New guide aims to erase ‘ugly American’ image

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2006 (AFP) – Don’t be so loud. Listen. Dress up. Those are among the tips offered to US business executives traveling abroad in a new guide aimed at countering the image of the “ugly American”. Launched this month by a non-profit group concerned about mounting anti-Americanism worldwide, the “World Citizens Guide” has 16 suggestions designed to change the behavior of corporate America overseas.

The tips in the booklet, to be distributed to executives at major companies such as McDonald’s, the Loews hotel chain and the software firm Novell, include:

– “Be proud of the American way, but remember it’s not the only way”;
– “Listen at least as much as you talk”;
– “Save the lecture for your kids”;
– “Speak lower and slower”;
– “Think as big as you like, but talk and act smaller”; and
– “Dress up — you can always strip down.”

Keith Reinhard, founder of Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA), the non-profit group that created the pamphlet, said he hopes it will play a small part in reshaping the negative perception of Americans worldwide.

“While we are still admired for what people describe as our youthful enthusiasm, optimism and can-do spirit, we are seen