Thursday, May 10, 2007

Moroccan Business Communication 101

I got this information from Yudabong. The University of Iowa's Business Communication Program website keeps an international communication etiquette resource that provides how-to information for meeting people from different nationalities. Read Yudabong's blog entry about communication etiquettes with Singaporeans here.

Working in the MENA region, I am interested to know what are some of the common etiquettes which I may not be aware of. I was able to find something for Morocco but not Algeria or Lebanon. Here are the some of the ones on Morocco I found interesting:

When Moroccans greet each other they take their time and converse about their families, friends, and other general topics.
Yeah, I'm familiar with that. I usually get asked how was my flight 32 times everyday after my arrival to Morocco.

Who you know is more important than what you know, so it is important to network and cultivate a number of contacts who may then assist you in working your way through the serpentine bureaucracy.
Right on! Things never get done if you follow the rules.

Once a relationship has developed, it is common to kiss on both cheeks, starting with the left cheek while shaking hands, men with men and women with women.
Everyone seems to be kissing everyone, I'm confused.

In business it is extremely important to verify anything that has been agreed to in front of others as it may not have been a sincere agreement and the person may have no intention of following through.
Very true! They promise the sky but upon the deadline, they look the other way.

Since Moroccans judge people on appearances, dress and present yourself well.
Dress to kill!!! *Roarrrrrr*

Moroccans prefer to do business with those they know and respect, therefore expect to spend time making a personal relationship before business is conducted.
Whew, I wonder when this meeting will ever end?

It is best to avoid scheduling meetings during Ramadan since Muslims cannot eat or drink during the day.
Better yet, avoid scheduling work.

Companies are hierarchical. The highest ranking person makes decisions, but only after obtaining a group agreement.
False. With or without group agreement. As point 2 is true, most of the group don't know anything or say anything, the decision gets passed by the highest ranking person either way.

Eat and drink only with the right hand.
Right for input function, left for output function. Makes perfect sense.

Expect to be urged to take more food off the communal plate. Providing an abundance of food is a sign of hospitality.
Ordering food in excess amount is a sign of opulence.

Everything else can be found here

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