MIND YOUR MAN­NERS, KI­WIS!

You’re a guest in some­one else’s coun­try. Adam Black­well has five tips on how to be­have like one.

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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

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