Understand a Cultures Customs Before Gift Giving

Gift giving has been around probably as long as the human race itself; although the ritual has been traced back to the Romans who would give each other a token meant to wish the recipient good luck in the New Year. This token was known as a strenae. According to tradition the strenae was originally merely branches plucked from the grove of the goddess Strenia who was the Roman goddess of strength and endurance. From these meager beginnings the art of gift giving has evolved and changed depending on cultures traditions, customs and religious beliefs in countries throughout the world.Giving gifts is now surprisingly complex yet an important part of the human interaction and helps to define relationships and strengthen bonds on a small scale with family and friends as well strengthen or repair relationship and bonds on a major scale as those between countries. Gift giving is an art and as with any art it is meant to evoke delectation in its recipient as well as the person giving it.When giving business gifts, the gift should reflect your thoughtfulness, good taste, attention to detail and most importantly show an understanding of the recipient’s customs, beliefs and traditions. Rules and customs regarding the giving and receiving gifts vary from country to country and cultures within those countries. Whether you are doing business in another country, doing business with a company in another country or doing business with a person with different beliefs than yours, it is important that you have an understanding of the recipient’s customs, tradition, beliefs and company rules before you present a gift to them. To give an idea on how simple gifts given with the most thoughtful intentions will be perceived by other cultures.
If you wish to give a gift to a Chinese client, it would be considered poor taste to give them a clock as a gift. It would also be considered to be in poor taste to give an individual gift, instead a group gift should be given.
A gift of Lobster which is a very popular gift in the States during the holidays is viewed as a distasteful gift for people of the Jewish faith.
Giving a gift such a football (made of pigskin) or alcohol to people of the Muslim faith is also considered also to be a distasteful gift and against their religious beliefs.
To give a gift to the wife of an Arab colleague or client is considered to be in very poor taste.
When doing business in Singapore bear in mind that businessmen there are not allowed to accept gifts.
Countries such as Malaysian consider gifts given before a firm relationship is established to be a bribe.
In India you would not give a gift made of leather or any beef product because the cow is a sacred being to them.
Countries such as Japan, Indonesia and Philippines the exchanging of gifts is expected and has been part of their culture’s traditions for centuries and is a sign of respect. The way a gift is presented to the recipient is as important is as important if not more so than the gift itself. When presenting a gift, to a Japanese associate or clients, whether shipping the gift or giving it in person, it is important to never allow it to arrive unannounced, make sure that the recipient is aware of its impending arrival. If giving the gift in person, it should be given at the end of your visit so that it can be opened later once you have gone.
When presenting a gift in person in Japan or Hong Kong, it is important that that you do so using both hands.
In the Middle East you would present the gift using the right hand.
In Singapore when presenting a gift to a client it is tradition for the recipient of the gift must turn down the gift three times before accepting it. It is important to make sure you offer the gift three more times to ensure that the gift is accepted.
It is usually in poor taste to give a gift that displays a company’s logo on it. Clients in Spain, Portugal and Greece would not view this as a gift but a blatant form of advertising and find it offensive.
Gift giving has always had a central place in business practices, helping to build and strengthen the bonds between businesses. When considering the giving of a gift to a client or person it is important that you do some research to find out what would be appropriate gift for the recipient. This research is useful to prevent offending the intended recipient customs or religious beliefs, but also may help you to find out more about the person such as special dietary restrictions, for an example sending a person who is diabetic a gift basket filled with chocolates and candies looses the impact that was intended. One should never underestimate the impact that a gift can have on a relationship whether business or personal. Knowledge of the recipient will assist you in the selection of a gift that has a more personal touch creating a greater impact. Here are a few general gift giving etiquette tips that may help prevent awkward or embarrassing gift giving situations.
When giving gifts to people of a different culture, do some research to find out about the recipients culture, traditions and beliefs and use this information to create a more personalized gift.
When giving business gifts give gifts that reflect you as well as your company’s image.
Never give gifts that display your company’s logo (Items with a logo tend to be viewed as an advertisement not a gift).
Prior to giving a business gift check with the recipient’s company to find if they have a policy on their employee’s accepting gift and if there is an expense cap.
Have an understanding of the recipient’s culture, customs and beliefs about receiving gifts and the proper way to give them that respects their traditions and culture.
When choosing gourmet products for business gift-giving, such as gift baskets, know the contents of the gift to make sure none of the items will offend the recipient’s religious beliefs or customs.
For maximizing the impact that a gift has, personalize it by factoring in the recipients outside interest, customs and personal likes. Use your imagination and make the gift stand out (in a good way).
With any gift you give the gift should reflect the value you place on the relationship whether business or personal. The more important the person is to you the more attention that should be put into the gift you give them.
Remember that the note attached to the gift has as much if not more importance than the gift itself. Whenever possible handwrite the note and always make it personal and heartfelt
One thing to take away from this is that a person should never under estimate the impact that even the smallest of gift can have on a relationship whether business or personal and one should have an understanding of the person or company’s customs, culture, traditions and religious beliefs before giving a gift. Gift giving is a wonderful thing and if done properly will allow a business relationship to blossom grow and flourish, yet if done improperly can cause a relationship grind to a screeching halt or destroy it completely.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Comments Off

