Posts tagged with cross cultural communication books

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

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Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for SPAIN!

Posted on October 7, 2016 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for SPAIN – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries

from A to Z spain

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 Spain is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Spain, tips for communicating in Spain, and strategies for doing business with Spain to help with understanding the culture in Spain. 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 Spain and tips for intercultural communication!

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

When doing business in Spain, keep in mind that many businesses are closed from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, since people often return home to have their main meal with their family and take an afternoon siesta

Although you should be punctual yourself, don’t be alarmed if you are kept waiting for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. In addition, parties and other social events rarely begin at their scheduled time.

A wide range of gestures regularly accompany conversation. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have difficulty understanding these gestures, especially since the meanings often vary from region to region.

Be sensitive to regional differences because making misinformed comments about a Spaniard’s region of origin is considered an insult (for example, mistaking a Catalonian for a Basque).

First-time introductions with Spaniards should be made in a formal manner. Extend a brief but firm handshake while maintaining eye contact.

In the company of friends, it’s common for men to hug or pat each other on the back in addition to the handshake.

Women sometimes lightly embrace, then touch cheeks while lightly kissing the air. They may also greet a Spanish man who is a particularly close friend in this way.

Although there may be less Spanish women in management positions, businesswomen in Spain are treated with respect, as long as you dress and behave in a professional manner.

While women are fully accepted in their business roles, it’s important for them to understand that machismo is very important to some Spanish men, so they often feel the need to be in control of the situation.

Spaniards stand close together when talking, and may also pat your arm or shoulder to make a point. Don’t move away, or it may cause offense.

Another common Spanish gesture is snapping the hands downward to emphasize a point.

Spain is a very religious country, so many people will be offended if they hear you take the Lord’s name in vain, and it’s best to refrain from swearing in the presence of others.

The Spanish business culture is extremely hierarchical, and only bosses, known as “el jefe” or “el padron,” have the authority to make decisions. Generally, subordinates follow orders, obey authority, and solve any problems before they surface.

Be aware that it would be frowned upon if you spent a great deal of time and attention on someone who is of lesser rank than you. It’s better to spend time with those who would be considered your “business equal”.

Make the effort to adapt to the Spanish business ways, because it demonstrates your respect for their culture and shows that you are flexible.

Don’t expect to discuss business at the start of any meeting. Spaniards want to become acquainted with you before proceeding to business, so be accommodating and answer any questions they may have about your background. On the flip side, it’s best not to ask them too many personal questions during first introductions.

Feelings are strongly relied on in the Spanish business culture. Consequently, it’s important that you work at building a good rapport with your Spanish counterparts.

Although Spaniards are receptive to new information and ideas, you may find that they don’t change their minds easily. Be prepared to negotiate and compromise.

Don’t be concerned if you are interrupted while talking, and don’t take it as an insult. Spanish interruptions most often indicate a genuine and enthusiastic interest in the discussion.

As in many Asian countries, you must do everything you can to prevent yourself and others from “losing face”, so be very careful to avoid any kind of criticism or embarrassment.

Spaniards will often insist that everything is in perfect order, even when this is not the case. This is a “face-saving” measure to appear competent and in control. Pay close attention during conversations to discern what is really going on.

Decision-making and negotiations in Spain can be slow, and various levels of hierarchy are consulted as aspects of a proposal are analyzed. After a successful negotiation, gifts are sometimes exchanged to mark the happy occasion.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Tips

Eye contact is very important to indicate your sincerity and attentiveness.

All types of sports, and especially soccer!

Architecture, music, art, culture, and anything related to the country or region’s beauty.

Travel, places you’ve visited, and your home country.

Good, wine, and especially the food or wine of the regions in Spain you are visiting.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Taboos

The North American “O.K.” sign (making a circle of the first finger and thumb) is considered vulgar and should never be used.

Summoning a person by curling your index finger is considered rude. Instead, turn your palm down and wave your fingers or entire hand.

