Cultural Etiquette and International Protocol

Protocolumn

About this page:
The columns are primarily written by author and site owner, Gloria Petersen. However, guest columnist are welcome. Submit your idea via our “Contact Page.”

POTENTIAL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES for GLOBAL BUSINESS

United State population is 325 million persons while the number of consumers in the rest of the world is almost 7 BILLION. Further, our nation’s annual economic growth was only about 1.2 percent this past year. So, why does that matter? Any business with such a low annual growth rate may be on its way to disappear. What things we should do when conducting business in another country? Develop ...
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Global Do’s and Taboos

When traveling abroad, there are international meeting protocol do's and taboos. One of the most common mistakes people who travel abroad for meetings make is the disregard for local body language, posture, facial expressions and gestures. Some are appropriate in one country but offensive in another. For example, the OK sign gesture …
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How to Deal With Challenging Situations and People with Diplomacy and Civility

Ever wish that you could wave a magic wand and everyone would be respectful, civil, and accommodating? Unfortunately, uncertain times brings discontent and confusion. Thus, it is more important than ever to deal with people, situations, and one’s own behavior with diplomacy, dignity, finesse, tact, and civility, thereby setting the better example. These are powerful “win-win” words. Here we will revisit the basics of effective communication
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Developing Social Intelligence Through Cross-Cultural Mentoring

The influx of people from different cultures into a company is a workplace concern around the world. For reasons of personal comfort, individuals tend to segregate themselves from people who speak a different language or are just different. Hence you have several pockets of cultural groups working but rarely socializing with each other because . . .
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Arranging for Interpreters: “The Invisible People”

Unless you have an excellent command of a particular language, an interpreter is your bridge to meaningful communication with an international client or partner. Highly trained professional interpreters translate orally for speakers of different languages, thus becoming the voice of the speaker, whether host or guest. This is extremely important when traveling and attending conventions and trade shows abroad. Never assume . . .
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Food Taboos are Powerful!

If a person realizes after the fact that he or she has eaten a taboo food (e.g., soup with bacon bits or a beef stock), they may actually become depressed with guilt or feel physically ill. While it is a challenge to be sensitive to every food preference or restriction, vegetarian-based foods are the safest. The problem of food taboos usually centers around meat-based dishes. Most cultures view the dining experience as a time-honored ritual for Continue reading

Traveling Abroad? “Eat Whatever They Put in Front of You!”

Guest Columnist: Peter Faur, President, RightPoint Communications ... In the international business class I took as part of my MBA, the instructor gave the following advice: “If you’re ever doing business abroad, and you’re having dinner with clients or customers, eat at least a bit of whatever they put in front of you, no matter how ghastly it seems.” He worked for a far-flung, multinational company, and he told stories of eating duck feet, jelled
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The Flag: Do Not Make this Mistake!

A flag is a symbol of people—whether a nation, a city, or a corporation. A national flag is often displayed along with other flags at meetings, banquets, and other corporate (or international) events. It sends a strong message that you value and respect your guests (or visitors). Consequently, it is important to learn how
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Embracing Cultural Differences For Greater Business Success

Guest Columnist: Doug Bruhnke, President/CEO, Growth Nation Do you know business people who don’t have a strong sensibility about cultural differences, and the impact they have on business dealings? If you do, they are probably the “I’ll-do-it-my-way ugly Americans” (or whatever their nationality) who are good fodder for stories of global business opportunities lost. Often these
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