Working and dealing with the Thais

Module 1: Understanding cultural differences

1. Intercultural awareness, the key to success in international business

  • Taking stock of one's own cultural baggage
  • The basics of effective intercultural management
  • Identifying and going beyond cultural stereotypes

2. Key aspects of Thai culture

  • A wealth of resources concentrated on a peninsula in Indochina
  • A young, rural population on the threshold of major change
  • The key features of Thai identity: the monarchy, Buddhism and a national spirit
  • A historical and cultural heritage dating back centuries
  • A slow and chaotic transition to democracy
  • A country at the heart of the global trading system

3. The impact of values and behaviour patterns on professional dealings and relationships

  • An Asian culture
  • The cycle of time
  • Saving face and keeping up appearances
  • A respect for age and for foreigners
  • Superstition as an essential aspect of Thai culture

4. The Thai corporate world

  • The Sino-Thais: the kings of local business
  • Working methods and the notion of quality: Thai pragmatism
  • The central role played by business and commerce in Thailand
  • The role of the state and the authorities in Thai economic life

Module 2: Succeeding in work with the Thais

1. Effective communication with Thai counterparts

  • The circulation of information: a culture based on implicit communication
  • Networking in Thailand: building up your circle of contacts
  • The basics of effective communication: formality and moderation
  • The working language, the role of the interpreter: ensuring that you are properly understood

2. Adapting your working methods

  • Identifying cultural traits and customs
  • Understanding organizational structures, procedures and decision-making processes
  • Anticipating possible obstacles
  • Project management, the team spirit, a sense of service
  • Pitfalls to be avoided

3. Successful meetings and negotiations with the Thais

  • Understanding Thai negotiation strategies and methods
  • Identifying decision-makers and power chains and negotiation styles
  • Written contracts, their interpretation and implications
  • Understanding written contracts, their interpretation and implications
  • Organizing the post-negotiation phase

4. Final handy tips

  • Caution, patience and humility
  • Protocol and etiquette
  • Social standards, gifts, business cards, dress code, etc
  • Sensitive subjects: politics, history, religion
  • Humour: a double-edged sword

Working and dealing with the Thais

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