirt. Women should be covered fully, especially their hair. If you do not have a scarf, ask an attendant as some are usually put aside for foreign visitors.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • Asking about family is good if it’s not prying. Questions about children is welcomed.
  • The Turks are proud of their country and will enjoy answering questions on their culture and history, although it’s best to avoid political history.
  • Turkey is a beautiful and most interesting country with many notable places or of interest to visit, so be sure to ask about the things to see in your location – which the Turks will love to share pointers about.
  • The marvelous seafood and cuisine is always a good topic of discussion.
  • Most Turks love football (soccer), and will enthusiastically discuss their favorite team!

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Outside the big cities, especially in the East of Turkey, both women and men should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops due to the adherence to Islamic values.
  • When seated opposite someone, don’t sit with your legs apart, or cross your legs where the sole of your shoe is pointed at someone because this is considered an insult.
  • Avoid giving opinions over sensitive issues involving Turkey, especially Turk-Kurdish relations and current issues with the EU.
  • Turkey has had a turbulent political history which may be best left in the past. Avoid this topic unless they bring it up first, and then listen rather than give opinions.
  • Since Turkey is primarily a Muslim country, before suggesting alcoholic drinks with someone be sure that they drink.

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for THAILAND!

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the cultural communication styles for Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Watch the ‘Say Anything-5 Keys’ Video

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural training. She is a leader in the field of public speakers, motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers, and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Leadership Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized training programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Teambuilding, and Time Management Training.

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day Phrases & Pronunciation in Gaelic!

Posted on March 9, 2017 by Leave a comment

Saint Patrick’s Day Blessing On You! (plural) – Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh! Ban-ick-tee na fay-lah pwad-rig or-iv

Health and Wealth! – Sláinte is táinte! slawn-chah iss tan-chah

Luck of the Irish! – Ádh na nÉireannach! ah na nare-in-ack

Kiss me, I’m Irish! – Tabhair póg dom, is Éireannach mé! Toe-er pog do, iss air-in-ack may

Saint Patrick’s Day Blessing On You! (singular) – Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig ort! Ban-ick-tee na fay-lah pwad-rig ort

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (plural) – Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh! La ale-lah pwad-rig son-ah jeev

See more fun St. Patrick’s Day phrases on the Circles Of Excellence Blog! www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the cultural communication styles for Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Watch the ‘Say Anything-5 Keys’ Video

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or professional keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural communication training and cross-cultural training programs. She is a leader in the field of professional public speakers, professional motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers, and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized training programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership and Management, Presentation Skills, Sales and Negotiations, Stress Management, Teambuilding, and Time Management Training.

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for TAIWAN

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for TAIWAN – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z

It’s easy for business travelers to think that even when they travel, business is going to be done pretty much the same way it is at home. But that’s not always the case. Cultural differences can have a big impact on a social and business relationship. That’s why it’s important for business travelers to make sure they understand the culture of the country that they’re taking a business trip to.

The interview on cultural travel tips for Taiwan is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Taiwan, tips for communicating in Taiwan, and strategies for doing business with Taiwan to help with understanding the culture in Taiwan. It’s important to keep in mind that as we homogenize as a ‘global culture’, cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is the first step when it comes to cultural do’s and taboos for Taiwan and tips for intercultural communication!

Cultural Tips for Taiwan – including some valuable business travel tips for Taiwan!

Local contacts are extremely important in Taiwan, so it’s a good idea to request a personal introduction from the Commerce department, a bank, or from a high-ranking individual at a well-known business.

In Taiwanese business culture, relationships are based on respect and trust, so you will be expected to take time to build rapport and good will. The Taiwanese are generally suspicious of Westerners, so work on this in the early stages of your visit, and expect to make several trips to establish the relationship.

Although punctuality is expected from foreign visitors, Taiwanese business culture has more of a relaxed attitude toward time, so your Taiwanese counterpart may arrive a bit late for an appointment. The Taiwanese work ethic is exceptionally strong, and they often work 12 to 15 hour work days.

