"Dessert in a SHOE was almost worth a Diplomatic Crisis"! This situation took place in Israel during the official visit of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at the official residence of the Israeli Prime Minister.
In Japan, it's culturally wise to leave the shoes at the door of the house or office... let alone at the table!
There are different behaviors that should be adopted when entering into negotiations with individuals from other countries and cultures, even down to the smallest details:
- In Japan you must give your professional card with two hands, but in the United States, you should only offer the professional card with your right hand.
- In China, they expect you to be extremely well prepared for a meeting. Make sure you make more copies of the proposal to deliver. Make sure that the material is only made in black and white and avoid color.
- When a meeting ends in China and in accordance with protocol, you must leave the room first.
- In Brazil, three-piece suits indicate a status of top-level executive.
- In presentations made to German clients, try to avoid ”presentation features" - present the data factually, without illustrations, slogans or publicity. Use data with tables and graphs.
An excellent example of the importance of adapting to different cultures in the business world is given by the movie A Hologram for the King (2016).