Posts tagged with cross cultural training in dallas

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

Posted on September 22, 2013 by Comments are off

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

Portugal

 

You can assume that most Portuguese business contacts will speak some English. They will also typically understand Spanish however Spanish speakers won’t necessarily understand Portuguese, because the pronunciation is especially difficult.

Conversation is somewhat informal, however still more formal than in the US when first meeting. It’s best to begin more formal, and then adapt to more a more casual style as the relationship develops.

It’s typical to shake hands when greeting, and on a first meeting to exchange business cards. There may be more touching of arms or hands during handshake introductions that in northern European or the US cultures.

Developing good personal relationships is very important in business and will often be at least as significant a factor as the product or service you are offering.

People stand closer in conversation than in North America Northern Europe and maintain good eye contact.

In general, the Portuguese are relaxed about etiquette and public behavior, however it is considered impolite to stretch in public. Being polite and well behaved is what really matters.

Do not launch straight into the business at hand. Allow some time for small talk about business in general, about soccer, about the weather, or about your personal life and family.

If you want to get to know your business partners better, invite them for a cup of coffee, lunch, or dinner. This should be a time to socialize, so don’t bring up business unless they do first.

The Portuguese are rather reserved and prefer to avoid confrontation or verbal directness. You may find it difficult to get definite answers to all your questions. Try to get information by analyzing the statements being made.

Meetings tend to run long, and do not necessarily keep to an agenda or timetable. Gently focus the discussion or bring it to closure, but allow plenty of room for people to say what they have to say.

Never shout or lose your temper–it doesn’t work and ends up putting you in a weaker position.

The Portuguese have an instinct to please which also produces a tendency to say what they think you want to hear. Make sure you get specifics and quantification.

For negotiations, the key is patience and a willingness to educate your business partners about your way of doing things. The ‘carrot’ is generally more effective than the ‘stick’.

Overall, there is a willingness to be flexible and to learn. There is respect and admiration for more advanced methods and economies. You will find that there is considerable creativity and drive to resolve problems and adaptation to circumstances.

Status is important to the Portuguese. The use of academic titles and distinctions are very common. Job title and rank are less significant, although it is important to know the business hierarchy and who really makes the decision.

Consensus and a ‘win-win’ attitude is typically the underlying philosophy. The Portuguese are uncomfortable with explicitly competitive positions.

Teamwork may be weaker than in some cultures, because the Portuguese don’t like challenging authority. They also tend first to analyze their personal interest in an action or deal, so understanding ‘hidden agendas’ is an important skill.

The most important environmental factor is the bureaucracy and weak justice system. Labor laws are very tough, and there is a culture of state involvement in business and collectivist policies.

Portuguese businesspeople are expert at dealing with the last minute crisis. There is always someone around who will fix it or find a creative way through. Of course, the solution may not be completely inadequate–but a solution will be found.

Make sure you clarify specific and realistic deadlines and performance measures. ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘next week’ are relative terms in Portuguese. You’ll have to confirm that the deadlines are on track before you find that they have come and gone.

It’s necessary to have all agreements and commitments in writing, even if only an e-mail confirmation. Avoid writing anything in red ink, even small notes, because only school teachers correcting work are ‘allowed’ to write in red–otherwise it’s considered offensive.

5 Key Conversation or Gesture Tips

  • Soccer is a favorite topic of most all Portuguese
  • Food and wine, especially Portuguese wine
  • Family, your home, and children
  • Culture, music, and literature
  • Travel, history, and architecture

5 Key Conversation or Gesture Taboos

  • Religion, and all the usual controversial subjects
  • Politics in general
  • Personal finances, salary, career positions etc.
  • Personal compliments early in the relationship
  • Sports, other than soccer, may not be well recognized by some Portuguese

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for RUSSIA!

Author: Gayle Cotton, International Keynote Speaker & Cultural Expert

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

5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication

www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

www.circlesofexcellence.com

US: 972-370-1300

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

Visit Gayle Cotton’s blog featuring

Gayle’s new article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos for ISRAEL!

