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:
According to Barnes & Noble's survey, 77% of Americans read at least one book, newspaper or magazine during Thanksgiving or other holiday travel, while 60% of travelers usually bring, buy or borrow reading material specifically for travel on Thanksgiving Eve. Some 73% of respondents said they felt that traveling on the day before Thanksgiving is a "good time to bring a book they would enjoy and be able to read," and just over a quarter of Americans feel that "bringing a book along for Thanksgiving could give them a way to get out of an uncomfortable or awkward conversation with a relative or other guest."

Anuk Arudpragasam has won the prestigious ?DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2017 for his novel, "?The Story of a Brief Marriage", published by Granta in the UK, and by Flatiron in the USA

Arudpragasam was awarded the $25,000 (£18,830) prize along with a unique trophy by Hon'ble Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, minister of finance of Bangladesh ?at the Dhaka Literature Festival in Bangladesh.

Little House on the Prairie Fans will likely enjoy Publishers Weekly's article, "10 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Laura Ingalls Wilder."

The national book awards for 2017 have been announced.
The winners are:
Fiction: Jesmyn Ward, Sing, Unburied, Sing
Nonfiction: Masha Gessen, The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
Poetry: Frank Bidart, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016
Young People's Literature: Robin Benway, Far from the Tree

Annie Proulx received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Indies First/Small Business Saturday 2017 and the start of the holiday shopping season are just a week and a half away (Nov 25), and more independent bookstores around the United States are finalizing their plans for the annual celebration of bookselling and small businesses. Shelf Awareness rounds up some of the planned activities...

Bookstore sales declined 6.5% this September, compared to September 2016, according to preliminary figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday morning. Sales in September were $1.01 billion, down from $1.8 billion a year ago.

The Observer newspaper continues its 2+ year project to review what it deems to be the top 100 nonfiction books of all time. The series began in February 2016 with their No. 1 pick, Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction and is on track to complete by the turn of the year. The most recent review is for The Diary of Samuel Pepys coming in at No. 92.

The Observer is the sister newspaper to the better known British newspaper, The Guardian. The Observer publishes on Sundays, The Guardian publishes on all other days of the week. Both newspapers combine their content into theguardian.com website.

With 4 million or 17% of all online ebooks being pirated, novelists including Maggie Stiefvater and Samantha Shannon say theft by fans puts their books at risk.

The playwright Tom Stoppard has won the David Cohen prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature, hailed as a "giant of 20th-century British drama" with an "outstanding and enduring body of unfailingly creative, innovative and brilliant work."

Howard Jacobson in the Guardian asks how many of us still read a book in bed?

thatware.org ©