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What is Business Etiquette?

What is Business Etiquette?

The business etiquette is that set of unwritten laws that govern meetings and work relationships and that, of course, change from country to country.

Anyone who takes part in business meetings with international partners every day cannot absolutely ignore what these tacitly shared rules are.

Here are some of the international rules of the perfect businessman, which is better not to break to avoid risking a very important meeting before sitting down at the table. 

But first, you need to know what is communication?

Business Etiquette: late or in advance?

In Italy, we have a complicated relationship with punctuality. In a very general line, in the business sphere, it is preferred that a person present himself with the classics five minutes earlier than the time of the meeting or meeting and that he prepares and settles in such a way as to begin the meeting with absolute precision on the roadmap. 

This rule does not apply to every latitude, and the further one moves away from Milan to get closer to Palermo, the more lawful it is to break it.

The five-minute advance rule also applies to German, Canadian, US, Japanese and Russian partners to perfection. 

Things change radically with Turkish, South American, Portuguese and Spanish business partners: arriving on time or in advance of a business appointment is considered almost rude.

The left-hand rule in Arab countries

In most western countries, the businessman's greeting is the handshake, which must be brief but firm and which, if mistaken for a Russian, must be done by looking at the person in front of him.

The problem arises when one has to meet partners or colleagues from the United Arab Emirates, who never use the left hand. 

It is a deeply rooted habit in Middle Eastern culture since the left hand is used for physical hygiene and therefore, for a matter of hygiene and respect, traditionally it is not used to perform other activities, especially in contact with strangers.

It will, therefore, be an act of enormous kindness to avoid using the left hand both to shake hands and to pass or use documents or objects.

Of course, a left-handed person would not be at all comfortable in such a context and should pay close attention.

Straight to the point or not?

In Italian business etiquette, there is a fundamental rule: a business meeting does not necessarily have to end with a concrete result.

For the Italians, in fact, a meeting mainly aims to get to know their interlocutor and to establish a relationship of trust with them.

The agreements can be sent back serenely to a date to be decided and it is not even strictly necessary to follow the agenda of the meeting. The Spaniards are relaxed as Italians, as well as Turkish and Arabic.

Not all the businessmen of the world, however, think like us: Japanese, Chinese and Germans, for example, as well as Americans and Canadians, hate wasting time on pleasantries and go straight to the key point of the meeting to achieve the expected result in as short as possible.

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