Cross Cultural Communication


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Cross Cultural Communication with reference to India, Netherlands and New Zealand.

What is culture ?
ceberg Theory Of Culture

Cross Culture Communication

Organizational Culture

Brief Introduction of Countries
India, Netherlands and New Zealand

Fundamental Dimensions of Culture

Trompenaars’ and Hampden-Turner’s 7 dimensions of culture

Etiquette and Customs
New Zealand

Business Etiquette and Protocol
New Zealand

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Cross Cultural Communication

  1. 1. Page 1 CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATION With reference to India, Netherlands and New Zealand
  2. 2. Page 2 CROSS CULTURAL COMMUNICATION With reference to India, Netherlands and New Zealand
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  4. 4. Page 4 Table of Contents Summary What is culture 05 Iceberg Theory Of Culture 06 Cross Culture Communication 07 Organizational Culture 08 Brief Introduction of Countries India, Netherlands and New Zealand 10 Fundamental Dimensions of Culture Trompenaars’ and Hampden-Turner’s 7 dimensions of culture 11 THE HOFSTEDE 6D MODEL 16 Etiquette and Customs India 19 Netherlands 21 New Zealand 23 Business Etiquette and Protocol India 24 Netherlands 25 New Zealand 27 References 28
  5. 5. Page 5 What is culture? Our culture is a learned set of assumptions that shape our perceptions of the world, and of appropriate values, norms, attitudes, and behaviors. We learn our culture. Perceptions about gender, age, and social class are culturally based, as are our ideas about • Race • Ethnicity • Religious Practices • Sexual Orientation • Physical Appearance and Ability • Regional and National Characteristics. “People are not static. People change. So why should cultures, which are nothing more than an aggregation of human behavior, be any different?” How does culture impact business communication? Culture influences every single aspect of business communication: how to show politeness and respect, how much information to give; how to motivate people; when, how much, and how loudly to talk and laugh; how to organize a letter; even what size paper to use. International businesses are facing new challenges to their internal communication structures due to major reforms brought about through internationalization, downsizing, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. Lack of investment in cross cultural training and language tuition often leads to deficient internal cohesion. The loss of clients/customers, poor staff retention, lack of competitive edge, internal conflicts/power struggles, poor working relations, misunderstandings, stress, poor productivity and lack of co-operation are all by-products of poor cross cultural communication. The factors that can affect the business communication are as follows: • Lack of Communication • Language • Culture • Company Culture
  6. 6. Page 6 ICEBERG THEORY OF CULTURE Food Clothing Language Physical Features Fine Arts Literature Drama Classical Music Folk Dancing Games Cooking Conceptions of Beauty Values Beliefs Attitude Perception Assumption Communication Style Ideals of Governing Child Raising Incentives to Work Conception of Justice Notions of Leadership Tempo of Work Theory of Disease Conception of Cleanliness Patterns of Group Decision-Making Attitudes Toward the Dependent Approaches to Problem Solving Eye Behavior Conception of Status Mobility Conception of Past and Future Roles in Relation to Age, Sex, Class, Occupation, Kinship, and So Forth Definition of Insanity Conversational Patterns in Various Social Contexts Nature of Friendship Ordering of Time Preference for Competition or Cooperation Body Language Social Interaction Rate Notions of Adolescence Notions about Logic and Validity Patterns of Handling Emotions Facial Expressions Arrangements of Physical Space AND MUCH, MUCH MORE… Just as nine-tenths of the iceberg is out of sight and below the water line, so is nine-tenths of culture out of conscious awareness. The out-of-awareness part of culture has been termed deep-culture. Source: Adapted from Beyond Culture (1976) by Edward T. Hall with few amendments. HIDDEN CULTURE SURFACE CULTURE
  7. 7. Page 7 Cross Culture Communication The key to effective cross-cultural communication is knowledge. First, it is essential that people understand the potential problems of cross-cultural communication, and make a conscious effort to overcome these problems. Second, it is important to assume that one’s efforts will not always be successful, and adjust one’s behavior appropriately. For example, one should always assume that there is a significant possibility that cultural differences are causing communication problems, and be willing to be patient and forgiving, rather than hostile and aggressive, if problems develop. One should respond slowly and carefully in cross-cultural exchanges, not jumping to the conclusion that you know what is being thought and said. William Ury’s suggestion for heated conflicts is to stop, listen, and think, or as he puts it "go to the balcony" when the situation gets tense. By this he means withdraw from the situation, step back, and reflect on what is going on before you act. This helps in cross cultural communication