Book Review: Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands {How To Do Business In Sixty Countries}


Kiss, Bow, Or Shake Hands: How To Do Business In Sixty Countries
By Terri Morrison, Wayne A. Conaway, George A. Borden, and Hans Koehler

? While in Germany, on business, you meet with your local counterpart. Between your broken German and his textbook English you are able to carry on a fairly well understood conversation. You reach a lull in your talk and to keep the conversation going you ask your friend about his spouse and children. Suddenly, he grows very quiet and a look of anger sweeps across his face. You ask yourself, "Did I mispronounce something? Did I say something wrong?"

? In Ecuador, you engage a street vendor in a lively negotiation for one of the Indian artifacts that he is selling. You grow increasingly uncomfortable as you realize that not even a foot separates you from him; you take that to mean he is interested in you personally. Whenever you took a step backward, he takes one step towards you to close the gap. Alarmed, you break off the conversation suddenly and head back to your hotel hoping that the merchant is not following after you.

? On the streets of Copenhagen, you wait for traffic to thin out so that you may cross the road. A driver slows down and signals for you to proceed. You smile and flash an okay gesture (thumb and forefinger forming a circle) at her and then are surprised by the glaring look of disgust from her.

Each of the above examples shows cultural differences that can occur when traveling outside the United States. "Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: How to Do Business in Sixty Countries," is a helpful reference for travelers. From Argentina to Greece to Japan, the authors present a work that is both serious and funny, practical and helpful, to assist business travelers as they navigate the cultural maze in the land(s) they are visiting.

The book is a helpful tool that will enhance the globetrotter in brushing up on what to expect before his/her trip abroad. Each featured country has its own chapter and contains the following information:

? Country Background -- History, Type of Government, Language, Religion, and Demographics.

? Cultural Orientation -- Particular Value Systems and Negotiation Strategies.

? Business Practices -- Appointments (When to be punctual and when to be purposely late), Negotiating, and Business Entertainment.

Interspersed throughout are cultural notes that are meant to inform travelers how to present their best foot forward and avoid mistakes like those listed earlier. Now, let's take a look at the examples mentioned earlier and see what went wrong:

? For Germans, family life and business life are kept separate. Germans will find a way to work family into their conversation if they want to share that information with you (see page 131).

? Ecuadorians, like many South Americans, traditionally stand close to one another when conversing. If you move back, they often will close the gap to maintain their close proximity. In the U.S., we are accustomed to at least a two foot gap between people and consider anything closer as threatening (see page 92).

? Danes, as well as many cultures around the world, take the American "o.k." gesture to be an obscene or insulting response. Be careful what hand gestures you use abroad -- you may get a very unwelcome response (see page 87).

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands is published by Adams Media Corporation, 1994, Holbrook, Mass.

Matt is the webmaster for the Corporate Flight Attendant Community at www.corporateflyer.net">http://www.corporateflyer.net and www.cabinmanagers.com">http://www.cabinmanagers.com


MORE RESOURCES:
Amazon is considering opening as many as 3,000 AmazonGo cashierless stores over the next few years, Bloomberg reported yesterday, calling it "an aggressive and costly expansion that would threaten convenience chains like 7-Eleven Inc., quick-service sandwich shops like Subway and Panera Bread, and mom-and-pop pizzerias and taco trucks."

Judges have unveiled their finalists for the 2018 Man Booker Prize on Thursday, whittling the prestigious fiction award's possible winners to a shortlist of just half a dozen novels: Anna Burns' Milkman, Esi Edugyan's Washington Black, Daisy Johnson's Everything Under, Rachel Kushner's The Mars Room, Richard Powers' The Overstory, and Robin Robertson's The Long Take.

Ian Buruma, the editor of The New York Review of Books, left his position on Wednesday amid an uproar over the magazine's publication of an essay by a disgraced Canadian radio broadcaster who had been accused of sexually assaulting women.

The essay's author, Jian Ghomeshi, who was acquitted of sexual assault charges in 2016, lamented his status as a pariah, "constantly competing with a villainous version of myself online."

It caused immediate furor, with some criticizing what they saw as a self-pitying tone, and soft pedaling of the accusations, which included slapping and choking, and had come from more than 20 women, rather than "several," as Mr. Ghomeshi wrote.

A number of publishers, most of them university presses, are taking Target Corporation to task for redacting certain key words in the product descriptions of their books. They say the Minneapolis-based chain retailer has scrubbed certain words from their descriptions, including "transgender," "queer," and even the term "Nazi."

In celebration of its 150th anniversary year, across the USA groups are holding Little Women-themed exhibits, conferences and lectures. Penguin Classics recently published a fetching new annotated edition, with a foreword by the singer/writer Patti Smith, one of the book's vast army of admirers... A new film is in the works, directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan and Laura Dern, right on the heels of a BBC mini-series last year.

Across the capital and around the country, booksellers reported brisk sales of Bob Woodward's Fear on its first day on the shelves. The title now has 1 million copies in print, according to its publisher, Simon & Schuster, which added that a total of 750,000 copies were sold through the day of publication alone. (The combined sales figure includes pre-orders and first day sales of print books, e-books, and audiobooks in all formats.)

The Barnes & Noble roller-coaster ride continued last Friday, when the company's stock, which had dropped 8% the day before after another disappointing quarterly report, jumped 16.5%, to $5.30, on more than triple the usual volume. The cause: several pieces of news that suggested the company could be the subject of a takeover offer.

UK bookstore chain Waterstones is buying the 115 year-old family-owned chain Foyles, saying the deal will help to "champion" real bookshops in the face of online rivals.

The sale includes Foyles' well-known Charing Cross Road store in central London, which was relocated to larger premises in 2014.

Neil Gaiman and Haruki Murakami have been shortlisted for a substitute Nobel literature prize, created by cultural figures in Sweden after the Academy, rocked by a sexual assault scandal, was forced to postpone the awarding of 2018's prize.

The New Academy Prize was established, "to warrant that an international literary prize will be awarded in 2018, but also as a reminder that literature should be associated with democracy, openness, empathy and respect," the organisers said.

With 'bookstagramming' becoming a force in marketing, are designers making covers more colourful, bolder and cleaner, to stand out on our screens?...

thatware.org ©