Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: How to Do Business in Sixty Countries

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: How to Do Business in Sixty Countries

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: How to Do Business in Sixty Countries


Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands explores how people from various cultures perceive information and negotiate business deals. The sections relating to Cognitive Styles, Negotiation Techniques and Value Systems are truly unique.In a global economy, it is crucial for business people to be sensitive to cultural differences. And although the best reason for doing so may be ethical, it’s great for business as well! This is an invaluable book for “doing well while doing good” in your intercultural relations, covering the protocols of appointments, business entertaining, greetings, forms of address, gestures, dress, and gifts in 60 of the nations you’re most likely to be doing business. Some interesting excerpts:

  • Australia: The “thumbs-up” sign, which in the U.S. indicates “O.K.” is considered rude.
  • Brazil: The colors of the Brazilian flag are green and yellow, so avoid wearing this combination in any fashion.
  • China: Avoid making exaggerated gestures or using dramatic facial expressions. The Chinese do not generally use their hands when speaking, and become distracted by a speaker who does.
  • Indonesia: Since it is impolite to disagree with someone, Indonesians rarely say “no”…a clear way to indicate “no” is to suck in air through the teeth.

The authors are very aware that no generalizations apply to all residents of a nation, and are careful not to stereotype or judge. Highly recommended to any business traveler–or any student of the diversity of human cultures.

(Note: a great companion volume for this book is Gestures, which is devoted entirely to explaining the varieties of hand gestures in 82 countries!)

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: How to Do Business in Sixty Countries




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