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Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Guide to Building Trust, Inspiring Respect, and Creating Long-Lasting Business Relationships by Sharon Schweitzer, Bob Waisfisz, Liz Alexander

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Chapter 15Summary

John Lennon once said: “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” That couldn't be more true with respect to the experience we've had writing this book.

What began as an idea to capture Sharon's insights and experience about global etiquette gradually transformed into a deeper look at the differences between business relationships in Asia and the West. Rather than rely on a single expert voice, we broadened our scope in order to collaborate with over 100 professionals and executives who so generously shared their in-the-trenches experience. Certainly we recognize that their stories are personal anecdotes, and are therefore subjective; however, this book is not a scientific treatise and was never meant to be the final word on the topic of intercultural exchanges. Instead, we hope the insights in this book give you a sense of the nuances found among diverse cultures, a desire to embrace new concepts, and the curiosity to learn more.

In developing what we hoped would be an essential guide to building trust, inspiring respect and creating long-lasting business relationships in Asia, we've learned a few things ourselves. After all, didn't the Roman philosopher Seneca say, “While we teach, we learn”? And, in that respect, we'd like to leave you with three of the most surprising findings we gained from speaking with our Asian and Western interviewees. These were glimpses into the natures of these cultures that might not have surfaced if we'd ...

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