Posts tagged with cultural differences

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for BELGIUM

Posted on October 18, 2018 by Leave a comment

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

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Belgium

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.

This article on cultural differences in Belgium and cultural travel tips for Belgium is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Belgium, tips for communicating in Belgium and business strategies for Belgium to help with understanding the culture in Belgium. 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 Belgium and tips for intercultural communication!

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

Belgium is the Government seat of the European Union (EU).

It’s best if doing business in Belgium to avoid discussing politics.

Keep in mind that there are three linguistic groups in Belgium: German, French, and Flemish. The Flemish language is a variant of Dutch.

Make an effort not to confuse their three cultural groups and their languages

It’s best not to discuss your preference for one of the three languages spoken in Belgium. English is widely spoken, however if you speak one of the three languages they may invite you to do so.

With French speakers, use courtesy titles such as “Monsieur”, “Madame”, or “Mademoiselle.”

When addressing German or Flemish speakers, use Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss. Never use “Madame” or “Monsieur” when addressing a Flemish speaker.

Appointments are punctual and usually, and first appointments are socially oriented.

Most Belgians feel that it’s necessary to get to know you before proceeding with business of any kind, however this usually consist of asking general questions about your business, travels, experience etc.

Talking too much about your education, professional experience, business success, and related achievements may be considered a boasting.

In general, Belgians don’t discuss their personal family lives except with close friends.

Because of their private nature, Belgians also don’t usually discuss money matters outside of business.

Typically, Belgians shake hands with everyone in the room or office upon meeting and departure.

When you are among the French-speaking Belgians, you may observe closer acquaintances greeting each other with alternating kisses on the cheeks.

It’s not uncommon for men who know each other particularly well to embrace.

Avoid excessive gesturing, because most Belgians are more reserved and less expressive with their body language.

Speak in a moderate tone at all times regardless of the topic you are discussing. Expressing too much excitement or animation is usually frowned upon.

The business protocol is more formal and restrained than in some other countries, so follow their example.

When you are conducting a meeting, an agenda should be distributed to everyone in attendance.

Businesspeople in Belgium prefer that a meeting be focused on the topic at hand, and appreciate it being well organized and informative.

Belgians are willing to compromise when necessary, however need full justification and reasons for doing so. They tend to be firm believers in practical, “common sense” approaches and solutions, and are less open to speculative approaches.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • The area of Belgium you are currently visiting, as well as your travels in other parts of Belgium
  • The food and beer you have sampled during your stay in various areas. Show appreciation of their distinctly different restaurants
  • Comment specifically on the food and beer from French Belgium, Flanders or Wallonia when in those areas
  • The beauty of the architecture of Belgium’s cities and local sites, as well as their historical art is always a good topic. Bruges is a well-known mid-evil city build around canals that they would advise you to see if you have the time
  • All sports, especially bicycling and soccer are food topics to discuss

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Making jokes about the Flemish to the French or French-Speaking Walloons, and vice versa
  • Patting someone on the back is considered unacceptable
  • Yawning in public is considered rude
  • Talking with your hands in your pockets is perceived as a sign of bad manners
  • Use your whole hand when you feel the need to point at something, since using the forefinger is considered rude

Bon Voyage!

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

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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New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for AUSTRIA

Posted on September 20, 2018 by Leave a comment

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

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Austria

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.

This article on cultural differences in Austria and cultural travel tips for Austria is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Austria, tips for communicating in Austria and business strategies for Austria to help with understanding the culture in Austria. 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 Austria and tips for intercultural communication!

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

Austrian business is based on respect, conservatism, courtesy and formality.

It’s best to dress professionally, and always shake hands when arriving and departing.

Displaying knowledge of Austrian history and culture demonstrates an awareness of the uniqueness of Austria.

Austrians may take offense against anyone who fails to recognize the clear distinction between them and the Germans. Austrian traditions are uniquely Austrian, so appreciate the distinctions.

