Building Rapport in Afghanistan
(Note: This transcript has been edited for readability.)
“This American female just got to the embassy, she was a diplomat. She took her notebook out and says like, “I have a couple of questions for you, do you have so and so…” And the general turns his face towards me and says, “I think your friend is very new in the country.” And I knew what he meant by that. First of all you have to introduce yourself, who you are, in what capacity do you work, why are you here? You need to drink my tea first, and we need to chit chat before you just… And that caused some problems, some problems that from then on, the general asked that we need to go to the office that sets the appointments for the generals, and then if he has time, [on] a certain day we’re requesting, then he would see us.”
An Afghan national talks about a cultural mistake and the importance of taking time to build rapport.