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Business Meetings in Cambodia

Business Meetings
. Meetings do not stick to any schedule or agenda.
. Issues may be tackled separately and altogether if need be - once an issue has seemingly been resolved it may later be addressed again.
. Meetings will continue until the attendees feel everything has been satisfactorily covered.
. Building a relationship on mutual trust is crucial so initially time should be invested in getting to know your counterparts.
. Small talk should always be employed at the beginning of meetings.
. Cambodians are very indirect communicators so some reading between the lines is a necessary skill.
. They will always consider the implications of making statements or using particular words especially if it involves anything negative as this draws in the issue of face.
. In fact if Cambodians disagree with someone they would rather remain silent than make any comment.
. If they disagree with an idea, they generally remain silent.
. If unsure about statements be sure to double check.
. Cambodians prefer ideas to be brought forward in a gentle way and to wait for others to respond.
. Pushy, pressured or boastful communication styles are a real turn-off.
. Punctuality is important. Arriving late shows a lack of respect for the person with whom you are meeting.
. Non-verbal behaviour is just as important to be aware of.
. For example, smiling in Cambodia is situational and can have many meanings; it may mean a person does not understand what has been said, they are nervous or even irritated.
. Showing emotions is considered a negative behaviour. Anger, impatience or frustration should be hidden as it would lead to a loss of face.
. overtly is not part of the culture and is considered a sign of weakness as well as poor manners.
. Modesty and humility are emphasized in the culture, so compliments and praise are generally responded to by a deprecating comment.
. It is a good idea not to speak with bravado, which may be interpreted as boasting.
Avoid prolonged eye contact.
. Be sure to speak clearly, slowly and to avoid use of slang, adages and colloquial sayings.

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