Posts tagged with communication skills

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for PERU

Posted on July 22, 2021 by Leave a comment

Peru

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for Peru

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Peru

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

Cultural Tips for Peru – including some valuable business travel tips for Peru

When doing business in Peru, be aware that you are likely to be at a higher altitude than you may be used to when you are in Peru, so give yourself a chance to get accustomed to it and prepare for possible altitude sickness.

Just as in many other Latin American countries, the concept of “Latin time” prevails. You will find your Peruvian contacts to be more flexible about time than people in many other parts of the world

Business attire is the standard in Peru. “Business casual” is not usually considered appropriate attire in Peru.

Body language and gestures are apt to be demonstrative and expressive, as is typical with many Latin American cultures.

Once a friendship has been established, men frequently greet each other with a hug, and women may kiss one another on the cheek. When you are greeted with more than a handshake, this is a sign that you have been accepted by these people.

Peruvians communicate in close proximity. When they stand nearby, do not back away, as you will offend them. Men also often walk arm in arm with other men, as do women with other women.

Since Peruvians value personal relationships and relate more to an individual business associates than a corporation, a local third party contact may be necessary. It may be best to establish the connection through a local mediator, or “enchufado”. They will be able to operate through the various networks that encompass Peruvian business and government.

Personal relationships are often more important than professional competence and experience. Personal identity is based on the social system and the history of one’s extended family. Building rapport is important to do before discussing business, as people tend to be more relationship oriented than goal oriented.

It’s best to have your business card printed in Spanish, since making this effort will please your Peruvian contacts. If you hold a title such as “Doctor”, “Engineer”, or “Professor”, it should be printed on your business card.

At each level of society, family is the cornerstone. Relationships define the key areas of trust and cooperation. At the highest levels of society, marriage and relationships solidify political and economic alliances.

Peruvians belong to a hierarchical culture where authority is expected to be respected, consequently titles are important and surnames may be used. In formal business settings, it’s best to wait until someone invites you to use first names.

Peruvians are very eager for foreign investment opportunities, so you will likely be received with warmth and openness. Be tactful and diplomatic in business associations. Peruvians tend to be rather indirect in their communication, so if you are too direct, they may discount what you have to say.

Even though many people may be involved in your meetings, the most senior manager in attendance will likely make the final decision. Consequently, it’s important to defer to that person and cultivate a relationship with them.

A system referred to as ‘cargo’ consists of a series of ranked offices, each of which has specific duties. Participation in the cargo system is essential to validate status and wealth in the eyes of the community, and to give an individual a feeling of security.

Peruvian women have made great strides in the world of business. However, men still conduct the majority of their business dealings. For this reason, business women should dress and act with great professionalism and be patient with any attitudes of machismo they may encounter.

During business negotiations, be prepared to discuss all aspects of the contract concurrently, rather than discussing individual aspects point-by-point. Also be prepared for seemingly irrelevant data to be reviewed and re-viewed. Try to be as polite as possible, ask questions, and avoid confrontations.

Avoid switching your company’s representatives during the negotiating process since Peruvians relate to the person they have come to know, not the organization.

Although bartering is frequently done in many Latin American countries, this is not necessarily the case in Peru. When discussing price, “I’m thinking” is a common gesture that is conveyed by tapping their head with their fingers.

When eating with Peruvians, it is considered proper to rest both hands on the table.

Crossing your legs by resting the ankle of one leg on the knee of the other is considered inappropriate. It’s best to cross your legs at the knee.

Refrain from motioning for someone to come near you by opening your hand and moving your finger or fingers toward you as this may be considered rude or even obscene. Instead, move your fingers back and forth with your hand facing the ground.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

It’s considered appropriate to talk about family and children when getting to know each other

Discussing local traditions and cuisine

Talking about the sights you’ve seen in Peru, such as Machu-Picchu

Appreciation of the wealth of Peruvian history, art, and culture

Food and restaurants in the particular area you are visiting

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Inquiring about a person’s ancestry, especially if it is Indian

The Peruvian government and politics

Terrorist activity or drug trafficking

Criticism of Peru or Peruvian ways

Prices that have been paid for Peruvian items

Bon Voyage!

