Modern Etiquette: A Case for Cross-Cultural Awareness
By Pamela Eyring
March 21 (Reuters) - According to a recent survey of corporate executives, over 83 percent of small-to-mid-size business in the United States list overseas expansion as their top priority.
Ninety-five percent of those polled report plans to have at least two international clients in the next three years.
The priority that businesses throughout the world place on global expansion highlights the need for cross-cultural understanding at all levels.
Understanding other cultures enables people to demonstrate respect - the foundation of every good, lasting relationship. Plus, it can help avoid miscommunication, which can be both financially and professionally damaging to individuals and organisations.
While formal cross-cultural training is the best approach for businesses operating internationally or aspiring to do so in the future, here are some helpful tips for navigating global boundaries to avoid sending the wrong message in a variety of situations:
- Follow appropriate business card etiquette: The exchange of business cards is a moment of great significance and ceremony in many countries. Failing to follow proper protocol, for example not using both hands to give or receive in Japan and South Korea, has the potential to not only be embarrassing but insulting. Continuación...