Friday, February 12, 2010

A question on training and Omani Culture from the South Africans - Readers help requested

Readers, I thought you might be more able, qualified and motivated to answer the following query from a South African delegation of "soft skills trainers" who intend to come to Oman to address issues on training. They want to meet important people, avoid offending local people with intelligent dynamic women, and, naturally .... make a buck. Appreciate your responses, because I can't be arsed to do their free market analysis and due diligence.

Shit, isn't there a South African Embassy that's supposed to deal with this crap?

Oh. There is one in Oman. If you're from the South African Embassy in Oman (and how sweet a deal must THAT be!), maybe get your finger out of your ass and give them a response? It is, like, your job.


We are a soft skills training provider from South Africa who may have an opportunity to visit Oman in the near future with a delegation from SA.

We specialize in customer care, front line training for receptionists, secretaries, Personal Assistants etc. We do time management, stress management, interpersonal skills, conflict management, communication, supervisory training etc.

My questions are the following:

Is there a demand for this kind of training?

If one goes on a delegation like this, does the delegation have access to departments like "The Chamber of Commerce", government departments, private companies etc to assist you to meet potential business customers? Supposedly these are all arranged in advance so we would not be walking in cold when meeting on the first day. I would like to clarify that this is in fact the norm.

Would one walk away with business in hand at the end of such a delegation and interaction with the people above? I am not sure how quick such decisions are made and if one actually meets with the decision makers in a situation like this. It would be nice to know if there would be a return on investment when making a trip like this.

How are women perceived in an environment like this?

How are women accepted as facilitators of training in what I presume is mostly a male dominated work force?

What is the level of English like on different levels?

Is there a specific etiquette that needs to be followed? I know dress code is one of them but there may be many others Are there any tips you can give me that may assist us if we do embark on this opportunity?

Your assistance will be greatly appreciated. We have so much to offer, but we do need to know that we are doing the right thing.

Thanking you in anticipation for assistance and advice.


  1. I dont know the volume of this project ,but in here people mostly are looking for low manpower cost so I dont think that people will pay for this. May be only big companies can demand.

  2. Why do you have to be so offensive in your post? chill out will you.

  3. If they know anything about soft skills maybe they should pull finger and go direct to organisations (there is such a thing as the internet to scour). Wanna make a buck, gotta make an effort oneself!

  4. Nice place for a delegation to visit and local good manners, desire to appear busy, interest in your entertainment value...will get you many 'meetings'.
    Understanding of, and payment for, your services will depend upon gatekeepers perceiving some personal advantage.
    Commissioning employee skills development is usually regarded as a pretentious luxury. On rare occasions, and in response to a short-term crisis, you might get lucky (if you are inexpensive).
    From Cynic

  5. Gaffor, Gaffor, Gaffor. Come back in a couple of generatios and they may be ready. Inshalla!!!

  6. Are you getting old or just not getting any? Why are you so rude - definite change in language anyhow! As Karim said, chill out.....

  7. Leon, Anon 1,2
    Thanks for the views

    Karim, Anon 3
    I've got bloggers Tourette's Syndrome. It's a self diagnosed medical condition.


    And I get a bit short tempered sometimes. I am famously intolerant and impatient. Just be thankful you don't work for me.

  8. I'll happily be ruder than Dragon: if you're asking these questions, you're not ready for this market. And likely never will be.

  9. Muscato,
    Always a pleasure.

    Karim, et al
    Did you read (and understand) the disclaimer?

    "...It is intended for Adults with a sense of humour and intelligence - if you do not meet this criteria, go and read something else."

  10. Sout hAfrica has good intentions, but I don't think Oman needs them or is ready for them yet. As a person who worked in the field of training, I think there are PLENTY of training institutes in Oman and the UAE that provide soft skills training... in Arabic/simple English. In fact, too many of them. Best part is, they can be conducted by people who speak both Arabic and English.
    The South Africans would struggle with the language issue. If they have no experience teaching Arabs, then they should forget about it.

    BTW, Do they really think we have a male-dominated workforce?
    What's with the dress code question?
    I suggest they do they research carefully and work through official channels of communication.. i.e. their embassy?

    PS (I think all bloggers suffer from tourette syndrome)

    cheers old fella

  11. 1. With all due respect, answering this kind of question is not the portfolio of the SA Embassy in Muscat, but of the the Omani Embassy in SA. Undercover Dragon, could it be that the finger in question has been mislocated?

    2. Judged by its rarity, one may wonder if customer service is considered culturally offensive. Seriously, hasn't that struck you?

  12. Muscato - Bullseye! Business 1.01 do not run your leads by remote control from a manual.


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