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International business travel can be complicated enough at the best of times, with flight arrangements, accommodation and connections to arrange, that you would hope that the business meetings themselves would take care of themselves. This isn’t always the case, especially if meeting with business professionals from completely different cultures than that of your own. In fact, many business professionals aren’t even aware that business etiquette varies significantly across the globe, and may be committing cultural faux pas during business meetings.
Global business etiquette is also really important for recruiters and HR professionals to consider. Whether you’re looking to place a candidate in a role based in a territory unfamiliar to them, or if dealing directly with a recruitment client in another country, it’s crucial to understand how these professionals do business. The ability to find candidates who understand the nuances of business etiquette around the world is key, and it’s important to be sensitive to cultural differences that impact how your clients behave professionally. Do they prefer email or phone calls to communicate? Would a face-to-face meeting early in the relationship help to build trust with your client? These are important considerations when trying to build successful international relationships.
There are many factors that any business professional should consider ahead of meeting an associate or business partner from a different country; greeting style, how to address others, business card etiquette, communication style, and meeting agenda, to name a few. Some business cultures are very relaxed and laid back in nature, while others are extremely serious and regimented. In order not to offend the people you are meeting, it’s important to consider and be sensitive to how business professionals operate in different parts of the world.
In short, if you are looking to have successful and fruitful business dealings with contacts from other countries and cultures, it’s crucial to consider and respect how they do their business. The following infographic shows you exactly how: