Posts tagged with cultural tips for countries

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for TAIWAN

Posted on February 9, 2017 by Comments are off

The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for TAIWAN – 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 a social and business relationship. That’s why it’s important for business travelers to make sure they understand the culture of the country that they’re taking a business trip to.

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

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

Local contacts are extremely important in Taiwan, so it’s a good idea to request a personal introduction from the Commerce department, a bank, or from a high-ranking individual at a well-known business.

In Taiwanese business culture, relationships are based on respect and trust, so you will be expected to take time to build rapport and good will. The Taiwanese are generally suspicious of Westerners, so work on this in the early stages of your visit, and expect to make several trips to establish the relationship.

Although punctuality is expected from foreign visitors, Taiwanese business culture has more of a relaxed attitude toward time, so your Taiwanese counterpart may arrive a bit late for an appointment. The Taiwanese work ethic is exceptionally strong, and they often work 12 to 15 hour work days.

Staying out until late in the evening at bars, nightclubs, or restaurants is a way of life in Taiwanese business culture, so it’s best to schedule morning appointments for late in the morning.

Bowing is not as common as in other parts of China, particularly in business culture. A simple nod is more common, followed by handshakes and the exchange of business cards. Make sure that you bring a plentiful supply of business card, because you will be expected to exchange them with practically everyone you meet.

Your name, company, and title should be printed in English on one side and if possible, in Mandarin Chinese on the reverse side. In Taiwan, the first name you see will probably be the person’s last name or family name, followed by the person’s first name or given name. In addition, the Taiwanese may also adopt Western names for the benefit of the English-speakers they will be meeting.

Present your card facing up with both hands, held between the thumbs and forefingers. Receiving another person’s business card is considered an honor, so carefully examine it and then remark about it before carefully putting it in your card case or the table in front of you for a meeting.  Never accept a business card and then immediately stuff it into your pocket.

Humility and harmony is very important in Taiwan. Do not enter an office until you are invited, and don’t seat yourself until you are asked to do so. The Taiwanese usually begin a meeting with good-natured “small talk”, and you will probably be taken to an informal sitting area and served coffee and tea. Allow your Taiwanese counterpart to bring up the subject of business.

Follow the Taiwanese business etiquette and wait to be introduced to new people. If there is someone, in particular, you want to meet, it’s best to have a third person introduce you.

The standard Asian handshake is gentle compared to western cultures, and lasts around 10-12 seconds. Taiwanese women will rarely shake hands, and Western men should not offer to shake hands with them unless they extend their hand first. Western women may initiate a handshake with Taiwanese men.

The question “Have you eaten?” is the equivalent to “How are you?” in North America. it’s simply a superficial inquiry that does not require a detailed answer. Simply answer “yes”, even if you haven’t eaten.

Don’t be surprised if your Taiwanese business associates ask personal questions such as, “What is your salary?” or “How much did that cost?” These questions are considered acceptable and should be answered– even if indirectly.

Much of communication is implied in Taiwan, so your use of eye contact, facial expressions, tone of voice, and gestures play an important part in getting across your intended message, however keep eye contact to a minimum with those senior to you, and avoid expansive greetings, gestures, and physical contact.

Remain calm and composed at all times, and don’t display your emotions. It is crucial that you understand and respect the concept of “saving face”, and never embarrass anyone in public by losing your temper or raising your voice. Any form of criticism is always done in a private, in a “one-on-one” meeting.

Since the Taiwanese will rarely be blunt enough to say “no”, you will need to listen carefully and “read between the lines” to determine if a response is negative. For example, a reply of, “We’ll see”, may actually mean, “No, we won’t”, and “I’ll consider it” may imply, “No, I don’t want to.”

If someone compliments you during a conversation, respond by insisting that you are not worthy of such praise. Don’t acknowledge by saying “thank you” or by affirming it in any other way. Instead, remain as modest and self-effacing as possible. However, this should not stop you from sincerely complimenting another person since this will be appreciated.