The only thing that is truly German about Austria is the language and, even then, Austrian German is very different from standard or High German (Hochdeutsch) in vocabulary, idioms, and pronunciation.

In business, both German and English are widely spoken.

In business, courtesy titles Herr (‘Mr.’), Frau (‘Mrs.’) or Fräulein (‘Miss’) followed by the surname are still often used until invited to do otherwise.

Educational titles are important and often used in introductions.

Austrians expect you to mean what you say and say what you mean. Do not make idle promises during conversation.

Austrians have a great sense of humor, and they will accept your joking so long as you are somewhat self-deprecating at the same time.

Keep in mind, however, that humor has no place in formal meetings or in the office where senior staff is present.

Austrians plan their schedules well in advance and try to follow what they have pre-arranged on their calendars.

Expect Austrians to be very punctual, so be sure to return the courtesy. All punctual people dislike wasting time, and Austrians are no exception.

The most senior person(s) in a meeting usually takes the chair and controls the agenda.

There is little room for diverging from the agenda, and less tolerance of improvised discussion, so it is vital to be thoroughly well prepared for all meetings.

Austrians usually take a direct approach to negotiations, and relevant information is shared openly.

Negotiations are serious and important, so keep in mind that this is not the proper forum for humor.

Decision-making can be somewhat slow because Austrians tend to be risk-averse and make decisions methodically with tremendous precision.

Responsibility for decision-making lies mainly with those at the top, and all final decisions have been thoroughly considered.

Since decisions typically do come from the top, any action decided is likely to be implemented rather quickly.

Austrians aim for mutual benefit in all their business dealings and expect their respect and trust to be reciprocated. Agreements with Austrians are solid and can be relied on even in their pre-contract stage.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • Austrian culture, theatre and music, especially classical music, are favorite topics. Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Johann Strauss, Bruckner, Schönberg and Berg were all Austrian.
  • Opera is a great love, especially that of Mozart and Richard Strauss, even though Strauss was born in Munich.
  • The beauty of the architecture of Austria’s cities and local sites, as well as their historical art is always a good topic. Vienna is known as ‘the city of music’.
  • Discussing Austrian winter sports is always well received.
  • Austrian food is appreciated with gusto, has a noted distinction from the typical German food. Show appreciation of their distinct restaurants, beer and wines.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • World War II and Austria’s role in the war can still be a sensitive topic, and anything that leads to a discussion around Anti-Semitism should be avoided.
  • The Austrian religion is predominantly Catholic, so different religious views are not usually discussed.
  • Austrians are a rather private culture, so talking about separation and divorce is usually avoided. Because of their private nature, Austrians also don’t usually discuss money matters outside of business
  • It is an honor to be invited to an Austrian’s home, and it would be inappropriate not to be well dressed and to bring a modest gift. Austrian hospitality is warm with a degree of formality.
  • Talking too much about your education, professional experience, business success, and related achievements may be considered a boasting.

Bon Voyage!

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

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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New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for AUSTRALIA

Posted on July 19, 2018 by Leave a comment

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

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Australia

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.

This article on cultural differences in Australia and cultural travel tips for Australia is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Australia, tips for communicating in Australia and business strategies for Australia to help with understanding the culture in Australia. 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 Australia and tips for intercultural communication!

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

Australians tend to be enthusiastic conversationalists and debaters. A wide range of topics are usually open to discussion. They also have a great sense of humor, so don’t leave yours at home!

Australians try not to draw too much attention to their academic qualifications, at least in public. People who make a lot of references to their education and other professional qualifications in conversation may be subject to teasing.

Cynicism is part of the national character. It may be at times directed at people who seem egotistical or too wealthy and powerful.

Don’t boast about yourself or your company’s accomplishments. Instead, Australians will judge your competence and abilities through your actions.

Unlike some countries, Australians do appreciate sincere compliments a long as they are not exaggerated or overly exuberant.

