Protocolum

“Protocolumn” delivers insights on conducting business internationally while utilizing cross-cultural strategies. The columns are primarily written by author, Gloria Petersen and her Team of Experts. Guest columnists are welcome based on our criteria or invitation.

To Thine Own Self Be – Gracious … by Angela Gregory

To Thine Own Self Be – Gracious … by Angela Gregory

  “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” ꟷAlexander Graham Bell  We all know that COVID-19 has proven to be a formidable adversary--causing the...

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Potential Business Opportunities for Global Business

Potential Business Opportunities for Global Business

Guest Columnist: … Mike Wynne, president, International Management Consulting Associates (IMCA) | United States population is 325 million persons while the number of consumers in the rest of the world is almost 7 BILLION. Further, our nation’s annual economic growth was only about 1.2 percent this past year. So, why does that matter? Any business with such a low annual growth rate may be on its way to disappear. What things we should do when conducting business in another country? Develop . . .

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I say Merry Christmas. You say . . .  Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad . . .

I say Merry Christmas. You say . . . Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad . . .

When I say Merry Christmas and you respond with your preferred season’s greeting (e.g., Happy Hanukkah), we are good! It is a wonderful way to share our holiday preference and at the same time honor the season.
Trying to be politically correct can cause awkward moments. It is simply impossible to know the beliefs of everyone we greet during this special time of the year. It is also unfair to

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Global Do’s and Taboos

Global Do’s and Taboos

When traveling abroad, there are international meeting protocol do’s and taboos. One of the most common mistakes people who travel abroad for meetings make is the disregard for local body language, posture, facial expressions and gestures. Some are appropriate in one country but offensive in another. For example, the OK sign gesture …

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How to Deal With Challenging Situations and People with Diplomacy and Civility

How to Deal With Challenging Situations and People with Diplomacy and Civility

Ever wish that you could wave a magic wand and everyone would be respectful, civil, and accommodating? Unfortunately, uncertain times brings discontent and confusion. Thus, it is more important than ever to deal with people, situations, and one’s own behavior with diplomacy, dignity, finesse, tact, and civility, thereby setting the better example. These are powerful “win-win” words. Here we will revisit the basics of effective communication

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Developing Social Intelligence Through Cross-Cultural Mentoring

Developing Social Intelligence Through Cross-Cultural Mentoring

The influx of people from different cultures into a company is a workplace concern around the world. For reasons of personal comfort, individuals tend to segregate themselves from people who speak a different language or are just different. Hence you have several pockets of cultural groups working but rarely socializing with each other because . . .

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Arranging for Interpreters: “The Invisible People”

Arranging for Interpreters: “The Invisible People”

Unless you have an excellent command of a particular language, an interpreter is your bridge to meaningful communication with an international client or partner. Highly trained professional interpreters translate orally for speakers of different languages, thus becoming the voice of the speaker, whether host or guest. This is extremely important when traveling and attending conventions and trade shows abroad. Never assume . . .

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Food Taboos are Powerful!

Food Taboos are Powerful!

If a person realizes after the fact that he or she has eaten a taboo food (e.g., soup with bacon bits or a beef stock), they may actually become depressed with guilt or feel physically ill. While it is a challenge to be sensitive to every food preference or restriction, vegetarian-based foods are the safest. The problem of food taboos usually centers around meat-based dishes. Most cultures view the dining experience as a time-honored ritual for

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Tolerance

Tolerance

Guest Columnist, Tina LaCroix Hauri: “It seems that in our postmodern culture, each person’s self-proclaimed right to be their own truth is having a muffling effect on the very freedoms and discourse that our veterans have fought to preserve. Today, unless one will openly embrace, endorse, or moon and fawn over various viewpoints in unprecedented fashion, one can quickly be …”

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Traveling Abroad? “Eat Whatever They Put in Front of You!”

Traveling Abroad? “Eat Whatever They Put in Front of You!”

Guest Columnist: Peter Faur, President, RightPoint Communications … In the international business class I took as part of my MBA, the instructor gave the following advice: “If you’re ever doing business abroad, and you’re having dinner with clients or customers, eat at least a bit of whatever they put in front of you, no matter how ghastly it seems.” He worked for a far-flung, multinational company, and he told stories of eating duck feet, jelled

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Bon appétit! or not?

