The right hand must be utilized for making gestures and eating. During meetings the use of the right hand to pass certain documents is advisable. Crossing the legs with showing the sole of the shoe is a misdemeanor. Pointing the soles of one’s shoes towards his counterparties during meetings is also judged as a rude manner. The “thumbs up” gesture likewise has the same bad meaning. It is inappropriate to discuss topics on the subject of women even about health. When meeting, speaking and corresponding with people; addressing them using their full names is the best way of doing it.
“Yes” for the Kuwaitis could mean “possibly”. Meetings could be interrupted by visiting friends and relatives and even phone calls. The decision maker usually in the meeting is the silent observer and not the person who talks a lot. Business negotiation is different when dealing with subsidiary of an international organization that is based outside of Kuwait and that of a locally-owned business. The approaches and methods of the parent company would prevail, with expatriates as key staff. While locally owned business is expected to be family-owned and nepotism is visible.
The boss is the father and the subordinates are the children in locally owned businesses. Strong hierarchy with top management composed of senior male members of the family is prominent. Several family members are not surprisingly participants in the same meeting. In order to make a good business, it is the top management who should be dealt with, because of their influence and power. It is noteworthy to known if the company is a Sharia law compliant, because all its action will be monitored to ensure that the rules of the Koran will not be violated.
Managers are expected to give detailed instructions to his people, who are supposed to follow said instructions to the letter. Doing more beyond instructions is a form of disobedience. The western approach in meeting cannot be observed in Kuwait meetings because of unforeseen interruptions and alterations. Punctuality is varied in Kuwait; there may be some delays on the set time schedule for an hour or two. Predicting the time a meeting shall end cannot also be done with exactness.
Usually, it is expected that the host is with several people, who are not part of the expected attendees or talking with attendees regarding matters not really related with the agenda at hand. Trivial small talks are often the start of every meeting. Relationship building is essential to the overall triumph of any business transaction or project; therefore one should not undervalue this process of establishing rapport. Lavish entertainment is also part of this relationship building process, which must be given value and importance. Friday is the rest day for people in Kuwait because of the Muslim religion.
Conclusions Openness to interpersonal comments, fine watching abilities, useful queries, and some higher than common sense attitude are alternative means of understanding diverse cultures as people intermingle with others of another culture.. Watching closely how people of the identical culture interact with each other is a gainful learning experience. Nearly everyone is eager to reply very optimistically to questions about their culture, so there is nothing to be scared about. It is imperative that a balanced view must be obtained through asking an array of public in order to get useful knowledge and information.
It is a good start to exert a real endeavor to discover the encouraging historical highlights, legendary, and artistic contributions of a certain society; educating oneself with a few polite terminologies in another person’s tongue; and demonstrating admiration for the foodstuff and music of another civilization can surely provide optimistic results. Cultural differences must not become barriers or constraints in establishing harmonious inter-cultural relations. Although there is no denial that these differences between cultures and peoples are actually happening, it must be taken positively to add richness (and humor) to the spices of life.
People everywhere have much similarity in general, like the basic need for survival, affiliation and love, participation, and achievement. When these things considered, there are not so many differences after all. The initial pace en route for sensitivity towards each other and establishing a positive working environment are being conscious of cultural disparities and being familiar with where these cultural distinctions are at work. In order to challenge one’s own postulation about the “right” means of doing things and as likelihood to gain knowledge of new conduct to solve problems it is recommendable to use these differences as starting points.
There are two vital things that one should bear in mind about cultures: they are always dynamic, and they relate to the figurative aspect of life. This figurative aspect is where people are continuously finding true sense and distinctiveness. Information on what is meaningful and important could be based from cultural messages coming from the groups where one belongs; everyone belongs to a world and relates to others through ones identities. Achievements and development; good deeds, good traits and teamwork are the basic foundation for which culture is attributed for.
These things are all possible particularly because culture itself is based on good human being characters. However, it is best to remember these important points when it comes to culture: 1. Not all conflicts emanates from cultural differences, although part of them may really constitute such disparities. 2. It is best to presuppose that what one is not understood, provision for a detailed clarification must a ready solution of the dispute resolution process. 3. Outlining documents using the words of all parties concerned must be done, if doable. 4. The use of interpreters is a good alternative.
Always give due value on the other person’s point of view. 6. Request for words of clarifications on points that you are strange, especially when they speak about cultural matters. 7. Disputes could a matter of miscommunication and misunderstanding; make further examination on the cultural standards of the people that are implicated in the disagreement. It is much safer and useful for authenticating cultural assertions. 8. Demonstrates open-mindedness for cultural disputes by dealing with cultural unfairness in the workplace. 9. Acceptance is made on the foundation of understanding.
Emphasize the existence of the various cultures in the workplace and promote cultural events. 10. Be familiar with and explore the cultural differentiations with the use of body language, emotions and problem solving. 11. Generate ways for the parties to confirm the worries of each other through appreciation and beneficial expression of distinctions. Also, artistically discover and emphasize cultural similarities. 12. In order to lessen the possibility of cultural conflict informing those from other cultures on the standards and rules of another society is necessary.
Everyone must be enduring, flexible and prepared to gain knowledge of the different cultures. 14. It needs imagination and innovation in styling answers to cultural disparities; thinking “out of the box” may possibly give endless genuine solutions. The best of all possibilities is guaranteeing justice and procedural impartiality which should not be negotiable.
Hofstede, G. (1997). Cultures and organizations, New York: McGraw-Hill. Holt, D. & Wigginton, K. (2002). International Management, Orlando, FL: Hardcourt College Publishers. Cultural diversity. Retrieved April 29, 2010 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Cultural_diversity.