Cross-Cultural Speaker & Author of Global Travel Tips

www.gaylecotton.com

Contact Circles Of Excellence for your company’s Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers. We work with companies of all sizes and industries, including 50 Fortune 500 companies. Our topics include Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building and Time Management. Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton for your next meeting or conference to help your business become more successful in today’s global business environment. Gayle is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. She travels worldwide as a distinguished Professional Keynote Speaker. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire any audience with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications!

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

Posted on August 11, 2013 by Comments are off

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

 

When traveling to or working in Poland, learn some basic Polish words, like hello “dzien dobry”, good bye “do widzenia”, excuse me “przepraszam”, and thank you “dziekuje”. A basic Polish language guide can help you with proper pronunciation

The standard greeting is a firm handshake. The same applies to farewells. Kissing and hugging are reserved for very good friends.

There is no general rule as to how Polish people address each other. In initial contacts they may use the person’s title or surname however, after two or three meetings the use of first names is welcomed.

Polish people are sensitive to body language and watch it carefully. Avoid overly demonstrative or closed off body language. Smile, be yourself, and be moderately expressive as you speak.

It is good to maintain direct eye contact during a conversation. Be sincere, genuine, and avoid sounding egocentric.

Polish businesspeople love to conduct discussions on a wide range of topics including public life, family and career. To generate conversation, ask open-ended questions starting with who, what, where, when, why, and how.

The more you converse with someone Polish, the more gesture oriented they may become. Typical business standoffishness may eventually transform into a friendly conversation with backslapping!

If you are in a group, avoid conducting private conversations. It is better to involve everyone in the discussion.

Be punctual. If you cannot be on time, be sure to inform everyone about the circumstances which have delayed you, otherwise you may appear unreliable.

When entering a meeting room, wait for your host to indicate where you are going to sit. If there are people you do not know, wait for your host to carry out the introductions.

Polish negotiations tend to be reserved. Periods of silence during negotiations are not unusual. Do not try to fill the silence with unnecessary talk. The essential information is what counts.

The Polish will usually negotiate with a group of individuals rather than just one. If you gain their trust, it will typically be followed up by a contract.

Be thoroughly prepared for any meeting or negotiation, and make sure you have the authority to make concessions from your side.

In addition to Polish, English or German are the languages of most business transactions.

Every kind of meeting starts with some small talk. This socializing allows everybody to relax and make a good impression.

Be patient. In Poland, the decision making process is slower than in North America. Be prepared to have several meetings before finalizing a business deal.

According to Polish business etiquette, gifts are given at the beginning of a relationship, especially when contacts are made for the first time, and at the end of a successful business venture.

The best gifts are always items which are typical of your culture. If you are from Switzerland, you could buy some carefully chosen chocolate. Another good gift is a book describing your country or the region you are from which adds a personal touch.

If you want to get to know your business partners better, invite them for a cup of coffee, lunch, or dinner. This should be a time to socialize, so don’t bring up business unless they do first.

A toast is usually performed before or after eating. If you propose a toast it is important to maintain eye contact. Do not begin drinking until your host has proposed a toast. If your host stands when proposing a toast, so should you. In Poland the common toast is ‘na zdrowie!’

It is important to show special consideration to the elderly. For example, when public transportation becomes crowded, younger people are expected to give up their seats to the elderly.

5 Key Conversation Tips

  • · Your home country, city, and way of life
  • · Your education and work experience
  • · Humorous anecdotes and stories are always appreciated
  • · Hobbies and things of personal interest
  • · Art, music, and culture

5 Key Conversation Taboos

  • · Politics in general, unless they bring it up first
  • · Emphasizing or boasting about money and wealth
  • · Avoid speaking with your hands in your pockets
  • · Religion in general, unless they bring it up first
  • · Don’t sit with one ankle resting on the other knee

 

 

Bon Voyage!

 

Join us in the future for PORTUGAL!

