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Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for INDONESIA

Posted on May 21, 2020 by Leave a comment

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

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Indonesia

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

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

Generally, greetings among all Indonesians are conducted with stateliness and formality, in a slow, deliberate manner. A hurried introduction will be perceived as disrespectful.

Especially among Indonesian Chinese, handshakes are the standard greeting. Most Indonesian handshakes have a gentle grasp and last for 10-12 seconds.

For subsequent meetings, it may also be appropriate to bow rather than initiate further handshakes. Bow your head, lower your eyes, and smile while saying the Indonesian greeting “Selamat”, which means “peace.”

The traditional Hindu greeting involves a slight bow with the palms of the hands together, as if praying. Older, traditional Hindus often use this greeting, called the “Namaste”. It is also an acceptable alternative to a handshake when a Western businesswoman greets a Hindu man.

With the exception of handshakes, there is no public contact between the sexes in Indonesia. Hugging and kissing, even between husbands and wives, are forbidden in public. Moreover, if a woman touches a Muslim man, he must ritually cleanse himself before praying again.

Conversely, physical contact between people of the same sex is perfectly acceptable. You’ll likely observe men holding hands with men or even walking with their arms around each other. These displays are viewed strictly as gestures of friendship.

Be aware that many Indonesians believe that the head is the “seat of the soul.” Consequently, never touch someone’s head, not even to good-naturedly pat the hair of a child.

Among both Muslims and Hindus, the left hand is considered unclean so, whenever possible, should not be used in public. The right hand should be used exclusively to eat, accept gifts, hold cash, and touch people. These guidelines apply even if you are left-handed. However, you may use your left hand when there is absolutely no other realistic alternative.

Since the foot is also considered unclean, do not use this part of the body to point at, move or touch things. Also, refrain from resting your feet on desks or table. Do not show the soles of your feet or shoes. You can cross your legs at the knee, but not with one ankle over your knee.

Point with an open hand rather than with your index finger, which is considered rude. Chewing gum in public is discouraged.

There is a belief in Indonesia that the office is the only place to discuss business. Therefore, refrain from discussing business in a social situation, unless your Indonesian companions bring up the subject. Meals are often enjoyed with very little conversation.

To successfully hold a conversation, it’s essential for Indonesians to know if they are speaking with a person who is their superior, inferior or equal. Generally, they will feel uncomfortable until they learn your status, so there is a tendency to ask very personal questions.

Be careful when asking an Indonesian Chinese a question. For example, English speakers would give a negative answer to the question “Isn’t the document available?” by responding “no.” The Chinese interpretation is opposite. The answer would be “yes,” meaning “Yes, the document is not available.”

Although many government officials will speak some English, they may prefer to hold meetings in Bahasa Indonesia. Fortunately, English-speaking translators are usually easily accessible. Presentation material and company literature should be also translated into Bahasa Indonesia.

When you receive another person’s card, make a show of carefully examining it for a few moments and then remarking upon it before putting it in your card case or on a nearby table. Accepting a business card and then immediately stuffing it into your back pocket will be perceived as disrespectful.

Indonesians tend to be very friendly and you should reciprocate this immediate friendliness. They are more likely to buy from people who they genuinely like.

Taking the time to develop solid, long-term personal relationships is of vital importance. In Indonesian business culture, relationships are based on respect and trust.

Meetings tend to be formal. The Indonesian participants will enter the room based on their hierarchical position and then take a seat. You will be expected to remain standing until this ritual concludes.

The majority of Indonesian businesspeople are Chinese, and they are likely to be prompt for meetings and appointments.

Other businesspeople and many government officials are ethnic Malays, and they may place less of an emphasis on efficiency, punctuality and deadlines.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Talk about Indonesian traditions, culture, and architecture

Families and friends is always a welcome topic

Food, especially discussing the variety of local cuisine

Sports in general is always a good topic

The success and future plans of your organization

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Commenting on Indonesian customs that you find unusual

Human rights, politics, the Military influence, bureaucracy, corruption

Sex and roles of the sexes

Over emphasizing your personal successes

It’s best to avoid religion and your personal religious preferences

Bon Voyage!

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

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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Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for INDIA

Posted on April 23, 2020 by Leave a comment

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

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for India

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

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

Rapport and discussing friends and family is an important part of establishing a business relationship in India.

