Traveling abroad for business can be exciting. From China to Argentina, there are any number of interesting places that a company can send you. For the success of the business however, knowing proper etiquette while in the country can make all the difference between a successful sale and an international incident. To help keep you on the right track, lets quickly review the do’s and don’t in two popular business destinations, China and Great Britain.
A Business Trip Across the Pacific
China has a fascinating culture and industrial manufacturing that is constantly growing. As a result of economic success, trade between the US and China means that you may one day be sent to this country. If this happens, then there are a few things you should keep in mind.
While there are a number of dialects in China, Mandarin is most frequently spoken, and there is only one written language. In addition, bowing and nodding are considered typical greetings between people. Handshakes may occur, but you should wait until they approach you first.
A list of does include wearing a conservative suit, using formal titles, bringing copies for everyone you will meet, using an open palm to point, always arriving early, and allowing the host to leave the meeting first.
Some things you should avoid is physical contact, large hand movements, pointing when speaking, writing on business cards, discussing work while eating, wearing jeans, and not wearing short blouses or high heels.
A Trip to the UK
Where as less is known about Chinese business culture by the average American, there are plenty of stereotypes when it comes to British business men. Before arriving in the country, it helps to know fact from fiction, as it may make all the difference in the world.
Though we consider British businessmen very conservative in dress and action, there has been a great lessening in this need. Simple handshakes are preferred, and giving gifts is not required. Though conservative dress is important, woman have many more options. Suits are kept dark, and individuals are expected to be punctual.
Things that should be avoided include talking loudly. In addition, be aware of not asking personal question. British people enjoy their privacy, and do not take well to being asked what they consider to be personal questions. As a final note, do not try to rush decision-making. Instead, allow it to unfold naturally, even if it ends up taking longer as a result.