Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands, 2d ed –by Terri Morrison and Wayne A. Conaway


595 pages
4 stars

This book is geared to the person who does business internationally. I am retired. I do not travel internationally. So, of course, I bought a copy and read it cover to cover. And found it totally fascinating!

More than 60 countries are listed alphabetically, and the information for each country is given in the same format, so it's easy to go from one to the other and not feel you're trying to compare apples to rutabagas.

Two small nits to pick – they changed fonts for the Cultural Notes, etc., and chose a narrower font, and lighter ink which made it very difficult for old eyes to read. The second nit concerns the silhouette of the country at the beginning of each section. While it's true that Americans (of which I am one) are not as good at geography as we should be, and which is called out in this book, it would have been helpful had they added necessary lines radiating from the silhouette a half inch or so and called out the countries next to it.  OK, a third nit. I would have loved to have read about a few African countries, such as Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, &c. They did give us Egypt and South Africa, but there are so many more countries there.

It would be almost impossible to produce a book of this magnitude without some glitches, which have been called out in other reviews. Personally, even with the glitches, I think the authors are to be commended for a job well done.

If you are a businessperson who does business with people not of your country, whether you host them, or are the hosted, I think this book would be an invaluable book for your office. Unthinking things we do in our native countries can have consequences in another country, even one that is similar, culturally, to ours.

This book shows us that one man's cup of tea may very well be a business's cup of poison.

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