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

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 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 customizedtraining programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Video: Speaker Preview for Gayle Cotton

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

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New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for NORWAY

Posted on June 17, 2021 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for Norway

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Norway

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

Cultural Tips for Norway- including some valuable business travel tips for Norway

When doing business in Norway, punctuality is important. Norwegians appreciate punctuality for social engagements as well. If you must be late for any reason, make sure you call in advance and explain.

Standard business or business casual attire is the norm. It’s best for jewelry and accessories to be somewhat understated.

Tonality in business should be moderate. Norwegians prefer that people do not raise their voices when discussing something.

Body language, touching and gestures aren’t overly demonstrative, nor do Norwegians use extremes of expression in business.

Do not ask personal questions until asked first, and don’t be offended if Norwegians do not inquire about your family or work. This is a rather private culture and personal and business lives are often kept separate.

Norwegians accept silence as normal, so don’t hurriedly fill in pauses in the conversation. Also avoid superficial conversation.

All Scandinavians appreciate it if you can show knowledge of the differences between the people of Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.

During introductions, give a simple, firm handshake often with just one or two pumps. It’s not the norm to exchange gifts in ordinary meetings. Norwegians introduce themselves with their first name followed by their surname.

Many Norwegians have two given names and both are used as a ‘first’ name, for example Peter Marten or Selma Astrid. It is impolite to shorten the name to just the first of the two.

For business purposes, Norwegians sometimes introduce themselves by title if expected to do so. However when a relationship has been established, Norwegians usually move onto a first name basis.

There are few things Norwegians are openly offended by, and they regard themselves as worldly and unbiased. However, they do not appreciate loud or boisterous behavior in any context.

Norwegians prepare for meetings and expect you to have done the same. Punctuality is extremely important.

The Norwegian communication style is often seen as somewhat ‘direct’, and they will get to the point quickly and establish the boundaries before addressing the finer details. Facts and figures are very important and must be accurate.

Presentations should be concise, matter of fact and to the point. Any visuals or handouts should contain only the essential information.

In meetings and negotiations, Norwegians believe that everyone should be included and everyone should be given an opportunity to have a say. They consider and value all opinions.

Although negotiating teams may have a leader, they are not necessarily the main decision maker. Consensus after discussion is the goal, and because negotiating teams typically come to decisions as a group – negotiations can take longer.

There is a strong emphasis on equality and all members of a negotiating team are of equal value and status. Don’t be surprised if the lead is taken by a woman even when she is obviously younger than any of the men.

There is a high value placed on proven ability, and there is a defined management hierarchy. The authority to make a decision may be delegated down the management structure, however, there may also be a need to refer decisions sideways to ensure that all those affected have their say.

Norwegians have a great appreciation of nature and the environment. They make great efforts to protect their countryside and coastlines.

Norwegians are very hospitable and will invite you to their homes occasionally for dinner. Be sure to arrive promptly and take a bottle of wine, or flowers for the hostess.

The most common toast is ‘ skål’, pronounced ‘skoal.’ Do not sip your drink until the host or hostess has said ‘ skål ‘, and only then take your glass and raise it.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

The Nobel Prize is a well-known feature of the Norwegian culture

Folk Music and Norwegian composers such as Grieg

Travel and experiences in other countries

Current events and politics – if you know what you’re talking about

Sports – especially football (soccer), biathlon, cross-country skiing, and rally driving

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Any criticism of the Norwegian government or culture

Discussing how much you earn or comparisons with pay scales in other countries

Paying compliments to people you have just met – compliments are typically well earned

Bragging or anything associated with rank, status and showiness

Avoid overly demonstrative expressions and body language

Bon Voyage!

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

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 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 customizedtraining programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Video: Speaker Preview for Gayle Cotton

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

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

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for The NETHERLANDS

Posted on May 20, 2021 by Leave a comment

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The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for The Netherlands

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for The Netherlands

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

Cultural Tips for the Netherlands – including some valuable business travel tips for the Netherlands

When doing business in The Netherlands, keep in mind that the Dutch don’t spend a lot of time socializing before a meeting or other business discussion. As soon as the necessary introductions are made, they will likely proceed with the business at hand.