Conversation is considered an “art form” and people put a lot of time and effort into a discussion. However, it shouldn’t be overdone. 

Indians tend to be enthusiastic about discussing politics and religion. They enjoy opinionated conversations and don’t necessarily want to hear only bland pleasantries from a foreign guest. Just make sure you are well-informed.

Indians of all ethnic groups disapprove of public displays of affection between people of the opposite sex. Refrain from greeting people with hugs or kisses. This includes most non westernized Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians.

The traditional Indian greeting is the “namaste.” To perform the “namaste”, hold the palms of your hands together (as if praying) below the chin, nod or bow slightly, and say “namaste” (nah-mas-tay). This greeting is useful for foreigners in any circumstance in which a handshake might not be appropriate.

To beckon someone, you hold your hand out, palm downward, and make a scooping motion with the fingers. Beckoning someone with the palm up and wagging one finger, as in the United States, will often be perceived as an insult.

Pointing with you finger is considered rude. Indians prefer to point with their chin.

Feet are considered unclean, so never point your feet at another person. You will be expected to apologize whenever your shoes or feet touch another person.

Indians appreciate punctuality even though they may not always practice it themselves. Keep your schedule flexible enough for last-minute rescheduling of meetings.

Although there are still more men in senior positions, women are readily accepted in the business environment.

Take care to behave in a professional manner with male subordinates as signs of friendship or affection could be misconstrued.

The hierarchical nature of Indian society dictates that the boss is recognized as the highest individual in authority.

When establishing business contacts, aim for those in the highest position of authority since decisions are made only at this level.

Middle managers usually do not make final decisions however they do have influence. A middle manager on your side can forward a proposal. Often, they are more accessible to meet with.

In Indian business culture, perceptions of the truth tend to be guided by feelings, and a strong faith in religious ideologies is also common.

Although this is changing, the caste system remains one of the most important influences in Indian society. Technically there is equality under the law, however inequality still exists between the castes and is an accepted reality of Indian life.

Since the word “no” has negative implications in India, evasive answers are considered more polite. For example, if you must decline an invitation, it’s more acceptable to give a vague and noncommittal answer such as “I’ll try” or “We’ll see” rather than “No, I can’t.”

Business in India is highly personal. It is also conducted at a more leisurely pace than in the United States.

Hospitality is an intrinsic part of doing business in India, and most business discussions will not begin until tea is served and there has been some preliminary “small talk.”

Expect Indian negotiators to be highly skilled and often looking for a ‘bargain’.

It’s best to mask any angry or upset feelings with a smile and work through challenges in a positive fashion.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Indian traditions, culture, architecture as well as that of other countries

Families, friends and other interesting people

Food is very important, and they enjoy discussing their traditional fare

Cricket and other sports

Religion and general politics (if you know what you are talking about)

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Personal matters or anything that might be considered overly intrusive

Poverty or foreign aid in India

Anything about India that you may have some unpleasant feelings towards

Feet are considered unclean, so never point your feet at someone

Pointing with your finger is considered rude

Bon Voyage!

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

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!

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

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for HONG KONG

Posted on February 28, 2020 by Leave a comment

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

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Hong Kong

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

Cultural Tips for Hong Kong – including some valuable business travel tips for Hong Kong

Business cards are exchanged with both hands between the thumbs and forefingers.

When receiving a business card make a show of examining it for a few moments, and then carefully place it into your card case or on the table if you are seated at one.

In Hong Kong’s business culture, a person’s reputation and social standing rests on the concept of “saving face.” Causing embarrassment or loss of composure, even unintentionally, can be very damaging for business negotiations.

Emotional restraint is held in high esteem when dealing with people. One must maintain harmony within the group and avoid overt conflict.

The importance of reserve and tact should never be underestimated.

Age is revered. Respect and deference are directed from the young to the old, and the authority and responsibility from the old to the young.

Hierarchy is very important in Hong Kong’s business culture, regardless of the size or nature of the company. A clear line of authority is essential in any office, otherwise confusion and resentment will likely occur.

The Chinese can be exceptionally diplomatic in conversation. They will make an effort to ensure that no potentially insulting or embarrassing statements are made.

Do not offer opinions too freely and avoid inquiring about an individual’s specific plans like where he is going. The Chinese find the disclosure of excessive amounts of information impolite.

