In this era of globalization, everyone from business owners to employees has the opportunity to leave their home country and talk to people from other countries. However, the way people meet and interact in one country can be completely different from how they do it in another country.
Here are interesting meeting practices around the world that you need to know.
If you’re showing up for a business meeting, you better have a gift ready. Moreover, don’t expect it to be eagerly accepted. When meeting with someone in China, remember to keep these two things in mind. One, it is a customary tradition to bring a gift to a business meeting. And second, it is a customary tradition to refuse a gift at least three times before accepting it. So, keep offering your present until it’s finally accepted.
Indians are open-hearted, so accept a warm and cordial welcome. It’s a good practice to talk about things not related to work for a while to warm things up. You will almost always be invited to have dinner. However, when ordering food, refrain from ordering juicy non-veg dishes like a hamburger, steak, or any beef dish.
Noraebank (or Karaoke) is a popular practice in Korea, and South Koreans expect their guests to engage in Karaoke. And it’s okay if you’re not a great singer, as you don’t need to perform in front of an audience. You only need to perform in front of a few people with whom you’ll be meeting.
Who uses business cards nowadays? Well, Japanese people do. When meeting someone for business in Japan, always have a stack of business cards handy, printed in both English and Japanese. Also, present the card with both hands, with the Japanese side facing up. When receiving the card, do so with both hands, and don’t return it or play with it during the meeting.
Germans prefer direct communication and straightforward interactions. When conducting business in Germany, remain serious and avoid being humorous. Cracking jokes in a business context is not appreciated.
Speaking French can be a real icebreaker when interacting with French businesspeople. However, it is okay if you aren’t fluent and didn’t get time to learn French. In such cases, it is recommended to apologize beforehand for your lack of fluency. It will still be helpful to learn a few phrases and greetings in French.
When doing business with Brazilians, expect an invasion of your personal space. Brazilians use a lot of physical contact while talking and may ask personal questions about home, family, etc. Even though backing away might be a natural reaction, doing so can put your potential business relationship at risk.
There are so many cultures around the world, and that’s what makes us different from each other. However, when meeting with people from other countries, especially for business, it’s best to learn about their cultures and meeting practices. This will help you get along better. So, which country are you from, and what unique meeting practices are followed there?