2011-9-27 15:49:27 Lucy
Part I Objectives
? Guidelines for Prosperous Entertaining and Presentation of Gifts in Business
? Acceptable Public Conduct in North America
? Practices on “small talks”
? Welcome Topics of Conversation
Part II The How-Tos
Guidelines for Prosperous Entertaining and Presentation of Gifts in Business
• Business breakfasts are common, and can start as early as 7:00 a.m.
• On weekends, many people partake in "brunch", a combination of lunch and breakfast beginning anywhere from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Moreover, business meetings are sometimes held over "brunch."
• Business meetings are frequently held over lunch, which begins at 12:00 noon and sometimes lasts until 2:00 p.m. Lunch is usually a lighter meal, since work continues directly afterward. Additionally, an alcoholic beverage such as wine or beer is sometimes ordered.
• If you are invited out for a business meal, the host will usually pay.
• If you are invited out, but your host does not offer to pay, you should be prepared to pay for your own meal.
• When eating out, the cost is sometimes shared with friends or colleagues, a practice often referred to as "getting separate checks", "going Dutch", or "splitting the bill."
• If you invite a U.S. counterpart out socially, you must make it clear whether you wish to pay.
• The fork is held in the right hand and is used for eating. The knife is used to cut or spread something onto a food item. To use the knife, the fork is switched to the left hand or is laid down; to continue eating, the fork is switched back to the right hand. But, if you prefer to use the “continental” style of dining, in which the knife and fork are never switched, that is acceptable, too.
• Unlike some other cultures, it’s perfectly acceptable to refuse an offer of food or drink; moreover, in most cases, the host probably won’t urge you to eat.
• Many foods are eaten with the hands, so you may want to follow the example of your companions.
• There are a variety of ways to beckon a server. For example, you can make eye contact and raise your eyebrows, briefly wave to get his or her attention, or mouth the word for what you want such as "water" or "coffee." To call for the check, you can make a writing gesture or mouth the word "check, please."
• It is not considered rude to eat while walking down the street.
• Business gifts are often presented after the deal is closed. In most situations, gifts are usually unwrapped immediately and shown to all assembled. If you receive a Christmas gift, however, you may be asked to wait until Christmas Day to open it.
• In many cases, the best gifts are those that come from your country.
• You may not receive a gift in return right away.
• During the Christmas season, gifts are exchanged. For your business associates, you can give gifts such as useful items for the office, liquor or wine.
• When you visit a home, it is not necessary to take a gift, although it is always appreciated. Flowers, a potted plant, or a bottle of wine can be good gift choices.
• Taking someone out for a meal or other entertainment is another popular gift.
• Gifts for women such as perfume or clothing are usually inappropriate because they are considered far too personal.
• Gifts for children are often a thoughtful and appreciated gesture, but take into account the values of the parents. For example, some parents might object to your giving a toy gun or a violent video game to their child. Acceptable public conduct
• Smoking is not as commonplace and is subject to restrictions in most public places. Before smoking, the best policy is to ask if anyone minds, or wait to see if others smoke. Restaurants often have a section where smoking is permitted; many hotels designate rooms as smoking and non-smoking.
• A handshake is the customary greeting for both men and women, although you should wait to see if the woman offers her hand.
• Apart from greeting close family members or friends, Americans tend to refrain from greetings that involve hugging and other close physical contact. For the most part, they are unreceptive to being touched during conversation and other social situations.
• The standard space between you and your conversation partner should be about two feet. Most U.S. executives will be uncomfortable standing at a closer distance.
• Direct eye contact conveys that you are sincere, although it should not be too intense. Certain ethnic groups will look away to show respect.
• Friends or acquaintances of the same sex generally do not hold hands.
• To point, you may use the index finger, although it’s impolite to point at another person.
• To beckon someone, wave either all the fingers or just the index finger in a scooping motion, with the palm facing up.
• To show approval, there are two common gestures: the "O.K." sign, formed by making a circle of the thumb and index finger, and the "thumbs up" sign, formed by making a fist and pointing the thumb upward.
• The backslap should be interpreted as a sign of friendship, camaraderie.
• When sitting, U.S. citizens often look very relaxed. They may sometimes sit with the ankle of one leg on their knee or prop their feet up on chairs or desks. In formal business situations, however, you’re advised to maintain good posture and a less casual pose.
• When giving an item to another person, it’s sometimes acceptable to toss it or hand it over with only one hand.