If you speak only English, understand that you may have difficulty interpreting the emotional content of a conversation in Mandarin or other Chinese languages. A simple, mundane Chinese conversation (especially in Cantonese) may sound like an argument to a Westerner.

Punctuality is very important in the Hong Kong business culture and is seen as a gesture of respect. Make every effort to be on time, even though Hong Kong’s congested streets can make this objective a challenge.

In keeping with Chinese custom, each person is obliged to apologize when necessary. For example, you should apologize profusely if you are late, even if it was not your fault. On the other hand, do not show anger or annoyance if your Hong Kong counterpart arrives late. You immediately put yourself at a disadvantage if you appear to be under a time constraint.

The Chinese will nod or bow slightly as an initial greeting. Handshakes are also popular, however it’s best to wait for your Chinese counterpart to initiate the gesture.

When bowing to a superior, you should bow more deeply and allow him or her to rise first.

Recognize and greet the most senior or elderly person in a group first, and politely inquire about his or her health.

Do not pat people on the shoulder or initiate any physical contact because this is not appreciated.

The Chinese may communicate in closer proximity than is common in the United States or other countries.

Although women may cross their legs, men should keep their feet on the floor. Place your hands in your lap while sitting.

Smiling is not as noticeable among the Chinese since there is a strong emphasis on repressing emotion.

Avoid any behavior that seems aggressive or loud because decorum is important in all aspects of life.

Use your whole hand rather than your index finger to point at something.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Casual inquiries about health or business are considered polite conversation

Chinese history and architecture is always a good topic

Food is very important, and they enjoy discussing their delicacies

Culture and the Chinese traditions

Music and the arts are excellent topics

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Anything that could cause loss of face or embarrassment

Avoid mentioning the political situation in China

Avoid discussing Taiwan

Anything negative about their food or dining habits

Overly specific or detailed inquiries that may be considered intrusive

Bon Voyage!

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

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 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

Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

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

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for GREECE

Posted on December 19, 2019 by Leave a comment


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

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Greece

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

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

The Greeks are known for their hospitality and generosity towards guests.

They are not necessarily known for their timeliness.

Visitors to Greece should be prepared for meetings to start a bit late and also run late, however as a foreigner you will be expected to be on time for appointments.

The subway system can be much faster for getting from one side of the city to another than taking a taxi.

The Greeks celebrate two national days among other holidays that are religious in nature. Independence Day is celebrated on March 25 and “Oxi” (which means No) Day is celebrated on October 28.

During business meetings you will be offered a Greek coffee, often accompanied by a small sweet of some kind. A typically Greek coffee resembles an espresso and can be quite strong.

Greeks are avid conversationalists and typically very knowledgeable about world events.

Greeks may engage you in a conversation about politics however let them bring up the topic. They are well educated and will have a wide of range knowledge about the political issues.

It has been said that Greeks live their lives with an exclamation point. Whatever the emotion that they are feeling, they live it to the fullest!

The Greek style of conversation can be louder and more emotional than what some people may be used to.

They use expansive arm and hand gestures when speaking. Physical contact is common, even amongst two friends who may be of the same gender.

Hugging, kissing on the cheek and walking arm in arm are all common.

Greeks will maintain strong eye contact when speaking.

While the Greeks may criticize aspects of their society or daily life (politics, traffic etc.) they do not appreciate the same criticisms being offered by outsiders.

First names are commonly used however, for higher business levels they may add a title such as Mr. or Mrs. before a first name as a sign of respect.

Greeks are great negotiators and their conversation style is skillful when negotiating.

For foreigners coming from a more direct conversational style, the meandering style of the Greeks may be confusing at first.

It is recommended that a local partner or lawyer be found to assist in any negotiations. This is important not only for the legal issues, but also as the Greeks place great value in knowing who they are working with.

Presentations should be formal in nature and should focus on the senior executives who make most of the decisions.

The Greeks often use the phrase “slowly, slowly” when talking about making progress. Be prepared for changes and delays.

Greeks are sensitive to people from larger countries that feel that they are more important based upon where they are from.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Passing along a compliment or showing interest in learning more about the impact of Greece in the world.

Greece has so much history that anything historical is a welcome topic.

Discussion about the great people and philosophers from Greece.

The distinct Greek Cuisine and drink is always a good topic.

