Posts tagged with intercultural communication

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

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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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Get Ready for Chinese New Year – 2017 is the Year of the ‘ROOSTER’!

Posted on January 20, 2017 by Comments are off

Get Ready for Chinese New Year – 2017 is the Year of the ‘ROOSTER’!

This year the Chinese New Year 2017 is on Saturday, January 28th, and the Spring Festival is celebrated from January 27th to February 2nd.

It’s Your Year Roosters!

2017 is a year of the Rooster according to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle. Other Rooster years include: …1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017… If you were born then, you’re a Rooster!

Hundreds of millions of people across China have been celebrating the arrival of the New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival – the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. People from all over the world travel to China to celebrate, and it’s considered the largest annual migration on a global scale. It’s celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar, and is the longest festival of the year. It traditionally runs from Chinese New Year’s Eve on the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month. The first day of the New Year falls between January 21 and February 20.

Regional customs for the celebration of the Chinese New Year vary. Usually, it’s a time for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also tradition for every family to thoroughly clean the house in order to sweep away ill-fortune and make way for good luck in the coming year. Homes are decorated in red with themes representing “wealth” and “longevity”. There are fireworks, dragons, lion dances, money given away in red envelopes and more!

Read more about the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster at the link: http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/special-report/chinese-new-year/

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.

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

Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com

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

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New Year Traditions Around the World from New York to Japan!

Posted on December 30, 2016 by Comments are off

  • Times Square Celebrations The first Ball Lowering celebration atop One Times Square was held on December 31, 1907 and is now a worldwide symbol of the turn of the New Year, seen vianew-year-7 satellite by more than one billion people each year. The original New Year’s Eve Ball weighed 700 pounds and was 5 feet in diameter. It was made of iron and wood and was decorated with 100 25-watt light bulbs.
  • Foods It was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. It is still held in some regions that special New Year foods are the harbingers of luck. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year’s Day will bring good fortune. The hog, and its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another “good luck” vegetable that is consumed on New Year’s Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year’s Day. The ancient Persians gave New Year’s gifts of eggs, which symbolized productiveness.
  • Black-eyed peas Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures.
  • Rings Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes “coming full circle,” completing a year’s cycle. Wearing new slippers In China, many people wear in the new year a new pair of slippers that is bought before the new year, because it means to step on the people who gossip about you.
  • Sealed doors & windows During new year , the doors and windows of every home in china can be seen sealed with paper. The Chinese think that this will succeed in keep the evil demons out.
  • Jewish New Year The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah. It is a holy time when Jews recall the things they have done wrong in the past, and then promise to do better in the future. Special services are held in the synagogues, children are given new clothes and New Year loaves are baked to remind people of harvest time.
  • American resolutions 40 to 45% of American adults make one or more New Year’s resolutions each year. And these range from debt reduction to giving up bad habits to what not? But the ones that are the most common deal with weight loss to exercise to giving up smoking.
  • Japanese New Year On New Year’s Day in Japan, everyone gets dressed in their new clothes. Homes are decorated with pine branches and bamboo, both of which are considered to be the symbols of long life.

For more New Year’s Traditions – Visit

Gayle Cotton’s Blog!

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.

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.

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

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

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We Wish You Happy Holidays in Languages from Around the World!

Posted on December 9, 2016 by Comments are off

hol-pic5Happy Holidays in Argentine – Felices Pasquas Y felices ano Nuevo

Happy Holidays in Brazilian – Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo

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 Holiday in Indonesian: Selamat Hari Raya!

Happy Holidays in Croatian: Sretni praznici!

For More Holiday Greetings – Visit

Gayle Cotton’s Blog!

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.

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.

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Interview ‘Business and Travel Tips for Spain’ Is on About.com!

Posted on December 9, 2016 by Comments are off

New Interview ‘Business and Travel Tips for Spain’ Is on About.com! spain-flag

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

Article Link:

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

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.

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.

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Interview on About.com! ‘Business and Travel Tips for Sweden’

Posted on December 2, 2016 by Comments are off

sweden-2It’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 Sweden is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Sweden, tips for communicating in Sweden, and strategies for doing business with Sweden help with understanding the culture in Sweden. 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 Sweden and tips for intercultural communication!