as well. When things seem to be going badly, stop or slow down and think. What could be going on here? Is it possible I misinterpreted what they said, or they misinterpreted me? Often misinterpretation is the source of the problem. Active listening can sometimes be used to check this out–by repeating what one thinks he or she heard, one can confirm that one understands the communication accurately. If words are used differently between languages or cultural groups, however, even active listening can overlook misunderstandings. Often intermediaries who are familiar with both cultures can be helpful in cross-cultural communication situations. They can translate both the substance and the manner of what is said. For instance, they can tone down strong statements that would be considered appropriate in one culture but not in another, before they are given to people from a culture that does not talk together in such a strong way. They can also adjust the timing of what is said and done. Some cultures move quickly to the point; others talk about other things long enough to establish rapport or a relationship with the other person. If discussion on the primary topic begins too soon, the group that needs a "warm up" first will feel uncomfortable. A mediator or intermediary who understands this can explain the problem, and make appropriate procedural adjustments. Yet sometimes intermediaries can make communication even more difficult. If a mediator is the same culture or nationality as one of the disputants, but not the other, this gives the appearance of bias, even when none exists. Even when bias is not intended, it is common for mediators to be more supportive or more understanding of the person who is of his or her own culture, simply because they understand them better. Yet when the mediator is of a third cultural group, the potential for cross-cultural misunderstandings increases further. In this case engaging in extra discussions about the process and the manner of carrying out the discussions is appropriate, as is extra time for confirming and re-confirming understandings at every step in the dialogue or negotiating process.
  8. 8. Page 8 What is Organizational Culture — and Why Does it Matter? While not always easy to capture or define, culture is an observable, powerful force in any organization. Made up of its members’ shared values, beliefs, symbols, and behaviors, culture guides individual decisions and actions at the unconscious level. As a result, it can have a potent effect on a company’s well-being and success. The Role of Culture and Climate Some consider culture the glue that holds everyone together. Others compare it to a compass providing direction. Operating largely outside of our awareness, culture creates a common ground for team members. It reduces uncertainty by offering a language for interpreting events and issues. It provides a sense of order so that all team members know what is expected. It contributes to a sense of continuity and unity. And it offers a vision around which a company can rally. At the observable level, culture is manifested in an organization’s climate — the behaviors and strategies that can be managed in support of organizational goals. Understanding an Organization’s Culture Anthropologists have spent decades developing methods for categorizing and diagnosing organizational culture. Today, to identify culture, we look for clues in the climate — people, products, and processes we can observe — as well as leadership’s espoused values, and perhaps most difficult, the unconscious, underlying assumptions shared by the team. Based on decades of study, professors Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn have identified four basic types of organizational culture: Collaborate, Create, Control, and Compete. Each one carries different attitudes, behaviors, and work patterns that must be recognized to enhance effort and performance. How Space Can Support an Organization’s Culture Because each culture type is distinct, the same workspace could not support each one effectively. A Collaborative organization, with its emphasis on teamwork, needs spaces that foster interaction. A more controlled culture thrives on structure and stability, and calls for continuity from space to space. A culture based on competition needs to operate openly and be able to
  9. 9. Page 9 quickly adapt to change. Creative cultures must foster innovation, risk-taking, and individual initiative, with as little structure as necessary. It’s also important to note that within a company, culture is not uniform. Various subcultures will exist in departments or teams — some even contradicting the overall organization’s culture. By looking at culture and subculture throughout an organization, space planners can begin to structure solutions to the work styles they will support. By starting with a meaningful cultural assessment, planners can resolve complex and often competing issues with creative, constructive solutions that benefit team members and improve business performance. • CULTURAL FACT: No culture type is better than another. The value is in understanding an organization or team’s culture and how that culture helps support business goals. Only then can the workspace truly provide the support team members need.