Architecture, the progressive Greek cities, scenery, nature and the diversity of the country terrain.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

The OK sign is considered obscene in Greece and should be avoided. The open hand facing outward (the hand signal that is often used for “stop” in the US) is also considered offensive

Politics can be a touchy subject for foreigners so unless they initiate the discussion, it is best to avoid this topic when you are first developing a relationship.

Cyprus is also a touchy subject, as is the topic of Turkey, so both should be avoided if possible.

Anything negative about their food or coffee.

Greece is a very proud culture, so avoid criticism of anything pertaining to Greece or the Greek people.

Bon Voyage!

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

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!

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

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for GERMANY

Posted on November 21, 2019 by Leave a comment

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

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Germany

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

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

“Small talk” is not part of the culture in Germany. Conversation focuses on matters of substance and genuine interest. There is little use for superficial inquiries or observations. Don’t interrupt and always allow each speaker to make his or her point before responding.

Germans often enjoy discussing politics and you’ll find that they are very frank. Don’t get involved in the political discussion unless you are well-informed.

Giving compliments is not part of German business protocol and usually causes only embarrassment or discomfort.

Firm, brief handshakes at the time of arrival and departure are standard. Refrain from using the standard U.S. conversation opener, “How are you?” which may be considered superficial.

Too much smiling and public gestures of affection are frowned upon, especially in the business culture. These displays are reserved for family and close friends. Eye contact during the introduction is serious, direct, and should be maintained as long as the person is addressing you.

In accordance with German business protocol, the eldest or highest-ranking person enters the room first.

In business, Germans do not freely share information among the various levels of the same organization. However, the younger generation is becoming more open.

Keep your hands out of your pockets and avoid chewing gum when conducting business.

The “O.K.” sign (formed by having the tip of the thumb meet the tip of the forefinger) should be avoided.

Germans tend to be intensely analytical thinkers. Objective facts are the basis for truth in German business culture and feelings are irrelevant, especially in negotiations.

There is a tendency among German businesspeople to be unreceptive to new ideas and concepts until well researched. Generally, they are reluctant to do something differently unless the reason is extremely convincing.

Flexibility and spontaneity are not prominent traits in German business culture. Concepts such as “brainstorming”, “risk-taking”, or challenging rules and authority are not necessarily considered desirable.

It’s important that you bring a carefully planned, logically organized proposal to a meeting. When you are preparing promotional or presentation material, be aware that German businesspeople are usually unimpressed by glitzy advertising, illustrations, and memorable slogans.

Brochures aimed at the German market should be serious in tone, go into lengthy detail, and make claims that can be proven. Business meetings are treated as serious occasions. Humor and jokes are reserved for socializing.

German businesspeople will present logical and often substantial arguments to support their position. They do not make concessions easily, however, they will look for common ground and this is your best route to making progress when negotiations reach an impasse.

Germans can be very sensitive to criticism themselves, so you should do everything you can to avoid embarrassing them, even unintentionally.

While Germans generally prefer to maintain an air of formality, they can become very emotional if their sense of order and routine becomes challenged.

Germans are typically very private people. Never discuss personal matters during business negotiations. It’s important, however, to develop a comradeship with your associates, especially if you’ll be working with them for a long time.

Decision-making in German business culture is slow, protracted, and every detail relating to your proposal will be painstakingly examined.

Although you’re likely to deal with a variety of people during the initial negotiations, only those at the top of the management hierarchy will make, and even be informed about, the final decision.

Contracts are taken very seriously in German business culture. Everything agreed to in writing is virtually guaranteed.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Sports, particularly soccer, cycling, skiing, tennis, and hiking

Any topic related to travel

Beer is always a good topic of conversation. Germany produces some of the finest beers in the world, and seasoned drinkers enjoy comparing and contrasting the qualities of the various brews available.

Food and the distinct German Cuisine, as well as German wines. Many of the white wines, like Riesling from Alsace, are famous worldwide.

Architecture, the progressive German cities, scenery, nature, and the picturesque homes in the countryside.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Anything related to World War II or the Holocaust.

Personal questions until the relationship is well established.

Work and family life are usually kept separate, so stick to the business at hand.

Current events and politics, unless you really know what you’re talking about as it relateson a global basis.

Germany is a very proud culture, so avoid criticism of anything pertaining to Germany or the German people.

Bon Voyage!

