|Shake hands or kiss?|
Should you hug and kiss people when you meet them in business?
For instance, in Russia it’s quite common to kiss your business colleagues on the mouth. This is demonstrated famously by some legendary photographs of Gorbachev.
Of course, the French kiss three times when they meet and very often replicate this practice in business.
I’m reliably informed by Oana Baetica, Stone Junction’s resident Romanian, that in her country of origin men don’t shake hands with women. Doing so would be a failure to acknowledge the woman in question as a lady. Furthermore, although women have now started to shake hands in the higher echelons of Romanian business culture, the country’s attitude to kissing is much like the English one.
But what is the English one?
I recently attended a meeting with some journalists, one of whom I had met many times before over the course of more than twelve years and hold in very high regard. I shook hands with everyone else but when I went to shake hands with the editor in question I discovered that our relationship had evolved into a hug and light kiss on the cheek.
So when does that happen? Do you have to have known someone for a long time? Do you have to have to have not seen them for a while and known them for a long time? And what do you do in other cultures? Do you retain your Englishness, Russianness, Frenchness or Romanianness and kiss accordingly? Or do you adopt the style of the country you are in – doing in Rome as the Romans do?
And what do the Roman’s do anyway?
Let us know your thoughts.
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