Posts tagged with global business marketplace

My Book ‘SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!’ Is Now an Audio Book on Amazon!

Posted on April 19, 2014 by Leave a comment

I’m thrilled to announce that my bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’  is now available as an Audio Book on Amazonperfect for you frequent travelers!

Audio Book-3-14

So many of you have requested my book in Audio Version, so spread the word to let everyone know!

Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton, to speak at your next meeting or conference! Gayle is the author of the bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communications’ and President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. She is a Certified Expert with ‘The Executive Foundation for International Communication’, and was the first American to be a member of ‘The European Association of Marketing and Sales Experts’. Gayle entertains and inspires audiences around the word with her fresh, unique, and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications and Social Business Etiquette She has business bases in Texas and Switzerland.

 

Website: www.gaylecotton.com

MEDIA: Newsroom-Media-Interviews

Circles Of Excellence website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming on: My blog

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

Coming on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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

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

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

Posted on March 30, 2014 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z: MEXICO Cozumel-Chichen Itza-Sm

 Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this article and of the bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communications’ She is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching and a distinguished Keynote Speaker. Gayle entertains and inspires audiences of all size with her fresh, unique, and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications and social business etiquette. She travels worldwide from business bases in Texas and Switzerland. Contact Gayle for your next conference or event to help your company become more successful in today’s global business marketplace!

This article series ‘Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos’ is a brief synopsis of conversation guidelines, travel tips, and international business strategies that will increase your success communicating with different cultures. Keep in mind that we are homogenizing as a ‘global culture’, and as a result cultural tendencies are changing and homogenizing as well. Awareness is the first step!

Cultural Tips for MEXICO

In conversation, Mexicans talk easily and often about their families and private lives. They will expect the same of you.

Mexicans prefer to do business with people they know. Cultivating personal relationships with others will be crucial to your success. Strive to establish contacts as high up in the organization as possible. If possible, use a local, well-connected person to make the necessary introductions for you.

Punctuality is not as much of a priority in the Mexican business culture. However, visitors should arrive on time. The pace of business is also slower and time is more flexible. Expect time delays up to 30 minutes for business and even longer delays for social events.

Men will usually shake hands during greetings. A gentle grip is common. Handshakes at the end of a meeting are intended to affirm what was discussed or agreed to.

An ‘abrazo’ or hug with pats on the back is common on the 2nd or 3rd meeting. It is seen as a sign of good will in Mexican business culture.

In business, it’s appropriate for women to initiate handshakes with men. With each other, they may simply pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder. If they are particularly close, women may hug or kiss each other on the cheek.

Conversations occur at a much closer physical distance than many cultures may be accustomed to. Moving away to establish distance could be considered unfriendly. In response, a Mexican will often step forward and close the distance up again.

Mexican men are warm, friendly, and tend to initiate a lot of physical contact. They often touch shoulders or hold the arm of another. Withdrawing from these gestures could be perceived as an insult.

Mexicans often avoid saying “no” directly”. A “no” may be disguised by “maybe” or “we’ll see.” It’s best to use this indirect approach in your business relationships so your Mexican counterparts don’t perceive you as being aggressive or pushy.

The appearance and presentation of letters and promotional materials are considered very important and will be subject to scrutiny. Place documents on the table with care. Never casually toss or throw them.

Mexican business people can be quite status-conscious, and it helps to have at least one member of your team from higher-level management. It may also be an asset to mention any university degrees you hold.

Subjective feelings and emotional appeals are often effective in Mexico, so emphasize how your Mexican counterparts will benefit personally. It also helps to mention the importance of trust, honor, and family pride.

Negotiations are usually lengthy and may include a lot of bargaining. Usually, the highest person in authority makes the final decision. Final decisions are always followed by a written agreement.

Mexicans may use a “psst-psst” sound to get another’s attention in public. This is not considered rude in Mexican business etiquette,

If purchasing things in Mexico, place your money directly in the vendor’s or clerk’s hand. Leaving your payment on the counter may give the impression that you feel they are beneath you.

5 Key Topics to Use in Conversation

  • Mexican scenery and landmarks
  • Mexican art, culture, history, and music
  • Your family or job is always a good topic
  • The local Mexican cuisine and drink
  • Sports, especially Mexican “futbol” (soccer)

5 Key Topics or Gestures to Avoid in Conversation

  • The “O.K.” gesture with the thumb and index finger is considered vulgar
  • Men should avoid putting their hands in their pockets as this is considered rude
  • Religious profanity is very offensive in Mexico
  • Putting your hands on your hips signifies that you’re making a challenge
  • Eye contact is less direct, so avoid looking at others too intently.