Staying out until late in the evening at bars, nightclubs, or restaurants is a way of life in Taiwanese business culture, so it’s best to schedule morning appointments for late in the morning.

Bowing is not as common as in other parts of China, particularly in business culture. A simple nod is more common, followed by handshakes and the exchange of business cards. Make sure that you bring a plentiful supply of business card, because you will be expected to exchange them with practically everyone you meet.

Your name, company, and title should be printed in English on one side and if possible, in Mandarin Chinese on the reverse side. In Taiwan, the first name you see will probably be the person’s last name or family name, followed by the person’s first name or given name. In addition, the Taiwanese may also adopt Western names for the benefit of the English-speakers they will be meeting.

Present your card facing up with both hands, held between the thumbs and forefingers. Receiving another person’s business card is considered an honor, so carefully examine it and then remark about it before carefully putting it in your card case or the table in front of you for a meeting.  Never accept a business card and then immediately stuff it into your pocket.

Humility and harmony is very important in Taiwan. Do not enter an office until you are invited, and don’t seat yourself until you are asked to do so. The Taiwanese usually begin a meeting with good-natured “small talk”, and you will probably be taken to an informal sitting area and served coffee and tea. Allow your Taiwanese counterpart to bring up the subject of business.

Follow the Taiwanese business etiquette and wait to be introduced to new people. If there is someone, in particular, you want to meet, it’s best to have a third person introduce you.

The standard Asian handshake is gentle compared to western cultures, and lasts around 10-12 seconds. Taiwanese women will rarely shake hands, and Western men should not offer to shake hands with them unless they extend their hand first. Western women may initiate a handshake with Taiwanese men.

The question “Have you eaten?” is the equivalent to “How are you?” in North America. it’s simply a superficial inquiry that does not require a detailed answer. Simply answer “yes”, even if you haven’t eaten.

Don’t be surprised if your Taiwanese business associates ask personal questions such as, “What is your salary?” or “How much did that cost?” These questions are considered acceptable and should be answered– even if indirectly.

Much of communication is implied in Taiwan, so your use of eye contact, facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures play an important part in getting across your intended message, however keep eye contact to a minimum with those senior to you, and avoid expansive greetings, gestures, and physical contact.

Remain calm and composed at all times, and don’t display your emotions. It is crucial that you understand and respect the concept of “saving face”, and never embarrass anyone in public by losing your temper or raising your voice. Any form of criticism is always done in a private, in a “one-on-one” meeting.

Since the Taiwanese will rarely be blunt enough to say “no”, you will need to listen carefully and “read between the lines” to determine if a response is negative. For example, a reply of, “We’ll see”, may actually mean, “No, we won’t”, and “I’ll consider it” may imply, “No, I don’t want to.”

If someone compliments you during a conversation, respond by insisting that you are not worthy of such praise. Don’t acknowledge by saying “thank you” or by affirming it in any other way. Instead, remain as modest and self-effacing as possible. However, this should not stop you from sincerely complimenting another person since this will be appreciated.

Expect Taiwanese businesspeople to be shrewd negotiators. Bargaining is a way of life, so be prepared to make compromises. Your negotiating team should include people with seniority and a comprehensive knowledge of your company. Including an older person in your delegation will be essential to your success, since this culture deeply respects age and status, and sending a senior representative shows that your organization is serious about the relationship.

Sending your proposals in advance for your host to review is often a good strategy. It’s helpful to have written materials translated in Mandarin Chinese by a professional. Be prepared to discuss all aspects of your proposal in detail, and summarize the major points at the beginning and the end.

At the negotiating table, the member of your team with the highest seniority should sit in the middle of one long side. The second-ranked person will sit at his right, their third ranked person to his left, and so on. The Taiwanese side will do the same, so you will be able to identify the “key players” on their side. If you are sitting on a sofa and chairs, follow the same arrangement. When passing through a doorway allow the elders to pass first — even if you need to insist because they initially refuse.

Any breach of trust will not be tolerated and is a serious violation of Taiwanese business protocol.

