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International Management
Joined: August 2012
Posts: 10
Location:
Posted: September 15, 2012 1:30 PM

Many of our responses in international communities are purely habit-driven. Breaking a habit needs to be a conscious effort. In Dubai where it is not too common for a lady to shake hands (almost rare in other parts of the Middle East), I regularly feel that a business greeting is not complete without some type of 'substituting behaviour'. Mine is that I place my hands on top of each other and cross them in front of me. What behaviour do you still find 'un-natural' and how do you respond to it? We'd love to hear from you - there's always someone out there who will learn from us!


International Management
Joined: September 2012
Posts: 7
Location:
Posted: September 17, 2012 12:34 PM

RE: Breaking Habits
In China I learned not to use large hand movements or point... one of those things I wish I had learned before my first trip to China.

International Management
Joined: August 2012
Posts: 10
Location:
Posted: September 20, 2012 9:09 AM

RE: Breaking Habits
Hi Ven2012
Hmmm, we all make mistakes, yet is repeating them unforgivable? What investment are you likely to now make before going to another culture?

Books, internet searches, culture databanks, cultural advisor? Which work for you?
best
deb

International Management
Joined: August 2012
Posts: 10
Location:
Posted: October 2, 2012 12:25 AM

RE: Breaking Habits
Hi everyone and greetings from Riyadh, in the heart of Saudi Arabia, a land many fear, ridicule and simply dont understand the business way. Living in Dubai, and travelling over, it certainly is like 'leaving chalk and entering cheese' no doubt, with differences ranging from the attire, the workplace male domination, the smoking etc. No doubt some find this unexplainable. For me I thrive on it, as I have ample opportunity to experience diversity, continue to learn yet still make mistakes. Like yesterday....

I had just finished a one on one meeting with a very westernized Saudi leader, he shook my hand as he left and immediately the next person walked into the door. My programming clearly was NOT on high alert and I fell straight into the trap of offering my hand. It was politely rejected! Of course....

All I can put it down to is old habits do die hard.....even when I know this and practice non-shaking of hands regularly, one entry back into my comfort zone shut down my senses. My lesson for the day - stay on high-alert and in learning mode at every moment:)

Have a great day!
deb
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