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

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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Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for FRANCE

Posted on October 17, 2019 by Leave a comment

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

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for France

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

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

It’s strongly recommended that you learn basic French phrases and use them whenever possible. Your efforts will be well appreciated and will be remembered. The French will revert to English if they see you floundering.

Expect to be greeted by a handshake. Kissing on the cheeks may happen between close friends.

Men should stand, or at least initiate a move to do so, whenever a superior makes an entrance.

Good posture and politeness are considered important in the French culture, and business is rather formal.

Despite the formality of French business culture, people tend to stand close when speaking to each other. Touching in public is also commonplace and usually within the bounds of French business etiquette.

During a first meeting, remain polite and cordial, but keep in mind that the French tend to be suspicious of early friendliness.

Be prepared to answer questions about your own country, background, and possibly even political matters.

Smiling is treated with indifference here. It is not necessarily an indication of approval.

Chewing gum in public is considered bad manners, as is snapping fingers.

If you feel the need to point, motion with your whole hand rather than your index finger.

The OK sign (forming a circle with the thumb and forefinger) means “zero” or “useless” in France. The French OK symbol is the “thumbs up”, so use this symbol to express approval.

You’ll find that conversations with the French often shift into spirited debates!

The French can be very direct in questioning and probing, so a carefully planned, logically organized proposal is very important. It is likely that the French will focus on the aspects of your proposal that require further explanation. You may find that the French treat the business discussion as an intellectual exercise.

Logic will dominate arguments with the French. They will be quick to criticize anything illogical stated by the opposition. Give opinions only on subjects that you are knowledgeable about.

Arguments tend to be made from an analytical, critical, perspective that is articulated with eloquence and wit.  Discussions are likely to get more heated and intense than is the custom in North America and many other countries.

There is rarely a moment of silence with the French, except when the topic under discussion has been exhausted and nothing new has been introduced.

The French tend to focus on long term objectives and will try to establish firm personal relationships with the other party before pursuing business partnerships.

Although the French can often be persuaded to change their opinions, they will not accept anything that deviates from the cultural norm. They are, however, receptive to any new information that enhances the spirit of a debate.

The French will judge you on your ability to demonstrate your intellect, and this often involves discussing confrontational ideas and engaging in rigorous debates with them. You will earn their respect if you can handle yourself well in these situations.

The French are very proud, gracious people. Never overtly make them feel wrong or look wrong. Instead, make suggestions about other possibilities.

In the middle of an argument the focus may change, setting aside the immediate issue. Try not to be frustrated, these digressions are characteristic of French business culture and sometimes influence the final decision.

French business protocol requires constant formality and reserve in negotiations. Trying to convince your French counterparts to “lighten up” is inappropriate.

The French tend to be preoccupied with examining every minute detail before arriving at a decision. Consequently, be prepared for a long wait before you receive an answer.

Power is intrinsic to French business culture. Only the highest individual in authority makes the final decision. Therefore, be aware that the people with whom you are dealing are probably only intermediaries.

The French workplace is highly organized and structured. Generally, bureaucracy and administrative procedures are considered far more important than efficiency or flexibility. Consequently, French business culture tends to be reluctant to embrace change.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

The wonderful French food and cuisine

Anything about art, music and philosophy

French history, sports, and other aspects of the culture if you know what you are talking about

All current events of a global nature

Architecture, nature and the beautiful French cities and countryside

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

It is bad manners to ask questions about someone’s political preferences unless they bring up the topic

Refrain from the standard conversation opener, “What do you do?”

Don’t criticize Napoleon or any other French leader

Avoid making personal inquiries in conversation, especially during initial introductions

Praise (rather than criticism) of anything French will go a long way

Bon Voyage!

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

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, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for FINLAND

Posted on September 19, 2019 by Leave a comment

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

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Finland

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

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

The rules for greeting strangers or introducing yourself are very similar to northern European practice, though Finns are more restrained and don’t show much emotion.

Men and women shake hands quite comfortably, and women have no problem doing business in Finland.

Finns usually use first names, unless there are big differences in age or rank, or it is a very formal setting.

Finns maintain eye contact when talking with others, and this is considered important because they think that people who do not maintain eye contact are hiding something or may be dishonest.

Many foreigners find the Finns’ tolerance of silence strange. Finns avoid small talk in business because they feel it’s not relevant.