  10. 10. Page 10 BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF NAME: INDIA LOCATION: Asia GOVERNMENT: Federal Republic OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people; there are 14 other official languages: Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Sanskrit; Hindustani is a popular variant of Hindi/Urdu spoken widely throughout northern India but is not an official language MAJOR RELIGION(S): Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.1%. MAJOR ETHNIC GROUPS: Indo-Aryan 72%, Dravidian 25%, Mongoloid and other 3%. NAME: NETHERLANDS LOCATION: Europe GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Dutch (official), Frisian (official) MAJOR RELIGION(S): Roman Catholic 31%, Dutch Reformed 13%, Calvinist 7%, Muslim 5.5%, other 2.5%, none 41% MAJOR ETHNIC GROUPS: Dutch 83%, other 17% (of which 9% are non-Western origin mainly Turks, Moroccans, Antilleans, Surinamese, and Indonesians) NAME: NEW ZEALAND LOCATION: Oceania GOVERNMENT: Parliamentary Democracy OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official) MAJOR RELIGION(S): Anglican 14.9%, Roman Catholic 12.4%, Presbyterian 10.9%, Methodist 2.9%, Pentecostal 1.7%, Baptist 1.3%, other Christian 9.4%, other 3.3%, unspecified 17.2%, none 26% MAJOR ETHNIC GROUPS: European 69.8%, Maori 7.9%, Asian 5.7%, Pacific islander 4.4%, other 0.5%, mixed 7.8%, unspecified 3.8%
  11. 11. Page 11 TROMPENAARS’ AND HAMPDEN-TURNER’S SEVEN DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner defined a set of seven culture dimensions, which they referred to as the “ Seven Dimensions of Culture” model, using an extensive database with over 30,000 survey results collected during the course of multiple studies involving questionnaires sent to thousands of managers in 28 countries. 1. Universalism Versus Particularism (Rules Versus Relationships) Dimension Characteristics Strategies Universalism NEW ZEALAND NETHERLANDS People place a high importance on laws, rules, values, and obligations. They try to deal fairly with people based on these rules, but rules come before relationships. • Help people understand how their work ties into their values and beliefs. • Provide clear instructions, processes, and procedures. • Keep promises and be consistent. • Give people time to make decisions. • Use an objective process to make decisions yourself, and explain your decisions if others are involved. Particularism INDIA People believe that each circumstance, and each relationship, dictates the rules that they live by. Their response to a situation may change, based on what's happening in the moment, and who's involved. • Give people autonomy to make their own decisions. • Respect others' needs when you make decisions. • Be flexible in how you make decisions. • Take time to build relationships and get to know people so that you can better understand their needs. • Highlight important rules and policies that need to be followed.
  12. 12. Page 12 2. Individualism Versus Communitarianism (The Individual Versus The Group) Dimension Characteristics Strategies Individualism NEW ZEALAND NETHERLANDS People believe in personal freedom and achievement. They believe that you make your own decisions, and that you must take care of yourself. • Praise and reward individual performance. • Give people autonomy to make their own decisions and to use their initiative. • Link people's needs with those of the group or organization. • Allow people to be creative and to learn from their mistakes. Communitarianism INDIA People believe that the group is more important than the individual. The group provides help and safety, in exchange for loyalty. The group always comes before the individual. • Praise and reward group performance. • Don't praise individuals publically. • Allow people to involve others in decision making. • Avoid showing favoritism. 3. Specific Versus Diffuse (How Far People Get Involved) Dimension Characteristics Strategies Specific NEW ZEALAND NETHERLANDS People keep work and personal lives separate. As a result, they believe that relationships don't have much of an impact on work objectives, and, although good relationships are important, they believe that people can work together without having a good relationship. • Be direct and to the point. • Focus on people's objectives before you focus on strengthening relationships. • Provide clear instructions, processes, and procedures. • Allow people to keep their work and home lives separate. Diffuse INDIA People see an overlap between their work and personal life. They believe that good relationships are vital to meeting business objectives, • Focus on building a good relationship before you focus on business objectives. • Find out as much as you can about the people that you work with and
  13. 13. Page 13 Dimension Characteristics Strategies and that their relationships with others will be the same, whether they are at work or meeting socially. People spend time outside work hours with colleagues and clients. the organizations that you do business with. • Be prepared to discuss business on social occasions, and to have personal discussions at work. • Try to avoid turning down invitations to social functions. 4. Neutral Versus Emotional (How People Express Emotions) Dimension Characteristics Strategies Neutral NEW ZEALAND NETHERLANDS People make a great effort to control their emotions. Reason influences their actions far more than their feelings. People don't reveal what they're thinking or how they're feeling. • Manage your emotions effectively. • Watch that your body language doesn't convey negative emotions. • "Stick to the point" in meetings and interactions. • Watch people's reactions carefully, as they may be reluctant to show their true emotions. Emotional INDIA People want to find ways to express their emotions, even spontaneously, at work. In these cultures, it's welcome and accepted to show emotion. • Open up to people to build trust and rapport . • Use emotion to communicate your objectives. • Learn to manage conflict effectively, before it becomes personal. • Use positive body language . • Have a positive attitude .