Keep in mind, Australians may like to poke fun at or criticize themselves, but they are not as receptive to criticism from others.

Australians find strong discussions and opinionated conversation valuable and entertaining, so don’t hesitate to express your views if they are sincere and informed.

Australians are known to discuss religion, politics, and even the Australian government or other governments.

Australians are often difficult to impress, and even if you do manage to impress them, they may not openly admit it.

One of the best ways to develop relationships with Australians is to know the landmarks and something about the area of Australia you’re visiting.

Australians are very proud of their country, so learn something about their history, food, and culture in advance.

The beauty of their cities, local sites, gardens, coastlines (the Gold Coast is famous), and the Outback (if you get a chance to visit) are all good topics for rapport building.

In Australia, there is great respect and empathy for the “underdog”, so the “top dog” approach is never the best way to accomplish anything.

The work environment in Australian business culture tends to be collaborative with considerable research and discussion by everyone involved.

Before a decision is made, top management will consult with their subordinates and their input will be given careful consideration.

Australians generally dislike aggressive sales techniques, so a factual, streamlined approach that allows for plenty of questions and discovery is best.

Since Australians value directness, presentations of any kind should be straightforward with an emphasis on both the positive and negative outcomes. Don’t attempt to coverup or hide anything.

Negotiations should always be well prepared because options will be thoroughly discussed at all levels. It’s important not to rush this process.

Decision-making tends to be slower than in some western countries, so be patient and enjoy the process.

Australian hospitality tends to be somewhat informal, particularly when you are invited to a home.

Barbecues, affectionately known as, “barbies”, are a very popular form of entertaining.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • Australian traditions and sports are always great topics.
  • Your international travels to other countries is always of interest
  • Australian food; restaurants, beer and wine. Australia has excellent food!
  • Australian culture in general; theater, movies and the opera
  • Point with your entire hand; pointing at someone with your index finger may be considered impolite.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Avoid criticizing or joking about Australia, its culture and traditions, or other Australians, even if your Australian companions are doing so.
  • Don’t discuss the ethnic relations as it relates to the history of the Aborigines
  • Avoid talking too much about your education, professional experience, business success, and related achievements as it may be considered a boosting.
  • Australians are often distrustful of authority and of people who think that they are somehow “better” than others. Remain modest in conversation.
  • If you are invited out for a drink, don’t bring up the subject of business unless your host does so first.

Bon Voyage!

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

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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New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for ARGENTINA

Posted on June 27, 2018 by Leave a comment

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

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Argentina

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.

This article on cultural differences in Argentina and cultural travel tips for Argentina is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Argentina, tips for communicating in Argentina and business strategies for Argentina to help with understanding the culture in Argentina. 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 Argentina and tips for intercultural communication!

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

Expect Argentines to speak Castilian Spanish with an Italian accent rather than the Mexican dialect of Spanish.

Relationship building, rapport and trust are very important in Argentinian business.

It may be a good strategy to make an appointment in Argentina with an “enchufado”, an individual who has high-level contacts in your field. This person can make the necessary introductions on your behalf.

If you want to deal with this country’s government, it is often helpful to have an Argentine contact act as an intermediary before you attempt to make an appointment.

Argentines generally converse in closer proximity than North Americans, so do your best to adapt to this practice because it may be taken personally if you back away from someone.

For business related occasions punctuality is appreciated and expected from visitors, however it’s not uncommon for your Argentine counterparts to be approximately 30 or so minutes late.

Argentines like to engage in “small talk.” Generally, they are very sociable and take a genuine interest in Argentine cultural affairs.

Try not to take offense if people make jokes at your expense, even if remarks are directed at your weight or other aspects of your appearance. This kind of comment is a sign that your Argentine companions are comfortable around you.

Businesswomen are well respected and accepted in Argentinian business.

A firm, inviting handshake is an important part of making a first impression. In accordance with Argentine business protocol, women should initiate the handshakes with men.

