Business meals and after work in the Arab Gulf States

Setting up a business in the Arab Gulf states is more of a personal endeavor than a business one, as personal relationships drive all business there. There is no separation between relationships and projects. Accordingly, business activities are preceded by many shared meals and after work activities. Topics discussed at these meals and activities will […]

Are meetings in Mexico pure chaos?

Like his counterparts around the world, a Mexican manager has a calendar full of meetings. Of course, the point of these meetings is to discuss and promote projects, to share information or make decisions. However, these are not the sole purposes of a meeting in Mexico. Relationships matter Building relationships and trust, cultivating contacts and […]

Cultural Differences – Netherlands

With understatement and an easy-going manner you can win over Dutch business people instantly. Therefore, short and concise presentations are a must at a first meeting. Product details and figures can be offered at a later stage and in more informal discussions. Until then, and before the facts are the focus, the Dutch want to […]

Communication in the US-business culture

The main characteristics of the US-American communication style can be summed up in a catchy motto: Hard on facts, soft on people. US-Americans communicate clearly and directly on the matter, but are always polite and friendly to the person. That’s why they attempt to establish a pleasant rapport before business topics are addressed. They usually […]

Meetings with Chinese business partners

The primary purpose of meetings in China is to figure out how things are going or to announce new things. Forming opinions and coming to decisions on the other hand take place in many private get-togethers outside of the conference room. Meetings in China are made up of mostly accompanying communication. Punctuality Appointments in China […]

Cultural Differences – Germany

A paramount point in the German business culture is task-orientation. The business matter is central and even determines the style of communication. This is the main reason for the German communication style being so upfront and direct, some may even perceive it as blunt. While doing business in Germany, it’s crucial to be able to […]

Gulf Arab understanding of leadership

The Gulf Arab understanding of leadership is based to a great extent on the principle of the Shura. The Shura is laid out in the Koran, the holy book of the Muslims, and in Islam it is a duty that must be fulfilled. It states that he who has power should seek advice. Behind that […]

Polite and cordial: communication in Mexico

For Mexicans, politeness and the manners involved are extremely important, as it is also crucial for a first impression in Western European countries. However, to a Western European, Mexican manners may appear to sometimes border on subservience; however, do not make the mistake of thinking that your new business associates are subordinate to you. Mexicans […]

Cultural Differences – Southeast Asia

In Asian cultures, once you have lost face, it’s not easily undone. One usually avoids publicly exposing people, i.e. causing their loss of face by emphasizing their mistakes and misfortunes and openly criticizing them. By the same principle, you yourself could lose face and thus damage the image of your team or even the entire […]

US-American meeting etiquette

Meetings in US-American companies proceed goal-orientated. An agenda is distributed in advance, whereby it is expected that each person prepares for their topic. Often exact times are given on the agenda, which are scheduled for one point of discussion. The topics are dealt with in a structured manner. Normally it is not possible to return […]

The Brazilian culture of sympathy

When you meet previously unknown business partners for the first time, wait until your Brazilian host introduces them to you. Only then should you greet them. It is quite normal to very swiftly move to using first names even in a business context. In contrast to most other Latin American countries, family names are rarely […]

The Chinese perspective

People especially in western countries enjoy many political and religious freedoms. Human rights have always been an important topic. All persons are equal before the law. Nobody can be discriminated against. Nobody may be arrested or punished without a legitimate court procedure. The media are allowed to report on every topic without censorship. As a […]

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