  14. 14. Page 14 5. Achievement Versus Ascription (How People View Status) Dimension Characteristics Strategies Achievement NEW ZEALAND NETHERLANDS People believe that you are what you do, and they base your worth accordingly. These cultures value performance, no matter who you are. • Reward and recognize good performance appropriately. • Use titles only when relevant. • Be a good role model . Ascription INDIA People believe that you should be valued for who you are. Power, title, and position matter in these cultures, and these roles define behavior. • Use titles, especially when these clarify people's status in an organization. • Show respect to people in authority, especially when challenging decisions. • Don't "show up" people in authority. • Don't let your authority prevent you from performing wellyour role. 6. Sequential Time Versus Synchronous Time (How People Manage Time) Dimension Characteristics Strategies Sequential Time NEW ZEALAND NETHERLANDS People like events to happen in order. They place a high value on punctuality, planning (and sticking to your plans), and staying on schedule. In this culture, "time is money," and people don't appreciate it when their schedule is thrown off. • Focus on one activity or project at a time. • Be punctual. • Keep to deadlines. • Set clear deadlines. Synchronous Time INDIA People see the past, present, and future as interwoven periods. They often work on several projects at once, and view plans and commitments as flexible. • Be flexible in how you approach work. • Allow people to be flexible on tasks and projects, where possible. • Highlight the importance of punctuality and deadlines if these are key to meeting objectives.
  15. 15. Page 15 7. Internal Direction Versus Outer Direction (How People Relate to Their Environment) Dimension Characteristics Strategies Internal Direction (This also known as having an internal locus of control NEW ZEALAND NETHERLANDS People believe that they can control nature or their environment to achieve goals. This includes how they work with teams and within organizations. • Allow people to develop their skills and take control of their learning. • Set clear objectives that people agree with. • Be open about conflict and disagreement, and allow people to engage in constructive conflict. Outer Direction (This also known as having an external locus of control INDIA People believe that nature, or their environment, controls them; they must work with their environment to achieve goals. At work or in relationships, they focus their actions on others, and they avoid conflict where possible. People often need reassurance that they're doing a good job. • Provide people with the right resources to do their jobs effectively. • Give people direction and regular feedback , so that they know how their actions are affecting their environment. • Reassure people that they're doing a good job. • Manage conflict quickly and quietly. • Do whatever you can to boost people's confidence . • Balance negative and positive feedback . • Encourage people to take responsibility for their work. • CULTURAL FACT: Thinking of giving a clock as a gift in Hong Kong? You better not, as clocks are associated with death or funerals! Are you going to Japan? If you receive a gift in Japan, don't open it upon receiving it, that would be impolite. However, in Austria, do open your gift immediately otherwise you will be seen as being rude.
  16. 16. Page 16 THE HOFSTEDE 6D MODEL If we explore the culture of India, New Zealand and Netherlands through the lens of the 6-D Model, we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of the countries’ culture relative to other world cultures. POWER DISTANCE This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal – it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. INDIA: India scores high on this dimension, 71, indicating real power is centralized even though it may not appear to be and managers count on the obedience of their team members. Employees expect to be directed clearly as to their functions and what is expected of them. Control is familiar, even a psychological security, and attitude towards managers are formal even if one is on first name basis. Communication is top down and directive in its style and often feedback which is negative is never offered up the ladder. NETHERLANDS: The Netherlands scores low on this dimension (score of 29) which means that the following characterises the Dutch style: Being independent, hierarchy for convenience only, equal rights, superiors accessible, coaching leader, management facilitates and empowers. Power is decentralized and managers count on the experience of their team members. NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand scores very low on this dimension (12). Both managers and employees expect to be consulted and information is shared frequently. At the same time, communication is informal, direct and participative. INDIVIDUALISM The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We”. INDIA: India, despite an intermediate score of 49, is a society with clear collectivistic traits. This means that there is a high preference for belonging to a larger social framework in which individuals are expected to act in accordance to the greater good of one’s defined in-group(s). In such situations, the actions of the individual are influenced by various concepts such as the opinion of one’s family, extended family, neighbours, work group and other such wider social networks that one has some affiliation toward.
