Magazine article Personnel Journal

Mind Your Manners

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Mind Your Manners

Article excerpt

International business etiquette skills just don't come naturally, you have to work at developing them. Barbara Pachter, trainer and author based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, explains, "Because the United States is physically isolated from most other countries, we often grow up without much international awareness training." She advises watching out for these five common mistakes:

1) Not doing your homework before you go abroad. You need to figure out how to function in the host country and adapt to local customs, just as you would expect a foreign visitor to do here in the United States. When traveling you are the visitor, so you are the one who must adapt. Read and study before you go.

2) Expecting business to be done in the "American Way." It's important to remember that many cultures don't have the same style of getting right down to business and many don't place the same emphasis on the value of work. In many cultures, it's customary to establish a personal relationship before you do business. So don't be impatient. Take the time to get to know each other before diving in.

3) Reacting negatively to the customs of another country. …

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