International Culture: Respect is the Key to Successful International Business

If your kind of job involves dealing with international business negotiations, then the concept of respect for international culture should be the first thing you must keep in mind. Dealing with people from different countries can be a little difficult. Most often, what you have in common is too few when compared to your differences. The culture, standards, code of ethics, and traditions are altogether different. However, despite all these differences, ethics related to doing business and negotiations must persist.

International business culture

What is international business culture all about? International business culture compromises the coming together of business people of different backgrounds and cultures to work towards a particular business goal. If you are the one travelling to a different country to negotiate with businessmen based in that country, you should exert some effort to respect the cultural differences and the countries' traditions. The most important thing to remember is to never let their culture get in the way of your business. This can be as simple as observing their religious holidays, and acknowledging the fact that these days are non-working days.

International Festivals

Recently, the international business community has come up with international business festivals to foster tighter relationship among different countries. These international festivals usually involve people belonging of a certain niche or industry, and are excellent opportunities to get to know people who work in the same field internationally.

Dealing with Cultural Differences

How then do you deal with different customs in the business setting? Well, first of all you need to do your very own research on personal and business etiquette in the country you will be travelling to. You can use the Internet or buy a book, whichever you feel is most convenient. Before leaving for your business trip, make sure that you leave your attitude in your home country. Remember that even if you are superior at home, interacting with foreign cultures should always be on a humbled point of view for best results. It is also very important that you try to blend into the culture. Do not resist their food just because you do not like sushi, hold your negative feedback, and try to reach out to them the best that you can.

Do not be surprised about how people conduct business in other countries. Germans, for example, discuss businesses strictly inside the meeting room, and never during meals. Japanese people exchange business cards, a process which seems almost ceremonial; the more you read the card, the more respectful you are. While you can never drink alcohol during negotiations in Australia, social drinking is encouraged in Russia.


It is true how largely different one country's customs are with another. However, in international business, you should go past these differences and move on to your common goals and aspirations. Going past the differences does not mean you ignore the countries traditions or their customs. It means you respect their culture, not because you need to deal with them at the end of the day. It should be because they deserve the respect for their own set of tradition as everybody else in the world does.