 

Author: Gayle Cotton, International Keynote Speaker & Cultural Expert

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

5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication

www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

www.circlesofexcellence.com

US: 972-370-1300

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

Visit Gayle Cotton’s blog featuring

Gayle’s new article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos for IRELAND!

Cross-Cultural Speaker & Author of Global Travel Tips

www.gaylecotton.com

 

Contact Circles Of Excellence for your company’s Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers. We work with companies of all sizes and industries, including 50 Fortune 500 companies. Our topics include Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building and Time Management. Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton for your next meeting or conference to help your business become more successful in today’s global business environment. Gayle is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. She travels worldwide as a distinguished Professional Keynote Speaker. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire any audience with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications!

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

Posted on June 27, 2013 by Comments are off

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

 

‘Small talk’ is an important part of establishing business relationships with Filipinos. You’ll find that Filipinos can be enthusiastic conversationalists.

Expect to be asked personal questions regarding your marital status, income, religion, and other sensitive subjects. If you don’t wish to answer, side-step these questions as graciously as possible.

Embarrassing someone, or reprimanding them in front of others, can cause them to “lose face” or loss of reputation and this has very negative consequences in this culture.

Maintaining cordial relationships is essential in the Philippines. Keep your comments as positive as possible, because negativity can inadvertently cause “loss of face”,

It’s best not to be too direct when communicating with Filipinos. They will usually be more receptive to a rather indirect approach.

Because of the years of U.S. military presence in the Philippines, most North American gestures and communication styles are recognized and understood.

English is the language of most business transactions and nearly all government bodies in the Philippines.

Business travelers are expected to be on time for all appointments, and although the Filipinos may not always arrive exactly on time, you probably won’t be subjected to an overly long wait.

Producing “instant results” is not a part of Filipino business culture. Consequently, you will have to adjust your expectations regarding deadlines and efficiency when working with them.

In order to reach the decision-maker, you will likely have to meet with subordinates first and also adapt to the business protocol at the different levels of the organization.

When meeting a new customer, letters of introduction from friends and business associates can often be helpful in opening doors.

Although there are many social inequalities in the Philippines, Filipinos believe that everyone must be treated with respect. They are expected to behave with modesty and graciousness, especially in their dealings with the poor or less fortunate.

Businessmen should expect to shake hands firmly with other Filipino men both upon introduction and subsequent meetings however, it’s best to wait for a Filipino woman to offer her hand first.

Close female friends may greet each other with a hug and kiss. Similarly, close male friends may have close physical contact, such as holding hands or walking arm in arm around a friend’s shoulder.

Some Filipinos may greet each other by making eye contact, then raising and lowering their eyebrows. When someone raises their eyebrows at you, it is often a way of indicating that you have been understood.

Raising one’s voice is unacceptable in the Filipino business culture. It’s important to maintain a low, controlled tone of voice at all times.

Don’t assume that a smile is an indication of amusement or approval. At times, smiling is used to mask embarrassment, nervousness, and other feelings of discomfort.

Pointing at someone or something can be perceived as an insulting gesture. Filipinos typically point at objects using an open hand. For giving directions, they may use a glance with a slight nod, or purse their lips to signify which way.

To beckon someone, hold your hand out, palm downward, and make a scratching motion with the fingers. Beckoning someone with the palm up and wagging one finger can be interpreted as an insult.

Indicating ‘two’ with the fingers is done by holding up the ring and little finger, not the forefinger and middle finger. The thumb is not used to count numbers in the Philippines.

Don’t put your hands on your hips when conversing. This gesture can be misinterpreted as challenge to another person.

5 Key Conversation Tips

  • · Filipino culture and customs
  • · Family is usually a good topic in the Philippines
  • · Filipinos love fiestas, so asking about these occasions will create a lively conversation
  • · All types of sports, especially basketball
  • · Food and the local specialties

5 Key Conversation Taboos

  • · Politics in general, unless they bring it up first
  • · Corruption, terrorism, or drug trafficking– even though it may be in the news
  • · Foreign aid and related policies
  • · Religion in general, unless they bring it up first
  • · Anything that could potentially cause embarrassment or “loss of face” 

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for POLAND!