It’s not uncommon for women to be asked personal questions about their marital status and family. Give a discreet reply, and if you really don’t want to answer remain polite and gracefully side step the question.

Initially, avoid personal questions and inquiries about family until you have become better acquainted with someone.

Many Argentines like getting into discussions about politics and religion, however as a visitor it will be in your best interests not to get involved unless you know someone very well.

Sincere compliments about anything Argentinian are always welcome.

Professional status and ranking will be important to your Argentine counterparts, so make sure you have equal status as those you will be meeting.

As friendships develop, enthusiastic kissing, hugging and back patting often follow handshakes. Follow the lead of your Argentine counterparts, as they may take offense if you try to recoil from these gestures.

Avoid discussing the war in the Falkland Islands, since this is an episode that the Argentines would prefer to leave behind. If the subject does come up, the islands should be referred to by their Argentine name, the Malvinas Islands.

Hierarchy is important in Argentine business culture. Senior executives and others of status always are given great respect.

In negotiations, the top executives will play key roles in the final decision.

Typically, negotiations will take longer than in the U.S. and other non-Latin American cultures so be patient.

If all the feedback you receive seems unusually positive, keep in mind that it can be very difficult for Argentines to openly disagree with someone they like.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Tips

·         Any topic having to do with Argentine art, theater, movies and opera

·         Sports, such as futbol (soccer), U.S. style football is called “futbol americano”

·         Your international travels and the area of Argentina you’re visiting

·         Restaurants, food, and the great wine in Argentina

·         The beauty of the Argentine architecture, parks and gardens

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Criticizing or joking about Argentine culture and traditions
  • Avoid praising Argentina’s neighbors, particularly Chile. Argentina has fought wars with all their neighboring countries
  • Negative comments about Argentina’s government, cities, or Argentina’s sports teams
  • It’s best to avoid discussion about religion in Argentina until you know someone well
  • Political opinions are strong in Argentina, so it’s best to stay out of the discussion unless you know those involved very well

Bon Voyage!

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

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 Yemen

Posted on May 10, 2018 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for Yemen – 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.

This article on cultural differences in Yemen and cultural travel tips for Yemen is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Yemen, tips for communicating in Yemen and business strategies for Yemen to help with understanding the culture in Yemen. 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 Yemen and tips for intercultural communication!

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

The only absolute requirement of dress code in Yemen is modesty. Short sleeves are therefore acceptable but not short trousers.

The female dress code requires covering everything in public, however, a woman can wear literally anything she wants providing she covers herself thoroughly when she goes out.

The host typically sets the subject of conversation, and normally begin with general small talk such as “How are you?”, “Are you enjoying your visit?” etc.

Intelligent argument is admired and welcome, but only when it is courteous and reasoned. The more feedback you generate, no matter how forceful so long as it’s not angry, the more highly you will be esteemed.

Getting down to business can often be quicker than elsewhere in the Middle East, except for in the United Arab Emirates, UAE, where business is very westernized.

As is in other Arab countries, be prepared to tolerate multiple interruptions during conversations.

The standard greeting is “As-salam alaikum,” (“peace be upon you”) to which the standard reply is “Wa alaikum as-salam,” (“and upon you be peace”).

The use of first names denotes more familiarity than in the west and there is no real equivalent to Mr. or Ms. The noble title “Sayyed” refers to a Hashemite (an Arab claiming descent from Hashim, the great-grandfather of Muhammad), and should always be used before the first name.

A level of friendliness, without undue familiarity, is achieved by using the “kunya”. A man becomes known to his friends as “Abu” (father of), usually followed by the name of his eldest son. It is quite acceptable to ask a mutual acquaintance if you don’t know a man’s kunya. Somewhat less common is the female equivalent “Umm” (mother of).

The titles Doctor, Mohandas (engineer), Ustadh (professor), and Shaikh (chief) are used as honorable titles. “Shaikh” is similar in concept to knighthood in British English, and is used before the first name not the surname.