Avoid discussing money early on, although it is an obvious priority. In Taiwanese business culture, establishing a trustworthy business relationship is often considered a higher priority than profits.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Tips

  • You’ll often find that the Taiwanese are fans of American baseball
  • Family is a good topic, because in the Taiwanese business culture an exemplary family life is perceived as a sign of character
  • The Taiwanese enjoy talking about all types of travel, including their country or your country
  • The will enjoy hearing about what you’ve enjoyed about Taiwan so far, and what you would like to visit and do while you are there
  • Personal space is important to the Taiwanese, so plan to stand about two arm’s lengths away from another person.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Taboos

  • Avoid pats on the back, putting your arm around someone, or any form of touching in communication like resting your hand on someone’s arm
  • The Taiwanese point with an open hand because pointing with a finger is socially unacceptable. Beckon by extending your arms palm down and waving your fingers.
  • Winking at someone, even as an innocent gesture of acknowledgement, is considered unacceptable.
  • Feet are considered dirty in this culture and should not touch things or people. When seated, men should keep their feet flat on the floor. Women may cross their legs, but should avoid pointing the soles of their shoe at anyone.
  • Avoid discussing their relationship with mainland China, local politics, or communism.

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for TURKEY!

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the communication styles of Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or professional keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural communication training and cross-cultural training programs. She is a leader in the field of professional public speakers, professional motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers, and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building, and Time Management.

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

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Happy Chinese New Year! 2017 is the Year of the ‘ROOSTER’!

Posted on January 27, 2017 by Leave a comment

This year the Chinese New Year 2017 is on Saturday, January 28th, and the Spring Festival is celebrated from January 27th to February 2nd.

It’s Your Year Roosters!

2017 is a year of the Rooster according to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle. Other Rooster years include: …1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017… If you were born then, you’re a Rooster!

Hundreds of millions of people across China have been celebrating the arrival of the New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival – the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. People from all over the world travel to China to celebrate, and it’s considered the largest annual migration on a global scale. It’s celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar, and is the longest festival of the year. It traditionally runs from Chinese New Year’s Eve on the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month. The first day of the New Year falls between January 21 and February 20.

Regional customs for the celebration of the Chinese New Year vary. Usually, it’s a time for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also tradition for every family to thoroughly clean the house in order to sweep away ill-fortune and make way for good luck in the coming year. Homes are decorated in red with themes representing “wealth” and “longevity”. There are fireworks, dragons, lion dances, money given away in red envelopes and more!

Read more about the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster at the link: http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/special-report/chinese-new-year/

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the communication styles of Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Go to the Circles Of Excellence Blog to read about the global impact of the Chinese New Year as millions travel to China from around the world!

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or professional keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural communication training and cross-cultural training programs. She is a leader in the field of professional public speakers, professional motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers, She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers, and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building, and Time Management.

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

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New Year Traditions Around the World from Greece to China!

Posted on December 30, 2016 by Leave a comment

  • Baby New Year Tradition The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started around 600 B.C by the ancient Greeks, who, at the start of a year would carry a baby around in anew-year-5 basket. The purpose of it was to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.
  • Hogmanay The New Year in Scotland is called Hogmanay. The people in Scotland follow a ritual that appears nutty but actually has a great significance. One can find barrels of tar set afire and gradually rolled down the streets in the villages of Scotland. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up and New Year is going to begin.
  • Burning “Mr. Old Year” In Columbia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families stuff a life-size male doll with things and then they dress it up in old clothes from each family member. At the stroke of midnight, this ‘Mr. Old Year’ is set on fire. This is done with the simple belief that a doll thus stuffed have bad memories or sadness associated with them, and that the burning of these will help one to do away with all past grief’s and usher in happiness in life with the coming year.
  • Eating Noodles Late on the evening of December 3 1, people of Japan would eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called “toshikoshisoba” (“year-crossing noodles”) and listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which were rung 108 times at midnight. The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil passions that plague every human being.
  • Eating 12 Grapes In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year’s Eve. This peculiar ritual originated in the twentieth century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual.
  • Gifts in Shoes In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year’s Day (also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece) with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.
  • Carrying a Suitcase In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even carry it around the block to ensure traveling at greater distances.
  • Burning Crackers The people in China believe that there are evil spirits that roam the earth. So on New Year they burn crackers to scare the evil spirits. The doors and windows of every home in china can be seen sealed with paper. This is to keep the evil demons out.