Author: Gayle Cotton, International Keynote Speaker & Cultural Expert

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

5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication

www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

www.circlesofexcellence.com

US: 972-370-1300

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

Visit Gayle Cotton’s blog featuring

Gayle’s new article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos for Iran!

Cross-Cultural Speaker & Author of Global Travel Tips

www.gaylecotton.com

 

Contact Circles Of Excellence for your company’s Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers. We work with companies of all sizes and industries, including 50 Fortune 500 companies. Our topics include Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building and Time Management. Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton for your next meeting or conference to help your business become more successful in today’s global business environment. Gayle is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. She travels worldwide as a distinguished Professional Keynote Speaker. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire any audience with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications!

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

Posted on May 19, 2013 by Comments are off

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z: PERUPeru-Machu-Picchu

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Key Conversation Tips

  • · It’s considered appropriate to talk about family and children when getting to know each other
  • · Discussing local traditions and cuisine
  • · Talking about the sights you’ve seen in Peru, such as Machu-Picchu
  • · Appreciation of the wealth of Peruvian history, art, and culture
  • · Food and restaurants in the particular area you are visiting

5 Key Conversation Taboos

  • · Inquiring about a person’s ancestry, especially if it is Indian
  • · The Peruvian government and politics
  • · Terrorist activity or drug trafficking
  • · Criticism of Peru or Peruvian ways
  • · Prices that have been paid for Peruvian items 

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for the PHILIPPINES!

Author: Gayle Cotton, International Keynote Speaker & Cultural Expert

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

5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication

www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

www.circlesofexcellence.com

US: 972-370-1300

Check out our Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos Articles Archivefor countries you may have missed!

Visit Gayle Cotton’s blogfeaturing

Gayle’s new article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos for INDONESIA!

Cross-Cultural Speaker & Author of Global Travel Tips

www.gaylecotton.com

Contact Circles Of Excellence for your company’s Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers. We work with companies of all sizes and industries, including 50 Fortune 500 companies. Our topics include Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building and Time Management. Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton for your next meeting or conference to help your business become more successful in today’s global business environment. Gayle is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. She travels worldwide as a distinguished Professional Keynote Speaker. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire any audience with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications!

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

Posted on February 18, 2013 by Comments are off

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Key Topics or Gesture to Use in Conversation

  • The Nobel Prize is a well-known feature of the Norwegian culture
  • Folk Music and Norwegian composers such as Grieg
  • Travel and experiences in other countries
  • Current events and politics – if you know what you’re talking about
  • Sports – especially football (soccer), biathlon, cross-country skiing, and rally driving

5 Key Topics or Gestures to Avoid in Conversation

  • · Any criticism of the Norwegian government or culture
  • · Discussing how much you earn or comparisons with pay scales in other countries
  • · Paying compliments to people you have just met – compliments are typically well earned
  • · Bragging or anything associated with rank, status and showiness
  • · Avoid overly demonstrative expressions and body language

Bon Voyage! 

Join us in the future for PERU!

Author: Gayle Cotton, International Keynote Speaker & Cultural Expert

Order Gayle’s New Book: SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!

5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication

www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

www.circlesofexcellence.com

US: 972-370-1300

Check out our Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos Articles Archivefor countries you may have missed!

Visit Gayle Cotton’s blog

Gayle’s new article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos for HONG KONG!

Cross-Cultural Speaker & Author of Global Travel Tips

www.gaylecotton.com

Contact Circles Of Excellence for your company’s Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers. We work with companies of all sizes and industries, including 50 Fortune 500 companies. Our topics include Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building and Time Management. Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton for your next meeting or conference to help your business become more successful in today’s global business environment. Gayle is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. She travels worldwide as a distinguished Professional Keynote Speaker. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire any audience with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications!

