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Quiz: Ice breaking strategies

Everyone needs a few tricks for breaking the ice with new people, a way to start a conversation and make everyone feel included. Try our quiz and see how much you know about tried and tested strategies:
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Knigge International

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Business international: USA
Internationale Geschäfte: USA

German virtue: punctuality

Despite the apparent distaste for formality, punctuality is very important and lateness is generally not tolerated. Everyone has heard the saying: "Time is money": it is certainly the mantra by which many Americans live.

Chit chat is not usually appreciated in a meeting after the usual greetings: it is normal to "get down to business" within 5 minutes or so, something that would make many other English-speakers feel most uneasy.

Negotiations to the point

In a negotiation, facts are important; "wasting time" is not appreciated; avoiding issues or not knowing the answers are not viewed forgivingly; "straight talking" and "getting to the point" are valued.

America-centred arrogance?

Americans tend to have a very "Americacentred" view of the world. It is worth remembering, however, that most Americans have never left the USA and do not even possess a passport (Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential nominee for the Republican party, applied for her first passport in 2007 after becoming Governor of Alaska) so exposure to different ways of doing things is often limited.

In general, Americans will be open to questions and keen to find out more about you and your culture. They will be happy to tell you how they do business, to talk about politics, or almost any other sensitive subject (apart from intimate ones), but may not be as open to accepting another point of view.

Tip: Introduce subjects you feel deeply about with care and have your facts straight - small talk is best kept light, so asking about a home town is better than asking about political affiliations.

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Erstellt am: 07.10.2008 17:09, Letzte Änderung: 27.07.2021 08:53

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