When McDonalds opened in Moscow in the 1980s, they attempted to train staff to greet the customer cheerfully with a nice smile. “What?” was the unanimous protest from the employees, “They’ll think we’re idiots!”
Contrary to popular myth, a smile isn’t welcome everywhere. In Japan and Russia the social meaning of smiling is quite different- they smile to hide embarrassment.
This anecdote alone is enough reason to pick up Tomalin and Nicke’s book, ‘The World’s Business Cultures and How To Unlock Them.’ Yet the business case they make is even more compelling. For instance, if businesses could understand the language and culture of new markets, they could expand their operations and income by as much as 30%.
And yet, this book is equally useful for those working in the government or community sectors because the author’s have included some very useful exercises which develop crucial cross cultural awareness and skills. An enjoyable yet informative read, packed with real life examples, this book is a highly recommended read from GOLDENROOM.