Bullfighting is a revered art form here. Consequently, it will be in your best interests to refrain from airing any criticisms about it.

Avoid placing too much of an emphasis on your professional experience and business success during a conversation. In the Spanish culture, the quality of your character is the best measure of respect

Bon Voyage!

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

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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New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for SOUTH KOREA

Posted on September 10, 2016 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for SOUTH KOREA – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to ZSouth Korea

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 South Korea is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for South Korea, tips for communicating in South Korea, and strategies for doing business with South Korea to help with understanding the culture in South Korea. 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 South Korea and tips for intercultural communication!

Cultural Tips for South Korea – including some valuable business travel tips for South Korea!

When doing business in South Korea, tone down hand motions and facial expressions when talking or laughing because being too animated or demonstrative is frowned upon.

Keep your voice tone moderate since they generally speak in a soft voice.

Third party introductions are usually preferred, so wait to be introduced to another at gatherings and parties.

South Korean men greet each other with a slight bow, and sometimes an accompanying handshake, while maintaining eye contact. Respect may be added by supporting your right forearm with your left hand during the handshake.

Bow at the beginning and end of a meeting. An exit bow that is longer than the greeting bow is a sign that the meeting went well.

The junior person will initiate the greetings and be the first to bow. The senior person will be the first to offer his hand. A gentle handshake or nod of the head may also be sufficient in business so follow their lead.

While this is slowly changing, women in the South Korean business culture often don’t shake hands. Western men should not try to shake hands with a Korean woman; Western women will usually need to initiate a handshake with Korean men.

Elderly people are highly respected, so it is good manners to greet and speak to them first and spend a few minutes with them. Complimenting an elder’s good health is always appreciated.

Gift-giving is often practiced in a business setting. Good gifts for a first trip include office items with your company logo or something that is commemorative of your home region. Your gift should be of good quality but modestly priced. Use both of your hands when giving or receiving a gift. Gifts are not opened in the presence of the giver.

South Koreans may be asked personal questions regarding your age, salary, education, religion, and family life because they think that they can establish rapport by finding common denominators. These questions may also be asked to determine your status–which means everything in South Korean business culture.

Since you will be judged according to your status, your title should be emphasized on your business card. This gives the recipient an idea of your job responsibility and assists him or her in determining the amount of decision-making authority you have.

In this culture, it is considered important to keep business cards in immaculate condition. Investing in a business card case will allow your cards to stay well preserved. Writing on a business card is perceived as a sign of disrespect.

Present your business card with two hands or, at their lead, with your right hand. When you receive another person’s card, carefully examine it and then make a positive remark before putting it in your card case or on a nearby table. Accepting a business card and then immediately stuffing it into your back pocket will be perceived as disrespectful.

Modesty is very important in South Korea. When you are paid a compliment during a conversation, respond by saying that you are not worthy of such praise. It’s best not to acknowledge a compliment by saying “thank you” or you affirm it. However, this should not stop you from complimenting another person, since compliments are still very much appreciated.

South Koreans have an intense pride in their country and a rich sense of its history. Consequently, it is important that you make every effort not to confuse the history and culture with other Asian countries, especially Japan. It’s also best not to bring gifts from Japan or talk about your contacts or travels there.

South Koreans avoid saying, “No”, directly, so answer questions affirmatively in a positive way, even when you have to deliver negative information.

Many forms of physical contact are considered disrespectful. Gestures such as touching someone on the back or on the person’s arm are discouraged. Physical contact is inappropriate with older people, people of the opposite sex, or people who are not good friends or family. However, one exception is that people of the same sex will often hold hands.

Be aware that personal relationships generally take precedence over business. The first meeting should be solely for the purpose of getting to know your counterpart and establishing rapport.

Expect tea to be served at the beginning of the meeting, and make a point of accepting this offering of hospitality. Keep a formal demeanor as long as your counterpart does.

