As a long-time world traveler, I’ve been able to learn country customs and observe and practice acceptable local behavioral customs in order to avoid accidentally offending the locals. For example, when traveling overseas, you should never assume you can eat and drink like you do in the U.S. Some things that we practice here in the U.S. could be negatively misconstrued overseas.
A recent USA Today article on culinary customs was very helpful and truthful. There are many other resources available–both online and in print–that you can use as a reference before you leave on a business trip or meeting. It is always helpful and much appreciated, too, when you can share some of these tips with travelers going overseas for business–via your travel management company or intranet portals.
One of the ways to start to change the perception of the culturally insensitive American is to be more sensitive and make an attempt at respecting local cultures and traditions.
It starts with us!
Do you have any tips on how to show respect for other cultures while on business trips? Please share your best practices here.