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March 31, 2009


Here's a quick a look at different business customs in various parts of the world:

Working in Japan? Give business cards with two hands, and spend a lot of time admiring and examining the card. The more time you spend indicates the more respect you have for the person.

Working in Korea? Only give things with your right hand, never with your left. And never, ever, leave work before your supervisors.

Working in France? Don't expect to be on a first name basis with your boss, even if you've been working in France for years.

Working in Colombia? Look sideways direct eye contact is seen as overly aggressive, not as a sign of forthrightness.

Working in Argentina? Think you're doing business with 'just' a company? Think again! You're actually developing personal relationships with a whole slew of people.... The same applies for most of Latin America and the Middle East.

Working in Taiwan? Never write anyone's name in red ink red is the color of death and writing a personal name in red is akin to a death threat.

Working in Russia? Don't be surprised if you're greeted by a hug and a kiss.

Working in Germany? Expect to call close business partners by their formal surnames, even years after you first meet them. No "Hi Bob!" for you.

Working in India? Don't be surprised if your Indian colleague says 'Yes' while shaking his head. He still means yes.

Working in China? Don't sit opposite the door during a business dinner or you will be expected to pick up the entire tab.

Working in Brazil? Avoid giving gifts that contain the color purple it's associated with death.

Working in the Middle East? Don't think about scheduling anything for Friday it's the equivalent of the American Saturday.


Filed Under: Workplace Issues

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