For more New Year’s Traditions – Check Out the

Circles Of Excellence Blog!

Check out the Circles Of Excellence blog for more holiday greetings from around the world!

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the communication styles of Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or professional keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural communication training and cross-cultural training programs. She is a leader in the field of professional public speakers, professional motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers, and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building, and Time Management.

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

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Say Happy Holidays in Languages from Around the World!

Posted on December 9, 2016 by Leave a comment

Happy Holidays in Korean – Sung Tan Chuk Ha Hol pic-1

Happy Holidays in Polish – Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia

Happy Holidays in Irish – Nollaig Shona Dhuit

Happy Holidays in Farsi – Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad

Happy Holidays in Thai – Sawadee Pee Mai

Happy Holidays in Greek – Kala Christouyenna!

Happy Holidays in Urdu – Naya Saal Mubarak Ho

Happy Holidays in Vietnamese – Chung Mung Giang Sinh

Happy Holidays in Yugoslavian – Cestitamo Bozic

Happy Holidays in Indonesian – Ruumsaid juulup|hi

Happy Holidays in Norwegian – God Jul

Happy Holidays in Tagalog – Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon

Happy Holidays in Latvian – Prieci’gus Ziemsve’tkus un Laimi’gu Jauno Gadu!

Happy Holidays in Slovak – Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce

Happy Holidays in Samoan – La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou

Happy Holiday in Finnish – Hyvaa joulua

Happy Holidays in Hindi – Shub Naya Baras

Happy Holidays in Lithuanian – Linksmu Kaledu

Happy Holidays in Hebrew – Mo’adim Lesimkha. Chena tova

Happy Holidays in Hungarian – Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket

For More Ways to Say Happy Holidays – Check Out the

Circles Of Excellence Blog!

Check out the Circles Of Excellence blog for more holiday greetings from around the world!

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the communication styles of Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or professional keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural communication training and cross-cultural training programs. She is a leader in the field of professional public speakers, professional motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers, and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building, and Time Management.

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

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Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for SWITZERLAND!

Posted on November 25, 2016 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for SWITZERLAND – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z switz

It’s easy for business travelers to think that even when they travel, business is going to be done pretty much the same way it is at home. But that’s not always the case. Cultural differences can have a big impact on a social and business relationship. That’s why it’s important for business travelers to make sure they understand the culture of the country that they’re taking a business trip to.

The interview on cultural travel tips for Switzerland is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Switzerland, tips for communicating in Switzerland, and strategies for doing business with Switzerland to help with understanding the culture in Switzerland. It’s important to keep in mind that as we homogenize as a ‘global culture’, cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is the first step when it comes to cultural do’s and taboos for Switzerland and tips for intercultural communication!

Cultural Tips for Switzerland – including some valuable business travel tips for Switzerland!

The culture of Switzerland is made up of four subcultures: the German, French, Italian, and 1% indigenous population who speak Romansch.

The handshake is the most common greeting in Switzerland, and Swiss Germans may shake hands upon both meeting and departing.

The Swiss French and Swiss Italians may shake hands and give you an “air kiss” or an embrace, depending on the rapport they have established with you. Men in either of these regions will embrace close friends, but will not kiss.

When doing business in Switzerland, punctuality is necessary on all occasions, whether business or social. This is especially true in the German speaking areas, where arriving even five minutes late for a business or social engagement can be offensive. The French and Italian speaking areas tend to be slightly more relaxed about time, but punctuality is still the best policy.

Female business travelers should have no problem as long as they remain highly professional, and while many women hold high-level positions, there are still fewer than in some cultures.