Don’t call the Netherlands “Holland” since that term specifically refers to only two of the 12 provinces that make up the country.

Whether for business or social engagements punctuality is essential and expected in the Dutch business culture. If you know that you will be late, make sure to call in advance and excuse yourself with a valid reason.

Planning, regulating, and organizing are strong values in this culture so plan accordingly. The Dutch stress the importance of the efficient use of time so reliability is something that is highly valued. Any company that cannot quickly and promptly deliver a service upon request will have a difficult time succeeding with Dutch customers.

Upon introduction, repeat your last name while you are shaking hands. It’s not really part of the Dutch business culture to ask, “How are you?” Dutch businesspeople only ask this type of question to help visitors feel at ease.

When you have not been formally introduced to everyone at a business or social gathering, you should take the initiative to introduce yourself. Go around the room and shake hands with everyone while repeating your last name. Not doing this may leave a bad impression.

Very close friends sometimes lightly kiss each other on the cheeks when greeting. This is appropriate only when men kiss women or women kiss each other.

Generally, the Dutch are rather reserved and will avoid expansive gestures such as hugging and backslapping. Try to avoid touching others in public.

When talking, the Dutch usually stand further apart than North Americans, so stand about an arm’s length apart. Furniture arrangements reflect this so you may find yourself seated in a chair that seems unusually far away. Don’t move your chair closer, however, if this occurs.

Avoid standing with your hands in your pockets or leaving your left hand in your pocket while shaking hands with your right as this is considered impolite.

The Dutch dislike ostentatious displays of wealth. Bragging about your income, lifestyle, or possessions will not impress the Dutch. They are wary of inflated claims, so use plenty of evidence and other data to persuade them of the merit of your products or ideas. A simple and direct presentation is appreciated.

In the Netherlands, most everyone you encounter will speak English. Don’t feel compelled to ask if someone speaks English because it is assumed that the Dutch do, and they dislike being questioned about it.

The Dutch customarily answer their phones simply by stating their last names. Don’t be offended by this directness in the Dutch telephone manner.

The Dutch respect qualities such as straightforwardness and honesty. In this culture, bluntness is preferred to deceptiveness or evasiveness. Consequently, when you really want to say “no”, tentative answers such as “I’ll consider it”, “We’ll see”, or “perhaps” are not acceptable.

Tolerating individual differences and diversity is an important part of the Dutch character. There is a prevailing belief that people should be free to live as they please, as long as, others remain unharmed.

Be polite to all service personnel because the Dutch culture emphasizes that everyone is equal, and no citizen is obliged to be another person’s servant. Never treat anyone Dutch in a patronizing way.

Be informed on recent political events, both in your own country and in the Netherlands, since the Dutch like discussing politics. However, avoid getting involved in a political discussion if you aren’t well informed.

Privacy is of key importance in the Netherlands, and whether at home or in the workplace doors are often kept closed. Always knock on a closed door and wait to be told to enter.

It’s easy to misinterpret certain gestures used by the Dutch, especially if you’re North American. This is because many gestures commonly used in North America have a very different meaning in the Netherlands. Research the variety of gesture differences beforehand.

Consensus guides the decision-making process in most Dutch organizations. Every employee who may be affected will be informed and consulted which creates a more time-consuming process.

Giving compliments is not a part of Dutch business culture. Since most work is done in groups, there is not as much emphasis on recognizing individual effort. When it’s necessary for someone to be praised or criticized, the Dutch usually do this in private.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Your home country or city and points of interest related to them

Travel experiences and what you enjoy about travelling

The Dutch culture, art, history, architecture, and nature

Sports of all kinds – keeping in mind that American soccer is referred to as football

Politics – if you know what you’re talking about

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Boasting of any kind about your income and possessions

Asking personal questions, family and business are usually kept separate

Any criticism of the Dutch Royal Family

Legalized prostitution and marijuana in the Netherlands

Don’t talk to someone while chewing gum as this is considered rude

Bon Voyage!

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

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 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 customizedtraining programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Video: Speaker Preview for Gayle Cotton

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

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

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for MEXICO

Posted on April 22, 2021 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for Mexico

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Mexico

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

Cultural Tips for Mexico – including some valuable business travel tips for Mexico

When doing business in Mexico, keep in mind that they 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.

