Case Assignment Module 4
Dealing with large groups of people in a company is difficult enough. You have diverse personalities and idiosyncrasies through a group of people. Imagine dealing with those same personalities; now add language barriers, cultural differences, body language mistakes, and local HR processes.
The fact that the President of the United States could make a huge mistake by giving an impolite gesture easily shows how anyone can make simple mistakes, but how costly was the mistake? Had problems arisen from a simple "thumbs-up" gesture forced the United States to backtrack and try and make amends for such an insult, then the accident would have been huge.
Body language means something different from place to place. Certain English words can be translated into something insulting, so you'll need to do some research to ensure that your company's name does not translate into something bad. You will also need to learn the common practices for business meetings and class environment; such as gift giving, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinking customs, punctuality, and what movements (if any) are needed to communicate your true meaning in conversations and meetings.
The act of sitting with your legs crossed can be disgraceful in the eyes of many Muslims, even those who have grown accustomed to American habits. The fact that we have not tried to conform to the culture we are attempting to work with shows great arrogance and ignorance.
Germany has a safety program that uses billboards stating, "Fair Play on the Autobahn." Although the German communities understand that this means to drive friendly on the road, many Americans laugh and say that all's fair on the autobahn. In translation much of the meaning is lost and often what is acceptable in one culture is considered forbidden or rude...