While South Koreans are very formal in personal situations, this is not the case when they are standing in line in public places where pushing and shoving are commonplace.

Like anyone else South Koreans laugh when something is funny however, smiling is also used to mask embarrassment and other feelings of distress. Criticism of any kind should be done in private to avoid “loss of face”.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Tips

Eye contact is very important to indicate your sincerity and attentiveness to the speaker

Talk about South Korea’s economic success and international accomplishments

Compliment and ask questions about South Korea’s cultural heritage, landmarks, art, and customs

South Koreans are avid sports enthusiasts — especially when it comes to the Olympics!

Discuss your personal hobbies – they love kite and kite flying!

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Taboos

Don’t discuss South Korean or North Korean politics, Socialism, Communism, and the Korean War

Blowing your nose in public is considered vulgar. If heavily spiced food makes your nose run, get up and move away from the table before blowing your nose.

Beckoning a person by moving a single finger toward you is considered very rude. Beckon someone by extending your arm palm down and moving your fingers up and down.

Cover your mouth when yawning or using a toothpick.

Feet are perceived as dirty and should not touch other people or objects. Men should take care that the soles of their shoes are pointing down. Women are permitted to cross their legs as long as the sole of the shoes don’t point at anyone.

Bon Voyage!

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

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Come Hear Me Speak at the MPI World Conference!

Posted on April 30, 2016 by Leave a comment

I will be speaking at the #MPI World Education Conference #WEC16 on June 12th

from 4:30 to 5:30 pm!

The topic will be based on my bestselling book

SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication

PRESENTATION TITLE: SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication

PRESENTATION DATE: Sunday, June 12th from 4:30 to 5:30 pm

CAMPFIRE PRESENTATION: Monday, June 13 from 9:00 to 9:30 am

PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION: This lively and interactive session is based on Gayle Cotton’s Bestselling Book, ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’. Differences are the spice of life! But cultural differences can also be the source of embarrassing blunders and miscommunication in the workplace, and for business and social travelers alike. We must manage preexisting cultural expectations, understand cultural sensitivities, avoid conflict, and sidestep offending someone due to cultural differences — albeit unintentional. The strength of any multicultural relationship depends entirely on the ability to effectively communicate, and to build trust and rapport in person, on the phone, and by email. To do this, we need to understand how words, tonality, and body language vary with every culture. This presentation will increase your self-awareness, help you adapt your style, and enable you to be proactive in multi-cultural relationships. It’s Gayle’s most requested keynote topic, and has lots of humor and take-home value! As an extra bonus, Gayle has customized the session for Meeting and Event Planners. She will also be doing a Campfire Session to answer your personal questions about cross-cultural interactions or the specific cultures you want to know about!

What You’ll Learn in the ‘5 Keys’!

  • Key One: Create Proactive Communication and Avoid Reactive Communication
  • Key Two: Rapport Secrets to Bridge the Cultural Gap
  • Key Three: Organize Productive Interactions
  • Key Four: Strategies for Relationships
  • Key Five: Success Leaves Clues… Do’s & Taboos

ABOUT GAYLE: Gayle Cotton is a National Emmy Award Winner and the author of the Bestselling Book, ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc., and a distinguished keynote speaker and executive coach. She has presented for the United Nations, World Governments, and more than 50 Fortune 500 companies around the world. She has been featured on numerous TV shows including NBC News, BBC News, Good Morning America, PM Magazine, Pacific Report, and PBS. Gayle has the distinction of being the first American accepted as a member in the ‘European Association of Marketing and Sales Experts’, and is a Certified Expert in the ‘Executive Foundation for International Communication’. She is a Faculty Resource for Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), World Presidents’ Organization (WPO), Chief Executives Organization (CEO), and Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).

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 BookThe CROSS of Cross-CulturalCircles 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.

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.

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

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

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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My Interview on Cross-Cultural Competencies is Posted on A-Speakers!

Posted on April 2, 2016 by Leave a comment

Gayle---Smart-meetings-close-up-with-screenIt’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.