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for the NETHERLANDS!

                        To learn more about the communication and business styles of Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order my bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’  – now available as an Audio Book on Amazon!

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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

Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton, to speak at your next meeting or conference! Gayle is the author of the bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communications’ and President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. She is a Certified Expert with ‘The Executive Foundation for International Communication’, and was the first American to be a member of ‘The European Association of Marketing and Sales Experts’. Gayle entertains and inspires audiences around the word with her fresh, unique, and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications and Social Business Etiquette She has business bases in Texas and Switzerland.


Website: www.gaylecotton.com

MEDIA: Newsroom/Media/Interviews

Circles Of Excellence website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Soon on: My blog

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

Soon on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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

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

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

Posted on February 26, 2014 by Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Key Topics to Use in Conversation

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

5 Keys Topics to Avoid in Conversation

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

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for MEXICO!

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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

 

Website: www.gaylecotton.com

MEDIA: Newsroom/Media/Interviews

Circles Of Excellence website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming on: My blog

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

Coming on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on February 14, 2014 by Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Key Topics to Use in Conversation

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

5 Keys Topics to Avoid in Conversation

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

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for MALAYSIA!

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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

Website: www.gaylecotton.com

MEDIA: Newsroom/Media/Interviews

Circles Of Excellence website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming on: My blog

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

Coming on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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

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

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

Read My Interview in the Wall Street Journal on Asian /US Business Risk

Posted on January 26, 2014 by Leave a comment

The Morning Risk Report: How Asian Management Culture Affects Risk

Wall Street – street sign with building and charts in the background

By Ben DiPietro

A report this week of more than two dozen executives in South Korea offering to resign in the wake of a data breach that could put the personal information of more than 100 million cardholders at risk points to a difference in eastern and western business cultures—as there have been no offers of mass resignations following the Target Corp. breach that exposed information of 110 million cardholders.

Both David Clive Price, an expert on Asian business culture, and Gayle Cotton, an author and president of the corporate training company Circles of Excellence, say the differences in culture are based on the importance Asian nations place on the team over the individual and on saving face, or “preserving the surface of things,” as Mr. Price put it.  “The result is that ‘shame’ in the sense of an executive falling on his or her sword is felt more acutely, and more as a gesture to the collective spirit than in the West,” he said. “Also, many Asia companies are family-owned and –run with less attention paid to shareholders. So there is a complete set of comparatively different values and priorities at work.”

Ms. Cotton said the Asian way of doing things is not necessarily better than the western way, and can lead to problems if an entire team of executives resigns and leaves the company without the experience and knowledge to handle and move on from a crisis. It also may lead to executives trying to keep problems hidden to avoid the shame they will bring on the team and the company if they are made public. “I wouldn’t say they are necessarily any more responsible than we are, they just relate to that responsibility differently,” she said. “Here we are eager we take responsibility and the risk that comes with that responsibility. But we take it in stride, it’s part of the job: you win some, you lose some. There, it’s not that way…the way they look at failure prohibits them from being able to do that. You need to win and you need to win fairly and you need to protect the team you’re winning with, that will give the entire organization face.”

If you have a subscription to the Wall Street Journal you can read more there!

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The Cross of Cross-Cultural

 

Website: www.gaylecotton.com 

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming on my blog

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

Coming on the Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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

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

‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere’ Is in Amazon’s ‘New Year, New You 2014’!

Posted on January 19, 2014 by Leave a comment

What are you doing to enhance your personal and career development in 2014? Book Cover-WSJ-9781118620168_cotton

Amazon is currently featuring my book ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ in their online marketplace,  ‘New Year, New You 2014’!

Check it out on Amazon at the following link: A New Year, New You in 2014!’ SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!’

“This is a perfect cross-cultural communication tool for anyone who does business globally. Gayle uses interesting and amusing examples to illustrate the hows and whys of effectively sharing messages with someone from another culture. Her naturally friendly writing style addresses delicate issues in a graceful way. Read this book and you’ll be ready to Say Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!”

– Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Great Leaders Grow

“This is an excellent guide to being more effective and comfortable with different people from different cultures – essential for anyone who travels to other countries.”

– Brian Tracy, Author – The 10 Disciplines of Exceptional Leadership

Read More Endorsements!

