Interesting Facts to Pay Attention to When Communicate With People From Different Cultures
April 13, 2009
I never know there are so many annoying rules when talking to a Chinese people before reading this. Honest to say, it is true anyway.
Bowing or nodding is the common greeting; however, you may be offered a handshake. Wait for the Chinese to offer their hand first.
Applause is common when greeting a crowd; the same is expected in return.
Introductions are formal. Use formal titles.
Often times Chinese will use a nickname to assist Westerners.
Being on time is vital in China.
Appointments are a must for business.
Contacts should be made prior to your trip.
Bring several copies of all written documents for your meetings.
The decision making process is slow. You should not expect to conclude your business swiftly.
Many Chinese will want to consult with the stars or wait for a lucky day before they make a decision.
Present and receive cards with both hands.
Never write on a business card or put it in your wallet or pocket. Carry a small card case.
The most important member of your company or group should lead important meetings. Chinese value rank and status.
Develop a working knowledge of Chinese culture.
Allow the Chinese to leave a meeting first.
As being one of our closest neighbor, Japanese has a great deal of manners that similar to ours. Though I found some subtle differences, it is still acceptable both in China and Japan.
In Japan, business cards are called meishi. Japanese give and receive meishi with both hands. It should be printed in your home language on one side and Japanese on the other. Present the card with the Japanese language side up.
The card will contain the name and title along with the company name, address and telephone number of the businessman. In Japan, businessmen are call “sarariman.” A sarariman who does not have a
Take special care in handling cards that are given to you. Do not write on the card. Do not put the card in you pocket or wallet, as either of these actions will be viewed as defacing or disrespecting the business card. Upon receipt of the card, it is important to make a photocopy of the name and title of the individual in your mind. Examine the card carefully as a show of respect.
In a business situation, business cannot begin until the meishi exchange process is complete.
The customary greeting is the bow. However, some Japanese may greet you with a handshake, albeit a weak one. Do not misinterpret a weak handshake as an indication of character.
If you are greeted with a bow, return with a bow as low as the one you received. How low you bow determines the status of the relationship between you and the other individual. When you bow keep your eyes low and your palms flat next to your thighs. The business card should be given after the bow. This is very important to remember.
In introductions use the person’s last name plus the word san which means Mr. or Ms. The Japanese prefer to use last names. Do not request that they call you by your first name only. If you are uncertain about the pronunciation of a name, ask for assistance.
Understand that the Japanese prefer not to use the word no. If you ask a question they may simply respond with a yes but clearly mean no. Understanding this is critical in the negotiation process.
In Asia the number 4 is bad luck, because in Japanese it sounds like the word ‘shuh-shuh’, which sounds like the word for death.
There’s a fairly nice Italian guy who is easygoing and humorous lives right upstairs. Ninety percent words of his are joke. However, people really need to take care not to ruin the converstaion with 10 percent mistake.
Italian is the official language, although there are many diverse dialects.
English is spoken by many businesspeople.
Avoid talking about religion, politics, and World War II.
At social gatherings, it is considered insulting to ask someone you have just met about their profession.
Good conversational topics include Italian culture, art, food, wine, family, and films.
German people has a reputation of SERIOUS in China ( I guess also all over the world). I talked to German both in Oslo and Berlin. Sometimes they are not easy to get along with. Sometimes they are open to everybody. What’s the point?
German is the official language.
Approximately ninety-nine percent of the population speaks German. However, there are several different dialects in the various regions.
Germans love to talk on the telephone. While important business decisions are not made over the phone, expect many follow up calls or faxes.
Germans guard their private life, so do not phone a German executive at home without permission.
Titles are very important to Germans. Do your best to address people by their full, correct title, no matter how extraordinarily long that title may seem to foreigners. This is also true when addressing a letter.
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