On arrival at a reception room, the visitor should stand in the doorway and utter the former of these phrases. After receiving the reply, the visitor is entitled to enter the reception room for further greetings and introductions.

If the room is carpeted, remove your shoes and leave them outside to avoid bringing in impurities that would leave the carpet ritually unclean for prayer.

Once inside the room, shake hands with the most senior person first, usually but not always the host. Proceed to make your way around the room in a counter-clockwise direction, shaking hands with each person before taking your seat or joining in the conversation.

If there is a very large number of people in the room, or if the seating is inconvenient, there may be consensus permission to merely shake hands with the host and wave a greeting to the others.

It is best not to change the subject of a conversation except by logical opportunity or invitation, even though the Yemenis will feel free to do this themselves.

English is widely spoken enough not to require a knowledge of Arabic for general day-to-day purposes.

Business cards are common but not essential in Yemen. If used, the common practice is to have English and Arabic printed on either side. Brochures and other promotional literature should be printed in Arabic, either with or without English translation.

If seated, crossing your legs is acceptable, provided you don’t direct the sole of your foot to an individual, which is the “go away” gesture.

In business meetings, conversation should be communal. Don’t have a long private chat with an individual because more than one conversation in the room is thought to spoil the atmosphere.

Yemenis are very shrewd in business, so the details of any agreement should be detailed meticulously. The concept of commitment may differ from yours, and such terms as “immediate”, “prompt”, “on demand” or “soon” are particularly susceptible to disputed interpretation.

Hospitality is important throughout the Middle East, but in Yemen it is a requirement and must be accepted when offered. Being invited to lunch anywhere in Yemen is the promise of a feast. The food is both varied and distinctive, however, be aware that the southern cuisine is substantially spicier than the northern.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • Maintaining eye contact is an important way of showing attentiveness in Yemen.
  • Everything offered to anyone should be offered with and taken by only the right hand.
  • Be open to standing closer, more body language, and touching between the same sex.
  • Be prepared for many interruptions by the Yemenis during conversations,
  • Restaurants and the varied, distinctive food are always appreciated topics of discussion.

 

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Nothing should be offered with the left hand which is considered unclean.
  • When seated, don’t point the sole of your foot to anyone, because this is a “go away” gesture.
  • In general, let your host guide the conversation and don’t change the topic unless invited to do so.
  • Don’t ask personal questions or discuss a person’s private life unless they bring it up first.
  • Don’t back away from Yemenis when they stand close to you or touch your arm or clothing during discussions.

Bon Voyage!

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

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

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

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Venezuela

Posted on April 5, 2018 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for Venezuela – 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 differences in Venezuela and cultural travel tips for Venezuela is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Venezuela, tips for communicating in Venezuela and business strategies for Venezuela to help with understanding the culture in Venezuela. 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 Venezuela and tips for intercultural communication!

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

In Venezuela, punctuality is expected. Traffic congestion, especially in Caracas, can be difficult, so make sure you have plenty of time to get to your appointment.

A firm, assured, handshake is the customary greeting on all occasions. During the handshake, state your full name and the Venezuelan will reciprocate by doing the same.

Once you establish a closer acquaintance, you may receive an “abrazo”, an embrace which involves a squeeze of the arm, and sometimes even a kiss on the cheek.

Venezuelans tend to stand close to others. Respect this practice and accept that it is the cultural norm. Attempting to move away may be perceived as a rejection.

Business cards are important in establishing working relationships in this culture, so bring a plentiful supply and have them ready when first meeting others. Business cards should be treated with care and respect.

It’s best if documents, letters, promotional literature, and presentation materials are translated into Spanish. However, if you receive a reply from a Venezuelan in English you may begin using English in all correspondence.

In the Venezuelan business culture, preliminary conversation or “small talk” is considered necessary before each meeting, since it allows the participants to become personally acquainted. Follow their lead in establishing rapport.

