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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Business Etiquette


Business Etiquette around the world.

- Avoid scheduling Friday afternoon meetings during autumn in Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.

- It is considered impolite to start drinking before everyone has raised glasses together, a procedure one repeats with each round in Berlin, Germany.

- If you are invited to someone’s house for dinner, don't forget to bring a gift like flowers, chocolates, or a bottle of good wine in Brussels, Belgium.

- Contacts are crucial, stylish attire is the norm, appearance is prized, and your contacts would appreciate being invited to the latest restaurant for lunch in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

- Be punctual and stick to mineral water during lunch in Chicago, IL, U.S.A.

- In Dubai, U.A.E., the weather is a favourite topic of conversation, as is bad driving, and what a wonderful place the city is.

- In Hong Kong when receiving a business card, make a show of examining it, then put it into your card case or place it on the table.

- Business is conducted while getting to know each other over beer and rugby, or in a corporate box at a cricket match in Johannesburg, South Africa.

- When in a pub, do not expect table service in London, U.K.

- You will never go wrong with a business suit, but don't be surprised if you're the only one wearing one in Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.

- Social drinking is common, and you can expect a boozy lunch and a visit to a table dance, a strip club, to celebrate closing a deal in Mexico City, Mexico.

- Dress and overall appearance are important and never refuse an offer of a coffee or a glass of wine in Milan, Italy.

- Toasts are a big deal in Moscow. It is well worth preparing a few well-chosen English phrases for toasting to business in Moscow, Russia.

- Allow ample time if you need to cross the city to get to a meeting. Getting from the North to the South of Bombay, during peak hours, can take as long as two hours. Little business gets done when a major cricket match is on in Mumbai (Bombay), India.

Note: No work gets done anywhere in India or Pakistan when both meet in a World Cup Cricket match, which is once in four years. :-)

- No matter how poor the service in bars and restaurants, always leave something. Don't be offended if someone appears confrontational, as it is not personal in New York City, NY, U.S.A.

- It is rude to be on time for a private dinner. To refuse wine at lunch would be permissible, but seen as odd in Paris, France.

- It is important to start and end appointments on time and be generous with your contacts in San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.

- During a business meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil avoid putting your briefcase or handbag on the ground, as local suspicion holds that your money may run away.

- Business cards are swapped at breakneck speed. On receiving one, use both hands and read it immediately. Be sure to offer yours in return in Shanghai, China.

- Modesty is appreciated and achievements are played down in Singapore.

- Be open to talking about wine and sports in Sydney, Australia.

- The exchange of business cards is a ritual and pauses in conversation are an important part of communication in Tokyo, Japan.

- Breakfast and morning meetings are common in Toronto, Canada.

- Anything other than a white or pale blue shirt on a man is a bold statement in Washington, DC; U.S.A.

- It is common for people to arrive early for an appointment and wait to avoid being late in Zurich, Switzerland.

All the above links are taken from the Cities Guide section of Economist.com.