General etiquettes followed by businessmen around the world


Etiquettes mean anticipated attitude and ethics for a person while functioning in a society, group, or class. These principals, to behave in a particular manner, are essential for developing a pleasant work environment. Business  etiquettes involve forming healthy relationships with other people concerned.
Etiquette is not a set standard it can vary within cultures, but most important aspects of business etiquettes are;
  • to provide social comfort
  • encourage effective communication
  • Consider the interests and feelings of others
  • removing any chances of misunderstanding
  • establishing an appropriate set of etiquettes

Business etiquettes are different in every region of the world, but there are some basic principles that remain consistent in all areas around the globe. Business etiquette does not just understand important discussions during a business meeting, or to address fellowmen; it is a way of gaining serious attitude from others. This involves showing that an individual has self-control, good expression skills, and strong knowledge of his/her business. Lack of attention regarding etiquettes can cause problems in earning trust of your co-workers and your customers, and you can lose business opportunities. Therefore, a competent businessman will try his best to concentrate on these etiquettes.

Courtesy and Respect
Courtesy and showing respect through different gestures is essential while doing business.
  • Make your clients feel important.
  • Keep graceful attitude
  • Being punctual is the most obvious way to express your interest and respect.
  • Being late for work consistently means that an individual has no esteem for other people’s time.
  • Never interrupt a person’s conversation
  • Do not use unpleasant language during a conversation.
  • Good listening skills are necessary for showing respect.
  • Make sure of making good eye contact and paying keen attention to the speaker.

In Europe, China, and Middle Eastern countries, they prefer to communicate in native language.  Therefore, it is essential for them that other people show respect towards their language.

In Africa it is significant that you shake hands with all the people in the room; moving from right to left. In most areas shaking hands is preferred but it is expected from the men to offer their hands first.

In Islamic countries shaking hands among men and women is not desired and men have to wait for the women to offer a handshake; if acceptable. Otherwise verbal greetings are sufficient.

In Japan a bow is an important element of formal greeting. In some countries, face to face meetings are ideal.

In United States of America, the person is expected to stand up when being introduced. Firm shake hands are an indicator of warmth and respect in almost every part of the world. Do not show impatience if the meeting becomes long, and accept if offered refreshments.

Groundwork and Communication
Business etiquette involves preparation and requires homework, so that the other party feels respected. This will keep you from looking sloppy and unprofessional. It is the key feature to keep in contact and return emails and phone calls promptly. Delaying communication is considered lack of interest, and devaluing a person in all regions of the globe.

Attire and Decorum
An individual, who expects respect from the people in the work place, should take care of the dress code. If the office culture is formal; one should wear a suit or jacket to work. If the work environment is casual; then a jeans and t-shirt would be appropriate.

  • maintaining a respectable attitude,
  • using appropriate language,
  • Maintaining arm’s length distance, are considered basic etiquettes in all regions of the world.

Offering business cards at the end of the meeting is considered a good gesture. Addressing by last name is considered appropriate for very formal meetings but first name can be used in few regions without showing offense.

Relationship with peers, subordinates and superiors
Take time for small talk in the beginning of a meeting, or during the day while fulfilling daily tasks; this develops a positive relationship among people at work. The subordinates will see you as more professional and will give their best performance; if you treat them with respect.

Keep record of your colleagues and staff’s birthdays; offer congratulations officially.

A persistent respectful behavior will also develop your reliability within the business or industry. Refrain from gossip and political agendas in the workplace.

In all areas of the world, these etiquettes are used and can vary slightly. There are no set standards or rules regarding business etiquettes around the world. But basic values of behaving in a business situation are more or less same.

One need to be prepared well if going to do business with some foreign country delegates and want to be efficient as well as achieve success in the particular contract.

Author Bio: The author of this guest post, Gretchen Codman is a graduate in Business Administration, and works for a renowned international firm in US as an executive.

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