Posts tagged with cross cultural training

How Did #Halloween Start? These Theories May Surprise You!

Posted on October 12, 2017 by Leave a comment

How did #Halloween start? It has nothing to do with the #moon! http://bit.ly/1t3M4Sm 

In the British Isles, the ancient Druids and Kelts believed that the when Pleiades reached the highest point in the sky around October 31st at 12:00 am, the spirits of the Dead roamed the Earth. That night came to be known as #Halloween.

When the Greeks saw Orion in October sky, they believed that there were 7 maidens or sisters that were being pursued by Orion, so Zeus saved them by turning them into stars!

The Kyle Indians of North America believed that 7 maidens were attacked by a bear, so they stood on a rock which grew into Devil’s Tower Wyoming (as seen in Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind). Ultimately, they became the stars in the sky that were known as Orion.

So, it’s not just about ghosts, bats and witches!

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’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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Great Interview on Voyage Dallas Magazine! “Meet Gayle Cotton of Circles Of Excellence”

Posted on September 13, 2017 by Comments are off

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gayle Cotton

Gayle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

My background is in Humanities and Behavioral Science, with an emphasis on Neuro-Science and Cultural Science.

In the early nineties, a California-based company asked me for my expertise and help with training programs at Citibank in Zurich, Switzerland. The training went very well, and I was soon traveling regularly to Zurich, and Geneva as well, to facilitate training programs with other U.S. based companies in Switzerland.

Within a year, I was asked by a training company in Geneva to move there and develop Management, Marketing, Presentation Skills and Cross-Cultural courses for The United Nations and international companies throughout Europe and around the world. It was a fantastic opportunity, so off to Geneva I went!

Read on here… Article Link: http://voyagedallas.com/interview/meet-gayle-cotton-circles-excellence-plano/

To learn more about Gayle Cotton or Circles Of Excellence and how we can help you, please visit www.gaylecotton.com and www.circlesofexcellence.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ is 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’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for the United States of America (USA)

Posted on July 25, 2017 by Comments are off

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for the United States of America (USA) – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z

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.

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

Cultural Tips for the USA – including some valuable business travel tips for the USA!

In the USA, you will find that most Americans speak only English, unless they are immigrants from other countries. They write the month first, then the day, then the year (i.e., December 5, 2001 is written 12/5/01).

Punctuality is considered very important, especially for business occasions. In many U.S. cities, traffic can cause considerable delays, so be sure to allow enough driving time to your appointment. If you know that you will be late, call to let your contact know.

A handshake is the customary greeting for both men and women socially or for business. Apart from greeting close family members or friends, Americans tend to refrain from greetings that involve hugging and close physical contact.

Business cards will not be refused, but you may not always receive one in return. Don’t be offended, in the U.S., the rituals involved in exchanging business cards are sometimes not observed as closely as in other cultures.

The recipient of your card will probably place it into a wallet, which a man may put in the back pocket of his pants. This gesture is done for convenience, and is not meant to be a sign of disrespect, as it might be in other cultures.

The standard space between you and your conversation partner should be about two feet. Most U.S. executives will be uncomfortable standing at a closer distance. Direct eye contact conveys that you are sincere, although it should not be too intense. Certain ethnic groups will look away to show respect.

Americans will often ask, “How are you?” as part of the standard greeting “Hello”, or “Hi”. It is not a question that requires a lengthy answer, a simple “Fine and you?” is sufficient.

Americans like to laugh and enjoy being with people who have a sense of humor. Jokes are usually welcome, however avoid race, gender, ethnic and religious humor. They also tend to dislike long periods of silence, so they may jump in to fill in the silence in a conversation with humor or a general statement.

Traditional sex roles are changing rapidly, but women are still striving for equality in pay and positions of authority.

Sports are very popular in the U.S., especially baseball, football (not to be confused with soccer), and basketball. Sport analogies have found their way into business, so you will often hear things like “that was a home run” or “that’s out in left field”, which can be confusing to those unfamiliar with the terms!

