According to Neil Payne of cross-cultural training consultancy Kwintessential, business etiquette tips can be misleading. “If you go to Japan to do business, they don’t expect you to bow or exchange business cards in a particular way. They think it’s good if you do but they don’t expect it. They expect faux pas to be made by international business people just as business people here would.”
Payne says that the companies and individuals that come to him for training do not want etiquette tips specifically but rather how to build successful relationships across cultures. “A lot of what we do is based around team building. You might have a manager looking after teams based around the world and for them it is made more difficult because they are working remotely.”
There are plenty of etiquette guides out there if you do want a few handy hints on conducting business, although most people do forget them in the heat of the moment. Below are a few of the more unusual dos and don’ts for international business travellers.
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