Cross Cultural Sensitivity
Culture: It is like an iceberg. You can see a little of it, in the same way that we can see how
we behave ‘on the surface’. But the biggest and most important part is our cultural values are -
hidden below the surface.
There are 3 stages of cultural adjustment.
Stage1: Enthusiasm and optimism, Individual
Is very positive about the new culture
Is overwhelmed with impression
Stage 2: Confusion & resentment
Begins to interact with culture
Begins to dislike
Feels anxiety, and criticize other culture
Stage 3: Acceptance and understanding
Begins to understand more about people
Feels more comfortable with new culture
Regains sense of humor
Standard American social customs: (Dos):
1. Say How do you do, Good morning, Good evening, Good after noon. People say
Hi or Hello
2. Men usually Shake hands when they meet. Women it is optional. While leaving
they say Good-bye, or Bye. Other words Have a nice day, See u later, nice to see
3. Close friends or family friends Kiss each other or hug each other.
4. Persons in authority they add Mr or Ms. Example, Mr.president, Ms.First lady.
5. Women prefer Mizz instead of Mrs. This is neutral
6. We can call with first name for collegues and younger ones
7. We can call using nick names
1. Americans friendship is short term
2. Usually they ask How are you?, How are you doing?. The answer is fine, thank
you. How are you?
3. They communicate with touching behind shoulder or by hug
4. Opposite sex live together without any romantic relationship
5. Americans like welcoming people into their homes for hospitality
6. They have less patience. So time management is important.
7. They do not accept silence during conversation. They like to talk about weather,
1. They are polite. At the end of conversation, say let us meet for coffee, let us get
together sometime. But without Time and Venue it is not confirmed
2. If we visit late 10 or 20 mins, they do not like it.
3. Before visiting for a party we need to ask if it is formal, semi formal, or causal. So
dress code is important
4. Formal visit gift is must…flowers, wine, chocos. Friends visit, it is optional
5. After party, we need to send Thank you note
1. Men and women are both equal in American society.
2. Men or Women anyone can ask permission for dating
3. Men or Women anyone can pay money for dating expenses
4. If a girl talking to you closely, that does not mean that she loves you
1. Americans expect clean, make up. They expect cleanliness. They accept light
2. Neat shaving etc
Common mistakes Indiansmake:
1. Failure to understand time management
2. Lack of documentation, everything keeping in the head
3. Lack of email etiquette
4. Not communicating in precise manner
5. Not addressing people by first name
6. Shaking of head gives lot of confusion
7. Talking in regional language, when client is in the meeting
8. Initial stage, not asking more questions for doubts