  17. 17. Page 17 NETHERLANDS: The Netherlands, with the very high score of 87 is an Individualistic society. This means there is a high preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only. NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand, with a score of 86 on this dimension, is an individualistic culture. This translates into a loosely-knit society in which the expectation is that people look after themselves and their immediate families.. MASCULINITY A high score (masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organizational behavior. INDIA: India scores 57 on this dimension and is thus considered a masculine society. Even though it is mildly above the mid range in score, India is actually very masculine in terms of visual display of success and power. The designer brand label, the flash and ostentation that goes with advertising one’s success, is widely practiced. NETHERLANDS: The Netherlands scores 10 on this dimension and is therefore a feminine society. Managers strive for consensus and people value equality, solidarity and quality in their working lives. Conflicts are resolved by compromise and negotiation and Dutch are known for their long discussions until consensus has been reached. NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand, with a score of 86 on this dimension, is an individualistic culture. This translates into a loosely-knit society in which the expectation is that people look after themselves and their immediate families. . UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways. The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the UAI score. INDIA: India scores 31 on this dimension and thus has a medium low preference for avoiding uncertainty. In India, there is acceptance of imperfection; nothing has to be perfect nor has to go exactly as planned. India is traditionally a patient country where tolerance for the unexpected is high ; even welcomed as a break from monotony NETHERLANDS: The Netherlands scores 43 on this dimension. In these cultures there is an emotional need for rules (even if the rules never seem to work) time is money, people have an
  18. 18. Page 18 inner urge to be busy and work hard, precision and punctuality are the norm, innovation may be resisted, security is an important element in individual motivation. NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand scores 39.Emotions are not shown much in New Zealand; people are fairly relaxed and not adverse to taking risks. PRAGMATISM This dimension describes how people in the past as well as today relate to the fact that so much that happens around us cannot be explained. INDIA: Indian again has an intermediate score (52), but it has a long-term, pragmatic culture. Countries like India have a great tolerance for religious views from all over the world. NETHERLANDS: The Netherlands receives an intermediate score of 53 in this dimension which is inconclusive. NEW ZEALAND: With a low score of 28 in this dimension, New Zealand is shown to be a normative country. They exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save for the future, and a focus on achieving quick results. . INDULGENCE This dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses, based on the way they were raised. Relatively weak control is called “indulgence” and relatively strong control is called “restraint”. Cultures can, therefore, be described as indulgent or restrained. INDIA: India receives a low score of 26 in this dimension, meaning that it is a culture of restraint. People with this orientation have the perception that their actions are restrained by social norms and feel that indulging themselves is somewhat wrong. NETHERLANDS: With a high score of 68, the culture of the Netherlands is clearly one of indulgence. People in societies classified by a high score in indulgence generally exhibit a willingness to realize their impulses and desires with regard to enjoying life and having fun. NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand's relatively high score of 75 this shows people possess a positive attitude and have a tendency towards optimism. In addition, they place a higher degree of importance on leisure time, act as they please and spend money as they wish.
