Business Etiquette

Business etiquette is in essence about building relationships with people. In the business world, it is people that influence your success or failure. Etiquette, and in particular business etiquette, is simply a means of maximising your business potential.

If you feel comfortable around someone and vice versa, better communication and mutual trust will develop. This comfort zone is realised through presenting yourself effectively. Business etiquette helps you achieve this.

Business etiquette revolves around two things. Firstly, thoughtful consideration of the interests and feelings of others and secondly, minimising misunderstandings. Both are dependent upon self conduct. Business etiquette polishes this conduct.

Business etiquette varies from region to region and country to country. For the international business person, focusing too deeply on international business etiquette would leave no time for business. However, there are some key pillars upon which good business etiquette is built.

Behaviour

Your manners and attitude will speak volumes about you. They will point to your inner character. If you come across selfish, undisciplined or uncouth your relationship is unlikely to prosper. Appropriate business etiquette promotes positive traits.

Honesty

A reputation for delivering what you say will deliver goes a long way in the business world. Remember, a reputation for integrity is slowly gained but quickly lost. Understanding a particular country’s business etiquette provides a framework in which you can work without fear of crossing boundaries in terms of agreements, promises and contracts.

Character

Your character refers to what you as an individual bring to the business table. Proper business etiquette allows you to exhibit your positive qualities. For example, knowing when to be passionate and not emotional or self-confident without being arrogant. Just through learning another’s business etiquette you demonstrate an open-mindedness which will earn respect.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity and consideration underlie all good business etiquette. Being prepared for foreign ways and methods and responding thoughtfully is achieved through experience and business etiquette know-how. By avoiding misunderstandings and misinterpretations through business etiquette you lay foundations for a strong business relationship.

Diplomacy

Avoiding thoughtless words and actions protects you from negative consequences. Impulse often leads a business person astray. Business etiquette encourages the careful thought of the interests of others and choosing acceptable forms of expression.

Appearance

Dressing appropriately, standing and sitting in the right place at the right time, good posture and looking physically presentable are all elements in making a good impression. Business etiquette teaches you how to suitably present yourself and what to avoid.

Analysing, understanding and implementing the above will help you recognise what business etiquette is and how it should be employed within the business world.

For the international business person business, etiquette acts as a key. It locks the doors of poor communication and misunderstandings and opens doors to successful business relationships.

Business Card Etiquette for International Businessmen

In a globalized world, international businessmen require more than certain skills and knowledge in their corresponding financial or commercial branch, but also the basic understanding of customer’s local culture to avoid frustration, misunderstanding and even potential embarrassment.

Whether a company or any independent professional, should research not only to get cheap international plane tickets to make the trip more affordable, but also acquiring basic facts about regional culture and etiquette, including business cards.

If you are involved in international business, then you need to keep up with your client’s country values, norms, behaviors, and even everyday facts including art, food, fashion, architecture, etc. The more you learn about your clients’ nations, the more opportunities to close successful deals. However, any solid relationship begins by recognizing the importance of learning the proper etiquette.

Business cards are usually the first thing that any customer or prospective client will get from you, so you should make sure they cause a positive impression on them. The way they perceive you from the beginning will leave a lasting impression in their memory, giving them right from the start the impression whether to create a business relationship with you.

As an example, getting cheap international plane tickets to attend a meeting abroad is fine, but your cards must reflect you are not trying to save costs. Every nation has different idiosyncrasies, but general business card etiquette encloses the guidelines to make the best impression on current and potential clients.

Becoming a successful businessman or businesswoman is easy if you simply read a little bit about customs and practices of the region where your partners, co-workers and clients live. Knowledge is generally the best guidance, pointing you in the right direction for creating international lasting business, fulfilling both intentions and expectations coming from each partner involved.

Furthermore, business card etiquette is only one aspect of great importance when it comes to international exchange of business cards, because unlike America or Canada, in other countries, business cards have very different meanings, and not only a convenient way of capturing essential personal or businesses details.

This way, business cards in the United Kingdom are relaxed and involve just a little ceremony. Keeping the cards clean and presentable, even if carried in a pocket, but in Japan, business cards are exchanged with great ceremony and they should be kept in pristine condition, given them with only one hand and always received with two hands.

Getting cheap international plane tickets save money. Invest that money in quality cards that speak by themselves about your business, and include in them your title, university degree or any other honor, if you have any, because many countries all over the world place emphasis on status and hierarchy.

With different approaches, business cards are considered as a representation of the owner, consciously or unconsciously, so make sure to apply what the proper business etiquette demands in every region where you move.

International Business Etiquette Tips

When doing business internationally, you shouldn’t concentrate on simply selling your products and services. To be successful, you need to cultivate relationships with the people that you are working with. To help you out, here are some of the areas you should pay attention to when interacting with people internationally:

Gender roles

You will be interacting with people from different sectors that have different beliefs. To avoid uncomfortable situations, take your time to understand the appropriate gender etiquette. In most cases, the gender roles are about personal boundaries and physical contact with men and women.

If doing business in the Arab countries, you should note that Arab women aren’t allowed to shake hands with men. If you are a woman and traveling to these countries, be cautious of this as it can be uncomfortable when you hand out your hand and the men don’t shake your hand.

Time

While time is crucial globally, different countries have different tolerance levels. In china and japan, punctuality is crucial, and if you are late for even a minute, the people you are having the meeting with will walk out. In India, your companions won’t be overly offended if you are a little late, but you shouldn’t push it.

If doing business in England, the business professionals will require you to show up on time or even slightly earlier. In France, punctuality is of little importance, and the professionals will consider you “on time” even if you are ten minutes late.

Dress code

This is crucial as it determines how people see you. Just like time, the business attire preference varies from one place to another. In china and japan, business attire is formal. You should wear a suit and tie to all professional meetings. In the US, the business environment is less formal; therefore, you can wear smart casual and be considered okay. In France, you need to be formal, well-tailored, and fashionable. It’s France you are in.

Personal space

Personal space varies from one gender to another and also on how well you know each other. In china, the formal way of going about it is shaking hands. You shouldn’t great someone with a kiss or hug. In France, men will sometimes greet women with a kiss, but many women will stick out their hands if they prefer a handshake. In England, personal touches such as kissing and hugging are reserved for close friends and family; therefore, allow a certain amount of personal space.

Business gifts

Handing out gifts varies from one culture to another. In most Asian countries, gifts are tolerated and highly encouraged. In fact, the business associates will expect you to bring a gift. When you are presenting the gift, always wrap it. Remember that the value of the gift is less important than the thoughts you put into it.

While gifts are encouraged in Asian countries, the culture is highly flowed upon in western countries. Most of these countries consider a gift as a bribe.

Conclusion

These are the international business etiquette tips you should consider when doing business internationally. Always go through them before visiting a country you aren’t familiar with.