Throughout her lengthy international career with Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) and beyond, professional Heather Rome has had the opportunity to conduct business in Asia on multiple occasions. Her short-term assignments in the continent have taught her that business dealings in China, for example, require a specific set of etiquette standards. For international business professionals who plan to work in China, the following facts should be understood.
- When dressing for a business meeting in China, staying conservative is the key to not offending others. A person does not have to always wear formal attire, but business professional clothing is suggested. Women should refrain from showing too much skin, especially on the arms and legs. Men will find better acceptance if they wear business suits in dark colors.
- There are many strict observances in China related to the business realm. However, Chinese professionals are aware of their cultural protocols and do not expect consummate perfection from outsiders. However, international business professionals who respect these customs and make an effort to implement them, even if they make a mistake, are often better received by the business community.
- Personal relationships are important in the Chinese business culture. For someone who has never had business dealings in the country, being introduced through a mutual third party is very helpful. This provides the new business colleague a reference point via someone they already personally trust.
- Lastly, Asian business practices are very fond of timely correspondence. To maintain a good working relationship with Asian businesses, make sure to correspond with them regularly. This level of cultural awareness and respect implemented during Heather Rome’s travels with DAI and beyond contributed to greater business success throughout Asia