In today's inter-reliant, international and culturally diverse world economy, cross cultural differences can have an impact on business success. Both at an individualand organisational level understanding the values, etiquette and protocol of different cultures can positively influence your dealings in the worldwide marketplace.
One area of importance in crosscultural awareness is the different dining etiquettes of the world. Understanding dining etiquette can help international business people polish their conduct and behavior while dining or entertaining.Cross cultural dining etiquette involves considering the following points:
. Seating - is there a protocol as to who sits where? Should one wait to be seated? Is it acceptable etiquette formen/women to sit next to one another?
. Eating - what utensils, if any, are used? Is it a knife and fork, hands or chopsticks? Is there any etiquette around using them?
. Body language - how should onesit? Is it bad etiquette to rest elbows on the table? If seated on the floor what is the correct position?
. Conversation - is the meal the proper place to engage in conversation? If so, is discussingbusiness appropriate?
. The food - what foods are common to eat? Is it good etiquette to compliment the cook and how? Does one finish everything on the plate? Is it polite to ask for more.. Home/restaurant - what differences in etiquette or protocol would there be? Does one take a gift to the home? Who pays the bill at a restaurant?
By way of outlining some of the cross cultural differences indining etiquette across the world, the following countries shall be used as examples:
Dining Etiquette in Germany:
. It is good etiquette to remain standing until shown where to sit.
. Tablemanners are continental - fork in left hand and knife in right.
. Do not begin eating until the host signals to do so.
. It is bad etiquette to rest elbows on the table.
. Try and cut food with the...