Saturday, February 16, 2008

Leave my Phone and Blackberry at Home?

An American diplomat told me that we Americans could do much more business around the world if we’d learn to leave our watches and blackberrys at home. Hard to imagine isn’t it? But why such an odd suggestion? Because he told me, most of the world does not live by the clock. Focus on time and schedule interferes with getting to know people and connections with people are the key to doing business. One man’s opinion?

Not exactly. A few weeks later a trade commissioner from Spain suggested that I tell all Americans to forego checking their watches and just relax a bit - take the time to have a lunch that's more than a sandwich. Talk about something other than business. Get to know the people you’re with. No watches, no e-mail, just conversation, building a connection. Regardless of location people prefer to do business with people they know, people they like. In some places establishing the relationships requires more time than in others. Sometime you have to forget the schedule, lose the watch, the blackberry. Take the time. Get to know people. Increase the opportunities for business to develop.

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