Archive for February, 2012

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

Posted on February 25, 2012 by Comments are off

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 predominately Roman Catholic).

Welcome Topics of Conversation

  • 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

Conversation to Avoid

  • 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!

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Contact Circles Of Excellence for your company’s Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers. We work with companies of all sizes and industries, including 50 Fortune 500 companies. Our topics include Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building and Time Management.

Contact Gayle Cotton for your next meeting or conference to help your business become more successful in today’s global business environment. Gayle is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. She travels worldwide as a distinguished Professional Keynote Speaker. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire any audience with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications!

Author: Gayle Cotton, International Keynote Speaker & Cultural Expert

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News Websites! Executive Coaches Texas & Presentation Skills Coaching

Posted on February 1, 2012 by Comments are off

Circles Of Excellence just launched 2 new websites to keep up with the demands for ‘Executive Coaching Texas’ and ‘Presentation Skill Coaching’. Check them out at the following links:

www.executivecoachingtexas.com

www.presentationskillscoaches.com

Contact Us for More Information

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Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

 

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Events for Circles Of Excellence: February 2012

Posted on February 1, 2012 by Comments are off

Cooper Natural Resources

Executive Coaching programs for Communication Skills Training, Negotiation Skills Training and Presentation Skills Training

 

Ericsson

Cross-Cultural Training, Negotiation Skills Training and Executive Coaching programs for Multicultural Communication

 

Shell Oil

Cross-Cultural Training for Europe, Asia / Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East

 

Ecom Trading

Executive Coaching programs for Cross-Cultural Training, Interpersonal Communication Skills Training, Executive Leadership Skills Training, Teambuilding Training and Customer Service Training programs

 

Towers Watson

Executive Coaching programs for Cross-Cultural Training and Executive Leadership Skills Training

 

Huawei

Customer Service Training programs and Cross-Cultural Training programs

www.circlesofexcellence.com

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