Most business is conducted on a “first name” basis, however there are exceptions so follow the lead of others. When sitting, Americans can look very relaxed. Men may sit with the ankle of one leg on their knee or prop their feet up on chairs or desks. However, in formal business situations it’s best to maintain a good posture and be less casual.

In the U.S., business is often conducted at a very fast pace. In a meeting, the participants will proceed with business after some brief, preliminary “small talk.” The concept “time is money” is taken seriously in U.S. business culture, so always get to the point. It’s not uncommon for them to try to get an oral agreement at the first meeting.

Many Americans believe that their country is the most successful economic and democratic power, and assume that American ways are the “correct” ones. This attitude sometimes leads to a lack of interest in or knowledge of other cultures.

They typically know little of concepts such as “saving face” and the social niceties and formalities that are vitally important to other cultures. Innovation usually takes precedence over tradition.

The United States is an ethnocentric culture, and so it is sometimes closed to “outside” information. Thinking tends to be analytical, and concepts are abstracted quickly.

Americans tend to be future oriented. Money is a key priority, and an issue that will be used to win most arguments. They don’t always realize that businesspeople from many other cultures rarely, if ever, sacrifice status, protocol, or national honor for financial gain.

In negotiations, Americans will often emphasize their financial strength or indomitable position. Generally, they will use a majority vote if they have it, and will not spend much time seeking consensus.

They regard negotiating as problem-solving through “give and take” based on respective strengths. They often are unaware that the other side may have only one position.

American businesspeople are opportunistic and willing to take chances. Opportunism and risk taking often result in Americans going for the biggest possible slice of the business. Even so, they will have a financial plan which must be followed.

Businesspeople can be very blunt and will not hesitate to disagree with you. This approach may cause embarrassment to business travelers who are unaccustomed to dealing with Americans. In general, people from the U.S. will not hesitate to answer “no.”

Persistence is a characteristic you will frequently encounter in American business. There is a prevailing belief that there is always a solution, so they will explore all options when negotiations are at an impasse.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • General questions such as “How are you” or “What do you do?” are often used.
  • Topics around someone’s job or work-related matters are good for general discussion. Travel, music, food, movies, and books are topics appreciated by everyone.
  • All types of sports, and especially golf for business venues and negotiations, are welcome topics of conversation.
  • To show approval, there are two common gestures: the “O.K.” sign, formed by making a circle of the thumb and index finger, and the “thumbs up” sign, formed by making a fist and pointing the thumb upward. The backslap should be interpreted as a sign of friendship and camaraderie.
  • To beckon someone, wave either all the fingers or just the index finger in a scooping motion, with the palm facing up. To wave goodbye, move your entire hand, with the palm facing outward.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Until you know a person well, avoid discussing religion, politics or other controversial subjects (abortion, racism, sexism etc.). Also avoid all race, gender, ethnic or religious jokes.
  • For the most part, Americans aren’t prone to touching, hugging, or kissing when greeting, or during business conversations and social situations.
  • While it’s common to point with the index finger, it’s impolite to point at another person.
  • Refrain from asking women if they are married. If a woman volunteers this information, you may ask a few polite questions about her husband or children.
  • Smoking is not as commonplace and is subject to restrictions in most public places. Even where smoking is allowed, always ask if those you are with will mind if you smoke.

Bon Voyage!

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

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’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Posted on May 11, 2017 by Comments are off

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z

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.

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

Cultural Tips for the UAE – including some valuable business travel tips for the UAE!

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is very progressive, modern, and the most westernized of all the Arabic countries.

In the UAE, each of the seven United Arab Emirates is a sovereign principality ruled by the head of the leading family of the tribe that first settled there.

Tourist visas are available and a single visa is valid for all seven emirates. The national airline, Emirates, is renowned for excellent service.

Islam is the official religion. Because of the relatively small indigenous population [especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi], however, the western visitor does not feel its influence as much as elsewhere in Arabia, except during the fast of Ramadhan.

The official language is Arabic but Farsi heavily influences the local dialect, making it sound strange at first. English, Farsi, Urdu and Hindi are also widely spoken.