 

Website: www.gaylecotton.com 

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming on my blog

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

Coming on the Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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

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

Read My Interview by the Epoch Times on ‘Shen Yun’ and the Arts in China

Posted on January 12, 2014 by Leave a comment

The Epoch Times: Interview on Shen Yun and the Chinese ArtsShen Yun-3

Shen Yun http://www.shenyunperformingarts.org/ brings to the Broadway stage the traditional Arts that span 5000 years of Chinese history and Dynasties. Many of these Arts have been lost over the past 60 years of Communist rule. The young woman that interviewed me spent 3 months in prison at the age of 20 for practicing her family’s religion ‘Falun Dafa’ http://en.falundafa.org/. You can read my interview on Shen Yun and the Arts in China at the following links:

Interview LinkShen Yun-GC-ED-1-14jpg

 

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/433247-emmy-award-winning-speaker-gayle-cotton-shen-yun-a-wonderful-experience/

 

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The Cross of Cross-Cultural

 

Website: www.gaylecotton.com 

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming on my blog

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

Coming on the Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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

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

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

Posted on December 8, 2013 by Leave a comment

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

 

Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos is a brief synopsis of the conversation guidelines for Japan, along with some tips for communicating in Japan, and strategies for doing business in Japan that will help increase your understanding of the Japanese culture. Keep in mind that we are homogenizing as a ‘global culture’ and, as many cultures change and evolve, these cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is the first step!

Punctuality is necessary when doing business in Japan because the Japanese believe it is rude to be late.

Business cards (“meishi”) are an important part of doing business in Japan and key for establishing credentials. It’s preferable to have one side of your card printed in English and the reverse in Japanese.

It is traditional to present your card with the Japanese side facing up, held with both hands between the thumbs and the forefingers. This may be accompanied by a slight bow, which is usually lower based on the age and hierarchy of the person receiving the card. However, don’t be surprised if your Japanese counterpart greets you with a westernized business card exchange!

The Japanese will usually shake hands with Westerners as a way of making them feel comfortable. In turn, it’s helpful for Westerners to bow slightly to demonstrate that they are also taking the initiative to learn some Japanese customs. This simple gesture can do a lot to help a businessperson in establishing rapport with a potential Japanese client.

When receiving a business card, carefully examine it and make an interesting remark about the person’s title or occupation. Then place it on a nearby table during a meeting or in your card case if not meeting at that time. Stuffing it into a pocket is considered disrespectful. Writing on a business card is also inappropriate.

The bow is an important part of Japanese business protocol. Bows are used for expressing appreciation, making apologies and requests, as well as for greetings and farewells. Bows convey both respect and humility.

The depth of the bow depends on the recipient’s rank and status. When bowing to an individual who is of higher status than you, bow a little lower than that person to display deference. Do the same if you are uncertain of the status of the person that you are facing. With a person of your equivalent status, bow at the same height.

Maintaining “correct” relationships between people, and maintaining harmony within groups and teams is considered to be very important.

Be especially respectful to your older Japanese counterparts–age equals rank in the Japanese business culture. When you start speaking, it is polite to direct your first remarks to the most senior member, and then to appropriate individuals.

You may be asked some personal questions regarding your salary, education, and family life. If you don’t want to answer, remain polite and gracefully side step the question.

Be careful when asking the Japanese certain questions. If the response is “maybe”, “possibly”, or “I’ll consider it”, the answer is very possibly “no”. The Japanese prefer to avoid saying “no” directly.

Meanings may be read into even the slightest gestures. Consequently, avoid displaying unusual facial expressions and motioning in ways that are remotely dramatic or expansive.

The American “O.K.” sign (thumb and forefinger shaped into an “O”) actually means “money” in Japan.

Instead of pointing, which is considered rude, use your whole open hand to point.

Blowing one’s nose in public is regarded as impolite. When necessary, use a disposable tissue and then throw it out immediately. The Japanese find the idea of keeping a used handkerchief or tissue in a pocket disgusting.

Laughter may indicate embarrassment or distress, rather than amusement. Smiling can also be used for self-control, particularly in masking displeasure.

It is considered polite to periodically say “I’m sorry.” For example, the Japanese will apologize for not being punctual enough, having a cold, taking you to a disappointing restaurant etc. Visitors are encouraged to incorporate similar apologies into their conversation.

