Insight Into Global Business Gift Practices
By Catherine Eberlein Pfister
ach of the nearly 200 countries around the globe has its own culture, and ways of conducting business and developing business relationships. So how do you determine what makes an appropriate business gift for a colleague in Japanůversus a business person in India?
To sort through some of the clutter surrounding business gift practices, we asked the advice of two industry professionals: Carol Wain, president of the Incentive Depot located in Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada and Lisa Massiello, CRP, vice president of Employee Engagement & Recognition, Operations and Tech Group at Wachovia. Here's their advice:
Not all information Web sites or blogs are created equal, so do careful research. Ask business contacts in other countries which sites accurately reflect appropriate business etiquette in their country. If something sounds odd, use common sense to question it and verify it with other resources before relying on it. "I pulled up information on my own country, Canada, and one source indicated that 'you'd never shake the hand of a Canadian business woman,'" said Wain. "This is ridiculous, of course, so it made me question the validity of the site's information."
One source of information that both Wain and Massiello recommend is The Cultural Navigator, a Web-based resource platform from Training Management Corp. This platform is designed to enhance the development of managers working with global partners, colleagues, counterparts and team members across geographical boundaries, languages and cultures. It includes:
You can even take the Cultural Navigator for a six-minute guided tour and free test-drive by going to www.culturalnavigator.com/demo. Here you'll be taken through the platform and learn about the tools available.