1. Speak SLOWLY. Rather SING your speech.
2. Use Deodorant
3. Say Thank you, and you are welcome.
4. Keep doors open for others.
5. Know the taboo subjects and avoid them.
6. Be on Time for meetings.
7. Dont be overformal and dont address emails to boss with "Dear Sir/Ma'am".
8. Never ever address a female as "Madam", call her Ma'am if you want.
9. Try not to engage phoreners in political/Religious discussion.
10. Don' talk in your mother tongue in meetings.
11. Allow other to complete their sentences.
12. Be punctual
13.) Avoid using high funda super duper exotic English words. Use simple English.
14.) Like others have mentioned above, be punctual.
15.) Speak slowly and clearly on the phone.
16.) Keep hands in control i.e penchant for gold-digging or gear changing .
17) You will be cut short if you criticize them or do chhote mooh badi baat but being a "third" world denizen yindians will be expected to be open minded if lectured on how we should be.
18) In any group meeting over tele-conference if the amirkhanis are ready with results then they will speak fast and go to the point straight away. If they don't have results or want to avoid any dangerous questions expect them to
a) s-t-r-e-t-c-h the words and amplify the amirkhani accent more than usual or
b) waste a lot of words to convey a simple message as if they are enjoying speaking the language or
c) use new terms/jargon coined by them and amplify significance of their observation/results and pass it off as a breakthrough
19) In a joint effort, if you want to prove an amirkhani group is wrong, you cannot do so by verbal duels. Expect a lot of unity among them as a group. Be ready with all available references to counter the anticipated points they will use to defend themselves. When argued that they were wrong they just wouldn't accept no matter how much technical I got. Eventually when I shot videos of a phenomena to show evidence they were dumbfounded and it triggered internal arguments within their group.
20) Be ready for some jaichands on your side to act like their chamchas and reporting all your progress to them without your knowledge.
Some of these are repeats of above, but I added my own perspective for explanation:
1. Speak slowly and fully pronounce each word, and maybe even put a small pause between words. (I’ve been told by desi desis that I now speak slowly- but such is life when accent is an issue.).
My rule of thumb is: if an American asks me to repeat myself even once, it means that he has difficulty following my speech, even if he does not say it outright.
2. Try to avoid using ‘Sir’ (if that happens at all). Americans do not use ‘Sir’ in their normal day-to-day interactions with their bosses (or even their boss’s bosses) and I see no reason to use it either. Perhaps initially it might be OK but not for everyday interaction. My sense of what I see here is that ‘Sir’ conveys a sense of submission if used on people we interact with on a daily basis (whereas in India it carries connotations of respect and reverence- we call teachers ‘Sir’).
3. Good dressing and a looking presentable (hair-cut, shave etc.) is relatively important; or rather, sloppy dressing is not well-looked at. Image does matter to Americans and even if this is seen as a generalization in an office atmosphere one is expected to be well-turned out. Another generalization: to Indians it is usually substance over style i.e. if I deliver the goods, other things do not matter. I would say, Americans look at the whole package, and not just the substance. Presentation matters, whether it is in dressing, spoken language etc.
4. Avoid religion and politics in formal settings. If you have a personal friend in the office who discusses this, that might be OK but you have to be sure where he stands. If they ask questions about India/Hinduism, certainly that is a good thing- have some answers ready.
5. I get the sense that there are some un-spoken ‘rules’ on how to disagree and how to convey disagreement. Several times I have sensed a certain subtlety in the how Americans disagree among themselves without being loud or combative. Some words and phrases seem to carry a meaning well beyond their literal meaning. Sometimes disagreements/criticisms are phrased as a question instead of a declarative statement. The cultural need to 'save face' is not exclusive to China/Japan. Americans (and Indians as well) have the same desire to exit out from a losing argument gracefully without looking bad.