Course Outcomes

This international etiquette and cross-cultural communication course will:

  • Prepare participants for international business interactions.
  • Offer a framework for understanding different cultures.
  • Provide clear and concise guidelines related to international etiquette practices.

Course Overview

Cross-cultural mistakes can cost time and money. Worse still, they can create unnecessary hard feelings. This program aims to help those who participate avoid those problems. During this workshop, participants will learn how to interact with people from other cultures and practice good international etiquette. The course explores the impact culture can have on business relationships and what people from different cultures view as “the norm.” Through a series of exercises and activities, we will look at global etiquette, cross-cultural challenges, and solutions for relating to people from different places. If requested, we can target this program to address culture-specific interactions for up to five countries.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Define the impact of culture on global business relationships.
  • Understand the norms of designated cultures.
  • Build credibility and relationships with international partners.
  • Communicate effectively with international colleagues via phone and email.
  • Follow rules of international etiquette.
  • Adhere to a range of cultural protocols.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

We Are the World: Understanding Cultural Similarities and Differences

In this initial discussion, participants will explore features of a global workplace and explain how organizations can gain a competitive edge by preparing their staffs for international interactions. The group will map out the norms of the United States on the Iceberg of Culture model and explore such topics as the concept of self, personal versus societal responsibility, time, and internal versus external control as they relate to work styles.

Worlds Apart: Shortening the Distance Through Knowledge

In this part of the program, participants will examine several country-specific overviews that include such information as important facts and figures, economic climate data, names and locations of major cities, popular culture highlights, and more. Next, the group will again use the Iceberg of Culture model as a springboard for a discussion around the norms for the focus countries.

The Business Diplomat: More About What’s Expected

People who work internationally are in essence informal diplomats who serve as ambassadors for their organization. The better they are able to read and navigate a culture, the more easily they can establish credibility and build business relationships. This section of the workshop focuses on a range of bridge-building information: culture-specific management styles, how culture can affect relationships between customers and companies, and how core values and societal norms can influence such workplace activities as scheduling appointments, conducting meetings, and giving presentations.

Best Foot Forward: Saying and Doing the “Right” Things

Forms of address, hierarchies, names, titles, business cards, and gift-giving protocols often frustrate uninformed business people who are interacting with those from other countries. This course addresses such issues as assuming roles during meetings, making seating arrangements, and understanding their responsibilities as guests. Participants will explore common and not-so-common business situations and discuss appropriate actions for handling them.

Going Global: International Etiquette

Reading culture-specific gestures, respecting personal space, interpreting body language accurately, and engaging in small talk appropriately are all actions that contribute to first-rate business communication. In this part of the program, participants will have an opportunity to fine-tune their international business communication skills and knowledge of global etiquette. This workshop segment also devotes time to dining etiquette and how various cultures relate to food and entertaining for business.  

At the program’s conclusion, participants will have an understanding of how to apply their newfound knowledge of culture, communication, diplomacy, and international etiquette practice.