”You are a cross-cultural communication expert. What in your opinion is the most important cross-cultural competence everybody should have?”

Read more here! http://www.a-speakers.com/inspiration/interview-with-gayle-cotton

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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Come Hear Me Speak for the Smart Meetings Northwest Conference!

Posted on February 6, 2016 by Leave a comment

I will be the Keynote Speaker for Smart Meetings Northwest Conference in Seattle, WA on February 23rd

My Topic – Lost in Translation? Communications Expert Explains Why

Miscommunication can lead to embarrassing faux pas, and the risk of a conversational misstep is exponentially greater when those involved are of different cultural backgrounds. But those social blunders can be avoided—that’s the lesson world-renowned keynote speaker Gayle Cotton shares with her audiences.

Cotton, who will deliver the keynote presentation at Smart Meetings Northwest, is an expert in cross-cultural communication and diversity. She teaches companies of all sizes and origins how they can become more socially aware for stronger, more connected business relationships.

Read more about my presentation and the conference highlights at the following links:

http://www.smartmeetings.com/tips-tools/83932/lost-in-translation-communications-expert-explains-why

http://www.smartmeetings.com/smart-events/80656/smart-meeting-north-west

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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Great Article! ’10 Tips for Improved Communication’ Is on YPO

Posted on January 16, 2016 by Leave a comment


ypo

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak,” Greek philosopher Epictetus wrote. One of the most important and most neglected communication skills for leaders is listening. What most people consider listening — the absence of speaking — is a poor substitute for the actual art of active listening.

According to Gayle Cotton, Emmy award winner, president of Circles of Excellence and author of “Say Anything to Anyone, Anywhere”, “If people feel that what they say doesn’t matter because you’re not really going to listen to it, you keep people from wanting to communicate with you and create difficult, superficial relationships. It stifles creativity.”

Read more at the link below:

10 Tips to Improve Communication

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’, available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a distinguished 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.

Website: www.gaylecotton.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

Video clips: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Currently on: Gayle’s blog

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

Currently on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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

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Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos: Communication Guidelines for SOUTH AFRICA

Posted on October 3, 2015 by Leave a comment

South AfricaThe Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z: South Africa

The article ‘Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for South Africa’ is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for South Africa, tips for communicating in South Africa, and strategies for doing business with South Africa to help with understanding the culture in South Aftica. 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 tips for intercultural communication!

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’, available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a distinguished 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!

Cultural Tips for South Africa – including some valuable business travel tips for South Africa!

When doing business in South Africa,

When doing business in South Africa, keep in mind that the English, the Afrikaners, and the black Africans all have distinct forms of greeting, and while united as South Africans, each tends to mirror their collective personality.

South Africa is the industrial center of Africa, and is a key producer of minerals including diamonds, gold, silver, and copper.

Any hint of ignorance about the South African domestic or regional political scene will almost surely disqualify you from doing business in this country.

With Apartheid gone, South Africa has emerged as one of the most multicultural nations, being composed of British, Afrikaans, Malay, Indian, Zulu, Xhosa, and other black tribes.

South Africa is not a “melting pot”, but rather a society composed of various communities and races that remain separate yet integral forces in seeking a new union aspiring to lead and repair the country.

English speaking South Africans tend to be reserved, proud of their cultural heritage, have good manners, elegant, expressive speech, and avoid unnecessary conflict. Afrikaners, like their Dutch ancestors, are more direct and to the point and have a tendency to “tell it like it is.”

Many South Africans are bilingual, and speak English and Afrikaans (of Dutch origin).

Some South Africans speak English with a heavy accent, as well as in a fast rhythm. It’s important that you pay close attention, because constantly asking people to repeat themselves will eventually be insulting.

Introductions are usually orchestrated in order of seniority. South Africans appreciate a good education, so an advanced degree from a well-known University may be referenced in the introduction.

