Global | Dec 16, 2016 | Matthew Stratford
How to earn respect in business abroad
When working with global companies, there is no one way to earn respect.
At a presentation during International Business week, Thomas Bunn, managing director of Zeno Group, emphasized the importance of doing so with international clients. Bunn has worked around the world for companies such as Nike, Pizza Hut, Netflix, Campbell’s, Hershey, and Anheuser-Busch, and has had to continually adapt to new values, cultures, and practices.
Despite variation in proper business etiquette, Bunn shared seven basics that nearly always hold true when establishing a relationship with partners abroad.
- Never underestimate the importance of what is local versus what is global.
- Do your homework and research traditions, customs, business etiquette, and cultural nuances—eDiplomat has a great resource.
- You can’t control everything during an interaction, but anticipate what is under your control.
- Irony and humor can make for a dangerous game.
- Some rules are universal: punctuality, cleanliness, observation, patience, goodwill.
- The little things really do matter.
- Learning some of the host’s language is very important.
In an increasingly diverse and global world, these lessons are crucial for the modern-day business student and all those interested in working abroad.