Bon appétit! or not?

A discussion group recently posted that the phrase “Bon appétit” is no longer in vogue as a toast to begin a meal and, in fact, has not been for years. It seems that this rumor was started by a past edition of the New York Times. “Bon appétit” (literally, good appetite) is defined as: “A toast offered at the beginning of the meal to wish everyone a hearty appetite.” So why would one not want to

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The Flag: Do Not Make this Mistake!

The Flag: Do Not Make this Mistake!

A flag is a symbol of people—whether a nation, a city, or a corporation. A national flag is often displayed along with other flags at meetings, banquets, and other corporate (or international) events. It sends a strong message that you value and respect your guests (or visitors). Consequently, it is important to learn how

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The Truth Is: It’s Your Truth!

The Truth Is: It’s Your Truth!

We all look at different situations differently. And our different viewpoints come from how each and every one of us thinks. How much the way we think differs is influenced by cultural predispositions, gender-related opinions, our particular family (or work) history, or our age and experience—these differences will vary greatly. The bottom line is that

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Embracing Cultural Differences For Greater Business Success

Embracing Cultural Differences For Greater Business Success

Guest Columnist: Doug Bruhnke, President/CEO, Growth Nation
Do you know business people who don’t have a strong sensibility about cultural differences, and the impact they have on business dealings? If you do, they are probably the “I’ll-do-it-my-way ugly Americans” (or whatever their nationality) who are good fodder for stories of global business opportunities lost. Often these

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Put your personal belongings in “airplane mode.”

Put your personal belongings in “airplane mode.”

How often have you walked into an auditorium, church, or banquet hall looking for an empty chair, only to find one occupied by a personal item that implied, “This seat is saved.” In truth, it was not actually being saved; it was just being used as a makeshift desk. But you continued to wander the aisles looking for seating. This is always awkward! If you are seated in

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How We Judge People of  Other Countries and How They Judge Us

How We Judge People of Other Countries and How They Judge Us

Guest Columnist: Charlyne Blatcher Martin, M.A.
Many of us grew up with the Christian teaching that warns us to not judge others. Yet, judging others, especially those from other countries, has seeped into our individual and collective consciousness. Surprise. We are being judged by the very ones we are scrutinizing. While it appears

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International Protocol and Etiquette Tips

International Protocol and Etiquette Tips

by Horst Kniesel, Advisory Board Member and former First Vice President at JP Morgan Chase Bank
As part of my job working for a prominent American bank, I was required to travel frequently to many countries in Western Europe, including England, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Greece, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands. In fact,

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The Good News Is . . .

The Good News Is . . .

Imagine a media world that gave us the good news first, a media that made good news the priority and minimized the bad news. Good deeds happen in every society all over the world, but we rarely read or hear about them. What are people doing to help make their societies a better, safer, and kinder place? This should be front-page news! If good news was receiving the lion’s share of the print page or

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The Japanese Way of Tea

The Japanese Way of Tea

Popularly known as the Japanese tea ceremony, CHANOYU, the Way of Tea, is a spiritual discipline based on integrating the principles of harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility into one’s everyday life through the simple act of making and sharing a bowl of tea. Harmony is the oneness of host and guest, of the interplay of the

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Traffic Jam in Cyberland?!?

Traffic Jam in Cyberland?!?

We depend so much on technology to communicate. But are we depending on it too much for transmitting messages? Communicating is all about speed; the faster we can transmit or receive a message, the faster we want to. But there are hiccups. There is the spam box, for example. Sometimes good messages land in the

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The Determining Protocols: Honor and Respect

The Determining Protocols: Honor and Respect

The person who is president of the United States holds the highest and most powerful position in the world. Since 1776, the United States has felt that social manners, behavior, and attitude are so important to the business of our government that a team of top experts constantly advise our president in these matters. One of these experts is the

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Is Disrespect Too Prevalent?

Is Disrespect Too Prevalent?

Are campaign races making disrespect the norm? Candidates, unfortunately, have been using slander against their opponent forever in order to gain their competitive edge. However, it is also teaching disrespect and making it okay. I agree that we need to know if there is something shady

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For more blogs and articles by Gloria Petersen
visit GloriaPetersen.com

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