Business Etiquette You Should Know About When Doing Business in Asia
The global business environment has changed drastically over the last thirty years. It is now a common occurrence for a businessman or an employee of a company to travel to different parts of the globe to conduct business. Culture is an important aspect of doing business in other countries. You need to be sensitive to cultural norms and practices.
This is most apparent in Asia where culture and the concept of authority and respect are deeply ingrained into the business environment. If you haven’t done your research you are most likely to commit a social error. What you need to develop is not just partnerships with your local counterparts but also a more acute sense of business etiquette, especially since these cultural practices differ for each country.
Here are some business etiquette tips you should follow when visiting the following countries:
When you learn Thai culture you will know that the head is considered a very sacred area. Because of this, you should avoid passing anything over a person’s head. Doing this could be seen as an insult.
Sometimes you can gesture a lot when making a presentation or talking to someone. If you do so, remember not to use just your forefinger in a gesture of making a point. It’s considered rude. Rather, you should use your whole hand when you want to emphasize a point.
During business dinners, you may be offered a glass of Baiju, an alcoholic drink. It is customary that you accept this drink. You don’t need to gulp it down. Just a few sips will do. Remember that if you finish your glass, it will immediately be refilled. It is part of the custom to leave the glass part empty.
Being overly confident is a positive trait in many business situations in the West. But in Singapore, it is not seen as an overly positive trait. Modesty is more of the norm.
Business cards are extremely important in the Japanese business environment. When introductions are made, it is almost mandatory that you exchange calling cards. There is an art to exchanging calling cards. When you are handed a calling card, you should accept with both hands. You should then look at the card first and read everything before carefully keeping it. It’s considered an insult to not look at a card or just haphazardly keep it.