also been shaped by interactions with various other countries. For example, it experienced Japanese occupation from 1895 to 1945 and developed a strong relationship with the USA in the 20th century. Core charachteristics: loyalty, hospitable, respectful, friendly, confucian ethics Greetings/Forms of address A slight bow of the head is usually an accepted form of greeting. Handshakes are also very common among acquaintances and friends. Men typically wait for a woman to extend her hand. Note that the handshake may not be held as firm as is anticipated in countries like Australia. The oldest or most senior person should be greeted or introduced first out of respect. To show respect when greeting an elder, place the right hand over the left fist and raise both hands to the heart. It is common for many Taiwanese to look towards the ground as a sign of respect when greeting another person. ILSC Business School BSBREL502 Assessment V1 0217 1
In general, Taiwanese do not expect foreigners to follow their methods of greeting and may not smile when greeting others. Use formal titles (e.g. Mr, Mrs, Doctor) when greeting someone for the first time. People do not address one another by their first name unless they have been invited to do so or they are familiar with the other person. Process of making an appointment/Formal introductions Rather than introduce oneself, there is a tendency in business meetings to be introduced by a third person, typically the host. If you are a guest, wait for this third-party introduction. Typically, meeting schedules are not rigidly structured in Taiwan. Business cards are generally exchanged after the initial introductions. Use both hands to offer and receive business cards, with the typeface facing the recipient. To demonstrate respect, take time to examine a business card before putting it away. It is typically believed that the way one handles another’s business card is indicative of the value placed on the relationship. Avoid writing on someone’s card whilst in their presence. The Taiwanese have a very calm and considerate approach to business. They gently press their ideas forward and patiently wait for others to respond. If they disagree with an idea, they may remain silent as a way to avoid conflict. Sometimes, there is a set agenda. However, it serves primarily as a guideline for the discussion and a springboard for other related ideas. Completing a meeting to a satisfactory standard is considered more important than keeping time. In turn, a meeting may continue until the discussion is completed regardless of whether it extends well past the scheduled end time. Language Many Taiwanese who live in or near major cities speak Mandarin and Taiwanese. Those who live in rural areas mainly speak Taiwanese. The younger generation are often familiar with American-style English since it has become a compulsory component of the education curriculum. However, it is not as widely spoken amongst the older generations, which is why a translator is highly recommended during business meetings. In recent years, there has been a push to make other languages, such as Hakka and
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- Jennifer Sheldon
- Business, Photovoltaics, Sustainable energy, ILSC Business School