To say that today’s business environment is now increasingly more global is to convey the obvious. Meetings, calls, and conferences are held all over the world and attendees will come from any point on the globe. On any given business day you can find yourself coping face-to-face, over the telephone, by e-mail, and, on rare occasions, by postal letter with people whose ethnicities and customs vary your own.
You may never have to set off to communicate on a global level. While the old adage “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” still holds true, business clients and colleagues who are going to this country should be treated with a level of sensitivity and with an awareness of their unique culture. Never to do your homework and put your best international foot forward can cost you relationships and future business.
- 12pt C2S Cardstock
- 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY 13209
- “GRE: Haven’t used. Does it help?”
- Add your email address
One small misstep such as using first titles inappropriately, not watching the rules of timing or sending the incorrect color rose in the pleasant bouquet can be expensive. There is nobody set of guidelines that apply to all international visitors so do the research for each country that your clients signify.
That may appear to be an intimidating task, but taken in small steps, it is workable and the rewards are well worth the effort. Remember that there are as many ways to do business as there are countries to do business with, here are some tricks for minding your global P’s and Q’s.
Building interactions: Few other folks are as wanting to get right down to business as we Americans. So take time to become familiar with your international clients and build rapport before you rush to underneath the line. Business romantic relationships are built on trust that is developed over time, especially with people from Asia and Latin America. Dressing conservatively: Americans like to dress for fashion and comfort, but folks from other areas of the world are usually more conservative.
Your selection of business clothes is a signal of your respect for your partner or organization. Leave your trendy clothes in the closet on the times that you talk with your foreign guests. Take notice of the hierarchy: It is not always a straightforward matter to know who is the highest-ranking member when you are dealing with a group. To avoid shame, err on the side-old and masculine gender, only when you are unable to discover the protocol with research.
If you are getting together with the Japanese, it is important to understand that they make decisions by consensus, starting with younger members of the group. In comparison, Latin people have a clear hierarchy that defers to age. Understanding the handshake: Having a few exceptions, business people around the world use the handshake for conference and greeting.