When you connect with someone, it’s a good idea to learn a bit about them before actually meeting up with them. Maybe you check out their profile on LinkedIn, check out their website, and perhaps even talk a bit via phone before a face to face. You don’t want to come into the meeting with little to no knowledge about the person, as it may offend them.
The same goes for countries. Before stepping off the plane, it’s a good idea to know their customs and etiquette. I just came across a guide from Swissotel, which dubs itself as the Ultimate in Worldwide Etiquette. A good number of countries are represented and the information provided will have you accurately tipping, greeting, and cheering.
Click on “China” for example. You will see that you should tip 10 – 15%, but in Hong Kong only. You greet by shaking hands. It is rude to whistle or snap and when you point you should do so with an open hand.
Out dining in China? Practice using chopsticks ahead of time, do not slurp (is this okay anywhere?) and refill your neighbor’s glass, never your own (so, let’s hope your neighbor has also read this post, or is from China and already knows to refill your glass as well, or you risk being rather thirsty during your stay).
While in China dress conservatively (don’t pack the hot pink neon ensemble), use both hands when giving/receiving (so tossing it to anyone is a no-no) and avoid physical contact while “conserving.” I think they meant, “conversing,” though perhaps conservation is a group event and no one should touch anyone else while sorting aluminum cans from paper and what have you. I believe it proper for me to now go to China to see this activity firsthand and report it back to you.
Be sure to check some of the other countries as well, it’s pretty interesting! The information, however, is not super detailed. I decided to check out a bit more on the Internet and found interesting information like; you should not eat tacos with a fork and knife (really never crossed my mind to do so) and in Italy you should drink your cappuccino before noon, which leads me to ask – does that include lattes? If so, I guess Starbucks may have a challenge and yes, there are Starbucks in Italy.
*Thank you to LogicMgmt for the image!