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Speaking of India: Bridging the Communication Gap When Working with Indians: Bridging the Communication Gap When Working with Indians

Book Description

Westerners and Indians are working more closely together and in greater numbers than ever before. The opportunities are vast, and so is the cultural divide. Misunderstanding, misinterpretation, missed deadlines and frustration due to cultural differences raise havoc on success. Any Westerner conducting business with Indians, and any Indian trying to figure out the West, will recognize the challenge. With more than a dozen years of experience working between two cultures, Craig Storti has trained thousands of employees, interviewed hundreds of managers and has identified key cultural flashpoints. The result is a powerful series of Best Practices. From the difference between the way Indians and Westerners use “yes” and “no” to the secrets of a successful conference call, to the changing status of women in the Indian workplace to the do’s and don’ts of daily interaction, this essential guide helps us realize the ambitious dreams of working together once we understand each other!

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction: “The Worm Has Turned”
    1. Offshore Is in Your Future
    2. Not Just IT
    3. The Cultural Component
  9. CHAPTER 1 Indians, Westerners, and the Cultural Lens
    1. Which Westerners?
    2. Which Indians?
      1. Two Types of Indians
    3. The Culture Thing
    4. We Are All Ethnocentrics
    5. But We Get Cultural Training
    6. It’s Not Always Culture
    7. The Public and Private Sectors
    8. Fooled by Appearances
    9. Indians from a Western Perspective
    10. A Focus on the Workplace
  10. CHAPTER 2 Communication East and Communication West
    1. Communication East: For the Good of the Group
      1. The Extended Family
      2. Preserving Harmony and Saving Face
      3. Impact on Communication Style
      4. What Is Not Said
      5. Implying and Suggesting
      6. Young Indians
    2. Communication West: Standing on Your Own Two Feet
      1. Individualists
      2. Impact on Communication Style
  11. CHAPTER 3 Yes, No, and Other Problems
    1. The Indian “Yes”
      1. The Indian “Yes” Head Gesture
    2. The Indian “No”
      1. The Absence of “Yes”
    3. Unintended Consequences
      1. The “No-Response” Response
      2. Avoiding the Question or Changing the Subject
      3. The Postponed Answer
      4. Repeating the Question
      5. Turning the Question on the Speaker
      6. Hesitation
      7. The Qualified or Conditional “Yes”
      8. Combined Forms
    4. Bad News
      1. Behind Schedule
      2. That’s Not Possible
      3. Asking for Help
    5. Negative Feedback
      1. No Response
      2. The Repeated Question
      3. A Very Loud Silence
      4. Suggesting an Alternative
      5. Asking Your Opinion
      6. Damning with Faint Praise
    6. When Westerners Talk Like Indians
    7. Advice for Westerners
    8. Who Adjusts to Whom?
      1. Coaching Indians
      2. Getting the Bad News Sooner
      3. The Indian Culture Broker
      4. Five Behavior Changes for Westerners
      5. Seek Out One-on-One Conversations
      6. Get to Know the Indians You Work With
    9. Rude Westerners?
    10. Advice for Indians
    11. Best Practices: Communication Style
  12. CHAPTER 4 Management East and Management West
    1. Management East
      1. The Boss Is the Boss (High Power Distance)
      2. Superiors and Subordinates
      3. Face
    2. Management West
      1. First Among Equals (Low Power Distance)
  13. CHAPTER 5 The Deference Syndrome
    1. The Empowerment Problem
      1. Going Through the Boss
      2. Respecting the Chain of Command
      3. Advice for Westerners
    2. Following Instructions—to a Fault
      1. Incomplete Instructions
      2. Bad Instructions
      3. When Indians Have a Better Idea
      4. Advice for Westerners
    3. Taking Initiative, Indian-Style
    4. When Indians Don’t Understand You
      1. Advice for Westerners
    5. Subordinates at Meetings
      1. Indians Won’t Correct the Boss
      2. Subordinates, Not Equals
    6. Subordinates in Training Sessions
    7. Praise the Team
    8. Sir and Madam: Indian Formality
    9. Ingratiating Behavior
    10. Young Indian Managers
    11. Advice for Indians
      1. General Advice
    12. Best Practices: Management Style
  14. CHAPTER 6 Talking Points: The Language Problem
    1. Fast Talkers
    2. Indian Accents
    3. Indian English
    4. Indians Are Caught Off Guard
    5. Don’t Interrupt Me
    6. Advice for Westerners
    7. Meanwhile, Watch Your Own Speech
      1. Remember: Indians Won’t Ask You What You Mean
    8. Advice for Indians
    9. Best Practices: Talking Points
  15. CHAPTER 7 Meetings and Conference Calls
    1. Meetings
      1. So Why Meet?
      2. How Indians Conduct Meetings
      3. The Role of Subordinates
    2. Conference Calls
    3. Advice for Westerners
      1. Before the Meeting
      2. During the Meeting
      3. After the Meeting
    4. Advice for Indians
    5. Best Practices: Meetings and Conference Calls
  16. CHAPTER 8 Women and Men
    1. Traditional Gender Differences
    2. Gender in the Indian Workplace
      1. Female Managers
    3. Indian Women and Westerners
    4. Western Women and Indian Men
    5. Young Urban Indians
  17. CHAPTER 9 Working with Indians on Virtual Teams
    1. A Matter of Trust
      1. We Know the Person from Extensive Interaction
      2. The Person Is Technically Competent
      3. The Person Is Reliable: They Follow Through and Do What They Say They Are Going to Do
      4. The Person Gives You Honest Feedback (Including Correcting You When You’re Mistaken)
      5. The Person Admits Mistakes
      6. The Person Admits When She Doesn’t Know or Understand Something/The Person Is Not Afraid or Too Proud to Ask for Help
    2. The Timeliness Factor
    3. Learn the Hierarchy
  18. CHAPTER 10 Business and Social Etiquette
    1. Caste in India
  19. Epilogue
    1. Don’t Forget the Good News
    2. How Long Does It Take?
  20. Bibliography
  21. About the Author
  22. Index
  23. Footnotes
    1. Fn1