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Tips on working with clients from different cultures

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Making eye contact with your clients is a good thing -- right? Not necessarily. As the U.S. continues to attract more global customers, it's important to know when to look your client in the eye and when to look the other way. American culture places a high value on looking people in the eye, provided you were born prior to 1965. Individuals who fail to look you in the eye can't be trusted. On the other hand, Gen X (born 1965-1976), due to high computer use and a reliance on text messaging, almost never looks other individuals in the eye. In fact, the next time you see three or more members of Gen X together notice how they fail to make eye contact with each other. What you will probably observe is that even though they are having a conversation, they are also tracking other conversations on their cell phone. Gen Yers face a similar challenge due to their reliance on text messaging. Even though they are highly collaborative (as opposed to Gen X who want to do it their way),...