Beyond Borders: International Business Etiquette

Search with Ctrl + F Last updated: 2022-08-14

How we interact with others can vary greatly depending on what situation we’re in. Personality, of course, plays a big part but there are unwritten rules which guide our actions too. While we might greet a friend with a hug and a kiss on the check, in a formal business situation a handshake is probably more appropriate. There are also other considerations we probably don’t even think about. Our body language the tone of our voice can both have a massive effect upon how we’re perceived, but they just seem to come naturally. Many of these subtle changes to our language and attitude happen based on our past experiences, but when we introduce cultural differences to the mix as well, it starts to become much more complicated.

Though a cultural faux pas while we’re on holiday may be some cause for amusement, in the world of business it could result in more than just a red face. From linguistic mistakes to asking inappropriate questions, the cultural differences from country to country could mean the difference between a productive relationship and the end of a business deal. Thankfully, international telecommunications provider Toll Free Forwarding have produced a fantastic dos and don’ts guide to some of the world’s biggest economies with advice on conversation topics, greetings and what to expect from phone calls and face to face meetings. See the graphics below, and check out their blog for even more information, here.