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New Photos are available on the Circles Of Excellence Photo Gallery!

Posted on February 3, 2013 by Comments are off

New Photos have been uploaded at the following link: Photo Gallery DSC01731

The new photos have been added to the categories “International Conference Highlights” and “Work, Travel, and Fun”.

Gayle Cotton’s new book ‘Say Anything to Anyone Anywhere!will be published on March 19th, but you can still get a pre-publish discount until the publish date on every major bookseller website including AMAZON.COM

Coming soon this month on the Circles Of Excellence blog

Gayle’s new article: Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for NORWAY!

Coming soon this month on Gayle Cotton’s blog

Gayle’s new article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos for HONG KONG!

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

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

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

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

Posted on January 17, 2013 by Comments are off

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

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

Generally, the Dutch don’t spend a lot of time socializing before a meeting or other business discussion. As soon as the necessary introductions are made, they will likely proceed with the business at hand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Key Topics to Use in Conversation

  • Your home country or city and points of interest related to them
  • Travel experiences and what you enjoy about travelling
  • The Dutch culture, art, history, architecture, and nature
  • Sports of all kinds – keeping in mind that American soccer is referred to as football
  • Politics – if you know what you’re talking about

5 Key Topics or Gestures to Avoid in Conversation

  • · Boasting of any kind about your income and possessions
  • · Asking personal questions, family and business are usually kept separate
  • · Any criticism of the Dutch Royal Family
  • · Legalized prostitution and marijuana in the Netherlands
  • · Don’t talk to someone while chewing gum as this is considered rude

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for NORWAY!

Author: Gayle Cotton, International Keynote Speaker & Cultural Expert

Order Gayle’s New Book: SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!

5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication 

www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

www.circlesofexcellence.com

US: 972-370-1300

Check out our Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos Articles Archivefor countries you may have missed!

Visit Gayle Cotton’s blog

Gayle’s new article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos for GREECE!

Cross-Cultural Speaker & Author of Global Travel Tips

www.gaylecotton.com

Contact Circles Of Excellence for your company’s Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers. We work with companies of all sizes and industries, including 50 Fortune 500 companies. Our topics include Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building and Time Management. Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton for your next meeting or conference to help your business become more successful in today’s global business environment. Gayle is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. She travels worldwide as a distinguished Professional Keynote Speaker. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire any audience with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications!

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Happy New Year! In Languages of Countries from J to Z

Posted on January 14, 2013 by Comments are off

New Years-COEHappy New Year to our Circles Of Excellence friends, customers, clients and vendors! We wish you a Happy & Prosperous New Year to everyone. We look forward to working with you in 2013!

For the New Year Greeting of countries from A to I, please visit Gayle Cotton’s Blog! www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

Gayle Cotton’s Book Website: Say Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Coming soon this month on the Circles Of Excellence Blog

Gayle ‘s new article: Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for the NETHERLANDS!

Coming soon this month on Gayle Cotton’s Blog

Gayle’s new article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos for GREECE!

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

(Reprinted courtesy of ‘Yahoo Answers’)