Finns are very punctual and expect the same of foreigners. In case you are late (for a very good reason), call or send a message apologizing and giving the time when you’ll be there.  If a meeting is scheduled for one hour, it usually ends in one hour.

There are very short introductions (just a few sentences at most) with a cup of coffee, and then they get straight down to business.

In Finnish meetings, people state facts, even unpleasant ones, rather bluntly without any softening or beating around the bush.

Finns are typically analytical thinkers and tend to focus more on technical facts rather than emotional appeal.

There is no ritual like a handshake to formally end a meeting, but sometimes hands are shaken with foreigners or when deals are made.

In business Finns dress conservatively, usually dark business suits in the winter and light suits in the summer for both men and women, although they have relaxed over the years. Men typically wear suits or jacket and shirt, often with no tie. Dress codes depend very much on the industry and workplace traditions.

Finns are very minimalistic in giving compliments. After some time, a foreigner gets a feeling that compliments are almost non-existent. On getting compliments, Finns just thank and don’t dwell on it.

Finns are private people who tend to avoid public displays of emotion. Unlike neighboring Russians, Finns are not very touchy, especially the men. Backslapping is rarely seen in Finland and is perceived as patronizing.

Shouting, making a scene, or drawing too much attention to oneself is considered rude.

When talking to a Finn, remember not to group Finns together with citizens of other Nordic countries, particularly not Sweden.

Finns never interrupt when someone is speaking and tend to distrust those who talk too much.

The working style is individualistic, and people are used to working alone and hard. Team working is becoming more common, though, and interest in social and communication skills is growing.

Finns believe in continuous learning and work very hard to upgrade their skills. Usually Finns are rather pragmatic and not very conservative when it comes to new ideas as long as the ideas make sense.

The typical pace of business in Finland is rather brisk with things happening in clearly visible phases. Finns are thorough and sincere. The saying that makes it clear is, “Everything that is worth doing, is worth doing well”.

An agreement is considered final when a paper contract is signed. The country has an independent judiciary to take care of contract disputes.

July and August are the best summer months and practically everyone is on vacation in July. Nothing much gets done then.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Positive travel experiences in Finland and other countries

Your business background and experience

Finnish history, sports, and other aspects of the culture

All current events of a global nature

Less is more… keep small talk minimal

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Excessive small talk in general

Personal questions about them or their family

The poor weather if there during winter

Politics in general, unless it is related to business

Don’t try to fill what may be to you as ‘uncomfortable silence’

Bon Voyage!

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

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, Team building, and Time Management Training.

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for ENGLAND

Posted on August 22, 2019 by Leave a comment

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

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for England

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

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

Don’t assume all British English words and phrases mean the same as words and phrases from North America, Australia or other English language countries. Many of British English words and phrases have different or even opposite meanings! Spelling may be different as well.

British English pronounces consonants more clearly than many other English language countries. Avoid speaking too quickly or slurring words or you could come across as unprofessional.

Speak in complete sentences. The English generally find the North American habit of trailing off in mid-sentence irritating.

In business conversations, maintain a low, moderate tone of voice. Discreet, businesslike approaches are welcomed and respected.

Refrain from giving unsolicited praise, since it is not necessarily welcome.

English businesspeople are generally interested in long-term relationships rather than quick deals.

It’s important to give them the necessary time to make an assessment of you, as well as of your company and business proposal.

Once they decide that they want to do business with you, the English can be blunt, direct, and will not hesitate to speak their minds.

During initial meetings, facial expressions are kept to a minimum and, consequently, it may be difficult to read what the other participants are thinking. The English are “masters of understatement.”

In decision-making, the English tend to seek guidance from established laws and rules, rather than their own personal experiences or feelings.

Company policy is the primary authority for business people at all levels of the organization.

Objective facts and evidence are the only legitimate sources of truth in business, and feelings are usually irrelevant.

Precedent plays an important factor in decision-making. your proposal stands a better chance if it conforms to the way things have been done in the past.

Direct questions may result in evasive responses. Aggressive sales techniques such as the “hard sell” or denigrating another company’s product or service will not be well-received.

Humor is often an important part of business discussions in England. Having a repertoire of jokes and anecdotes can be an asset. People who are good at telling jokes and stories should make the most of these attributes.

