Recently a call came in at Ask-a-Librarian's telephone service. The caller asked if we could help her find information on international business etiquette. Her new boss was to arrive from an Asian country, and she wanted to be prepared.
Did you know that the Japanese response “I’ll consider it,” may actually mean “No?” Or that Greeks may give you a handshake, an embrace, and a kiss at first meeting? Or that it is standard Arab practice to keep supplicants—that may be you—waiting?
MCPL has materials on etiquette and customs so you can avoid confusion as well as an embarrassing faux pas. Some good starting places include:
- Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands: The Bestselling Guide to Doing Business in More Than 60 Countries by Terri Morrison; or
- Breaking Through Culture Shock: What You Need to Succeed in International Business by Elisabeth Marx.
- Doing Business in China for Dummies by Robert Collins and Carson Block; or
- International Business Etiquette. Latin America: What You Need to Know to Conduct Business Abroad with Charm and Savvy by Ann Marie Sabath. This series also has titles for Europe as well as for Asia and the Pacific Rim.
Happy business deals and happy traveling!