As requested, here is the research assignment describing the culture of Mexico, Japan, and Kenya. This assignment will help guide you in understanding the basic communication styles, business etiquettes, and conflict management styles within their corresponding countries. Sincerely,
Christian, Candace, and Fabiola
As you travel to Mexico, there are a few tips you should consider to ensure a smooth visit. The communication styles, business etiquette, and conflict management styles vary differently with whoever you are dealing with. Mexicans place great value upon personal relationships. You should always properly address the appropriate Mexican within the organization. If they do not retain a professional title, then always address them with a courteous Mr. Mrs. or Miss (Senor, Senora, or Senorita, respectively). Business attire resembles that of the rest of North America. Men will usually shake hands during greetings, whereas Women will often pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder. Mexican men may exchange a hug, called an “abrazo”.
Usually used among closer acquaintances; it is a sign of good will. To avoid being pushy or rude, never use a direct “no” for a response. Disguise the “no” within a “maybe” or “we’ll see”. If a conversation topic is outside the purpose of the business meeting, refrain from such topics as Mexican Politics, the Mexican-American war, and comparing Mexico unfavourably to the United States. You may, however, cover such topics as the City and its people, culture and history, and Mexican landmarks. It is not unusual for Mexican business meetings to take place during breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In Mexico, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and it can last for several hours. Dinner is usually served around 9 pm and is usually a light meal. The conflict resolution style used most frequently in Mexico is either by accommodating or by compromising.
Today, working in this fast-paced business environment, allows individuals living in different cultures to have business interactions with new clients and build a network of international colleagues. In Japan, they value business people that represent themselves as trustworthy and humble. Japanese primarily use the collaborating conflict management styles in the business environment. Collaboration generates new ideas, and allows both parties to effectively cooperate to on focuses on building a team. In the Japanese culture it is common for business people to ask direct questions with a new person business partner in order to familiarize themselves with one another.
At the beginning of a meeting, when business cards are exchanged, a person must bow slightly when handing out their card, and they should place the Japanese translation facing up and toward their business partners. In Japan, business meetings have seating arrangements which is always determined by the status of the participants. Therefore, as a guest you will be directed to the appropriate seat. Always remember, to wait for the head executive to take his/her seat before you will be seated, also when the meeting is finished wait until the head executive leaves his seat before you can exit the room. Japan has similarities and differences in compared to North Americans; however by becoming aware of Japan’s cultural norms it will be easier to understand Japan’s business etiquettes.
Kenya has different business interactions than what we have in North America. The most common greeting in Kenya is by handshake. When greeting an elder or someone with a higher status, lower your eyes and grasp their right wrist with your left hand while shaking hands to demonstrate respect. Right after the hand shake they typically greet you with “Jambo?” which means “How are you?” It is mandatory to ask about family, health, and business right after the handshake, rushing or skipping questions will be seen as poor manners and rude. Unless specified by the person, greet them with their professional title followed by their last name. Kenyans mostly have a compromiser, and avoider conflict management style.
Kenyans often use stories, metaphors or analogies to get their points across. Direct statements make them really uncomfortable. Kenyans will say what they think it is expected to be said or agree with someone, even if it is the complete opposite in order to not embarrass the other person. Showing anger during a conversation in Kenya it is seemed as a sign for mental instability. When exchanging business cards present and give them with two hands. Following these rules of etiquette when conducting business will result in achieving a successful meeting.
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