Richard Gesteland Essay Example
Richard Gesteland Essay Example

Richard Gesteland Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (1064 words)
  • Published: April 3, 2017
  • Type: Analysis
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A completely normal morning at Business College Horsens, Richard Gesteland was visiting Denmark to share his knowledge about his experience. This is nothing new for this experienced traveler, who comes to Scandinavia about six times a year, and has been a guest speaker at BCH several times in the past. The presentation Richard gave a presentation of an unusually high quality. He spoke to the entire audience with charisma and humor, and spoke from own personal experience. Experience that have come from a lifetime of traveling and exploring many of the different cultures and business cultures of the world.

Richard R. Gesteland giving one of his lectures He started off by presenting the first and foremost important iron rules when conducting international business across cultures, that are not to be misunderstoo


d. The first and most important iron rule is: the seller adapts to the buyer. The seller adapts to the buyer. He repeated this mantra several times during the presentation, and made it a point to express how important this rule is. The other rule, as Gesteland put it, is so obvious that we often forget it.

The rule is, that if your are to go into aa country, you MUST learn the culture and customs of that particular culture. Some of the most important subjects in business culture are: Their gift-traditions, the cultures behavior etc, and one of the most important; their gestures. In his lecture he frequently discussed how to properly prepare to set up a business contract with your business partner, throughout the 7000 different cultures of the world. The most widespread cultures There are four cultures which are more widespread than the

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others. These are called: Deal Focused vs. Relationship Focused.

The deal-focused cultures are far more task-oriented, and are not as concerned with the personal relationship, as they do not see it as an important component in the making of a good deal and building of a profitable cooperation. We see this in cultures such as the United States and Northern Europe, while relationship-focused people are more oriented about other people, and building a personal relationship with their business partner. In these cultures the business does not start until after you spent the first couple of meetings getting to know each other, and building up a foundation of trust.

These cultures are pro dominant in the Chinese, Southern Europe and Latin-American cultures. Informal vs. Formal Cultures Some of the issues take place when an informal business traveler from a relatively egalitarian cultures is to discuss business with a colleague from a more formal culture with a strong hierarchical society. The informal buyer will be used to a much more relaxed work atmosphere, where even the low level employees have a relationship with the colleagues of higher status.

Whereas the formal business partner will be used, and expect, a meeting to be performed in a formal and professional way. In the formal culture there are also different levels of respect for people, depending on their social status and age, as age is seen as a sign experience and knowledge, and Gesteland even told us that in the formal cultures, it is not uncommon for businessmen to colour their hair white, at a premature age, as to express more experience, and hence earn more respect.

Expressive vs. Reserved Cultures These cultural differences deal

with how the respective cultures communicate. Expressive people communicate in radically different ways from their more reserved counterparts. This is true whether they are communicating verbally, paraverbally or nonverbally. The confusion that results from these differences repeatedly spoils our best efforts to market, sell, source, negotiate or manage people across cultures. Why? Because of course business communication is simply a specialized form of communicating.

And the expressive/reserved split creates a communication gap that can be difficult to close. Also the way you approach the potential business partner, as there are different strokes for different folks. The expressive cultures will be quite direct in their approach, and express themselves directly and verbally. They will directly say what they mean, without sugarcoating the message, so that the subject cannot be misinterpreted or misunderstood. The clear message is very important here.

On the other hand the reserved ultures will express themselves non-verbally and try to get their message across through gesture and body language, and will most likely not express directly what they think to you, and will keep you guessing, if you do not know what signs and gestures to be looking for. The problems between these cultures occur, when the oppositions misunderstand each others intentions. The expressive guest may misinterpret his counterpart's message, and the reserved counterpart just might feel like he is being rushed by his expressive opposition, when he insist on a straight answer.

Gesteland may special use of Japan an India as examples of reserved cultures, and told an anecdote from his time spent in India, where he could not get a straight answer out of his Indian business connection, as to whether or not he

had the supplies ready, as he did not want either partner to lose face, which is a very serious thing in the reserved cultures. He went on to tell the audience how he knew he had to ask around the question, without actually asking directly. He knew this because he had done his homework on the culture in question.

Perception of Time There are two groups of people in the world of business. Those who worship their schedule and are very strict about being on time, and sees being late as rude. The other is far more relaxed about the idea of time, and do not consider being late as important, and react differently to this. Conflict arises because some rigid-time visitors regard their fluid-time brothers and sisters as lazy, undisciplined and rude while the latter often regard the former as arrogant martinets enslaved by arbitrary deadlines.

My opinion is one of a very positive nature. I found the lecture informative, relevant and overall a positive experience. He talked from his own experiences and it never got dull or uninteresting, as he continued to keep the ball rolling, and kept the audience constantly interested. It was all information that applied to the students of the local Business College, and I feel that it was an all-in-all memorable experience for his entire audience, and someone that should come highly recommended.

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