International business etiquette tips

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> In Spain, a business dinner will last well into the early morning hours — many restaurants don’t even open until 9 p.m. and don’t get busy until 10 or 11 p.m.

> Australians aren’t impressed by a title or status — they expect your work to speak for itself.

> The Japanese aren’t afraid to ask how much money you earn or how large your home is.

These are only three out of thousands of different customs, business protocols and social mores throughout the world. International business can be tricky; if you aren’t prepared, your business deal can go down in flames.

Dana Persia, offers the following lessons in international business etiquette.

Before you go

1. Prepare. Do plenty of research on the business and personal etiquette of the particular country you are planning to visit. Purchase a travel book for the country you are going to visit and remember: The Internet is your friend.

2. Learn key phrases. It’s always a smart move to learn several key phrases in the language of the country you’ll visit. It’s a nice way to bridge the gap between cultures — and natives will appreciate the attempt.

3. Leave the attitude at home. Americans sometimes assume superior attitudes when interacting with foreign cultures — for them it is “our way is the best way.” Ditch this stance quickly — you could be ignored or met with disapproval.

4. Blend in. In general, Americans dress differently, speak loudly and have distinct accents — so it’s best to try not to stand out more than you already will.

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