Business Etiquette – you think you know it all but what about in Germany, Russia, China or even Canada?
Customs and etiquette vary wildly from country to country, and the business world is no different. Many business professionals are often unaware of the differences, or that they might inadvertently might be committing at best cultural faux pas, or at worst offending business associates potentially scuppering business deals. Depending on the area of the world, different customs and mannerisms are expected in certain situations. For instance, in Canada it can be considered rude to be direct in communicating your intentions and feelings on a subject, whereas in Germany a straight-to-the-point, hyper-direct standard is expected.
There’s also a few odd, quirky business practices depending on country of origin. For example, in Russia, too much smiling can be viewed as a sign of insincerity or falsity (damn Russians). Additionally, French businessmen prefer a light handshake upon introduction, as opposed to the firm handshake standard Americans are used to.
International business etiquette, manners and culture have always been a fascinating subject. It’s even possible to spot differences in business etiquette in written correspondence like email and social media. The most tricky situations are definitely the in person meetings though. Do you know the proper etiquette in different countries around the world? If you plan to travel internationally for business, this is definitely something to consider. The first impression you make will set the tone for the entire business relationship. It will also affect your ability to build trust and your overall success with your business dealings. Unintentionally doing something offensive in an international business situation could be embarrassing for you and your company.
This made us think, wouldn’t it be really useful to research and produce an illustrative guide that provides an easy to digest overview of the essential cultural differences for when professionals meet international clients, suppliers and colleagues overseas – so we did and here it is.