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International Code of Conduct: Avoid the Cultural Shock in Business

Business attire has certain code of conduct , they are necessary to run the business activities smoothly – lets learn the international Code of Conduct to avoid the cultural shock in business.

In this globally local world, businesses have been transcending boundaries and are now present in nearly all the parts of the globe. When we step outside of our country, it is important to know the cultural sensitivities. More and more professionals are travelling these days to all the parts of the world for some business activity or another. It has then become the need of the hour to sensitize people regarding different cultures so that they do not put themselves in an awkward position.

International Code of Conduct: Avoid the Cultural Shock in Business

Image Courtesy : ashridge.org.uk

Here are some tips that you can use to dodge the bullet.

Dress conservatively:

The business attire is has a certain code for a reason. When you are meeting with clients internationally or even locally, it is important to dress in crisp and well fitted business formals. In case of wearing the wrong clothes, you may end up earning yourself an off-putting first impression. For instance, in Middle Eastern countries, men dress in strict formals while woman dress modestly.

Get some tips regarding local language:

Mostly people stick to English while in conversation. But you can go the extra mile by learning greetings in their local language. That can be a great icebreaker and can put in the right footing at the beginning of the conversation. To avoid any complications, avoid asking any personal questions that can be offending to your client.
Get your basic facts right: It can be very annoying or even off putting if you are ill informed about the country you are about to conduct business with.To strike up a conversation, it is always better to know basic facts. To avoid any faux pas, brush up your facts well so that you don’t sound like someone who is only concerned about business.

Don’t give expensive gifts:

Gifts are a culture that is followed and respected all over the world. The safest option is to give your clients something that is idiosyncratic to your own country. However, keep the value of the gift reasonable. In some countries like China, valuable gifts can be perceived as a bribe. However, in countries like Japan, expensive gifts are well received. In order to avoid falling on to the wrong side of either cultures, follow a neutral practice of giving gifts that are simple yet eccentric and moderately priced.

Don’t rush the final negotiations:

Closing a business deal can be like walking on egg shells. Any misstep can cause you loss of business and subsequent loss of clients. While Americans prefer to cut to the chase, Chinese or middle eastern countries like to interact with their partners on a personal level and earn their trust and respect. Only once their faith in you has been gained, you can propose to close the deal.

Be punctual:

This is the most standard code that is followed all across the globe. To be on the safe side, it is always better to arrive five minutes before the scheduled time. Germans are very punctual and any delay in time is frowned upon. While in India, the time lines are a little hazy.

The global business rules are pretty much same as one follows locally. The only consideration in this case will be the cultural difference. It is better to respect and behave as Romans when in Rome.

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