MIND YOUR MANNERS, KIWIS!
You’re a guest in someone else’s country. Adam Blackwell has five tips on how to behave like one.
Adam Blackwell delivers five tips on how to behave appropriately in foreign export markets.
I must admit to being slightly sensitive about society’s need for extreme sensitivity. For goodness’ sake, make sure you don’t offend anyone about anything! That can be tricky when those that were born to be indignant start the day with their hackles up, ready to be mortified by the merest inkling of cultural insensitivity. Having said that, there is a practical side to this thinking that can make a serious difference to the speed with which trust can be formed between Kiwis and everyone else they want to do business with around the world.
I won’t delve into non-English speaking countries, because each of those warrants its own little nuance handbook. But for the US and UK, New Zealanders should be aware that they can retain their self-proclaimed natural charm, without bulldozing their way into a deal (or possibly out of one) using the same techniques that seem to work at home. How did I learn these things? Hands on experience. And watching some loud talkers in various Air NZ lounges making complete d**ks of themselves.
Yes, we want to show warmth and humanity. I get that. But dressing formally for a business meeting shows you respect your host and you are taking the discussion seriously. Shirts