Expect Taiwanese businesspeople to be shrewd negotiators. Bargaining is a way of life, so be prepared to make compromises. Your negotiating team should include people with seniority and a comprehensive knowledge of your company. Including an older person in your delegation will be essential to your success, since this culture deeply respects age and status, and sending a senior representative shows that your organization is serious about the relationship.

Sending your proposals in advance for your host to review is often a good strategy. It’s helpful to have written materials translated in Mandarin Chinese by a professional. Be prepared to discuss all aspects of your proposal in detail, and summarize the major points at the beginning and the end.

At the negotiating table, the member of your team with the highest seniority should sit in the middle of one long side. The second-ranked person will sit at his right, their third ranked person to his left, and so on. The Taiwanese side will do the same, so you will be able to identify the “key players” on their side. If you are sitting on a sofa and chairs, follow the same arrangement. When passing through a doorway allow the elders to pass first — even if you need to insist because they initially refuse.

Any breach of trust will not be tolerated and is a serious violation of Taiwanese business protocol.

Avoid discussing money early on, although it is an obvious priority. In Taiwanese business culture, establishing a trustworthy business relationship is often considered a higher priority than profits.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Tips

  • You’ll often find that the Taiwanese are fans of American baseball
  • Family is a good topic, because in the Taiwanese business culture an exemplary family life is perceived as a sign of character
  • The Taiwanese enjoy talking about all types of travel, including their country or your country
  • The will enjoy hearing about what you’ve enjoyed about Taiwan so far, and what you would like to visit and do while you are there
  • Personal space is important to the Taiwanese, so plan to stand about two arm’s lengths away from another person.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Cultural Taboos

  • Avoid pats on the back, putting your arm around someone, or any form of touching in communication like resting your hand on someone’s arm
  • The Taiwanese point with an open hand because pointing with a finger is socially unacceptable. Beckon by extending your arms palm down and waving your fingers.
  • Winking at someone, even as an innocent gesture of acknowledgement, is considered unacceptable.
  • Feet are considered dirty in this culture and should not touch things or people. When seated, men should keep their feet flat on the floor. Women may cross their legs, but should avoid pointing the soles of their shoe at anyone.
  • Avoid discussing their relationship with mainland China, local politics, or communism.

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for TURKEY 

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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 professional keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural communication training and cross-cultural training programs. She is a leader in the field of professional public speakers, professional 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, Executive Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communications, Customer Service, Diversity, Leadership & Management, Presentation Skills, Sales & Negotiations, Stress Management, Team Building, and Time Management.

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!

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

Posted on January 12, 2015 by Comments are off

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

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

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

The webinar includes business travel tips for unfamiliar cultures and conversation guidelines for Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin American, and the Middle East. It also has tips for communicating in different countries, as well as strategies for doing business with unfamiliar cultures to help with understanding cultures around the world. It’s important to keep in mind that as we homogenize as a ‘global culture’, cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is the first step!

Click the link below to attend:

Webinar: SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere!

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

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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

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

 

 Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

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

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

Soon on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Soon on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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New Year Traditions Around the World from Greece to China!

Posted on January 3, 2015 by Comments are off

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

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

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

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

 

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

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

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

Soon on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Soon on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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Gayle Cotton Has New Photos from Her Trip to New York on Our Website!

Posted on December 27, 2014 by Comments are off

Photo Gallery – Work, Travel, and Fun! Xmas 1-Gayle arrives in NYC for Christmas shopping

There are new pictures from Gayle Cotton’s recent trip to New York City in our photo gallery ‘Work, Travel, and Fun!’ Gayle was speaking at events to promote her Audio Book SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ (available on Amazon), and to enjoy some Christmas shopping in the city!

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

 

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

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

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

Soon on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Soon on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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Gayle Cotton’s Interview ‘Business Travel in Mexico’ Is on About.com

Posted on December 20, 2014 by Comments are off

ABOUT.COM: Business Travel Tips for Mexico Mexico Flag

The interview on ‘Business Travel Tips for Mexico’ is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Mexico, tips for communicating in Mexico, and strategies for doing business with Israel to help with understanding the culture in Mexico. 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 tips for intercultural communication!

