Laos Business and Workplace Culture. Laotian information on acceptable business etiquette, dress, business cards, gifts, Business Meetings, and Negotiations, etc. – Lao culture operates on comparatively relaxed views of the time. Remain patient and sensitive to a timely and thorough discussion. – Lao people should be addressed by their first names, preceded by the title, “Mr.” or “Madame.” If occupying a position of respect use “Than” ( pronounced “tan”). – Although a handshake can be used, accompanying the Sabaideebor is often the “nop” or “wai”. This is performed with two hands clasped together in prayer in front of your body and a slight bow or nod (the higher the hands are held the greater degree of respect; for social equals, place hands in front of the mouth). – Always distribute and receive business cards with both hands as a sign of respect. Additionally, it is courteous to inspect cards upon being received. -If a business negotiation contains multiple members, maintain awareness of the group’s social hierarchy. Undermining this can be a source of conflict. – Lao people view negotiations as important social occasions to a business relationship. Initially concentrate on being accepted and credible. – Maintain attention to nonverbal cues and body language. Laotians utilize many types of smiles to indicate pleasure, embarrassment, or even frustration.
Laos Business and Workplace Etiquette
Laos Business and Workplace Etiquette. Laos Business Attire – The Lao culture is less formal in a business dress but accepting of conventional western choice. -For Men: lightweight suit, shirt, and tie are worn For Women: long skirt and a blouse or sleeveless top. Conservative dress is always safe. Behavior -Public body contact, especially between men and women, should be avoided. – In Lao culture, smoking is acceptable for men but not women as it is associated with promiscuity. -For Lao, the head is the most sacred part of the body and the feet the lowliest. Be conscious of how your actions may be perceived. For example, do not cross your legs with the feet pointing toward your counterpart. – Avoid pointing. Instead, use the whole palm when signaling.
Laos Business and Gift Giving
Laos Business Gift Giving. Gift Giving Appropriate Gifts: -Green and red wrapping paper is most suitable. Woven designs or other simple handcrafts. Gifts to Avoid: -using the color white as gift wrap; it is considered unlucky. – gifts associated with one’s feet, such as socks.
Laos Business Conversation
Laos Business Communication Conversation – “Saving face” is important in Lao communication. “Yes” does not always mean “yes,” as nonconfrontational tactics are the norm. -Like many Asian societies, the Lao significantly downplay personal achievements and contributions. It is advisable that their Western counterparts also observe this modesty. – In a business setting, an arm’s length of personal space is quite appropriate. -As over 60% of the Lao are Buddhists, remain gentle in interpersonal relations and avoid actions likely to cause discomfort. -Allow small talk before proceeding to business discussion. Topics to Discuss: -the family, Laotian culture, cuisine, Buddhist practices, and principles. Topics to Avoid: -As the Lao people are reserved and polite in conversation, remain conservative in discussing sexuality and politically sensitive issues.
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