Characteristics of British humor include not stating the obvious, as well as implying the opposite of what is being said. Consequently, paying attention to what is not said or done is often a necessary part of appreciating this style of humor.

The English sometimes use humor, especially irony or sarcasm, to ridicule an adversary or show disagreement and even disgust.

Although English business culture is intensely hierarchical, teamwork remains important, especially in influencing decisions.

Usually, a consensus is reached before presenting the final decision to the individual highest in power.

Decision-making tends to be a slow, deliberate process. Rushing or putting pressure on the decision-making process is usually counterproductive.

Unlike some countries, the English won’t hesitate to say “no.”

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Positive experiences in England and other travels.

Your immediate surroundings including nature, architecture, food, ambience, weather etc.

Soccer, polo and other sports

English history, and any current events

The English love animals, especially dogs. Family pets are always a good topic.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

The English enjoy talking about current events, however, avoid getting into discussions about politics, particularly relating to Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Do not be the first to bring up the subject of the Royal Family.

Refrain from making enquiries regarding a person’s occupation, birthplace, religion, or other intrusive personal questions.

Discussing your “family tree” is frowned upon here. Also avoid bringing up the British class system in conversation.

The reputation of British food has improved significantly, so avoid the stereotypical comments about its mediocrity.

Bon Voyage!

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

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

Watch the ‘Say Anything-5 Keys’ Video

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural training. She is a leader in the field of public speakers, motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews 

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

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for EGYPT

Posted on July 18, 2019 by Leave a comment

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

A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Egypt

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

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

In Egyptian business culture, punctuality is not as much of a priority as for westerners. However, it’s best to arrive on time even though your contact may be late for an appointment.

Appointments with traditional Arabic business people are rarely private occasions. Interruptions in the form of phone calls and visits from your counterpart’s friends and family are to be expected.

In accordance with tradition, an Egyptian will welcome you several times at your first meeting.

Business will not proceed until your counterpart knows and decides that he likes you. Consequently, the social side of the deal is just as important as the work-related side.

You also may find other business people present and several meetings occurring simultaneously. Westerners frequently find these distractions frustrating, but it’s important to remain calm and understanding.

Egyptian names are written in Arabic. Because short vowels are not written in Arabic, translating from Arabic to other alphabets is not an “exact science.” Egyptian names may be spelled several different ways in English.

Friday is the Muslim holy day, and many people also take Thursday off. The typical business week is Wednesday through Saturday.

A typical business schedule is 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the summer, and 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and continuing 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the winter.

The Islamic calendar uses lunar months of 28 days, so an Islamic year of 12 months is only 354 days long. Consequently, holidays will be on different dates by the Western calendar every year. Any listed Muslim holiday dates are approximations since they depend upon actual lunar observations.

Any business paperwork should include two dates: the Gregorian (Western) date and the Hijrah (Arabic) date. Be aware that Coptics or Christian Egyptians have yet another different calendar, however this calendar is used only by Coptics.

Arabic men often walk hand in hand, but Westernized Egyptians rarely do this. If an Egyptian holds your hand, accept this gesture as a sign of friendship.

Egyptians tend to speak at a much closer distance than do many countries. Even if you are not accustomed to this close contact, don’t back up. If you keep your distance, the perception might be that you find your counterpart’s physical presence distasteful or that you are an unfeeling person.

Conversations often involves body language and touching but only between the same sexes.

While things continue to improve for women in Egypt, they constitute less of the Egyptian workforce. Most are employed in the professional and service sectors, however there are numerous female physicians.

In the professional sector, there are fewer female executives. If you encounter a woman decision-maker in business, she will probably be very Western-oriented in her behavior.

The left hand is considered unclean in the Arab world. Unless you are handling something considered unclean, always use the right hand. Also avoid gesturing with the left hand.

When sitting, keep both feet on the ground, since Arabs do not cross their legs when sitting. Exposing the bottom of your foot is considered offensive.

When you remove your shoes, as when entering a mosque, the soles of the shoes are always placed down to prevent them from pointing at anyone.

The “thumbs up” sign is thought to be offensive throughout the Arab world.

It should also be noted that many Egyptians are not practicing Muslims. Egyptian Muslims will adhere to Islamic values, however, compared to other Arabic cultures they are more open to Western ideas.

