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:
Andrew Sean Greer's novel Less and James Forman Jr.'s book Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America are among the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners, each of whom receives $15,000.

Pulitzer-watchers see Less as a surprise win given that it was not prominent on other award nomination and "best of year" lists.

Three judges for the Nobel literature prize have resigned. Klas Ostergren, Kjell Espmark and Peter Englund released statements or letters Friday to Swedish media but gave few details. Englund wrote in a letter to the tabloid Aftonbladet that his decision was linked to the Swedish academy's decision late last year to cut ties with the head of a Stockholm cultural center who was accused of sexual misconduct. The academy asked a law firm to investigate what influence the man, whom it did not name, had on the academy.

UK bookstore chain Waterstones will likely be sold to hedge fund Elliott Advisors by the end of April, the end of the store's fiscal year, according to the Bookseller, which cited "a source with knowledge of the situation." Neither Waterstones nor Elliott Advisors has commented on the report.

Elliott Advisors is the U.K. arm of Elliott Management Corp., the investment management firm headed by Paul Singer, known for an interest in companies with heavy debt, for his financial support of the Republican Party and for his support of LGBTQ rights. Elliott Advisors is run by Singer's son Gordon Singer.

A new report from the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and Civic Economics reveals the continuing — and increasing — loss of jobs and essential state and municipal revenue as a result of the growing retail dominance of Amazon.com. The report documents both Amazon's sales and, for the first time, the explosive growth of sales through its third-party Marketplace from 2014 to 2016. And the report makes clear that Amazon's sales tax avoidance strategy has continued despite well-publicized agreements with American states.

Joan Silber has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for her novel Improvement (which won the NBCC Award last month.)

All five finalists (Silber, Hernán Díaz, Samantha Hunt, Achy Obejas and Jesmyn Ward) will read from their work at the ceremony on May 5 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington. Silber will receive $15,000; the other finalists will each receive $5,000.

When U.S. booksellers celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on April 28, their neighbors to the north will be taking part in Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, a "new look" version of Authors for Indies Day, which was launched in 2015 and had announced last fall that significant changes were in the works. Beginning this year, the Retail Council of Canada has adopted the project and renamed it Canadian Independent Bookstore Day.

The winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards for "literature that confronts racism and examines diversity" are:
Fiction: Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward
Nonfiction: Bunk, by Kevin Young
Poetry: In the Language of My Captor, by Shane McCrae
Lifetime Achievement: N. Scott Momaday

Anita Shreve, author of 20 books including The Pilot's Wife and The Weight of Water, died of cancer Thursday at home in southern New Hampshire, she was 71. She had announced her illness almost a year ago,writing on Facebook: "This is a hard post to write. I have so been looking forward to going on book tour for my new novel, The Stars are Fire, and had hoped to meet many of you on my travels."

Jacqueline Woodson, author of 30 books including the National Book Prize winner Brown Girl Dreaming (a memoir of her childhood written in verse) has won The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's largest prize for children's writing. She will receive five million Swedish krona ($600,000) at a ceremony on 28 May in Stockholm.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has appointed Tracy K. Smith to serve a second term as the nation's 22nd poet laureate. During her second year, Smith plans to expand her outreach efforts to rural communities and unveil a new anthology to be published in the fall.

thatware.org ©