Culture >>> Cultural Diversity >>> Managing Cultural Differences


12 Tips for Global Business Travelers

Sondra Sen

author of International Business Interacts, specific cross-cultural business guides on 50 countries

  1. Learn something about the country, local customs, and cultural sensitivities to avoid making faux pas while abroad.

  2. Err on the side of formality. Be low-key in dress, manners, and behavior.

  3. Don't rush greetings and introductions in an effort to get down to business quickly.



  4. Expect your meetings and negotiations to be longer than anticipated. Build more time into schedules.

  5. Don't show impatience or irritation. Politeness and respect matter.

  6. Express yourself carefully. Accents, idioms, and business jargon may be unfamiliar.

  7. Listen attentively to show that you care about what is being said.

  8. Indicate a sincere interest in your colleagues, their concerns and issues, to build win-win solutions.

  9. Don't put global colleagues on the spot or cause loss of face by being too direct or expecting a "yes" or "no" answer.

  10. Avoid public criticism or comparison with your own country.

  11. Familiarize yourself with customs surrounding gift-giving and business entertaining.

  12. Build relationships and trust, which is the key to successful global partnerships.


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