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September 8, 2010 / Astor ICS

International Business Ethics; Behind the Curtain

When doing business in a foreign country, make sure you don’t pack unwanted and unnecessary  ‘baggage’. I mean the items that will prevent you from accomplishment and success. You’ll want to be your best for the occasion, so let’s get right down to the  ‘packing list’.

  1. Be prudent with your behavior. Many extroverted mannerisms are from your own country, and it will serve you well to hold back on these. Read up a little on the types of salutations and mannerisms, they’re readily available. but moreover, hold back on physical moves. Be calm and respectful and you’ll be fine. These days most people are aware of different cultural styles but don’t want to be shocked by them, which makes them uncomfortable, which can lead to negative consequences.
  2. No tricks. the worst thing you can do is complete an agreement that is later found out not to be either complete or not as agreed upon. All that face time will have gone for naught. If there are areas that need to be worked out, kindly explain that and be prepared to set up further meetings for them. Your respect level will go up ten times, if you are honest and consistent. It may feel good for the moment to have ‘won’ the negotiation, but it will mst probably come back to haunt you in the end.
  3. Build a relationship. As the business world becomes closer and closer, we become closer and closer. You will want to take some extra time in discussion, over a meal or some type of social activity to really get to know your foreign counterpart (but remember, you are the foreign counterpart). Moving slowly and kindly also brings you a higher level of respect and  creates a positive perception.

You can see that respect is at the crest of these three points and rightfully so. You are actually a bit more vulnerable, even if you are the CEO, when you are abroad than at home. By building bridges through respect and prudent behavior, your positive and powerful impression will be left long after you have gone.


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