Article Link:

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

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.

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.

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for SWITZERLAND

Posted on November 4, 2016 by Comments are off

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

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

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

The culture of Switzerland is made up of four subcultures: the German, French, Italian, and 1% indigenous population who speak Romansch.

The handshake is the most common greeting in Switzerland, and Swiss Germans may shake hands upon both meeting and departing.

The Swiss French and Swiss Italians may shake hands and give you an “air kiss” or an embrace, depending on the rapport they have established with you. Men in either of these regions will embrace close friends, but will not kiss.

When doing business in Switzerland, punctuality is necessary on all occasions, whether business or social. This is especially true in the German speaking areas, where arriving even five minutes late for a business or social engagement can be offensive. The French and Italian speaking areas tend to be slightly more relaxed about time, but punctuality is still the best policy.

Female business travelers should have no problem as long as they remain highly professional, and while many women hold high-level positions, there are still fewer than in some cultures.

The Swiss may initially seem reserved or even standoffish, however once you develop a rapport with them, you’ll find that they are very honest, responsible people, who will be loyal to your interests.

It takes longer to develop personal relationships in Switzerland, however, with time and patience, the bond you establish will prove to be very beneficial.

The Swiss are very private people, so avoid asking personal questions about family, age, marital status, religion etc. unless they bring it up first.

Whether in a social or business situation, the Swiss are polite and pay close attention to what you say to them. They are very good listeners and rarely interrupt.

Although the use of first names in business is becoming more common, initially address your Swiss contact by “Mr.”, “Ms.”, or “Mrs.” until you are invited the use their first name.

The Swiss are very controlled, so maintain control over your emotions and show a disciplined approach in what you do.

The way you sit, stand, and project yourself are very important. You can expect the Swiss to pay close attention to your posture.

Business is regarded as serious, and humor has little place in discussions. Cracking jokes during a meeting will probably not be well received.

Swiss Germans will usually get right down to business, however the Swiss French and Swiss Italians will expect some preliminary “small talk” and may even offer you a drink.

Business presentations should be clear and concise, and while the Swiss are very straightforward in negotiations, they make a genuine effort to see matters from the opponent’s perspective.

In the Swiss business culture, there is a reluctance to take risks so they will require substantial information before agreeing to a new plan or procedure.

Typically, the Swiss German and Swiss French rely on empirical evidence and objective facts for evidence, while the Swiss Italians may rely more on subjective feelings.

The Swiss have a reputation for getting the best possible deal without ever appearing aggressive or demanding. Their quiet self-confidence, combined with the exceptional quality and value of their goods and services, allows them to avoid the “hard-sell” or other high-pressure tactics.

Hierarchy and rank is more important in the German-speaking area compared to the French and Italian speaking areas, however individuals with seniority, rank, and authority assume an air of modesty and remain discreet in exercising their power.

The Swiss will not rush to a decision, and while the final decision may come from the top, it is also consensus based in the fact that everyone involved must be accepting of it.

Once a decision is made, the Swiss are very reliable, efficient, and can be trusted to follow through. They are also very good at maintaining confidentiality.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Tips

  • The Swiss are always interested in world affairs.
  • The natural beauty of Switzerland, and where to visit is an excellent topic.
  • The distinct varieties of foods from the different subcultures.
  • Sports of all kinds, especially all winter sports!
  • The excellent quality of Swiss products, for example watches and chocolate.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Taboos

  • Avoid asking personal questions, or discussing family, unless they bring it up at some point in your relationship.
  • It’s considered impolite to stand and talk with your hands in your pockets.
  • Avoid any form of back patting.
  • Point using your full hand, because pointing with your index finger is considered impolite, or even obscene by some.
  • Don’t be overly demonstrative with body language or tonality or you won’t be taken seriously.

Bon Voyage!

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

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!

Gayle’s Newsroom: Media Interviews

Gayle’s DVD: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton

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

New Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for SWEDEN

Posted on October 21, 2016 by Comments are off

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

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

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

When doing business in Sweden, keep in mind that it is a humanitarian culture, where the quality of life and environmental issues are highly emphasized.