An important part of developing a business relationship with your Venezuelan contact involves dining at a restaurant. Business dinners are usually social occasions, so refrain from discussing work-related matters unless your Venezuelan contact brings up the subject.

If you are hosting a meal at a restaurant, it’s a good idea to pay the bill in advance. This guideline is especially important if you are a woman, since your male guests may resist allowing you to pick up the tab.

If you are invited to a Venezuelan’s home, consider it an honor, and it’s best to bring a gift. Orchids, the national flower, is a popular and an easily available floral gift.

Businesspeople from older generations often place a greater emphasis on getting to know you personally. Conversely, the younger generations are chiefly preoccupied with business concerns.

In Venezuelan business culture, interpersonal skills and maintaining cordial relations with the group, are often considered more important than professional competence and experience.

Avoid monopolizing a conversation, it’s best to allow your Venezuelan companions to initially take the lead.

During a conversation, it’s not uncommon for Venezuelans to sometimes touch each other’s arms or jacket.

In both the government and private sectors, Venezuelan women hold positions of rank and authority, so you’ll find that Venezuelan men will be accustomed to dealing with businesswomen.

A business deal made in Venezuela should focus mainly on long-term goals, rather than immediate gains.

The Venezuelan educational system emphasizes processing information subjectively and associatively. In problem solving, becoming personally involved is often considered more important than seeking guidance from a specific set or laws or rules.

In the Venezuelan business culture, an individual takes full responsibility for his or her decisions and how they affect the group or family structure.

The pace of negotiations is generally slower in Venezuela than in the United States.

During negotiations, wait until final agreements are reached before discussing getting attorneys involved.

Business gifts are appreciated if you have been invited to dinner or when someone has done something thoughtful for you. It’s best to give them after business hours. Some good gifts include fine chocolates, a desk accessory with your company name and logo, or a small electronic.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • Maintaining eye contact is an important way of signaling attentiveness in this culture.
  • Point with your entire hand, rather than just your index finger which is considered impolite
  • Good topics to discuss are the positive aspects of Venezuela, particularly what you like most about the country.
  • Sports, especially baseball and soccer.
  • Restaurants and food are always good topics of discussion.

 

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Venezuelans look down upon eating and walking at the same time.
  • Avoid discussing Venezuelan politic or religion.
  • In general, it’s best not to bring up the influence the United States has on South America.
  • Don’t ask personal questions or discuss a person’s private life unless they bring it up first.
  • Don’t back away from Venezuelans when they stand close to you or pull away if they touch your arm or clothing during discussions.

Bon Voyage!

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

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

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

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for the United States of America (USA)

Posted on August 30, 2017 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for the United States of America (USA) – 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.

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

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

In the USA, you will find that most Americans speak only English, unless they are immigrants from other countries. They write the month first, then the day, then the year (i.e., December 5, 2001 is written 12/5/01).

Punctuality is considered very important, especially for business occasions. In many U.S. cities, traffic can cause considerable delays, so be sure to allow enough driving time to your appointment. If you know that you will be late, call to let your contact know.

A handshake is the customary greeting for both men and women socially or for business. Apart from greeting close family members or friends, Americans tend to refrain from greetings that involve hugging and close physical contact.

Business cards will not be refused, but you may not always receive one in return. Don’t be offended, in the U.S., the rituals involved in exchanging business cards are sometimes not observed as closely as in other cultures.

The recipient of your card will probably place it into a wallet, which a man may put in the back pocket of his pants. This gesture is done for convenience, and is not meant to be a sign of disrespect, as it might be in other cultures.

The standard space between you and your conversation partner should be about two feet. Most U.S. executives will be uncomfortable standing at a closer distance. Direct eye contact conveys that you are sincere, although it should not be too intense. Certain ethnic groups will look away to show respect.

Americans will often ask, “How are you?” as part of the standard greeting “Hello”, or “Hi”. It is not a question that requires a lengthy answer, a simple “Fine and you?” is sufficient.

