Read My Lips!
“You’re never fully dressed without a smile” is a familiar phrase in the United States. True or false: A smile is a universal expression of genuine pleasure.
Japan is a high context culture, where small gestures convey great meaning. Which is an appropriate behavior in Japan?
A. Covering your mouth when you laugh
B. Winking to convey agreement
C. Speaking in a loud, forceful voice
True or false: Never keep your left hand in your pocket while shaking hands with your right in Germany.
Spitting is grotesque in many places, but is actually against the law in which country?
A. St. Thomas
B. St. Martin
You are the sole passenger on a bus in Bahrain. A man enters, and chooses the seat next to you. True or false: He intends to start a conversation with you.
You are greeting a new associate in France. As you firmly grasp his hand, heartily pumping it up and down, he looks a bit bemused. This is because:
A. He’s relieved you didn’t kiss him.
B. The French handshake is more of a handclasp, with no pumping action.
C. He wishes you had kissed him.
In the United States, men sometimes slap each other on the back, backside, arms, or shoulders. True or false: This is totally acceptable in the Netherlands.
True or false: Before female executives travel to Brazil, they should be certain their nails are well-manicured.
You feel good after your big sales call in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s a surprise to you, then, when they don’t accept the deal. This could be because during the meeting, you:
A. Leaned backward in your chair and crossed your arms
B. Rested your ankle on your knee the whole time
C. Laughed loudly
D. All of the above
True or false: Snapping your hand downward is used to emphasize a point in Spain.
In much of Asia, a smile can be used to cover up embarrassment, shock, or fury.
One is not supposed to display the inside of one’s mouth in Japan.
Don’t even talk to someone with your hands in your pockets in Germany!
Singapore also prohibits chewing gum, jay-walking, and smoking in public places.
Solitude feels unnatural in many parts of the Middle East. Complete strangers often unconsciously sit close to each other.
The French don’t strongly grip each other’s hands, nor do they “shake” them up and down so much.
Dutch men are formal, and usually don’t demonstrate their feelings with exuberant slapping gestures.
Manicured fingernails are an integral part of a woman’s professional image in Brazil.
Informal body language and raucous laughter don’t impress the Swedes.
Snapping the hand downward is a very common gesture in much of Latin America.
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Dining, Drinking, And Deal-Making
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