Archive for May, 2013

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

Posted on May 19, 2013 by Leave a comment

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Key Conversation Tips

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

5 Key Conversation Taboos

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

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for the PHILIPPINES!

Author: Gayle Cotton, International Keynote Speaker & Cultural Expert

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

5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication

US: 972-370-1300

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

Visit Gayle Cotton’s blogfeaturing

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

Cross-Cultural Speaker & Author of Global Travel Tips

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

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

Attention Entrepreneurs! Before You Travel Internationally – Read This!

Posted on May 5, 2013 by Leave a comment

Cross-Cultural Tips from Gayle Cotton’s Bestselling Book ’Say Anything to Anyone Anywhereare being featured on The feature is titled “The Suitcase Entrepreneur – How to Avoid Cultural Missteps When Doing Business with Other Countries”. has 744K visitors a month! Read Gayle’s article at the following link:



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

Coming soon on the Circles Of Excellence blog:

Article on: Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos forPERU

Currently on Gayle Cotton’s blog

Gayle’s article: Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos forINDONESIA

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

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