International Business Communication Etiquette writing

Familiarizing yourself with local customs and foods is an important part of business etiquette.Familiarizing yourself with local customs and foods is an important part of business etiquette.

Sushi with chopsticks image by photobar from Fotolia.com

Globalization has increased the amount of international business dealing, and with this has come a greater need for business managers to understand the etiquette of doing business in foreign countries. Deals can be lost by people who are unaware of a foreign associate's culture, customs or etiquette. Etiquette matters, because learning the culture and customs of another country shows respect, which is key to developing a business relationship.

Correct Behavior

Some behaviors that are normal sometimes in the United States, such as kissing a female colleague on the cheek, may be inappropriate or even illegal or in other cultures. Jeanette S. Martin and Lillian H. Chaney, in their book "Global Business Etiquette: A Guide to International Communication and Customs, " suggest that it is particularly important to consider when a behavior that is legal in the United States, such as gift giving, may be illegal in another country. Similarly, a behavior that is illegal in the United States, such as bribery, may be expected in a foreign country. In this case, it becomes necessary to find a polite way to avoid the illegal custom.

Before You Travel

Dana Persia, owner of DP Image Consulting, suggests in a CNN article that it is important to prepare before traveling. Research business etiquette and learn a few phrases in the language of the country you will visit. This will help set a tone of cooperation and friendship. Persia also emphasizes that Americans should not judge the etiquette of others and or act in a superior manner. Try to blend in by toning down any behaviors, such as loud talking, that may make you stand out from the locals.

Related Reading: Business Etiquette Skills

Greetings

When meeting with people from other cultures, set a professional tone at the start and make a good initial impression by using the correct greeting. Although the handshake has become a standard greeting, even in countries such as Japan where it is not the traditional greeting, it is wise to be prepared for the traditional greeting. When traveling to Japan, know the etiquette for bowing. Kimberley Roberts, writing for the International Business Center, suggests pausing and taking your cue from the other person on which style of greeting to use.


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