To end a recent session on US cross-culture training for virtual teams, we discussed differences between the US and Indian work cultures. Below are some of the differences the participants noted between the cultures:
American culture and Indian cultures are different when it comes to:
- Time management. Americans prefer things in a linear way.
- Personal & Professional Small Talk - acceptable topics of discussion are different in professional settings in the US and in India.
- Starting "on time" (For a 9 o'clock meeting, 9:15 is too late to start with Americans, but starting as late as 9:30 is more acceptable for Indians.)
- Showing their feelings at work. Americans are better at hiding their feelings at work. Indians will show their feelings on their face.
- Asking for reasons. "Why you" questions should be avoided with Americans.
- Gestures and expressions. Some that are acceptable in India may be offensive in the US., and some that are acceptable in the U.S. may be offensive in India.
- Quality control. Lack of quality is a serious flaw in the U.S., where as in India it's seen in a more lenient light
- Being on time. Americans are strict and give more value to punctuality.
- Asking questions. Americans prefer people to ask questions. Indians may find asking questions rude.
Jennifer Kumar is the Managing Director and facilitator for US cross-cultural trainings that have been attended by over 2,000 professionals in India. Learn more about the US cross-cultural training for virtual teams or contact us for for training options for your dispersed and offshore teams today.
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