The UAE encourages foreign enterprise, and many businesses are foreign owned and run. You just need to satisfy the financial criteria to open a business there.

Business etiquette varies according to nationality, but following the general guidelines when dealing with people from anywhere in Arabia is helpful.

Appropriate business dress for men is shirt and trousers during the day with collar and tie in the evening. Traditional robes are also popular and suitable for the climate.

Business women are more common than in other Arabic countries, and need not dress as modestly as elsewhere in Arabia. Typical western business attire is appropriate as long as it’s not too revealing.

Business cards are commonly exchanged but not essential. English language cards are fine, but it’s a nice gesture to have Arabic printed on one side.

Detailed brochures and material should be printed in Arabic, either with or without an English translation.

Gifts are challenging, because virtually everything can be purchased there less expensively than elsewhere in the world. Gifts must also be the very best affordable. It’s wise to research gifts in advance to make sure they’re appropriate and will be appreciated.

As in the west, the basic working week is 5 days, save that the week begins on Saturday instead of Monday.

Generally, businesses in the UAE open at about nine in the morning, close for most of the afternoon and then re-open from late afternoon until mid-evening.

Although prayer times vary around the year, current ones are always printed in the daily newspapers and the visitor should keep abreast of them when making appointments.

If a meeting room is carpeted, it’s common to remove shoes and leave them outside to avoid bringing in impurities and making the room unclean for prayer.

At the start of a meeting, shake hands with the most senior person first, usually, but not always, the host. Then make your way around the room in an anti-clockwise direction, shaking hands with each person in turn before taking your seat.

If there are more than fifty or so people in the room, there may be a consensus to shake hands with the host and wave a greeting to the others.

Once seated, crossing legs is perfectly acceptable, provided you do not direct the sole of the foot to an individual, which is a ‘go away’ gesture.

Business initially proceeds more slowly than in the west, and then often unexpectedly speed up as business dealings solidify.

There may be several meetings required in the discussion phase, and then negotiations may be swift but not necessarily easy.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • General questions such as “How are you” are often used.
  • The UAE is an oasis of variety and modernism and this is always a good topic of discussion.
  • Intelligent argument is admired and welcome, but only if it is courteous and reasoned.
  • Do not change the topic of conversation except by logical opportunity or invitation.
  • The more feedback you provide, even if it’s forceful so long as it is not angry, the more highly you are esteemed

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Quarreling with anger is regarded totally differently than intelligent argument and should be avoided.
  • When seated opposite someone, don’t sit with your legs apart, or cross your legs where the sole of your shoe is pointed at someone because this is considered an insult.
  • If you continually agree with someone, and are afraid to offer a differing opinion, they may begin to doubt your sincerity.
  • The UAE is very cosmopolitan, so to avoid offending be sure your manners and cultural etiquette adapt to the nationality of who you are with.
  • Since the UAE is primarily a Muslim country, before suggesting alcoholic drinks with someone be sure that they drink.

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for the United States of America (USA)!

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’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for TURKEY

Posted on April 6, 2017 by Comments are off

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

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.

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

Cultural Tips for Turkey – including some valuable business travel tips for Turkey!

In Turkey, your success is defined by your ability to build effective personal relationships combined with a clearly outlined and well-presented proposal.

Business is personal. Although this is changing with the influx of big multi-nationals and a more corporate culture in some of the larger companies, many businesses are still family owned and run.

Where professional titles exist, such as Doctor or Professor, always use them.

Business dress is somewhat conservative, so you will be expected to wear a suit and tie. Similarly, women should wear fashionable professional outfits.

In the summer, especially in the cities of Istanbul, Izmir and Anakara, the weather is very hot and humid so it is acceptable for men to wear a shirt with trousers and in most cases not to wear a tie.

There is a West-East divide in Turkey on the issue of Islam. Generally, the Eastern Turks are a lot more conservative due to their closer adherence to Islamic values. Western Turks, especially those in Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir are usually a lot more westernized. Islam takes on more of a cultural feel rather than a religious one. Depending on where you are, be careful how you approach any topic about Islam.

