International Business Etiquette
So you think you are savvy with business etiquettes? Then answer this:
What do you think is considered bad behavior in France?
* Seating your pet next to you in the restaurant and keep feeding it
* Going to the bathroom in the middle of a conversation
* Asking someone how much their new car cost
Believe it or not, it is perfectly acceptable to take your dog with you as nearly all hotels on France allow it! But it is those little questions about someone’s money, finances and expenses that can make the French very uncomfortable.
Also, did you know that asking about someone’s wife and family is NOT considered good manners in most Middle Eastern countries?
International business etiquettes come in various forms and sizes. All through the world, people follow different etiquettes on everything from gift-giving to handshaking and a whole lot more!
For those who want to be successful globally, an understanding of such nuances is a must. Here, I will highlight some of the general areas of international business etiquettes. Be sure to check out the country-specific articles for more in depth information.
Your appearance matters. But it doesn’t just mean the dress. Your Body language, gestures, clothing and personality all are a part of how you are perceived. How you stand, make eye contact and sit dictates how people react to you in different countries. In the US straight eye- contact is appreciated but go east and the Chinese consider it a violation of their personal space!
It is almost internationally unacceptable to offer business cards during dinner. Similarly, a thank you note after dinner is appreciated all over the world. Whatever your destination in the world, thoroughly research their customs and protocols before you arrive.
Making small talk is an art not every one is good at. Practice! But learn to stay clear of topics like politics, religion and family. You never know when your words can offend someone!
When different cultures mix, it need not be disaster for you professional aspirations. International business etiquettes help in building better bonds. Not understanding another’s culture makes people feel dejected and of course leads to bad business relationships.