Discover funny blunders made by senior business people and top tips from etiquette experts to prevent awkward international meetings.
Did you know that in Russia, it’s seen as insecure to smile during a business meeting? Or in Hong Kong, giving gifts within business is viewed as bribery? We bet you didn’t know that in Japan, you must present your business cards formally with both hands, rather than casually handing or passing over.
We carried out a study on International Business Etiquette, collecting anecdotes from senior business people and speaking with experts in the field for their top tips.
Our study revealed some rather interesting stories and statistics. 78% of business people are not fully educated on what the “correct” business etiquette is internationally and 56% of respondents had encountered an awkward situation due to this.
From business meetings being confused as a first date to that annoying colleague who always puts their foot in it, it’s clear that not all business people - no matter which level of seniority - fully understand international business etiquette… Even if we like to think we do.
Marla Harr, Consultant at Business Etiquette International, says, "It’s imperative for individuals who travel abroad for business to educate themselves and their teams on the proper business etiquette and accepted protocols for that country. Not knowing the idiosyncrasies within the culture can have unintentional misunderstandings that can be embarrassing, costly to a marketing campaign or a contract deal falling apart.”
Keep reading to learn what NOT to do when working abroad with top tips from experts in international business.