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What is international business etiquette?


You’ve probably heard about incidents where business people committed faux pas when traveling or hosting international guests. They were dressed inappropriately, unknowingly said something that offended the host, or disrespected the culture. These incidents can be embarrassing and even detrimental to potential business deals.{{more}}

As business travel increases, it’s imperative for companies to consider the following suggestions while planning their next business trip.

• Research the culture and business practices. Things are done differently in each culture. For example, in the western hemisphere a cursory glance is given to a business card upon its presentation whereas in Asian culture, time is taken to read the card carefully immediately as it’s received. In some cultures, business is conducted immediately while it’s imperative in other cultures to socialize and get to know the client before business is mentioned.

• Practice your dining skills. Many business meetings occur over a meal. It’s critical to know which utensils to use, which topics are appropriate to discuss and what to do if you are served something that looks and smells strange.

• Know the dress code. Depending on the country, dress codes can differ especially for women. Is it business casual? Are women allowed to wear pants? Should you cover your head? Is make-up required? Be sure before your pack for your trip.

• Female travelers must pay special attention to cultural norms especially at social gatherings. In some cultures, it ‘s O.K for a woman to dance alone but its taboo in others and she must be escorted by a male.

• Sometimes adding a few days after your business deal or going ahead of time can help you absorb the culture and prepare you for the next deal. Take advantage of these opportunities if they are available to you.

• A successful business trip begins when you take the time to prepare and learn how to avoid offending your host and embarrassing yourself and your company. The goal is to close the deal and make the customer happy in everyway and keep that customer for a long time.

•Karen Hinds President/CEO – Workplace Success Group, Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775; Tel: 1-203-757-4103

[email protected]

Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)