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Your international guests – “Time” is a cultural point of view!

Time and its use is a cultural concept that can lead to either confusing or excellent guest interactions.

The way people view time and the way they behave based on time varies depending on their ethnic and national values, traditions, and beliefs.

Monochronic Societies:

  • Countries where people do one thing at a time, never miss a deadline, stick to plans, focus narrowly on the job and expect short-term relationships are called monochronic societies.
  • When working with a guest from a monochronic society, expect agendas, schedules and deadlines to be very taken seriously. You may have heard the saying, “time is money.” When a society is focused on the immediacy of business, then time becomes a precious commodity.
  • Since it is harder to establish relationships with a monochronic culture, consider scheduling a greater number of shorter meetings so that rapport can be built. The United States, Canada and Western Europe are all monochronic cultures, often equating working hard and long, with success.

Polychronic Societies:

  • Countries where people do many things at once, may or may not stick to time commitments, easily allow for interruptions, change their plans often and build long-term relationships are called polychronic societies.
  • Developing relationships is important to your guests from polychronic cultures. Spend more time with your guests to establish rapport and get to know individuals. You may want to consider polite conversation before diving right into business so that a comfort level is built. Italy, Latin American countries, the Mediterranean, Eastern Asia, China and Arab countries are all polychronic societies. Use this knowledge when meeting new guests or establishing business relationships.
  • The Japanese maintain a polychronic society yet demonstrate great flexibility when dealing with Western cultures and are famous for using monochronic behavior during business encounters. Their social and family interactions are more relaxed.

Time and its use is a cultural concept that can lead to either confusing or excellent guest interactions. Your guest will either be dominated by schedules and efficiency or he/she will be more relaxed about promptness and deadlines.

Do your research prior to your global visitor’s arrival. Then greet your international visitor as a knowledgeable representative of your brand! This is how excellent relationships develop and of course, this is the very heart of hospitality.

Excerpts of blog or article may have been taken from the book: Hospitality Management – People Skills & Manners on and off the Job. Copyright © 2015 Lyn Pont, Ph.D.

“Pont’s book is a must-read for anyone considering a career in hospitality.”

 — Isadore Sharp, chairman and founder, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

See the book at: www.HospitalityManners.com

Visit Lyn at:  www.MannersForBusiness.com

Lyn Pont, Ph.D. – World’s Top 30 Hospitality Professionals, Global Gurus

#hospitality #international #etiquette #tourism #hotels #guests #time #culture

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