  19. 19. Page 19 Etiquette and Customs in India India is a country with very strong traditions. Much of it is shaped by the various religions that are practiced there, and because of that, it is very important to be respectful of them. 1. Dress Attire 1. DON'T wear tight clothes or clothes that expose skin in more rural areas. Exposing skin or tight clothes may suggest that you're either too poor to dress well or that you're shameless about showing your body. Larger cities tend to be more modern and used to seeing tourists, so there is more flexibility there in terms of what kinds of clothes are acceptable and you probably won't have to dress as conservatively. 2. DO make sure your head is covered when entering a Mosque or a Sikh Gurdwara. 3. DO check to see what others are wearing before entering a Hindu temple. In certain Hindu temples, a man may be required to remove his shirt and wear a lungi, which is a long piece of cloth worn like a kilt. 4. DO consider buying a pair of cheap, comfortable sandals for your trip. Footwear is never worn in a place of worship, and some museums or historic monuments also require you to remove footwear. By purchasing a cheap pair of sandals, they are less likely to be stolen when visiting these places. 5. DO dress conservatively for business occasions. Suits are fine for men and women. 6. DON'T expose legs unless you're in a bathing suit and preparing to go swimming, if you are a woman. 2. Table Manners 1. DO eat with your hands. Forks and knives are not traditionally used in India for eating. 2. DO carefully wash your hands before eating and keep your fingernails short for the sake of cleanliness. 3. DON'T sit down for a meal until told by the host where to sit. 4. DO use your bread, such as naan or roti, to scoop up your food. 5. DO use a spoon for food such as soups. You may also be given a spoon to eat rice, depending on the region. 6. DO use your right hand while eating and receiving food, and not your left. The left hand is considered unclean. 7. DO understand the order in which people are served at a meal. First the guest of honor is served, then the men, and then the children. The women often spend the entire time cooking and serving and will eat later. This is less common in more modern homes in larger cities. 8. DO be aware of the following common dietary restrictions in India: 9. Hindus do not eat beef. Many are also vegetarians. 10. Muslims don't eat pork or drink alcohol. 11. Sikhs do not eat beef. 12. DO leave a small amount of food on your plate to show you are satisfied. Eating everything off your plate means you're still hungry.
  20. 20. Page 20 3. Tipping 1. DO tip 5%-10% at a restaurant if the service was good. 2. DO tip porters Rs30 Indian Rupees a bag at hotels, airports, and on trains. 3. DO tip tour guides and drivers 10%. 4. Gift Giving and Accepting Gifts 1. DO give cash as a gift to friends and extended family members to celebrate certain life events, such as birth, marriage, or death. 2. DON'T give frangipani or white flowers. Those are used for funerals. 3. DO wrap your gift in green, yellow, or red because those colors are considered lucky. 4. DON'T give a gift made of leather to someone who is Hindu. 5. DON'T give a gift made of pigskin or an alcoholic beverage to someone who is Muslim. 6. DON'T open your gift immediately after receiving it. Open it later when you are by yourself. 7. DON'T give or accept a gift with your left hand, it is considered impolite. 5. Greetings 1. DO fold your hands, bow your head, and say "Namaste" when greeting. 2. DO greet the most senior person first. 3. DO be aware that physical contact between men and women can be taboo in India. Men and women will usually not shake hands. 4. DON'T shake someone's hand unless they extend their hand first, and then follow their lead. 5. DO say good-bye to everyone individually when parting. 6. Visitors Etiquette 1. DO be on time. Although Indians may not be punctual, they will probably expect a foreign guest to be on time. 2. DO take your shoes off when entering the house. 3. DO bring a gift if you'd like. It's not necessary, but it wouldn't be turned down! For elder people you can bring fruit and for children bring sweets. A gift from your home country is also appreciated.
  21. 21. Page 21 Etiquette and Customs in The Netherlands There are many different types of traditions that are very important to the cultural heritage of the Netherlands. 1. Dress Attire 1. DO wear a two-piece suit for normal business events. Ties are beginning to be worn less, after the late Prince Claus of the Netherlands took his tie off at a fashion show and declared that it was, "A snake around my neck!" 2. DO wear casual clothing for a day of sightseeing, as long as it is not business-related. Shorts are also fine for casual occasions when the weather is warm. 3. DON'T wear sneakers, unless you are partaking in sports. Sneakers will make you look like a tourist, and tend to be a giveaway for pickpockets. Instead, wear a pair of comfy walking shoes. 2. Table Manners 1. DO expect to "go Dutch" when dining out (they call it "Going American" in the Netherlands). Unless you were invited to a meal and the host told you that it was their treat, you should pay your portion of the bill or expect the bill to be divided up evenly. 3. Tipping 1. DO leave a restaurant tip if you feel that the service was outstanding. Legally, the service charge for restaurants is included in your bill, but for good service you may want to leave a 10% tip. 4. Gift Giving and Accepting Gifts 1. DO give gifts such as high-quality chocolate, a plant, book, or flowers. 2. DO give flowers in odd numbers, except for unlucky number thirteen. Avoid white lilies or chrysanthemums, because those are generally for funerals. 3. DON'T give wine as a gift if invited to dinner, because your host might have already bought wine for the meal. 4. DO open your gift when you receive it. 5. Greetings 1. DO shake hands upon meeting someone. 2. DO introduce older people first, as it is a sign of respect. 3. DO stand when someone is being introduced to you. 4. DO kiss three times on alternating cheeks (left, right, left) when greeting someone as well as bidding farewell. This is a custom typically for people of the opposite sex, although some people of the same sex do this as well. Familiar business partners also greet each
  22. 22. Page 22 other in that fashion. Even if you feel uncomfortable partaking in this greeting, you should go along with it because it could be seen as insulting if you refuse. 6. Visitors Etiquette 1. DO give your host a gift if invited to a Dutch person's home. 2. DO arrive on time. Being on time indicates proper planning. Do not arrive early, either. 3. DO call your host if you expect be more than five minutes late. CULTURAL FACT: In Tibet, it is considered polite to stick out your tongue at your guests.
