Global Corporate Etiquette

What is Corporate Etiquette?

Etiquettes are cultural guidelines for what is appropriate or inappropriate, right or wrong. Global corporate etiquette refers to the common structure that is adapted by a majority of countries and cultures.

The expansion of global business has brought people closer from all corners of the world. Appreciation and respect for regional, country, and cultural differences are critical elements of a successful business outcome. Cultural diversity and good intercultural communication play an important role in maintaining business relationships throughout the globe.

Importance of International Etiquette.

It is very important for a person to understand the culture of the country with whom he or she deals with.  In today’s global environment, meetings, phone calls and conferences are held all over the world. Failure to do home work about learning the culture of the country one intends to do business ore putting an international step forward can result in spoiling relationships and future business. A small mistake like using first names inappropriately or not observing the rules of timing can make a big difference to crucial business relationships. There are no standard rules of conduct that apply to all countries. Doing cultural research about each client location will be an important task in building successful business relationships. Every small step taken to deal with people across countries will result in rewards that are worth the effort.   Below mentioned are some aspects that require keen attention before one attends a formal business meeting:

  1. Corporate dressing and grooming: The choice of business attire is a signal of showing respect for the other person or organization.
  2. Personal Space: Respecting other people’s personal space is a crucial aspect of international etiquette. It is important to keep in mind that there are significant differences between cultures and between genders. Although it is almost impossible to go wrong with a handshake, it’s always a good idea to hold back when in doubt.
  3. Exchange of business cards: International etiquette conveys that the exchange business cards must be treated with the utmost respect. In Arab and some Asian countries, it is important never to use your left hand to receive a business card, as this hand is reserved for personal hygiene. Other Asian countries like Japan and Singapore considering to give or receive business cards with both hands, often accompanied by a small bow.
  4. Respecting cultures: The most important of the global etiquette tips is to show respect for what is important to another person and his or her culture. It is an essential step in bridging the cultural gap.
  5. Knowing the geographies and names of places: Not knowing the exact location of the country you are visiting or the locality of its neighbouring countries and surrounding areas can be embarrassing. It is better to have a basic knowledge of the names of the places around the city one visits as it has a positive impact on the client.
  6. Addressing people: The practice of using first names, surnames, titles, university degrees, or religious designations varies from country to country. Learn the appropriate way of addressing people can build a positive impression on the person we interact with.

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