How Outdated Phone Systems Are Killing Businesses

Thriving in today’s economic climate requires unified communicationsYep, those old traditional landlines are on their way out. In 2017, almost 90% of phone numbers were connected to mobile devices or internet-enabled phones. And some experts have predicted 2020 is the year that landlines finally become obsolete. (To be honest, they probably won’t disappear that fast. After all, there are still people out there using analog modems, believe it or not.)Yet still, even with landlines falling out of favor, many businesses rely on traditional private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems for day-to-day operations.Their trust in these systems makes sense: landlines aren’t susceptible to remote hacking (though analog lines can still be hacked locally through good old wiretapping), they usually still work when you’ve lost power, and they’re based on-premise, which gives the owner total control. Owners love total control over anything that impacts their business, especially things that affect the bottom line.But the world of work is changing rapidly, and for any business to succeed in this moment, they need a better alternative – unified communications.How old phone systems hurt businessesOlder PBX phone systems in today’s business environment have some pretty serious limitations. Some of those are business-impacting and result in:

Poor customer service: Leaving a voicemail and waiting for a response is so ’90s! In fact, most consumers expect to communicate with businesses online, be it online ordering, email, text, or live chat. If the only way to reach your business is by phone, you’re likely missing out on a major opportunity to handle service problems quickly, retain customers, and boost your reputation.

Internal miscommunication: Old phone systems can be frustrating for office employees to use. Imagine leaving a voicemail about an urgent issue for your boss and not receiving a response for hours or days. Relying on outdated technology makes employees feel less productive, which can spiral into other issues.

According to a 2018 Unisys Corporation study, these frustrated employees are 450% more likely to quit than employees at companies with better tech solutions. Though this study sounds pretty far-fetched, and it is quite possible that the presence of outdated technology is an indication of a bigger problem with the business. Nevertheless, this questionable study supports the narrative that old technology can cause serious problems within a company. Thus, it is worth mentioning. Clearly, updating your system and improving communication for everyone beats recruiting and training new employees.

Less versatility: As many companies have made the switch to remote work, they’ve found landline phone systems to be far less versatile than VoIP-based PBX systems. Landline systems are tied to a specific geographic location and connect to the company’s separate phone network through phone hardware (e.g., phone cables, phone wall ports, etc.). Thus, they can’t be easily integrated with computer software applications, SMS and MMS messaging, video calling, chat apps, and other cool features required to make remote work easy. In contrast, a unified communications system supports all of these tools, making it super easy to onboard remote employees.

Difficulty diagnosing problems remotely: Diagnosing and fixing problems with traditional PBX systems requires troubleshooting from the IT department (if you have one, that is) or a technician from the phone system provider. The process involves testing connections, assessing internal and external parts, and likely fumbling with equipment on your building’s exterior. This means scheduling a day and time for the repair, and in the meantime, your system remains down, causing you lost revenue.
On the other hand, to address problems with cloud-based systems, you have access to round-the-clock tech support that can tap into your system and get things back up and running quickly. No appointment required.

Hard to grow: When your business grows, it’s quite difficult to scale your old phone system up. Usually, with every batch of new users, you will have to add a bunch of new hardware. This hardware is usually proprietary, costly, and likely has to be installed by a skilled technician. Web-based phone systems are much easier to expand.