Typically, South Africans follow the British style of a polite, formal exchange of handshakes and business card exchanges.

Always wait to be asked to sit down. Once seated, expect to be asked a couple of times if you want coffee or tea. It’s a good idea to accept, as this provides a break in the formality and allows for the start of some preliminary “small talk.”

A common interest in sports goes a long way in solidifying the personal side of a business relationship. Casually mentioning that you’d love to see a cricket match or rugby game might just get you an invitation to one!

By nature, South Africans are a warm, friendly, outgoing people, and conversations can get personal after a relatively brief period of time. They will take a genuine interest in the way of life in your home country and what you think of South Africa.

If there is a long period of silence in the course of a conversation, it is a sign that the situation has become awkward or there is something else that is wrong.

South Africans tend to use demonstrative body language when talking. You’ll likely experience a lot of handshaking and some backslapping. With friends and close associates, hand-holding is a sign of friendship.

In contrast, business discussions are conducted in a cordial manner and in quiet voices. A raised voice will be interpreted as an insult. Also, increasing your volume runs the risk of getting you branded as a pushy foreigner more concerned about the “bottom line” than the personal side of a business relationship.

South African businesspeople aren’t easily impressed with slide presentations. The first meeting is about establishing personal rapport and deciding if you’re a person they can trust. It would be a mistake to expect any instant decisions or deals until the relationship is well established.

Keep your presentation short, to the point, and filled with specific ideas related to the special circumstances of doing business in South Africa. Sometimes, the logistics and financing of the deal are more important to South Africans than the actual product or service that you are trying to sell.

Generally, South Africans don’t like to admit that they don’t know an answer. A lot of this tendency has to do with the tradition of hospitality and the desire not to disappoint. Don’t push for an immediate answer, and the correct information will likely be provided to you in the very near future.

The pace of business is somewhat slower and more relaxed when it comes to negotiations and the decision-making process. Being overly aggressive about deadlines will be counterproductive. Avoid the “hare-sell” since that may be perceived as pushy.

In negotiations and decision-making, South Africans strive to build consensus, and prefer to see all sides gain something. For the most part, they are ruled by a sense of fair play, and it’s rare for them to “haggle” over prices or obsess over details.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Tips

  • Maintaining good eye contact is essential
  • Talking about sports is an effective way to personalize business. Make the effort to learn about the country’s accomplishments in golf, rugby, and cricket
  • A small yet thoughtful gift for your business associates or their families will be greatly appreciated. Personalized gifts are the best
  • Talking about your home country, as well as your interest in South Africa — it’s diverse and beautiful terrain, rich culture, and wild life
  • The evolving racial and social policies are open to discussion, but make sure you are well versed on the topic, and don’t impose your views

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Taboos

  • It’s impolite to point with your index finger so use an open hand
  • Talking with your hands in your pockets is considered rude
  • When passing through a doorway, it’s customary for African men to precede women
  • Don’t initiate or participate in racist or sexist conversations should the topic arise
  • The “V” or peace sign is the same as giving “someone the finger”, and it’s usually punctuated by an upward thrust of the hand

Bon Voyage!

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

To learn more about the Do’s & Taboos for different cultures, and the business and 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

Check out the ARTICLE ARCHIVE ‘Cultural Clues Do’s and Taboos’ for what 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!

Currently on: Gayle’s blog

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

Check out what’s on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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Travelling to #Japan for Business? Read this Article Before You Go!

Posted on September 19, 2015 by Leave a comment

ABOUT.COM: Business Travel Tips for Japan Japan

The interview on cultural travel tips for Japan is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Japan, tips for communicating in Japan, and strategies for doing business with Japan to help with understanding the culture in Japan. 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 Japan and tips for intercultural communication!

Interview Link:

Cultural Tips for Japan

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’, available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a distinguished 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.

Website: www.gaylecotton.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

Video clips: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

Circles Of Excellence website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Currently on: Gayle’s blog

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

Currently on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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

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

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