Archive for January, 2015

Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos: A Touch of Grace

Posted on January 18, 2015 by Comments are off

To touch or not to touch?

How about a touch of grace!

Touch of Grace-Kate -Labron JamesCultural etiquette, politeness, and good manners are passed down through societies from generation to generation. Etiquette refers to the cultural guidelines for what is appropriate or inappropriate and polite or impolite. It gives a culture structure, integrity, grace, and finesse—all of which are uniquely adapted from one culture to another. Fortunately, simple business and social etiquette are often based on basic common sense. Although etiquette styles and fads may come and go, the fundamentals of global etiquette remain essentially the same.Often I’m asked about cultural ‘faux pas’, especially as they relate to gestures and touching someone in a way that breaks cultural protocol. This unintentional breach of protocol happens frequently, and will continue to happen, however the real etiquette come into play when the breach is handled with such grace and dignity that the breach dissolves unnoticed! Two examples of this come to mind.

Recently when Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, were presented with a Cleveland Cavaliers T-shirt for Prince George by LaBron James, LaBron put his arm around Kate’s shoulder for the photo, unaware that touching the royal family has been known to break the accepted protocol. Neither Prince William nor Kate showed any sign of being uncomfortable with LaBron’s gesture, showing instead dignity and a touch a grace.

Another similar situation happened in March 2012 when President Obama and the First Lady meet Queen Elizabeth in England. In this case, the Queen first extended her arm to touch Michelle Obama’s back, at which point Mrs. Obama responded in like creating an embrace between the two. The British media was abuzz with this show of affection by the Queen who had not publically displayed this sort of affection in 57 years! From the perspective of “rapport”, perhaps the Queen was welcoming Mrs. Obama in the manner more typically comfortable for the U.S. than England. Traditionally, the protocol would be to follow the customs of etiquette for the country you are in, however Queen Elizabeth and the First lady showed that doing things differently can be just fine!

A touch of grace happens when we let go of traditional cultural expectations and connect on the level of the culture we have in common – the ‘Human Culture’. As we begin 2015, perhaps we can focus more on what we have in common rather than on our differences. The following 7 tips will help us do just that!

§  Be respectful: Respect is a universal language!

§  Show you care: Learn what’s important to the cultures you visit or work with

§  Strike a balance: Find the comfortable middle ground between cultures. No one expects you to be just like them!

§  Know your geography: There is nothing more embarrassing than not knowing the location of a country and its neighbors!

§  Mind your manners: Learn what is considered polite and impolite for the countries you visit

§  Learn how to greet: Greetings are as diverse as the cultures themselves. There are handshakes, kisses, hugs, and bows, and they come in all different sizes!

§  Show a touch of grace: Differences are the spice of life! When it comes to cultural etiquette, no one expects perfection. Enjoy yourself, and it’s highly likely your counterparts will do the same!

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the communication styles of Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

 Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book, SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a distinguished Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need conference speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, or professional keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural communication training and cross-cultural training programs. She is a leader in the industry of professional motivational speakers and professional public speakers. Known for her cross-cultural communication books and intercultural training, she is among the best of female keynote speakers, women motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is a cross-cultural speaker and expert on social business etiquette. Gayle travels worldwide, entertaining, educating, and inspiring audiences with her fresh and unique style, and is sure to please any audience with her charm, wit, and humor!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building, and Time Management.

 

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

Gayle Cotton’s speaker website: www.gaylecotton.com

Video clips: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

 Gayle Cotton’s book website: SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!

 Soon on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Soon on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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Free Webinar on Gayle Cotton’s Book, SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere

Posted on January 12, 2015 by Comments are off

Become cross-cultural savvy in 2015! Book-WSJ 3D

Attend Gayle Cotton’s webinar on her bestselling book, ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Cross-Cultural Communication’ – available to take at no cost on our website!

This is Gayle’s highly rated webinar on the do’s & taboos for cultures, and cultural tips for international business. Originally done for Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO, it is now available to take the webinar at your convenience anytime… anywhere!

The webinar includes business travel tips for unfamiliar cultures and conversation guidelines for Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin American, and the Middle East. It also has tips for communicating in different countries, as well as strategies for doing business with unfamiliar cultures to help with understanding cultures around the world. 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!

Click the link below to attend:

Webinar: SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!

We’d love to hear your feedback on Gayle’s webinar, so please comment from our Blog or comment directly on Facebook!

To learn more tips for intercultural communication and the communication and business styles of Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling book, SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Education, and a distinguished Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle to be a conference speaker for your events! She is a cross cultural expert that will entertain and inspire audiences of all sizes with her fresh, unique, and humorous approach to cross-cultural communication and social business etiquette. Gayle travels worldwide from business bases in Texas and Switzerland.

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building, and Time Management.

 

 Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

Gayle Cotton’s speaker website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle Cotton’s book website: SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!

Soon on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Soon on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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New Year Traditions Around the World from Greece to China!

Posted on January 3, 2015 by Comments are off

  • Baby New Year Tradition The tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year was started around 600 B.C by the ancient Greeks, who, at the start of a year would carry a baby around in aNew Year-COE-14 basket. The purpose of it was to honor Dionysus, the God of Fertility and symbolize his annual rebirth.
  • Hogmanay The New Year in Scotland is called Hogmanay. The people in Scotland follow a ritual that appears nutty but actually has a great significance. One can find barrels of tar set afire and gradually rolled down the streets in the villages of Scotland. This ritual symbolizes that the old year is burned up and New Year is going to begin.
  • Burning “Mr. Old Year” In Columbia, Cuba and Puerto Rico families stuff a life-size male doll with things and then they dress it up in old clothes from each family member. At the stroke of midnight, this ‘Mr. Old Year’ is set on fire. This is done with the simple belief that a doll thus stuffed have bad memories or sadness associated with them, and that the burning of these will help one to do away with all past grief’s and usher in happiness in life with the coming year.
  • Eating Noodles Late on the evening of December 3 1, people of Japan would eat a bowl of buckwheat noodles called “toshikoshisoba” (“year-crossing noodles”) and listen for the sound of the Buddhist temple bells, which were rung 108 times at midnight. The sound of these bells is said to purify the listeners of the 108 sins or evil passions that plague every human being.
  • Eating 12 Grapes In Spain people eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight (one each time the clock chimes) on New Year’s Eve. This peculiar ritual originated in the twentieth century when freak weather conditions resulted in an unseasonable bumper harvest of grapes. Not able to decide what to do about so many grapes at Christmas time, the King of Spain and the grape growers came up with the idea of the New Year ritual.
  • Gifts in Shoes In Greece children leave their shoes by the fireside on New Year’s Day (also the Festival of Saint Basil in Greece) with the hope that Saint Basil, who was famous for his kindness, will come and fill their shoes with gifts.
  • Carrying a Suitcase In Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, and Mexico, those with hopes of traveling in the New Year carry a suitcase around the house at midnight. Some even carry it around the block to ensure traveling at greater distances.
  • Burning Crackers The people in China believe that there are evil spirits that roam the earth. So on New Year they burn crackers to scare the evil spirits. The doors and windows of every home in china can be seen sealed with paper. This is to keep the evil demons out.

For more New Year’s Traditions – Check out Gayle Cotton’s Blog!

To learn about the Do’s and Taboos for international business and the communication and business styles of Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building, and Time Management!

 

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

Gayle Cotton’s speaker website: www.gaylecotton.com

Gayle Cotton’s book website: SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!

Soon on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Soon on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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