This short 10 minute tutorial will shed some light on how to act appropriately in an office seting. This series created and screened within India on Tata Sky satellite television, offers the following tips for setting a good impression at work in India.
Some of the tips from the show include;
Small Talk & Introductions- What to talk about at work in India
- Don't be over enthusiastic
- Give others a chance to interact at the office, don't be a stagehog
- Interact with everyone with respect regardless of caste, creed, physical abiltity
- Praise, but don't flatter
- Office gossip, rumor starter
- Do not ask about marital status, it's impolite
- Avoid talking about politics
- Religion and caste should not be discussed in the office
- Show concern, but don't force others to give pesonal information they are uncomfortable talking about
- Interact equally with men and women
- Complement the opposite gender on work tasks only
- Do not compliment the opposite gender on their looks or clothing
- Address ladies first as Ms., and see if they prefer Mrs. or Miss.
- Keep friendship within limits
- Ladies should avoid playing with their hair, earrings or giggling unwantedly with male colleagues
- Open the door for ladies AND men
- Be aware of your surroundings. If someone looks like they need help, help them.
Jennifer Kumar, the author of this blog is the Managing Director of Authentic Journeys, which provides professional polish training and US culture training. While this tutorial offers many good tips, it did not show many role plays or scenerios where we could see people's reactions to the right and wrong behavior.
On the other hand, this tutorial showcases an attempt to globalize some aspects of work culture. I am specifically talking about the small talk topics. A training on acceptable, avoidable and cautionary small talk topics has been attended by more than 600 people in Kerala, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. In these trainings, we come to learn that based on the city or company, the etiquette does change slightly. For instance, in Kerala, almost all small talk topics, including marital status, children, health problems and others are acceptable to talk about in the office, while in Bangalore, it's often off limits. While we do look at generalizations based on culture, region and office culture, we also highlight the importance paying attention to the person we are talking to- their body language, tone of voice and eye contact. Based on this feedback, we should react accordingly to them. If our conversational partner is uncomfortable, we should appologize and/or change the topic to one they are more comfortable discussing. Small talk is not about us, it's about getting to know the other person in a way they are comfortable opening up.
For teams in India looking for professional polish training for employees working within India and with foreign counterparts, interactive training programs are available on small talk, office etiquette, communication, and more. Browse our programs or get in touch with us today.
Also on Tata Sky - Dos and Don'ts of the Office Dress Code
Workplace etiquette video tutorials