The Swiss may initially seem reserved or even standoffish, however once you develop a rapport with them, you’ll find that they are very honest, responsible people, who will be loyal to your interests.

It takes longer to develop personal relationships in Switzerland, however, with time and patience, the bond you establish will prove to be very beneficial.

The Swiss are very private people, so avoid asking personal questions about family, age, marital status, religion etc. unless they bring it up first.

Whether in a social or business situation, the Swiss are polite and pay close attention to what you say to them. They are very good listeners and rarely interrupt.

Although the use of first names in business is becoming more common, initially address your Swiss contact by “Mr.”, “Ms.”, or “Mrs.” until you are invited the use their first name.

The Swiss are very controlled, so maintain control over your emotions and show a disciplined approach in what you do.

The way you sit, stand, and project yourself are very important. You can expect the Swiss to pay close attention to your posture.

Business is regarded as serious, and humor has little place in discussions. Cracking jokes during a meeting will probably not be well received.

Swiss Germans will usually get right down to business, however, the Swiss French and Swiss Italians will expect some preliminary “small talk” and may even offer you a drink.

Business presentations should be clear and concise, and while the Swiss are very straightforward in negotiations, they make a genuine effort to see matters from the opponent’s perspective.

In the Swiss business culture, there is a reluctance to take risks so they will require substantial information before agreeing to a new plan or procedure.

Typically, the Swiss German and Swiss French rely on empirical evidence and objective facts for evidence, while the Swiss Italians may rely more on subjective feelings.

The Swiss have a reputation for getting the best possible deal without ever appearing aggressive or demanding. Their quiet self-confidence, combined with the exceptional quality and value of their goods and services, allows them to avoid the “hard-sell” or other high-pressure tactics.

Hierarchy and rank is more important in the German-speaking area compared to the French and Italian speaking areas, however individuals with seniority, rank, and authority assume an air of modesty and remain discreet in exercising their power.

The Swiss will not rush to a decision, and while the final decision may come from the top, it is also consensus based in the fact that everyone involved must be accepting of it.

Once a decision is made, the Swiss are very reliable, efficient, and can be trusted to follow through. They are also very good at maintaining confidentiality.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Tips

  • The Swiss are always interested in world affairs.
  • The natural beauty of Switzerland, and where to visit is an excellent topic.
  • The distinct varieties of foods from the different subcultures.
  • Sports of all kinds, especially all winter sports!
  • The excellent quality of Swiss products, for example watches and chocolate.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Taboos

  • Avoid asking personal questions, or discussing family, unless they bring it up at some point in your relationship.
  • It’s considered impolite to stand and talk with your hands in your pockets.
  • Avoid any form of back patting.
  • Point using your full hand, because pointing with your index finger is considered impolite, or even obscene by some.
  • Don’t be overly demonstrative with body language or tonality or you won’t be taken seriously.

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for TAIWAN!

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the communication styles of Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or professional keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural communication training and cross-cultural training programs. She is a leader in the field of professional public speakers, professional motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers, and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building, and Time Management.

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

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Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for SWEDEN!

Posted on November 18, 2016 by Leave a comment

swedenThe Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for SWEDEN – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z

It’s easy for business travelers to think that even when they travel, business is going to be done pretty much the same way it is at home. But that’s not always the case. Cultural differences can have a big impact on a social and business relationship. That’s why it’s important for business travelers to make sure they understand the culture of the country that they’re taking a business trip to.

The interview on cultural travel tips for Sweden is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Sweden, tips for communicating in Sweden, and strategies for doing business with Sweden to help with understanding the culture in Sweden. It’s important to keep in mind that as we homogenize as a ‘global culture’, cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is the first step when it comes to cultural do’s and taboos for Sweden and tips for intercultural communication!

Cultural Tips for Sweden – including some valuable business travel tips for Sweden!

When doing business in Sweden, keep in mind that it is a humanitarian culture, where the quality of life and environmental issues are highly emphasized.