  23. 23. Page 23 Etiquette and Customs in New Zealand New Zealanders are friendly and polite. As a guest to their country, return their hospitality by being polite in return. In order to respect those in New Zealand, learn a bit about their culture and etiquette. 1. Dress Attire 1. DO dress conservatively and formally for business occasions. Men should wear dark suits with a conservative tie and white shirt. Women should wear suits, dresses, or skirts and blouses in modest colors. 2. DO wear casual attire for less formal occasions. Keep your clothes neat. 2. Table Manners 1. DO keep your hands above the table, but don't put your elbows on the table, either! 2. DO put your fork and knife parallel on the plate with the handles facing to the right when you are done eating. 3. DON'T be loud and obnoxious while drinking. 4. DO expect afternoon tea between 3 and 4 PM. Tea is between 6 and 8 PM, served along with a meal. Supper is a light snack, such as coffee and dessert, and is served later. 3. Tipping 1. DON'T Tip, it's not customary in New Zealand. However, if the service was outstanding, a tip is most certainly appreciated! 4. Gift Giving and Accepting Gifts 1. DO open your gift upon receipt. 2. DO give gifts such as flowers, chocolate, liquor, or a book about your home country. 4. Greetings 1. DO exchange handshakes and smiles upon greeting someone. Maintain eye contact during greetings. 2. DO wait for a woman to extend her hand for a handshake first. 3. DO say "How do you do?" when first meeting someone. Once you get to know a person "Hello" is an acceptable greeting. 5. Visitors Etiquette 1. DO bring your hosts a gift. 2. DO bring your own beer (B.Y.O.) if invited to a barbecue. You may also be invited to bring your own meat or a salad.
  24. 24. Page 24 Business Etiquette and Protocol in India Relationships & Communication • Indians prefer to do business with those they know. • Relationships are built upon mutual trust and respect. • In general, Indians prefer to have long-standing personal relationships prior to doing business. • It may be a good idea to go through a third party introduction. This gives you immediate credibility. Business Meeting 1. DO be aware that business takes place at a much slower and more informal place in India than in the U.S. 2. DO be punctual, but keep in mind that meetings starting late are normal and it's not a sign of disrespect. 3. DO be open and flexible. Negotiating is common in India and being inflexible might make you look bad. 4. DO bring a small gift from your home country. Nothing expensive or flashy! 5. DO try to go through a third party introduction. This will give you some credibility because Indians like to have a social relationship with people before doing business with them. 6. DO make appointments by letter one or two months in advance. 7. DO confirm your appointment to make sure it isn't being canceled at the last minute. 8. DO engage in some get-to-know you chit chat. This is common, and don't be surprised if no business is discussed at all during the initial meeting. 9. DO send an agenda and other informational materials in advance. 10. DO book a follow-up meeting to discuss the previous meeting and to talk about what the next steps are. Business Negotiating • Indians are non-confrontational. It is rare for them to overtly disagree, although this is beginning to change in the managerial ranks. • Decisions are reached by the person with the most authority. • Decision making is a slow process. • If you lose your temper you lose face and prove you are unworthy of respect and trust. • Delays are to be expected, especially when dealing with the government. • Most Indians expect concessions in both price and terms. It is acceptable to expect concessions in return for those you grant. • Never appear overly legalistic during negotiations. In general, Indians do not trust the legal system and someone's word is sufficient to reach an agreement. • Do not disagree publicly with members of your negotiating team. • Successful negotiations are often celebrated by a meal.