When an Egyptian says “yes”, he may simply mean “possibly.” Although you should feel encouraged by these positive responses, it would be wrong to assume that agreement has been reached.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Egyptians may joke around and make fun of themselves. For example, Egyptian bureaucracy is a favorite target. Nevertheless, no matter how self-deprecating their humor gets, you should not try to make fun of Egypt or the Egyptians.

Egyptian achievements, both the ancient wonders and modern advances

The positive reputation of Egyptian leaders around the world

Egyptian cotton, gold and other elements of their economy

Sports, especially soccer (football), basketball, boxing (in which Egypt has won several medals), horse racing, tennis, and all water-related sports (especially sailing and swimming)

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Avoid questions about the female members of your counterpart’s family

Don’t discuss Israeli or Palestinian affairs

Stay away from discussions about your private life or religion

Don’t compare Egypt to more westernized countries

Never talk about anyone in terms of inequality

Bon Voyage!

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

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

Watch the ‘Say Anything-5 Keys’ Video

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural training. She is a leader in the field of public speakers, motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

Gayle’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com

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

Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

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

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for DENMARK

Posted on June 20, 2019 by Leave a comment

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

 A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z  

Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Denmark

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

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

The Danes tend to be unexpressive people in public and rather low-key in general. It’s best to subdue yourself a bit, especially if you tend to be animated and use expressive body language. The key to being accepted and respected in Denmark is to blend in rather than be conspicuous.

When talking to a Dane, stand about two arms lengths away to give him or her enough distance.

If you are sitting and being introduced to a new contact or associate, be sure to stand up before extending your hand. Offer a firm handshake as you make eye contact. Any effort that you make to include a Danish greeting into your introduction (“Goddag” meaning “Good Day”) will be appreciated.

Giving preferential treatment to anyone is discouraged. Denmark is such an equality entrenched society that you are expected to give the same preferential treatment to a janitor that you would to the organization president.

Punctuality is very important, so make the effort to be exactly on time for all business appointments. Danes expect punctuality for social engagements as well.

Many Europeans and South Americans write the day first, then the month, then the year. For example, October 21, 2005, is written 21.10.05. This is the custom in Denmark.

Although you may get the impression in your business dealings that Danes initially appear to be reserved or distant, in fact they can be a very warm people who enjoy lengthy conversations and being with friends. They are especially at ease at home and in other social settings.

It is considered rude to get too friendly with someone with whom you have only a casual acquaintance. This includes questions about the person’s private life or comments about religion, income and family.

Danish business introductions consist of a formal exchange. If you are sitting and being introduced to a new contact or associate, be sure to stand up before extending your hand. Offer a firm handshake as you make eye contact.

The Danes want each minute spent on the job to be productive and used effectively. It is important to arrive on time and give a well-prepared presentation. Meetings are well organized, move swiftly, and will start and end on time.

Many people are flattered by compliments, but this is not the case with Danes. Danes sometimes consider compliments to be inappropriate.

Traditional Danish culture is always a good topic to discuss. Showing an interest in anything Danish from Hans Christian Andersen to Legos is appreciated.

There is an emphasis on individual initiative and achievement, with one’s competency being more important than his or her station in life.

The dignity and worth of individuals is promoted along with the right to a private life and private opinions.

In comparison with other European countries, Denmark is one of the most progressive when it comes to equality between men and women.

Denmark ranks number one in Europe when it comes to the greatest percentage of women working outside the home, and many women hold top positions in Danish companies.

It would be a mistake to introduce a business plan that will have detrimental side effects for the environment. You will find that Danes are committed to preserving the environment.

The Danes freely express their feelings. You may find them blunt, but that is their way. Be receptive to their comments and respond in a positive tone.

Danes are very tolerant, so it is not advisable to criticize other people or systems.

The Danish sense of humor tends to be more reserved or dry than the American sense of humor.

Danes are typically people of their word. Once an agreement is signed, you can be certain that the project will move forward.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Denmark! Danes are very proud and willing to share about their country

Anything related to art, music and culture

The progressive nature of business in Denmark, and the equality between men and women

Your home country and the region you are from

Non-controversial current events

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Avoid mentioning family and personal affairs, unless the topic is brought up

Don’t initiate discussions about your private life or religion

Avoid talking about personal finances.

Avoid discussions about politics and socialism.

Don’t talk about anyone in terms of inequality.

Bon Voyage!

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

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

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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.

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