Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Neglect of e-mail etiquette can ruin business relationships

The volume of e-mail is growing exponentially and it is predicted that by next year 36 billion e-mail messages will be sent daily.

Although e-mail outstrips other methods of written communication when it comes to speed, the way it is used often leads to delays, misunderstandings and serious damage to business relationships.

Read the full article: E-mail Etiquette
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:03 AM
Categories: Cross Cultural Etiquette


A second Russian Language Week is opening in Japan November 24, to run through the 30th. Roszarubezhtsentr, a government-run organization involved with the promotion of the Russian language and culture abroad, has arranged the festival in association with the Russian Embassy to Japan and the Japan-Eurasia society.

For the first time, the Russian Language Week was held last fall in the Japanese capital, Tokyo. This time around, it will be running simultaneously in three cities across Japan: Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka.

Read the full article: Russian Language Week
Posted by Neil Payne at 11:00 AM
Categories: Language Learning News

HSBC and Cross Cultural Training

Training and development is one of the top priorities for HSBC Electronic Data Processing (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (HDPM) managing director and group service centre (GSC) manager Mark Edwards.

“The centre's overriding objective is to provide excellent customer service – that is the secret of our success.

A fine example would be assistant manager (operations) Farrah Harriet Ratnaike, who was given the opportunity to undergo process and cultural awareness training in Leeds, Britain.

Promoted from a global support executive to her current position in less than a year, Farrah has gained invaluable organisational and cross-cultural exposure at the centre.

Read the full article: HSBC Gives Priority to Training

Language - A Key to Global Communication

Language Training is integral to success in the International setting. It is increasingly recognized as a key element in assignment success.

The ability to communicate in the local language of International colleagues and clients facilitates relationship building and fosters an atmosphere of credibility and trust.

Knowledge of the local language gives international assignees a more thorough understanding of the host country's culture. Attaining a high level of linguistic proficiency can mean the difference between the success and failure of an International assignment. Increasingly, there is need for highly specialized training such as accent reduction, business writing in the target language, contract negotiation and skills to deliver presentations or conduct interviews.

Read the article: Language Success
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:40 AM
Categories: Language Learning News

How to keep properly in touch with office etiquette

Elbows are fine, backs are out, and legs are completely off limits, says body language expert, Catriona Davies

The etiquette of office touching can be a minefield. Keeping too much of a distance from colleagues can be seen as aloof, but touching someone inappropriately is a sure way to find yourself accused of harassment.

Touching on the shoulder can be considered 'smarmy.' The problem comes in defining what exactly is appropriate: is a friendly slap on the back acceptable? What about touching an arm or a shoulder?

Read the full article: Office Etiquette

Expat executives 'need $6,000pm in Qatar'

Qatar National Bank, in its 'Cost of living in Qatar' report found that an expatriate executive maintaining a family with two children requires about QR21,000 ($6,000) for monthly expenses.

The study added that an executive bachelor requires about QR8,200 towards monthly expenses. However, the report doesn't specify the parameters applied to arrive at these figures, said a Gulf Times report.

Read more at: Expat Executives
Posted by Neil Payne at 10:35 AM
Categories: Expatriate

Monday, November 22, 2004

Cracking Cross Cultural Etiquette

It may be konnichiwa in Japan, Guten Tag in Germany and Merhaba in Turkey -- saying hello is easy -- but understanding cultural nuances for international business is far more challenging.

Many people are familiar with business in the West, where there is little time for establishing relationships and getting straight down to business is not considered rude.

Read the full article: Cracking Cross Cultural Etiquette

Cultural divide at heart of race row

Luis Aragonés's recent haranguing of José Antonio Reyes was revisited yesterday when the England team trained in T-shirts bearing the slogan "Let's Kick Racism Out of Football" and when the Spain coach strongly defended himself at a press conference. It demonstrated just how difficult translation can be. Words are never just words.

It also showed how differently Spain and England deal with race. The reaction to the Spain coach's alleged racist comment to Reyes last month about Thierry Henry, and the reporting of it, was telling - a reflection of an important culture clash which is looking ever more serious.

Read the full article: Cultural Divide at Heart of Race Row
Posted by Neil Payne at 2:33 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

Global Festival promotes cultural understanding

Volunteers handed out multicolored passports as Global Festival participants made their way through the door of the Union into the international smorgasbord.

Global Festival 2004 on Sunday was the culmination of International Education Week. The week included Asian artwork displays at the Kresge Art Museum, Global Plate dining options, Study Abroad information tables, international movies at Wells Hall and brief language sessions showcasing classes offered at MSU.

"It's not like looking at the 6 o'clock news seeing a hotel burnt in Singapore, an earthquake in Peru or the Iraq situation," said Alex McCrae, director of the festival. "Here's a positive thing for us to see and also for (international students) to see each other."

Read the full article: Global Festival Promotes Cultural Understanding
Posted by Neil Payne at 2:29 PM
Categories: Cultural Diversity

Interpreters Lower Risks in Hospitals

Romualdo Rivera arrives at the emergency room with what seems to be a complaint of chest pain. But it's hard to be sure - he doesn't speak English.

He's a pale but solidly built man with thinning, gray hair, and his face reddens as his shirt is removed, his pant legs are pushed up and electrodes are attached to his calves and chest.

As nurses and technicians come and go from the small, curtained examination area, his eyes dart from one person to the next, hoping for a familiar phrase, even a word.

Unlike TV portrayals of frenzied big-city emergency rooms, the scene slows in real-life hospitals when a doctor and patient can't communicate. It becomes like a game of charades, as one doctor put it, with lots of pointing and gesturing.

Nationwide, the approach to care for non-English-speaking patients is hit-or-miss. Fewer than a fourth of U.S. hospitals have professionally trained interpreters, a study found. In some places, hospital employees with no medical training are called in to interpret. In others, relatives, neighbors or acquaintances do the job.

In the worst cases, the patient's problem gets lost in translation.

Read the full article: Interpreters Lower Risks in Hospitals

Election for America's Top Organizations providing Multicultural Business Opportunities

The 5th annual election to determine "America's Top Organizations providing Multicultural Business Opportunities" will take place from November 29, 2004 through December 3, 2004. Fortune 500 companies and Government Agencies will be selected for the awards based on the business opportunities they have provided Women and Minority owned businesses. The election will be conducted on the Internet at the site.

Last year over 250,000 women and minority owned businesses had the opportunity to participate in the election. This year over 400,000 Diversity business owners are expected to take part in the online election. The winners, collectively known as the Div50 will be recognized for their diversity efforts at an awards ceremony on April 1, 2005 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.

To cast your vote simply go to:

The election results will be officially announced on Tuesday, December 7, 2004 at 12:00 on

Embracing diversity

Is diversity playing its proper role in your sustainability policy? At Co-operative Financial Services they’re making it a central theme. Donna McGrath explains.

The word ‘diversity’ draws out a whole host of differing reactions – from groans about political correctness and legal compliance, to campaigning talk about the need for radical change.

But no-one can dispute the fact that the UK population is changing. Take London, for instance – people from an ethnic minority now account for 25% of its population. Or the latest estimates of spending power. The so-called ‘brown pound’ could be worth £32 billion, while the spending power of people with disabilities is estimated at £50 billion. A business can’t afford not to reach out to these groups.

Read the full story: Embracing Diversity

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