Interview Links:

Cultural Tips for Mexico

http://businesstravel.about.com/od/resources/fl/Cultural-Tips-for-Doing-Business-in-Mexico.htm

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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

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

 

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

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

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

Currently on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Currently on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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Gayle Cotton’s Interview ‘Business Travel in Israel’ Is on About.com

Posted on December 13, 2014 by Comments are off

ABOUT.COM: Business Travel Tips for Israel              Israel Flag

The interview on ‘Business Travel Tips for Israel’ is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Israel, tips for communicating in Israel, and strategies for doing business with Israel to help with understanding the culture in Israel. 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 tips for intercultural communication!

Interview Links:

Cultural Tips for Israel

http://businesstravel.about.com/od/resources/fl/Cultural-Tips-for-Doing-Business-in-Israel.htm?nl=1

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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

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

 

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

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

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

Currently on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Currently on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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We Wish Everyone a Happy Holiday in Languages from Around the World!

Posted on December 6, 2014 by Comments are off

Hol pic2We wish all of our customers, clients, and friends from around the world a warm and happy holiday season!

We appreciate all of your business and support this past year!

 

 

 

Happy Holidays! In French: Joyeuses Fêtes!

Happy Holidays! In Spanish: Felices Fiestas!

Happy Holidays! In Swedish: Trevlig Helg!

Happy Holidays! In Portuguese: Boas Festas!

Happy Holidays! In Turkish: Mutlu Bayramlar!

Happy Holidays! In Romanian: Sarbatori Fericite!

Happy Holidays! In Mandarin: Jie Ri Yu Kuai

Happy Holidays! In Catalan: Bones Festes!

Happy Holidays! In Japanese: Shiawasena kyūjitsu

Happy Holidays! In Italian: Buone Feste!

Happy Holidays! In South African (Xhose): Ii holide eximnandi

Happy Holidays! In German: Forhe Feiertage

Happy Holidays! In Dutch: Prettige feestdagen

Happy Holidays! In Hawaiian: Hau’oli Lanui

Happy Holidays! In Gaelic: Beannachtaí na Féile

Happy Holidays! In Slovenian: Vesele Praznike

Happy Holidays! In Indonesian: Selamat Hari Raya!

Happy Holidays! In Croatian: Sretni praznici!

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

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

 

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

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

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

Currently on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Currently on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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Happy Thanksgiving to All of Our Customers, Clients, and Friends!

Posted on November 22, 2014 by Comments are off

thanksgiving

We wish all of you celebrating Thanksgiving a wonderful holiday, and we thank everyone for all the business and referrals you have sent our way in the past year!

 We appreciate you all!

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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

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

 

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

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

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

Soon on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Soon on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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

Posted on November 15, 2014 by Comments are off

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

The article ‘Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for South Africa’ is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for South Africa, tips for communicating in South Africa, and strategies for doing business with South Africa to help with understanding the culture in South Africa. 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 tips for intercultural communication!

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

Cultural Tips for SOUTH AFRICA

Business travel tips for South Africa that will pave the way!

When doing business in South Africa, keep in mind that the English, the Afrikaners, and the black Africans all have distinct forms of greeting, and while united as South Africans, each tends to mirror their collective personality.

South Africa is the industrial center of Africa, and is a key producer of minerals including diamonds, gold, silver, and copper.

Any hint of ignorance about the South African domestic or regional political scene will almost surely disqualify you from doing business in this country.

With Apartheid gone, South Africa has emerged as one of the most multicultural nations, being composed of British, Afrikaans, Malay, Indian, Zulu, Xhosa, and other black tribes.

South Africa is not a “melting pot”, but rather a society composed of various communities and races that remain separate yet integral forces in seeking a new union aspiring to lead and repair the country.

English speaking South Africans tend to be reserved, proud of their cultural heritage, have good manners, elegant, expressive speech, and avoid unnecessary conflict. Afrikaners, like their Dutch ancestors, are more direct and to the point and have a tendency to “tell it like it is.”

Many South Africans are bilingual, and speak English and Afrikaans (of Dutch origin).

Some South Africans speak English with a heavy accent, as well as in a fast rhythm. It’s important that you pay close attention, because constantly asking people to repeat themselves will eventually be insulting.

