Are you Asia based and working with an Israeli counterpart? 7 things you need to know!

1) Similar to many Asian cultures, Israelis “work relationships” more than they work systems in order to make things happen. So-try to build an informal relationship, and then leverage it. Nothing works better than “I need your help-do me a favour”. In this way, Israel is an Asian society.

2) Nevertheless, the concept of ” face” is almost non existant in Israeli business culture! Israelis attach little meaning to saving their own faces or saving others’ face. This is something you will have to learn with, because it is very hard to change. This is a huge contrast that is hard to grasp. We are a relationship based society, without face saving.

3) When an Israeli argues with you, it is a sign he cares;  he is showing committment via arguing. Listen to what is said more than “how: things are said.”

4) If you want to get an Israeli’s attention, calling him is more effective than emailing him or her.

5) Israelis show emotion freely at work. You can show anger or happiness freely. Showing emotion is seen as “caring” and being overly professional is seen as “detached”.

6) Israelis show respect to folks who are hands on with a grasp of details. It is an “engineering” culture. Try to avoid giving the impression that you are interested in the forest, but not the trees. Move gradually  from the details to the big picture.

7) You can always, always, negotiate with your Israeli colleague. Negotiation is always legitmate. However, once a deal is made, it is not acceptable to do post contractual negotiations.



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