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Doing Business in India For Dummies® by Ranjini Manian

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Using Real Life Anecdotes

Indians master tasks extremely well through the telling of illustrative stories. When training your Indian team, use stories to get your points across. Those points then stick in the minds of your employees, and they’ll apply them in real work situations.

Traditionally, Indians all over the country read books called the Puranas, or Epic Tales. These stories feature heroes that have flaws and are as imperfect as the readers who embrace them. Throughout the course of the stories, the heroes learn, grow, and find ways to do things better.

When I train Indian employees about the importance of effective cross-cultural communication, I tell them about my experience trying to confirm an airline reservation in the United States. The airline employee needed the exact spelling of my name, so I spelled it out using words that started with the letters in my last name. I said, “M like monkey, A like Ahmedabad, N like Nagpur, I like ink, A like Ahmedabad, and N like Nagpur.” Needless to say, the American who helped me was bamboozled! He said, “Lady, I was less confused before you started to spell that name!”

Using that story immediately earns me the attention of the employees I’m training, and as a result, they’re much more receptive to mastering the international spelling code (A as in alpha, B as in bravo, and so on). You can achieve the same result if you take advantage ...

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