Why your business needs unified communicationsAs an alternative to your old phone system, it’s time to embrace unified communications. Generally speaking, this is a comprehensive service that enables all employees in your company to communicate in a way that delivers the best business results. Most unified communications components are based on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which gives you the ability to communicate from any location using the same phone number, extensions, and features.And looking more specifically at a VoIP PBX system’s benefits over an old phone system, there are several advantages. You have the option of using both physical phones and “soft phones”, which are computers or mobile devices that use specialized communications software. VoIP PBX systems also connect to all of your business locations, enable you to respond to messages and requests in a timely manner, and can easily be scaled up or down at any time. In short, a VoIP PBX system moves and grows with the ever-changing needs of your business. Your old phone system limits your options to serve employees and customers, and it ultimately cuts into your profits.Set up your Virtual PBX system todayWork with us to introduce cloud-based phone systems into your day-to-day business operations. Our VoIP PBX system helps you cut costs, connect all your business locations into one communications domain, send free SMS messages from business phones and desktops, and access free 24/7/365 tech support. Contact us today to discuss your needs and explore the best options for your company.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

What’s With The Dog Articles? Don’t You Write About Mathematics and Education?

I am certain this question has been considered more than a few times recently by people who get automatic feeds of my articles–and possibly even by the editors here at EzineArticles. These people all know that I have been writing for over a year in the categories of mathematics, teaching, and education. These topics are near and dear to my heart, and that will always be true. I have not forsaken my initial goals. My goals have just expanded, and there will be many dog articles in the future.Last spring I had the unfortunate experience of having all of my pets die. My 22 1/2-year-old cat died first, then my dog, and, then, in the same month my guinea pig died. It was shocking to lose them all in such a short time. I have been an animal lover all of my life and life without pets was just too lonely. So I started the very slow process of finding the perfect pets to add back into my life.I have been a supporter of animal rescue for 25 years, so I started my search with Colorado cat rescues. As I expected, my experience during the search for a new black cat was positive. I found all cat rescues to be equally interested in meeting/interviewing me as in finding loving homes for their kitties. I found the kitten I wanted and the adoption process was simple and pleasant.Unfortunately, my experience while looking for a new dog was in NO WAY pleasant. This past summer, I received treatment from a dog rescue group that no one should ever have to experience anywhere from anyone. It made me wonder if I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person, or if this type of treatment is typical for dog rescue groups. To answer that question, I turned to the Internet and spent hour upon hour in research.My new dog articles are about what I learned at that time and what I continue to learn as I continue my research. As with my mathematics articles, my goal is public education–this time about issues related to dogs. I found many “issues of concern” that I feel strongly the public should know–especially people who are considering dog adoption and/or donating to a rescue group.I began my Internet search by looking into”complaints” posted about various dog rescue groups. Please understand that I am NOT referring to humane societies or similar shelters. Shelters understand the importance of adopting out dogs into loving homes as soon as possible. My concerns are with rescue groups like puppy mill rescues and specific breed rescues because these groups tend to be too protective of the animals they have rescued–to the point of making adoption difficult. The more I studied about different rescue groups, the more shocked I became at what I found. Not only was I NOT alone in the way I was treated…what had happened to me and the unethical practices I had observed and experienced were far too common across the country.My research led me to many aspects of dog adoption–puppy mills, dog rescue groups, animal shelters, kill versus no kill philosophy, 501(c)(3) and non-profit status, legal requirements, ethics issues, financial issues, Internet puppy scams, and so on. The first time I found myself saying, “the public doesn’t know about this,” I knew I had a new mission–a new set of goals related to animal welfare.Just FYI, this first realization came with my research into the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals. I know that the majority of Americans believe that these two large organizations are umbrella groups that are directly connected to our local shelters, and that these large groups help fund the local shelters. Unfortunately, this idea is so WRONG! Our local shelters receive zero, none, nada, NO financial support from these big name groups as we have always been led to believe.My research into these dog-related areas is ongoing and leads me deeper into surprisingly complex, intertwining issues. I find myself frequently thinking, “the public doesn’t know this.” So my initial goal became one of public education about misunderstood facts.My second goal became to caution the public about financial issues. I witnessed behaviors that were unethical, I was informed by other people of situations where the rescue group failed to give financial information that is required with a non-profit status, and the internet is filled of stories of groups making certain claims that former volunteers verify are untrue. These are not groups worthy of donations.In the very short time span of six months, I have become quite knowledgeable about dog rescue groups, puppy mills, Internet adoption scams, and much more. My math followers know how seriously I take the responsibility to inform with facts. I promise to bring this same attitude to this new category. I will never mislead you. I will always verify my information. If I state an opinion, I will present both sides of the issue. Only an informed public can make informed decisions.Even if dog adoption or donation has not been in your mind, I urge you to follow along with my articles and my website. There are many political issues coming soon that will impact the Internet sale of animals, and other issues that will change our society to a NO KILL NATION. In addition, there is a confrontation coming between animal welfare groups and animal rights groups. The next few years should be very interesting!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off