In conversation, Mexicans talk easily and often about their families and private lives. They will expect the same of 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 is usually 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’s good to mention the importance of trust, honor, loyalty, and pride in your company and family.

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 Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

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 Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

The “OK” 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 Do’s and Taboos for the NETHERLANDS!

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 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 customizedtraining programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Video: Speaker Preview for Gayle Cotton

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

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

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for MALAYSIA

Posted on March 18, 2021 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for Malaysia

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Malaysia

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

Cultural Tips for Malaysia – including some valuable business travel tips for Malaysia

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 not as 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 many 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.

Since much 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 Malaysian capital city, Kuala Lumpur, is in the state of Selangor where the working week is Monday through Friday.

The majority of Malaysian businesspeople are Chinese, and you can expect them to be punctual. However, many government officials are ethnic Malays who have more of a relaxed attitude toward time.

Indian Malaysians are Malaysians of Indian origin. Many are descendants from those who migrated from India during the British colonization. The Indian professionals you encounter will expect punctuality.

Business travelers are expected to be on time, although ethnic Malays may not necessarily do the same.

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 a handshake, 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 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) to point. 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 don’t place one ankle on your knee.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

You may discuss your Malaysian host’s family, heritage, and culture

They are interested in Business and plans for the future

Praising the local cuisine is always appreciated

Malaysian culture, art, and music are interesting topics

Sports in general, and soccer which they refer to as “football”

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Criticizing any aspect of Malaysian culture

Comparing life in Malaysia to life in the West

It’s best not to discuss politics, bureaucracy, or religion

Ethnic relationships in Malaysia are best to avoid discussing

Sex, and roles of the sexes, is not a comfortable topic

Bon Voyage!

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

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 customizedtraining programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Video: Speaker Preview for Gayle Cotton

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for JORDAN

Posted on February 12, 2021 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for Jordan

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Jordan

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

Cultural Tips for Jordan – including some valuable business travel tips for Jordan

In the modern business culture, Jordanians are accustomed to using the typical western styles of introducing oneself. So, you can always use your normal introduction style and it will be accepted.

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 the relationship building.

A loud voice may be considered domineering so don’t speak overly loud.

Jordanians can be emotional in their conversation so you can show some emotion, just don’t raise your voice when you do.

It is quite normal to talk about money, wages, how and how much you pay for things as well as how old you are. 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 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. 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.

It’s important to have fun at negotiating! One of their favorite mottos is, “Everything is always negotiable”.

Your first meeting should start with full introductions and exchange of business cards.

All meetings will include 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 very fast 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. 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 in same sex relationships like a ‘father and son’ or brothers.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

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 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

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 Do’s and Taboos for MALAYSIA!

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 customizedtraining programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Video: Speaker Preview for Gayle Cotton

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

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Learn to Say Happy New Year in Languages from Around the World!

Posted on December 30, 2020 by Leave a comment

AfganiSaale Nao Mubbarak
AfrikaansGelukkige nuwe jaar
AlbanianGezuar Vitin e Ri
ArmenianSnorhavor Nor Tari
ArabicKul ‘am wa antum bikhair
AssyrianSheta Brikhta
AzeriYeni Iliniz Mubarek!
BalochiNoki saal mubarrak bibi
BengaliShuvo Nabo Barsho
Breton [Celtic Brythonic language]Bloavezh Mat
Bulgarian×åñòèòà Íîâà Ãîäèíà(pronounced “Chestita Nova Godina”)
CambodianSoursdey Chhnam Tmei
CatalanFELIÇ ANY NOU
ChakmaNuo bazzor bekkunore
ChineseXin Nian Kuai Le
Corsican LanguagePace e Salute
CroatianSretna Nova godina!
Cymraeg (Welsh)Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
CzechŠťastný Nový rok (or Stastny Novy rok)
DenishGodt Nytår
DhivehiUfaaveri Aa Aharakah Edhen
DutchGELUKKIG NIEUWJAAR!
EskimoKiortame pivdluaritlo
EsperantoFelican Novan Jaron
EstoniansHead uut aastat!
Ethiopian:MELKAM ADDIS AMET YIHUNELIWO!
Ethiopian/Eritrean TigrignaRUHUS HADUSH AMET
FinnishOnnellista Uutta Vuotta
FrenchBonne Annee
GaelicBliadhna mhath ur
Galician [NorthWestern Spain]Bo Nadal e Feliz Aninovo
GermanProsit Neujahr
GeorgianGILOTSAVT AKHAL TSELS!
GreekKenourios Chronos
GujaratiNutan Varshbhinandan
HawaiianHauoli Makahiki Hou
HebrewL’Shannah Tovah
HindiNaye Varsha Ki Shubhkamanyen
Hong kong(Cantonese) Sun Leen Fai Lok
HungarianBoldog Új Évet Kivánok
IndonesianSelamat Tahun Baru
IranianSal -e- no mobarak
IraqiSanah Jadidah
IrishBliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian:Felice anno nuovo