Swedes prefer to stand a bit further apart in their interactions than some cultures, and rather than relying on nonverbal forms of communication, it’s best to keep your body language and hand gestures to a minimum,

With the exception of the handshake, Swedes don’t have a lot of physical contact, so avoid backslapping, embracing, or touching.

They shake hands upon arriving and departing. It’s done swiftly and firmly, and smiling or other nonverbal communication usually doesn’t accompany it — especially if you haven’t previously met.

The Swedish business approach is more formal than informal, so no gum chewing, slouching, or leaning against things.

Keep your emotions to a minimum, as a cool, calm, and matter of fact manner approach is preferred. Swedes are also somewhat quiet, so speak in a subdued, modulated tone of voice.

Swedes are a proud people, but they never brag. While they respect someone with established knowledge and experience, you should never flaunt it. Instead show them by being well prepared, detail oriented, and logically organized which is important to get Swedes to accept an outside idea.

Facts and figures are crucial, and must be clearly outlined and detailed. Swedes emphasize the content of a presentation, not its colorfulness or flashy appearance.

The Swedish education teaches them to think conceptually and analytically, so they often look to universal rules or laws to solve problems.

The first business meeting will likely be low key, with the Swedes evaluating you, your company, and your proposal. Confirm all meetings well in advance, and never abruptly change the time and place.

Swedes believe in promptness, so it is important to arrive on time or it could be taken as a sign of disrespect or lack of interest. They also strictly follow the scheduled beginning and ending times of a meeting.

Swedes are fashionably well-dressed, and for business a more a conservative dress is appropriate with men wearing suits and ties, and women wearing suits or dresses. Subdued colors are a better choice than flashy colors.

Women and men are treated as equals in Sweden, so expect decision-makers to be of either gender.

Decision making may fall to the middle or lower parts of the hierarchy in Sweden, and there is an emphasis on teamwork and compromise.

Consensus is valued, and Swedes will try to avoid confrontation because they never want to personally offend someone.

Sincerity and seriousness, rather than friendliness, are the preferred business attitudes. Complimenting in public is not usually done, unless it applies to the whole group. There is no individualized element of competition or wanting to stand out.

Swedes typically get right down to business with little or no small talk. In conversation, it’s important to maintain eye contact as much as possible.

Swedes are very comfortable with long pauses and silence in the conversation, so it would be a mistake to hurriedly try to fill in the pauses.

The Swedish sense of humor is unique, and sometimes not understood by everyone. It’s not typical for humor to be used in serious meetings or negotiations.

Swedes will avoid arguing over sensitive topics, especially with visitors. If a discussion of this kind begins, a Swede may abruptly stop it.

Negotiations in Sweden can take time, but once a deal has been finalized and signed, you can rest assured that the Swedes will uphold their end of responsibility

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Tips

  • Eye contact is very important to indicate your sincerity and attentiveness.
  • It’s helpful to show a knowledge of Swedish things, especially those that distinguish the Swedes from the Scandinavian cultures of Finland, Norway, and Denmark.
  • The Swedes love nature and the outdoors, so talk about anything related to Sweden’s natural beauty or sports — like hockey and soccer.
  • Swedes enjoy discussing philosophy, the arts, travel, current events, and even politics if it’s not critical of Sweden’s socialized structure.
  • There is a great deal of pride in the local regions of Sweden, so it’s appreciated when you know something about the specific region you’re visiting.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Taboos

  • Asking personal questions, or discussing family unless they bring it up at some point in your relationship.
  • Don’t be superficial in any way, and avoid personally complimenting someone you just met.
  • Avoid any showiness or bragging about rank, status, success, or income. The Swedes are very understated about this.
  • Don’t use a lot of superlatives when speaking, because Swedes are opposed to stretching the truth in any way.
  • Swedes don’t like complainers, so even when things seem slow or process driven, it’s best not to show signs of impatience.

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for Switzerland!

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the communication styles of Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or professional keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural communication training and cross-cultural training programs. She is a leader in the field of professional public speakers, professional motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers, and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building, and Time Management.

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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