Nowadays we travel more often and further, pushing our boundaries and discovering other cultures. In any country, it is important to show respect for the inhabitants and how people interact with each other. This can vary considerably from country to country and from culture to culture.
Because we also increasingly work with people who have a different cultural background than our own, this can lead on the one hand to an enrichment of our own views and values, but on the other hand may also cause confusion, miscommunication and even frustration. Around the world there are innumerable rules regarding manners and communicative behaviour. A variety of rules for business conduct exist as well.
Do you have a business or formal appointment with a German contact? Make sure that you are not only on time, but also that you are impeccably dressed and that your shoes are well polished.
Are you for business in China? Present your business card with both hands. The other way around -as a sign of respect- examine the business card of your business partner carefully before putting it away.
Furthermore, Brits always cue properly, even if there are only two of them.
Then our body language: if you order two beers in Great Britain, do not put up your index and middle finger with the palm of your hand towards yourself. That is just as insulting as raising a middle finger.
For optimal intercultural relationship building and communication, the motivation to interact with people from a different culture and to be able to understand each other is an absolute must.