Turks will want to do business with those they like, trust, feel comfortable with and with those that can provide a long-term relationship.

The first meeting should be solely focused on getting to know each other. Once a relationship has been established, you can safely move on to business matters.

When meeting, shake hands firmly. When departing, it is not always customary to shake hands–although it is occasionally done so follow the cues. Friends and relatives will greet each other with either one or two kisses on the cheek.

When entering a room, if you are not automatically met by someone, greet the most elderly or most senior first. At social occasions, greet the person closest to you, then work your way around the room or table counter-clockwise.

Holding hands with someone from the opposite sex is acceptable in the cities and vacation areas. In rural Turkey and the East, this would be frowned upon.

The Turkish gestures for ‘yes’ and ‘no’ can be quite confusing. ‘Yes’ is indicated with a nod of the head upwards, while ‘no’ is also an upward nod but accompanied by the raising of the eyebrows. A sure sign that a ‘no’ is meant is if it is accompanied with a hissing of the teeth.

Queues do not operate as they do in the US or Europe. It is not uncommon for people to jump queues or even go straight to the front. It is best to be patient and politely point out that you were in the line before them–although most of the time this will make little difference

Turks are very astute businesspeople. Ensure any proposal clearly demonstrates the mutual benefit and profitability of any agreement or partnership.

When negotiating, the Turks may start at extremes to gage your response. Prior to negotiations know your target figure and work slowly towards it through meaningful concessions.

It may not always be necessary to focus solely on financial benefits when negotiating. It is Also useful to point to areas such as power, influence, honor, respect and other non-monetary incentives.

Decision making can be slower than in many other cultures. It is likely that you will meet and negotiate with less senior members of the company first. Once you seen as trustworthy and your proposal financially viable, you will move on more senior leaders. A decision is ultimately made by the most senior in charge.

Most business entertaining will take place in restaurants. Turks enjoy food, and the meal is a time for relaxing and engaging in some good conversation outside of business.

The protocol of Turkish hospitality is that the host always pays for the meal. The concept of sharing a bill is completely alien to them. You may try and offer to pay to be polite, but you will likely not be allowed to do so. The best policy is graciously to thank the host, then a few days later invite the host to dinner at a restaurant of your choice and inform the restaurant manager that they are not accept payment from your guests.

Evening meals may be accompanied by some alcohol, however since many Turks don’t drink be sure to let your host be the guide on this. Tea or Turkish coffee is served at the end of a meal, sometimes with pastries. Turkish coffee is a national drink and should at least be sampled.

If you visit a mosque, never enter with your shoes on. There is always a rack where shoes can be kept. Make sure your feet are clean and will not bring in dust or mud. Men should not wear shorts and must wear a shirt or t-shirt. Women should be covered fully, especially their hair. If you do not have a scarf, ask an attendant as some are usually put aside for foreign visitors.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Tips

  • Asking about family is good if it’s not prying. Questions about children is welcomed.
  • The Turks are proud of their country and will enjoy answering questions on their culture and history, although it’s best to avoid political history.
  • Turkey is a beautiful and most interesting country with many notable places or of interest to visit, so be sure to ask about the things to see in your location – which the Turks will love to share pointers about.
  • The marvelous seafood and cuisine is always a good topic of discussion.
  • Most Turks love football (soccer), and will enthusiastically discuss their favorite team!

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Gesture Taboos

  • Outside the big cities, especially in the East of Turkey, both women and men should avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless tops due to the adherence to Islamic values.
  • When seated opposite someone, don’t sit with your legs apart, or cross your legs where the sole of your shoe is pointed at someone because this is considered an insult.
  • Avoid giving opinions over sensitive issues involving Turkey, especially Turk-Kurdish relations and current issues with the EU .
  • Turkey has had a turbulent political history which may be best left in the past. Avoid this topic unless they bring it up first, and then listen rather than give opinions.
  • Since Turkey is primarily a Muslim country, before suggesting alcoholic drinks with someone be sure that they drink.

Bon Voyage!

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

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’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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

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!

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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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