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Understanding business etiquette is important in making good networks and contacts and in striking deals. There are many different ways of greeting people and not all of them are good so, in business, where we want to impress and hopefully to make a profit, it is important to get this right. First impressions count and can often go on to colour a whole set of negotiations or a deal. With globalization, companies are having to support staff in communicating with contacts and colleagues all around the world whether by travel, phone or email and insults can be perceived easily or offence taken for very little obvious reason and that is a shame when a little education beforehand would have prevented the bottom falling out of a deal or failure to close after negotiations or discussions. When you do your research, look at some psychology sites first, to examine issues around threat, aggression, body language,facial expression and personal space. Then apply what you have learned from your research to different cultures. Look at some sites from different nations and check correct form and business etiquette for each. Look at some social anthropology sites for traditional gestures such as hand-shaking, cheek-offering or head-bowing and briefly list a history for each one. Compare them all to today’s business manners and see if things are changing, mellowing or blending so that we are all becoming more similar. Finish by discussing the pros and cons of various cultural norms when applied to today’s business situation.
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