“Saving face” is a very important concept to understand. When a person loses his or her composure or otherwise causes embarrassment, even unintentionally (“losing face”), it can be disastrous for business relationships.

Welcome Topics of Conversation

  • Inquiring about a person’s family (a good conversation starter)
  • Praising the hospitality you’re receiving
  • Japanese history and artistic achievements
  • Positive comments about the Japanese economy
  • Sports, such as golf and ski jumping

Conversation to Avoid

  • World War II
  • Jokes (unless they are very easy to understand, self-deprecating, and made in a social rather than business setting)
  • Criticizing in any form that could cause “loss of face”
  • Ridicule of native social / business rituals and protocol
  • Negative comments about the local sports teams

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for JORDAN!

Website: www.gaylecotton.com 

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming on my blog

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

Coming on the Circles Of Excellence blog

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

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

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

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

‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!’ is a ‘Featured Sales Guide’ on Amazon!

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Leave a comment

ATTENTION SALESPEOPLE & NEGOTIATORS! My book ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!’ is a ‘Featured Sales Guide’ on Amazon. Book Cover-WSJ-9781118620168_cotton

If you sell or negotiate internationally, I promise this book will greatly assist you.

It’s a perfect holiday read for a friend, co-worker, or yourself!

You can buy it now on Amazon at the following link: ‘Featured Sales Guide: SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!’

“This is a perfect cross-cultural communication tool for anyone who does business globally. Gayle uses interesting and amusing examples to illustrate the hows and whys of effectively sharing messages with someone from another culture. Her naturally friendly writing style addresses delicate issues in a graceful way. Read this book and you’ll be ready to Say Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!”

– Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Great Leaders Grow

“This is an excellent guide to being more effective and comfortable with different people from different cultures – essential for anyone who travels to other countries.”

– Brian Tracy, Author – The 10 Disciplines of Exceptional Leadership

Read More Endorsements!

Look Inside ‘Say Anything’

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

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

Posted on November 11, 2013 by Leave a comment

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

In the Italian business culture, punctuality is not as much of a priority as in some places. However, it’s best to arrive on time and be prepared to wait.

In many cities there is a long lunch break from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Business may be discussed during lunch.

Be aware of summer vacations in August, as most companies are closed.

You will usually be introduced to older people and women first. When introducing yourself, it’s best to follow this protocol.

Frequent, warm and enthusiastic handshakes are common for both business and social occasions. Italians will also greet people they know well with an embrace.

It’s not unusual to see Italians walking arm in arm or even holding hands in public (men with women, men with men, and women with women).

Italians can be very demonstrative and like to gesture with their arms and hands while talking. There are rare moments of silence and interruptions are common.

Italians have many physical gestures that have very specific meanings. Because of this, avoid hand gestures where fingers are pointed or singled out in a descriptive way so you don’t offend anyone.

In the Italian culture, people are traditionally expected to behave with a sense of decorum and formality. This concept is known as ‘bella figura’ (beautiful figure).

In business, avoid chewing gum, leaning on things, or slouching. Good posture and direct eye contact is important

It’s advisable to wait to be seated at meetings, meals, or gatherings. Take these opportunities to cultivate feelings of respect and trust with your Italian counterparts.

Any presentation materials should be aesthetically pleasing. It’s essential that things look good as appearance is very important.

Hierarchy in business and “cordata” (chain of command) cannot be underestimated. A belief in status and hierarchy permeates all aspects of Italian society. There is tremendous respect for power, authority and age.

Decision making is rather slow and protracted, so be patient since rushing the process will only be an affront to the Italian business protocol.

Honor and personal pride are critical. Never insult an Italian, their family, their town, their friends, or their church (which is predominantly Roman Catholic).

5 Key Conversation or Gesture Tips

  • Italian architecture and  landscape
  • Anything related to Italian art, opera and films
  • Sports, especially soccer
  • The warm Italian hospitality
  • Current events, as long as they are not derogatory to Italy

5 Key Conversation or Gesture Taboos

  • Religion, the Vatican and its policies
  • Politics, taxes, the Mafia and World War II
  • Criticizing the Italian culture, even if your Italian counterparts are doing so
  • Overly personal questions about job and family when you have just met
  • Negative comments about the local soccer team!

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for JAPAN! 

Website: www.gaylecotton.com 

Book website: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Currently on my blog

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

Currently on the Circles Of Excellence blog

Cross-cultural article: Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos on RUSSIA!

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

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

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

Next Page »