Americans like to laugh and enjoy being with people who have a sense of humor. Jokes are usually welcome, however avoid race, gender, ethnic and religious humor. They also tend to dislike long periods of silence, so they may jump in to fill in the silence in a conversation with humor or a general statement.

Traditional sex roles are changing rapidly, but women are still striving for equality in pay and positions of authority.

Sports are very popular in the U.S., especially baseball, football (not to be confused with soccer), and basketball. Sport analogies have found their way into business, so you will often hear things like “that was a home run” or “that’s out in left field”, which can be confusing to those unfamiliar with the terms!

Most business is conducted on a “first name” basis, however there are exceptions so follow the lead of others. When sitting, Americans can look very relaxed. Men may sit with the ankle of one leg on their knee or prop their feet up on chairs or desks. However, in formal business situations it’s best to maintain a good posture and be less casual.

In the U.S., business is often conducted at a very fast pace. In a meeting, the participants will proceed with business after some brief, preliminary “small talk.” The concept “time is money” is taken seriously in U.S. business culture, so always get to the point. It’s not uncommon for them to try to get an oral agreement at the first meeting.

Many Americans believe that their country is the most successful economic and democratic power, and assume that American ways are the “correct” ones. This attitude sometimes leads to a lack of interest in or knowledge of other cultures.

They typically know little of concepts such as “saving face” and the social niceties and formalities that are vitally important to other cultures. Innovation usually takes precedence over tradition.

The United States is an ethnocentric culture, and so it is sometimes closed to “outside” information. Thinking tends to be analytical, and concepts are abstracted quickly.

Americans tend to be future oriented. Money is a key priority, and an issue that will be used to win most arguments. They don’t always realize that businesspeople from many other cultures rarely, if ever, sacrifice status, protocol, or national honor for financial gain.

In negotiations, Americans will often emphasize their financial strength or indomitable position. Generally, they will use a majority vote if they have it, and will not spend much time seeking consensus.

They regard negotiating as problem-solving through “give and take” based on respective strengths. They often are unaware that the other side may have only one position.

American businesspeople are opportunistic and willing to take chances. Opportunism and risk taking often result in Americans going for the biggest possible slice of the business. Even so, they will have a financial plan which must be followed.

Businesspeople can be very blunt and will not hesitate to disagree with you. This approach may cause embarrassment to business travelers who are unaccustomed to dealing with Americans. In general, people from the U.S. will not hesitate to answer “no.”

Persistence is a characteristic you will frequently encounter in American business. There is a prevailing belief that there is always a solution, so they will explore all options when negotiations are at an impasse.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • General questions such as “How are you” or “What do you do?” are often used.
  • Topics around someone’s job or work-related matters are good for general discussion. Travel, music, food, movies, and books are topics appreciated by everyone.
  • All types of sports, and especially golf for business venues and negotiations, are welcome topics of conversation.
  • To show approval, there are two common gestures: the “O.K.” sign, formed by making a circle of the thumb and index finger, and the “thumbs up” sign, formed by making a fist and pointing the thumb upward. The backslap should be interpreted as a sign of friendship and camaraderie.
  • To beckon someone, wave either all the fingers or just the index finger in a scooping motion, with the palm facing up. To wave goodbye, move your entire hand, with the palm facing outward.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Until you know a person well, avoid discussing religion, politics or other controversial subjects (abortion, racism, sexism etc.). Also avoid all race, gender, ethnic or religious jokes.
  • For the most part, Americans aren’t prone to touching, hugging, or kissing when greeting, or during business conversations and social situations.
  • While it’s common to point with the index finger, it’s impolite to point at another person.
  • Refrain from asking women if they are married. If a woman volunteers this information, you may ask a few polite questions about her husband or children.
  • Smoking is not as commonplace and is subject to restrictions in most public places. Even where smoking is allowed, always ask if those you are with will mind if you smoke.

Bon Voyage!Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for Venezuela!

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

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

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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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

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