Posts tagged with communicating in Jordan

Great Article! Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for JORDAN

Posted on February 18, 2021 by Leave a comment

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.

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

Cultural Tips for Jordan – including some valuable business travel tips for Jordan

In the modern business culture, Jordanians are accustomed to using the typical western styles of introducing oneself. So, you can always use your normal introduction style and it will be accepted.

Being on time for appointments is one thing that Jordanians admire in westerners. So, it is helpful for you to do so. However, it is typical of Jordanians to be around a half hour late.

During the month of Ramadan, business hours are shortened and work ends about two or three in the afternoon.

Jordanians normally mix personal conversation with business. A little personal conversation will help with the relationship building.

A loud voice may be considered domineering so don’t speak overly loud.

Jordanians can be emotional in their conversation so you can show some emotion, just don’t raise your voice when you do.

It is quite normal to talk about money, wages, how and how much you pay for things as well as how old you are. It is considered impolite to discuss your relationship with your spouse.

Compliment giving is like entertainment, a source of pride, and done with good sportsmanship. Giving compliments is an important part of relationship building.

Avoid derogatory humor, even with friends. Personal put-downs, criticism and sarcasm are not well accepted.

Avoid making comments on current political events. The perspectives of the east and the west can be very divisive.

Honor is very important in the Jordanian culture. Questioning the honor of someone is a sure way to destroy the relationship.

Lots of titles are used. Social standing is based on the level of education, age, military rank, tribal position and political office.

Negotiating a deal is one of the things Jordanians love most. It is like a sport and they thoroughly enjoy it.

It’s important to have fun at negotiating! One of their favorite mottos is, “Everything is always negotiable”.

Your first meeting should start with full introductions and exchange of business cards.

All meetings will include greetings. This is an important part of relationship building and the foundation of business.

Business moves at different speeds. It can be quite slow or very fast depending on the situation.

Excessive stalling is a polite way of saying that there is no interest in continuing the business discussion.

Jordanians stand closer than most westerners are used to. Stand about half the distance apart as you typically would in western cultures.

Patting or holding the arm or shoulder can be a sign of affection, acceptance, or an offer of assistance.

Holding hands indicates emotional attachment and is appropriate in same sex relationships like a ‘father and son’ or brothers.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Sincere personal compliments

Praising the Jordanian hospitality

Social conversation on topics of mutual interest and vision

History, language, culture, art, music

Sports, especially soccer which they call “football”

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Current events and politics

Religious preferences

Eastern versus western philosophies

Anything that negatively affects personal honor and pride

Criticism of any type

Bon Voyage!

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

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

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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!

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

Posted on February 7, 2014 by Leave a comment

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

The article series ‘Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos’ is is a brief synopsis of conversation guidelines, tips for successful communication, and some strategies for business that will increase your success in different cultures. Keep in mind that we are homogenizing as a “global culture”, and as we change and evolve these cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is the first step!

The Saudi work week runs from Saturday through Wednesday. Most people do not work on Thursday, and there is no business conducted on Friday – the Muslim holy day.

Because there are several styles of greetings used in Saudi Arabia, it’s best to wait for your Saudi counterpart to initiate the greeting. Westernized Saudi men usually shake hands with other men, and some Saudi men will shake hands with Western women.

Saudis tend to stand and sit much closer together than western cultures. When interacting, there is also more physical contact and usually some gestures of touching. Saudi men often walk hand in hand, so if a Saudi holds your hand accept this gesture of friendship.

In the West status is earned through achievement, however in the Arab world status is determined by class.

The pace of business is slower in Saudi Arabia than in the West, so patience is essential. Business meetings start slowly, and there will be initial questions and small talk to create rapport.

Most Western countries have tried to promote equality between men and women. However, Arabic countries believe that the two sexes are completely different entities. Public life is the exclusive domain of Saudi men, and Saudi women don’t usually participate in the mainstream business world.