  25. 25. Page 25 Business Etiquette and Protocol of The Netherlands Building Relationships & Communication • Many Dutch are familiar with doing business with foreigners since the Netherlands has a long history of international trade. • They will want to know your academic credentials and the amount of time your company has been in business. • The business community is rather close and most senior level people know one another. • Older, more bureaucratic companies may still judge you by how you are introduced so it is wise to have a third-party introduction if possible, although it is not mandatory. • The important thing is to demonstrate how your relationship would be beneficial for both sides. • The Dutch take a long-term perspective when looking at business, so be clear what your company's intentions are. • Since the Dutch value their personal time, do not ask them to work late or come in over the weekend if you want to foster a good working relationship. • The Dutch are hospitable, yet this is often reserved for family and friends. In business they tend to be reserved and formal. • They do not touch one another and appreciate it when those they do business with maintain the proper distance, do not demonstrate emotion or use exaggerated hand gestures. • The Dutch are extremely direct in their communication. • They may sound blunt if you come from a culture where communication is more indirect and context driven. • They do not use hyperbole, and likewise they expect to be told yes or no in clear words. • In general, ideas will be discussed quite openly at meetings, with everyone entitled to their opinion. • Information is shared across departments and corporate strategies and goals are usually communicated to all employees, especially in more entrepreneurial companies. • Decisions are often consensus-driven in these cases. • Always appear modest and do not make exaggerated claims about what you or your company can deliver. Business Meeting 1. DON'T drop by a colleague's workplace. The Dutch do business only by appointment. Schedule an appointment in advance. 2. DO be on time. Punctuality is important to business. 3. DON'T make small talk once the meeting has begun. 4. DO expect meetings to be conducted in the office, as opposed to a restaurant. Business meals are usually a break from a meeting or to celebrate.
  26. 26. Page 26 5. DON'T use hyperbole or make your business associates feel pressured. 6. DON'T cancel or attempt to reschedule your meeting at the last minute. Negotiations • The Dutch prefer to get down to business quickly and engage in relatively little small talk. • Communication is direct and to the point, and may seem blunt. • Make sure your arguments are rational as opposed to emotional. • Use facts and figures to confirm your statements. • Business is conducted slowly. The Dutch are detail-oriented and want to understand every innuendo before coming to an agreement. • Decision-making is consensus driven. Anyone who might be affected by the decision is consulted, which greatly increases the time involved in reaching a final decision. • Avoid confrontational behavior or high- pressure tactics. • Once a decision is made, it will not be changed. • Contracts are enforced strictly. CULTURAL FACT: People in Western China, Tibet, and Mongolia put salt in their tea.
  27. 27. Page 27 Business Etiquette and Protocol in New Zealand Relationships & Communication • New Zealanders can be somewhat reserved, especially with people they do not know. • Once they develop a personal relationship, they are friendly, outgoing and social. • Do not appear too forward or overly friendly. • They respect people who are honest, direct, and demonstrate a sense of humour. • They trust people until they are given a reason not to. • If this happens in business the breach will be difficult to repair and business dealings may cease or become more difficult. Business Meeting 1. DO make an appointment at least a week in advance, by fax, phone, or email. Avoid December and January, which is summer vacation in New Zealand. 2. DON'T be late! It will make an incredibly bad impression. 3. DON'T expect New Zealanders to try to negotiate. It's not part of their culture, so start negotiations realistically. 4. DON'T make promises you can't keep or make exaggerated claims. 5. DO be direct and honest. Negotiations • The negotiating process takes time. • Do not attempt high-pressure sales tactics. • Demonstrate the benefits of your services or products rather than talking about them. • Start your negotiations with a realistic figure. Since this is not a bargaining culture, New Zealanders do not expect to haggle over price. • Kiwis look for value for their money. • Do not make promises you cannot keep or offer unrealistic proposals. Kiwis do not generally trust people who have to oversell. • They are quite direct and expect the same in return. They appreciate brevity and are not impressed by more detail than is required. • Agreements and proposals must state all points clearly. All terms and conditions should be explained in detail. • Stick to the point while speaking. • Kiwis appreciate honesty and directness in business dealings.
  28. 28. Page 28 References: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.