Swedes prefer to stand a bit further apart in their interactions than some cultures, and rather than relying on nonverbal forms of communication, it’s best to keep your body language and hand gestures to a minimum,

With the exception of the handshake, Swedes don’t have a lot of physical contact, so avoid backslapping, embracing, or touching.

They shake hands upon arriving and departing. It’s done swiftly and firmly, and smiling or other nonverbal communication usually doesn’t accompany it — especially if you haven’t previously met.

The Swedish business approach is more formal than informal, so no gum chewing, slouching, or leaning against things.

Keep your emotions to a minimum, as a cool, calm, and matter of fact manner approach is preferred. Swedes are also somewhat quiet, so speak in a subdued, modulated tone of voice.

Swedes are a proud people, but they never brag. While they respect someone with established knowledge and experience, you should never flaunt it. Instead show them by being well prepared, detail oriented, and logically organized which is important to get Swedes to accept an outside idea.

Facts and figures are crucial, and must be clearly outlined and detailed. Swedes emphasize the content of a presentation, not its colorfulness or flashy appearance.

The Swedish education teaches them to think conceptually and analytically, so they often look to universal rules or laws to solve problems.

The first business meeting will likely be low key, with the Swedes evaluating you, your company, and your proposal. Confirm all meetings well in advance, and never abruptly change the time and place.

Swedes believe in promptness, so it is important to arrive on time or it could be taken as a sign of disrespect or lack of interest. They also strictly follow the scheduled beginning and ending times of a meeting.

Swedes are fashionably well-dressed, and for business a more a conservative dress is appropriate with men wearing suits and ties, and women wearing suits or dresses. Subdued colors are a better choice than flashy colors.

Women and men are treated as equals in Sweden, so expect decision-makers to be of either gender.

Decision making may fall to the middle or lower parts of the hierarchy in Sweden, and there is an emphasis on teamwork and compromise.

Consensus is valued, and Swedes will try to avoid confrontation because they never want to personally offend someone.

Sincerity and seriousness, rather than friendliness, are the preferred business attitudes. Complimenting in public is not usually done, unless it applies to the whole group. There is no individualized element of competition or wanting to stand out.

Swedes typically get right down to business with little or no small talk. In conversation, it’s important to maintain eye contact as much as possible.

Swedes are very comfortable with long pauses and silence in the conversation, so it would be a mistake to hurriedly try to fill in the pauses.

The Swedish sense of humor is unique, and sometimes not understood by everyone. It’s not typical for humor to be used in serious meetings or negotiations.

Swedes will avoid arguing over sensitive topics, especially with visitors. If a discussion of this kind begins, a Swede may abruptly stop it.

Negotiations in Sweden can take time, but once a deal has been finalized and signed, you can rest assured that the Swedes will uphold their end of responsibility

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Tips

  • Eye contact is very important to indicate your sincerity and attentiveness.
  • It’s helpful to show a knowledge of Swedish things, especially those that distinguish the Swedes from the Scandinavian cultures of Finland, Norway, and Denmark.
  • The Swedes love nature and the outdoors, so talk about anything related to Sweden’s natural beauty or sports — like hockey and soccer.
  • Swedes enjoy discussing philosophy, the arts, travel, current events, and even politics if it’s not critical of Sweden’s socialized structure.
  • There is a great deal of pride in the local regions of Sweden, so it’s appreciated when you know something about the specific region you’re visiting.

5 Key Conversation Topics or Gesture Taboos

  • Asking personal questions, or discussing family unless they bring it up at some point in your relationship.
  • Don’t be superficial in any way, and avoid personally complimenting someone you just met.
  • Avoid any showiness or bragging about rank, status, success, or income. The Swedes are very understated about this.
  • Don’t use a lot of superlatives when speaking, because Swedes are opposed to stretching the truth in any way.

 

  • Swedes don’t like complainers, so even when things seem slow or process driven, it’s best not to show signs of impatience.

Bon Voyage!

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

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.co 

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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