INDIA
COMMUNICATION
 
 
 
 
 

VERBAL

Conversation Guidelines
 Honest, direct, and spritually stimulating conversation are three of the main descriptive factors important to Indian managers.  While these three factors are by no means a complete guide, they are helpful.  By being honest, respect is shown to fellow business people.  The opposing negotiatiors have done their homework, and know the issues as well as you do, so lying to them insults their intelligence and work ethic.  Direct conversation does away with most of the time-consuming "kissing-up nonsense" that is so common in many situations.  By turning a conversation to acknowledge the spiritual ideals of each culture, a deeper understanding can be reached.  This also shows that you have done your homework into their cultural ideals, and that you respect them that much more.  These factors will go a long way to basing a more sound business relationship with Indian mnagers.
Topics To Avoid
 Topic to avoid are rather rare, as many Indians are very open people, having very little to hide.  In general, avoid the following three topics in the beginning of a relationship...after time, these topics may well be openly discussed:
1.)  The poor economic and literacy value of their majority of their people as opposed to the well-educated, wealthy few,
2.)  Current religious tensions between Muslims, Hindus and Sunis,
3.)  Issues directly relating to Britich occupation before India's declaration of independence.
Good Topics Of Conversation
 Good topics of conversation include the improving economy, cultural leaders such as Ghandi, technology being incorporated into society, and ways to improve the welfare of the masses while still being beneficial to all those involved witht he project.

 

NONVERBAL

Kinesic Behavior
Indians tend to have very little abrupt, sharp body language, usually preferring to keep their hands clasped in front of their body.  Subtle motions and direct eye contact are a show of respect in their culture.  If an object is being presented, it is held stationary and at or near eye level of the viewer, even if that means impairing the view of the holder.  Handshakes are common, but they are generall light compared to the traditionally tight grip of Americans.
Proxemics
 While subtle body language is practiced, it is done so in close proximity to the person or persons being spoken to.  This is indicative of the relatively small spaces preferred by Indian managers.  While Indians historically have preferred huge open structures, modern Indian business people prefer smaller spaces, feeling this makes for more intimate discussions and reflects a more humble personality.
Paralanguage
 The interpretation of language is very important when communicating with Indians.  Most Indians employ silence widely in their conversations.  Only aiming to interrupt when it is of the utmost importance, Indians concentrate and reflect on everything that is said.  Complex cultural, personal and social variables are taken into account during this silence.  Quick responses are a benefit and characteristic of this silence.  Loud speaking volume and a heavy accent are very common as well.  Volume is a byproduct of their complex language.  Many words have several meanings, and only the tone differentiates the ultimate interpretation.  To speak clearly and quite audibly is a boon in Indian culture, and again shows a form of respect in that great care is being taken to say things properly.

 

STYLE OF COMMUNICATION

Confrontation
 While Indians are not typically very confrontational people, they will confront issues that run contrary to important personal or social ideals.  Issues such as environmental protection because of the love they have for their country and rich culture, economic growth because of their need to improve their people's standing in the world, and freedome because of the oppressive history they have suffered will cause an Indian to become confrontational. 
Feedback
 Feedback is almost a given when speaking to an Indian.  Because of their direct nature, Indians tend to speak their mind, offering opinions as a sort of gift to the person they are speaking with.  By offering such feedback, it shows that they have not only been hearing, but have actaully listened to what has been said.  This usually comes to the great relief of many who speak with Indians, enduring endless silence, only to be given very deep and profound insight into the issues they just spoke of.
Attitudes
 Open, direct and reflective, Indians lend themselves to a very diverse set of attitudes.  If slighted, they will forgive and allow a second chance.  Much more past that is seen as highly disrespectful and a third chance is rarely given.  Respect means alot in the Indian culture, and without it, very little can be accomplished by anyone.  Seen as one of the very few possessions that cannot be taken away by famine, poverty or war, pride and honor are very important to the Indian people.  To disrespect it not only shames the insultor, but it also shames the insultee.

 
 
 
SOURCES
http://www.keralapolitics.com/html/history.htm
http://www.subcontinent.com/sapra/regional/regional.html