For more ways to say Happy New Year visit the

Circles Of Excellence Blog Jan. 4th!

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 customizedtraining programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Video: Speaker Preview for Gayle Cotton

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

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Say Happy Holidays in Languages from Around the World!

Posted on December 10, 2020 by Leave a comment

Happy Holidays in Korean – Sung Tan Chuk Ha

Happy Holidays in Polish – Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia

Happy Holidays in Irish – Nollaig Shona Dhuit

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

Happy Holidays in Thai – Sawadee Pee Mai

Happy Holidays in Greek – Kala Christouyenna!

Happy Holidays in Urdu – Naya Saal Mubarak Ho

Happy Holidays in Vietnamese – Chung Mung Giang Sinh

Happy Holidays in Yugoslavian – Cestitamo Bozic

Happy Holidays in Indonesian – Ruumsaid juulup|hi

Happy Holidays in Norwegian – God Jul

Happy Holidays in Tagalog – Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon

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

Happy Holidays in Slovak – Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce

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

Happy Holiday in Finnish – Hyvaa joulua

Happy Holidays in Hindi – Shub Naya Baras

Happy Holidays in Lithuanian – Linksmu Kaledu

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

Happy Holidays in Hungarian – Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket

For more says to Say Happy Holidays visit the

Circles Of Excellence Blog Dec. 18!

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 customizedtraining programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Video: Speaker Preview for Gayle Cotton

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

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“Shoutout Interview” Gayle Cotton talks about taking risk with Voyage Dallas Magazine!

Posted on November 2, 2020 by Leave a comment

This was a fun interview because I was able to share my thoughts about taking risk and what makes it worthwhile, as well discuss my favorite places to visit in the Dallas area! I was also given the opportunity to give a shoutout to my dear friend, Krystyna Stepien, who has helped me manage international training, leadership coaching, and conference speaking events throughout my career while I lived Geneva, Switzerland as well as here in Dallas.

You can read the interview here https://shoutoutdfw.com/meet-gayle-cotton-president/

Cheers!

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 JAPAN

Posted on October 22, 2020 by Leave a comment

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for Japan

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Japan

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

Cultural Tips for Japan – including some valuable business travel tips for Japan

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. However, don’t be surprised if your Japanese counterpart greets you with a westernized business card exchange!

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.

Card exchanges may be accompanied by a slight bow, which is usually lower based on the age and hierarchy of the person receiving the card.

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.

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.

The simple gesture of learning some of the important Japanese customs can do a lot to help a businessperson in establishing rapport with a potential Japanese client.

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

Gift-giving is an important part of Japanese business protocol. It is a good policy to bring an assortment of gifts for your trip. This way, if you are unexpectedly presented with a gift, you will be able to reciprocate.

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.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Inquiring about a person’s family is a good conversation starter

Praising and commenting on the Japanese hospitality

Japanese history and artistic achievements

Positive comments about the Japanese economy

Sports, such as golf and ski jumping

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

World War II

Jokes, unless they are very easy to understand, self-deprecating, and made in a social setting

Criticizing in any form that could cause “loss of face”

Ridicule of Japanese social / business rituals and protocol

Negative comments about the local sports teams

Bon Voyage!

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

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 customizedtraining programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Video: Speaker Preview for Gayle Cotton

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

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

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