Introductions are usually orchestrated in order of seniority. South Africans appreciate a good education, so an advanced degree from a well-known University may be referenced in the introduction.

Typically, South Africans follow the British style of a polite, formal exchange of handshakes and business card exchanges.

Always wait to be asked to sit down. Once seated, expect to be asked a couple of times if you want coffee or tea. It’s a good idea to accept, as this provides a break in the formality and allows for the start of some preliminary “small talk.”

A common interest in sports goes a long way in solidifying the personal side of a business relationship. Casually mentioning that you’d love to see a cricket match or rugby game might just get you an invitation to one!

By nature, South Africans are a warm, friendly, outgoing people, and conversations can get personal after a relatively brief period of time. They will take a genuine interest in the way of life in your home country and what you think of South Africa.

If there is a long period of silence in the course of a conversation, it is a sign that the situation has become awkward or there is something else that is wrong.

South Africans tend to use demonstrative body language when talking. You’ll likely experience a lot of handshaking and some backslapping. With friends and close associates, hand-holding is a sign of friendship.

In contrast, business discussions are conducted in a cordial manner and in quiet voices. A raised voice will be interpreted as an insult. Also, increasing your volume runs the risk of getting you branded as a pushy foreigner more concerned about the “bottom line” than the personal side of a business relationship.

South African businesspeople aren’t easily impressed with slide presentations. The first meeting is about establishing personal rapport and deciding if you’re a person they can trust. It would be a mistake to expect any instant decisions or deals until the relationship is well established.

Keep your presentation short, to the point, and filled with specific ideas related to the special circumstances of doing business in South Africa. Sometimes, the logistics and financing of the deal are more important to South Africans than the actual product or service that you are trying to sell.

Generally, South Africans don’t like to admit that they don’t know an answer. A lot of this tendency has to do with the tradition of hospitality and the desire not to disappoint. Don’t push for an immediate answer, and the correct information will likely be provided to you in the very near future.

The pace of business is somewhat slower and more relaxed when it comes to negotiations and the decision-making process. Being overly aggressive about deadlines will be counterproductive. Avoid the “hare-sell” since that may be perceived as pushy.

In negotiations and decision-making, South Africans strive to build consensus, and prefer to see all sides gain something. For the most part, they are ruled by a sense of fair play, and it’s rare for them to “haggle” over prices or obsess over details.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Tips

  • Maintaining good eye contact is essential
  • Talking about sports is an effective way to personalize business. Make the effort to learn about the country’s accomplishments in golf, rugby, and cricket
  • A small yet thoughtful gift for your business associates or their families will be greatly appreciated. Personalized gifts are the best
  • Talking about your home country, as well as your interest in South Africa — it’s diverse and beautiful terrain, rich culture, and wild life
  • The evolving racial and social policies are open to discussion, but make sure you are well versed on the topic, and don’t impose your views

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Taboos

  • It’s impolite to point with your index finger so use an open hand
  • Talking with your hands in your pockets is considered rude
  • When passing through a doorway, it’s customary for African men to precede women
  • Don’t initiate or participate in racist or sexist conversations should the topic arise
  • The “V” or peace sign is the same as giving “someone the finger”, and it’s usually punctuated by an upward thrust of the hand

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for SOUTH KOREA!

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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

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

 

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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Video clips: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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

Soon on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Soon on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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Gayle Cotton’s Interview ‘Business Travel in Malaysia’ on About.com

Posted on November 1, 2014 by Comments are off

ABOUT.COM: Business Travel Tips for MALAYSIA Malaysia Flag

The interview on ‘Business Travel Tips for Malaysia’ is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Malaysia, tips for communicating in Malaysia, and strategies for doing business with Malaysia to help with understanding the culture in Malaysia. 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 tips for intercultural communication!

Interview Links:

Cultural Tips for Malaysia

http://businesstravel.about.com/od/resources/fl/Cultural-Tips-for-Doing-Business-in-Malaysia.htm

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

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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

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

 

Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

MEDIA: Newsroom Media Interviews

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

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

Soon on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Soon on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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