Japan: Akimashite Omedetto Gozaimasu
Kabyle: Asegwas Amegaz
Kannada: Hosa Varushadha Shubhashayagalu
Kisii: SOMWAKA OMOYIA OMUYA
Khasi Snem Thymmai Basuk Iaphi
Khmer: Sua Sdei tfnam tmei
Korea: Saehae Bock Mani ba deu sei yo!
Kurdish: NEWROZ PIROZBE
Latvian Laimīgo Jauno Gadu!
Lithuanian: Laimingu Naujuju Metu
Laotian: Sabai dee pee mai
Macedonian Srekjna Nova Godina
Madagascar Tratry  ny  taona
Malay Selamat Tahun Baru
Marathi Nveen Varshachy Shubhechcha
Malayalam Puthuvatsara Aashamsakal
Mizo Kum Thar Chibai
Maltese Is-Sena t-Tajba
Nepal Nawa Barsha ko Shuvakamana
Norwegian Godt Nyttår
Oriya Nua Barshara Subhechha
Papua New   Guinea Nupela yia i go long yu
Pampango (Philippines) Masaganang Bayung Banua
Pashto Nawai Kall Mo Mubarak Shah
Persian Sal -e- no mobarak
Philippines Manigong Bagong Taon!
Polish: Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese Feliz Ano Novo
Punjabi Nave sal di mubarak
Romanian AN NOU FERICIT
Russian S Novim Godom
Samoa Manuia le Tausaga Fou
Serbo-Croatian Sretna nova godina
Sindhi Nayou Saal Mubbarak Hoje
Singhalese Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Siraiki Nawan Saal Shala Mubarak Theevay
Slovak Stastny Novy rok
Slovenian sreèno novo leto
Somali Iyo Sanad Cusub Oo Fiican!
Spanish Feliz Ano ~Nuevo
Swahili Heri Za Mwaka Mpyaº
Swedish GOTT NYTT ÅR! /Gott nytt år!
Sudanese Warsa Enggal
Tamil Eniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal
Tibetian Losar Tashi Delek
Telegu Noothana samvatsara shubhakankshalu
Thai Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian Shchastlyvoho Novoho Roku
Urdu Naya Saal Mubbarak Ho
Uzbek Yangi Yil Bilan
Vietnamese Chuc Mung Tan Nien
Welsh Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! 

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

Posted on June 12, 2012 by Comments are off

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Key Topics to Use in Conversation

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

5 Key Topics or Gestures to Avoid in Conversation

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

Bon Voyage!

Please visit Gayle Cotton’s Blog for additional Cross-Cultural Articles throughout the summer. Gayle’s articles on this blog will return in the Fall when she returns from her ‘Book Sabbatical’ to write her new book:

SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!’

www.gaylecotton.com/blog

Contact Us for More Information!

Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, Keynote Speakers

www.circlesofexcellence.com

Cross-Cultural Articles & Global Travel Tips

www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

US: 972-370-1300

Contact Circles Of Excellence for your company’s Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers. We work with companies of all sizes and industries, including 50
Fortune 500 companies. Our topics include Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building and Time Management. Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton for your next meeting or conference to help your business become more successful in today’s global business environment. Gayle is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. She travels worldwide as a distinguished Professional
Keynote Speaker. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire any audience with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications!

Author: Gayle Cotton, International Keynote Speaker & Cultural Expert

www.gaylecotton.com

Visit Gayle Cotton’s Blog for additional Cross-Cultural Articles!

www.gaylecotton.com/blog

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

Posted on May 13, 2012 by Comments are off

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

 

Most businesspeople should be addressed with a name and title. If a person does not have a professional title (Professor or Doctor) you may use courtesy titles such as “Mr.” or “Ms.”, plus the name. This is less important with younger businesspeople.

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

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

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

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

The Indian’s perspective on time is similar to that of the Malays. However, the Indian professionals you may encounter will expect punctuality.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

5 Key Topics to Use in Conversation

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

 

5 Keys Topics to Avoid in Conversation

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

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for MEXICO!

Contact Us for More Information!

Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, Keynote Speakers

www.circlesofexcellence.com

Cross-Cultural Articles & Global Travel Tips

www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog

US: 972-370-1300

Contact Circles Of Excellence for your company’s Corporate Training, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers. We work with companies of all sizes and industries, including 50 Fortune 500 companies. Our topics include Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building and Time Management. Contact EMMY AWARD WINNER, Gayle Cotton for your next meeting or conference to help your business become more successful in today’s global business environment. Gayle is President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. She travels worldwide as a distinguished Professional
Keynote Speaker. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire any audience with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications!

Author: Gayle Cotton, International Keynote Speaker & Cultural Expert

www.gaylecotton.com

Visit Gayle Cotton’s Blog for additional Cross-Cultural Articles!

www.gaylecotton.com/blog

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