February 24 2010
Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands? - Cross-Cultural Business Etiquette Session
The International Graduate Student Association organized a Cross-Cultural Business Etiquette session-"Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands?" for the MILR students on February 11, 2010.
Cross cultural communication skills and knowledge have become critical for HR professionals working in multinational corporations. This session provided insight into the cultural and business dynamics of nine countries and helped students understand the do's and don'ts of etiquette, manners, and intercultural communication.
Students representing nine countries presented during this informal, yet extremely useful session.
Marzia Fatima, MILR'11 and Aditi Jain, MILR'11 talked about the need to be socially conscious and create an open and friendly atmosphere when dealing with people of Pakistan and India. Yael Shemer, MILR'10 commented on the open and direct culture in Israel and humored students with cultural anecdotes. Barbara Chaney, MILR'10 and Victoria Hooker, MILR'11 represented Europe and discussed business and cultural norms in Germany and Switzerland respectively.
Kweku Nyinaku, MILR'11 represented Ghana and spoke about the need to be respectful of the local culture while interacting in business settings. Similarly, local customs hold great importance in countries such as China and Japan. Kurt Johnson, MILR'10 touched upon his personal experience as an American working in China, and urged fellow students to "avoid losing face," which translates into honor, respect and good reputation in China. The session ended with Lale Terzioglu, MILR'11 talking about cultural norms and values in Turkey.
Overall, the session provided great insight combined with light humor around cultural nuances.