For female business travelers, the limitations on permissible behavior are highly regulated. Even if granted a visa, conducting business can be quite challenging for a woman. While they will be accepted without veils, they must dress very conservatively.

Eye contact is extremely important when speaking to Saudis. It’s advisable to remove your sunglasses and look people directly in the eye.

Saudis will expect you to be sincere, honest, and respectful in all your business dealings. “Saving face” and avoiding shame are very importance, so you may have to compromise on something to protect someone’s dignity. It’s always best to offer praise rather than criticism

In the Saud culture, the individual is always subordinate to the group, and the family is considered the most important social unit.

In the West, there is a belief in the separation between Church and state. In Saudi Arabia religion has a profound influence on politics, social behavior, and business.

Saudis tend to be unreceptive to outside information that is incompatible with Islamic values, so learn something about the basic tenets of Islam. Their faith in Islamic ideologies shapes their perceptions of the truth. There is a prevailing belief that solutions to problems can be found in the correct interpretation and application of divine law.

In the Saudi culture conversations are enthusiastic, and it is normal to speak in a rather aggressive manner to make a point. Speaking loudly, rising the pitch and tone, or even shouting can be perceived as signs of sincerity. If you appear distant, reserved, quiet, or shy, it could make the Saudis think something is wrong.

Business is conducted in a personal manner, and it’s important to pay close attention to all family members that you are introduced to. Show an interest in the health and happiness of brothers, uncles, cousins, and sons. However, don’t inquire about or mention the female members of the family.

There is a tendency among Saudis to use euphemisms to downplay unpleasant facts or to harmlessly embellish the truth. They may be reluctant to give you bad news about business, so keep this in mind if all of the feedback you receive seems unusually positive.

Often immediate feelings, rather than empirical evidence, are key influences in thinking and decisions. Saudis are brought up to be associative thinkers, however many complete their higher education in the U.K. or the U.S. so they have adapted to thinking conceptually and analytically.

It’s important to dress well, extend and receive favors, show respect for elders, and be accommodating in business.

Appointments are rarely private occasions, so interruptions from phone calls and visits from your contact’s friends and family are to be expected.

When negotiating, Saudis frequently use personalized arguments, appeals, and insistent persuasion, so they will expect a similar approach from you.

The male leader is the key decision-maker, however he usually won’t precede until he has the consensus of the group. Leadership and identity arise from one’s lineage and ability to protect the honor of the extended family.

5 Key Conversation or Gesture Tips

  • Family is a good t topic of conversation, however don’t inquire about female members unless they bring it up first
  • Sports, especially soccer (known as “football”), horse and camel racing, hunting and falconry – although keep in mind that all betting is illegal
  • Praise the Saudi landmarks, cuisine, dress, and all aspects of the country that you find appealing
  • The unique and historic architecture of the Saudi culture
  • Periodically ask about the health and happiness of family brothers, uncles, cousins, and sons

5 Key Conversation or Gesture Taboos

  • Politics, Israel, illness, accidents, death, or bad luck of any kind
  • Anything that could cause embarrassment or ‘loss of face’
  • The left hand is considered unclean in the Arabic culture, so always use the right hand when touching, eating, or gesturing
  • While sitting keep both feet on the ground, don’t cross your legs, and avoid showing the bottom of your foot which is considered very offensive
  • Although Saudis gesture with their hands while speaking, pointing or using the thumbs-up gesture is considered rude 

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for SCOTLAND!

To learn more about the communication and business styles of Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East order Gayle Cotton’s book ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Cross-Cultural Communication’ from Amazon! 

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

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



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Coming on the: Circles Of Excellence blog

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

Coming on: Gayle Cotton’s blog

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

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

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 the author of the bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communications’ and President of Circles Of Excellence for Corporate Training & Executive Coaching. Her vast experience living and working abroad will entertain and inspire audiences of any size with her fresh, unique and humorous approach to Cross-Cultural Communications and social business etiquette! Gayle travels worldwide from business bases in Texas and Switzerland as a distinguished professional keynote speaker.

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