Thursday, November 18, 2010

Business Gift Giving

Business Gift Giving. How about some general thoughts and a few caveats on the matter?

A few years ago, we'd adopted a free-range cat. (My fault, actually.) This cat was an ideal house guest. When she wanted to thank us, she'd meow outside the door to come back in. When I opened the door, I would find a dead mouse. This is a cat's way of saying, "Thank you".

The dead mouse was a lot nicer gift than some of the gifts I'd received.

First of all, it was sincere.

Second of all, the cat did not become insulted when I did not hang the dead mouse on the wall, nor display it on the coffee table.

Now, there are a few codicils and cavets to the arts and sciences of giving gifts in the business world.

In this country, it is innapropriate to give a gift that the recipient know is more expensive than the giver can afford.

I'd heard, many years ago, that when giving a gift in Japan (e.g. a pen and pencil set), it is more appropriate to give the set in silver than in gold as gold is seen to be ostentatious. ( I need verification on that matter. )

In some Asian countries, you never wrap a gift in white paper. That is the colour associated with funerals.

In some cultures, red is the proper wrapping-paper colour for festive gift-giving.

Perhaps we could open up a discussion to share advice on the matter of gift giving in the business world?

Sincerest regards,


ps. If your cat ever gives you a dead mouse, be sure to make a positive fuss over it. If you can't see how pleased your cat will be, you should not share your accomodations with a cat.

copyright (c) 2010 Slim Fairview


Anonymous said...

Dear Slim,

How about gifts that like giving of your time,interest, sincerity and integrity, collaboration and feedback that supports another and one another....

Consider the universality. One does not need to know the "right" color for a particular culture for example.

Consider too that when one person makes a change, it has an impact on something like at least 4 other people.

Last consideration, when someone in or not as yet in my professional network asks for assistance, it feels really good to do this.

Very often it is the little things one does that bring about the kind of healthy, positive, productive and rewarding relationships that generally all humans desire.

My best and warmest regards,

Maureen Kelsey

slimfairview said...

Good points, Maureen.

All part of the emphasis on global co-operaton which "The Future of the G-20" propounded.


Elaine Fortune said...

I don't understand what "The Future of the G-20" is. As an artist I have given gifts of my art to people who I thought were sincerly impressed by the level that they understood its value to me.

Most said "oh I cannot accept is much to valuable and I cannot reciprocate". I would tell them they already had and if it would make them feel better they could share my name with anyone who compliments it when they wear it. I also added that I learned it is an insult to not acccept a gift. Then they were elated and accepted.

I've never regretted gift giving although it did nothing to get my name out to the people I needed to reach....but I am an artist that has a very difficult time understanding the business side of making money with my art, so sometimes I gift give out of frustration. How crazy is that? I think it is better than to hold onto it because I can't find a buyer....but still, I am back to where I started.

I look forward to hearing the definition of G-20

Elaine Fortune