Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cultural sensitivity in business

Today I have a link for you about differences in expectations from one culture to another, with some really good case studies, from Harvard Business Review.

When you work with a company that does business globally, or even with different groups of people within the United States, the expectations can vary, for areas of interaction you might never have thought of. These can include how close one stands to another person; whether a business meeting begins with chit-chat or gets right to the point; even whether it’s okay to use your left hand for certain tasks.

No single blog post can give you information about every possible variation. Using the research skills you’ve learned as an English major or minor, you can find good information on the internet that will help you navigate the issues in a specific context—that is, now that you know how much you don’t know. And of course, your gracious and charming personality will help you overcome any gaffes you might make after you’ve done enough research to prove that you’re trying.

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