India-Nonverbals

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United Pharmaceuticals has locations in the United States, China and India. Our supervisor has assigned us to create a handout to help new employees prepare for communicating with the employees in these countries. The information covered in this presentation will include cultural differences in India. Specific topics include: appropriate verbal greetings; appropriate nonverbal greetings; social topics to avoid; specific words that should be avoided, that are regularly used in our culture; and nonverbal communications that can affect your message.

When addressing an Indian counterpart, it is their custom to use titles. A person’s title signifies their status and is then followed by their surname. Address your Indian colleagues by using Mr., Mrs., Professor, Doctor, et cetera. Another common spoken greeting or salutation is The Namaste which is accompanied by a slight bow.

The Namaste is also then an appropriate nonverbal agreement. A person conducts a slight bow with their palms together, fingers pointed upward toward the chin in front of the chest. The Namaste can be preformed wordlessly and will have the same meaning. A short, light handshake is an acceptable start to a business meeting as well; however, it is the Indian custom never to touch someone with the left hand.

Discussing Religion is unacceptable when doing business in India. Religion is a very sensitive subject and is considered extremely personal information, there for rude to discuss. Other social topics that should not be discussed while in India include: homosexuality; relationships; single parenthood; and public displays of affection.

Words that are used regularly in our culture that are and should be avoided are “Thank You” and “No.” The Indian culture does not like to express “no.” They see it as rude not to try to give a person what they are asking for. Instead of saying “no” they would give an affirmative answer. Saying “Thank You” is considered a form of payment, therefore it is...
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