Regardless if you’re a frequent international traveler or someone doing business overseas via email or live chat, etiquette and manners are essential. A simple mistake in some Asian countries such as using your left hand to receive a business card, as this hand is reserved for personal hygiene, may not only cause you some embarrassment, but can lead to challenging business communications.
Before you travel overseas, do your homework. Beyond having an understanding of greetings —handshakes, hugs and bows, learn about the history, culture and customs of the country. Research the web and download mobile apps that can provide you with tips and information about intercultural communications.
Sure, there’s a lot of conflicting travel advice out there: “The French are rude and hate all Americans. All foreigners are out to rip you off. You shouldn’t travel to the Middle East because it’s too dangerous.” The myths and stereotypes are endless. But, here are two things to keep in mind: all cultures have an unwritten code and just because they do something one way in your country, it doesn’t make it the right way.
Despite your travel destination, building trusting business relationships with colleagues overseas starts with showing respect for the culture of a country. From clothing and punctuality to personal space and gifts, this infographic explains some culturally appropriate to keep in mind when doing business overseas.
((Image: Zengage, the Zendesk blog)