Thailand Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Welcome to Thailand

Welcome to Thailand

This week most of our BNI directors from around the world are traveling to Bangkok to attend the BNI Global Convention. Welcome to Thailand. To those BNI directors and members attending, I am looking forward to meeting you. Therefore, if you have never been to Thailand, here are some tips from Kollakit Thalerngnawachart, the National Director of BNI Thailand that will make your trip to Bangkok more enjoyable!

Thailand is honored and proud to welcome all of our BNI Directors and members to the BNI Global Convention in Bangkok. Thailand has everything to offer for a pleasant trip to this land of smiles.

The “Wai”

or pressing your palms together at chest or nose level and bowing your head slightly, is a gesture that you will encounter almost immediately upon arrival in Thailand. It is as common as a handshake. Thai people greet each other with the “Wai”. This salutation is not only used to say “Hello” but can also be used to say “Thank You” or “Apologize” someone.

Temple Manners

Your travels to Thailand would not be complete without visiting a few temples. Most temples require that guests dress conservatively by covering the shoulders and knees and removing shoes before entering sacred places.

Thai Language

The spoken and written Thai language is largely incomprehensible to the casual visitor. However, English is widely understood, particularly in Bangkok where it is almost the major commercial language. Furthermore, English and some other European languages are spoken in most hotels, shops, and restaurants in the major tourist destinations.

Centara at Central World.

Our Convention venue is of world-class standard. It is right in the heart of Bangkok, with first class facilities. Therefore, the area has everything to offer from local restaurants to world-class shopping experience where you will sure to enjoy.

MORE TIPS:  It is also important to know the role that cultural differences play into global networking 

In conclusion, welcome to Thailand, the land of Smiles and to the 2018 BNI Global Convention!

Kollakit Thalerngnawachart | National Director, BNI Thailand

Networking in Thailand, Malaysia, or Japan?–Dos and Don’ts to Note

Understanding cultural differences when doing business and networking around the world is  becoming increasingly important in this global society (click here for an explanation).

On a related note, I posted a blog entry a few weeks ago outlining valuable tips from top networking experts in China and Vietnam which will help people traveling to those countries to position themselves for the most successful outcome when networking and doing business there.  I promised that I would revisit the topic of what to do when preparing to network in Asia by posting another blog specifically offering advice on networking in Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan–today I am following through with that promise.

Thai and Malaysian business networking expert Avryl Au (pictured above) has a number of important recommendations for networking and conducting business in Thailand and Malaysia:

  • When doing business in Thailand, they do not shake hands.  Instead, they put their hands together (palm to palm) and place them just in front of their face, close their mouth, and bow slightly.  It is acceptable for foreigners to do the same.
  • In Malaysia, Au says that the handshake is the official way to greet, but after that you put your right hand on your heart.  Westerners generally have a firm handshake.  However, in Malaysia the handshake is generally softer.  This is not a sign of weakness.  It is simply the cultural norm.  Again, foreigners may do the same.

Asato Ohno (pictured below), one of Japan’s leading experts on networking says, “One big difference between the Japanese culture and Western business culture is an activity the Japanese call ‘nominication,’ which means drinking communication.”  According to Ohno, “In order to build any kind of meaningful business relationship with your associates, you must go out for dinner and drinks.”

While this concept is not foreign in Western business culture, it is something that is much, much more important in Japan.  Ohno says, “People believe they can build deeper relationships with others more quickly by drinking together.  It is almost like having casual one-to-one meetings regularly.  Therefore, it is important for any business person to prepare and to plan for ‘nominication’ sessions in order to be successful.”

Finally, exchanging business cards is an essential part of most cultures.  In most Asian countries, after a person has introduced him or herself and bowed, the business card ceremony begins.  In Japan, this is called meishi The card is presented to the other person with the front side facing upwards toward the recipient.  Offering the card with both hands holding the top corners of the card demonstrates respect to the other person.

The business card is admired much more in Asian culture than it is to us here in Western society.  It is truly an extension of the individual and should always be treated with respect.  Things like tucking it into a pocket after receiving it, writing on it, bending or folding it in any way, or even looking at it again after you have first accepted it and looked at it are not considered polite and can insult your fellow Asian networker.

So, with that last recommendation, I think I’ll grab some business cards, set a reservation at a local restaurant, contact some business associates, and start a little nominication of my own. Cheers.

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