Five Chinese Customs You Should Know for Business Gatherings
A basic knowledge of Chinese customs can be crucial to the success of your business. Few people will subscribe to your ideas if you have not shown interest in what they do or believe in. Taking some time to learn some essential elements in the customs of your business partners will make a world of difference.
The Chinese love their customs and a foreigner portraying some understanding of their culture is always welcome.
Enrolling in a Chinese language course will prepare you well. You do not want to find yourself in a awkward moment with business partners or cohorts. Because your interest is to help you in your business dealings, you do not have to go through a complicated process of understanding word morphology and semantic origins. Below are some of the most significant customs to learn.
Do not tip
As a show of appreciation, many from Western beliefs will tip or give extra money. In China, this is not the case. Tips are not always received with welcoming hands. Your action could backfire and haunt you because it can be taken as a bribe. When engaging the Chinese, show composure and appreciate acts of generosity by a ‘thank you.’ Anything beyond that may not be taken lightly.
Greetings and Etiquette vocabulary
No matter when you began to learn the Chinese language, you must, at the very least, know the standard greetings and etiquette. It will not be taken with kindness when someone salutes you in Chinese, only for you to go dumb or respond in English.
Learn the gestures that are used. Although shaking hands is becoming popular, the typical Chinese greeting is a bow. If you are uncertain, allow your colleagues to lead.
Hierarchy is critical to Chinese business people. If you are a junior, it is advisable you allow your seniors to take the lead. The first person to enter a room is always the most senior followed by his or her juniors. If you are the senior, it will be prudent to lead the others.
It is common to see a person shove a business card into the pocket even before taking a look. That would be the rudest thing to do to a business partner. Cards are presented with both hands with personal information facing up. Take your time to go through a business card and ask any relevant questions: it shows that you are interested.
The knowledge of the person’s native language is important because it determines the language you will use to write your business card. In your prior preparation, understand the kind of delegation you are going to meet.
How do you dress for a Chinese business gathering? Formal is always acceptable which makes it easier for you. When you wear a suit, you will have nothing much to worry about. For women, avoid skimpy dressing because it will not be taken kindly by men or women.
Your understanding of Chinese customs will determine whether you will utilise opportunities that come your way. As you know, first impression plays a critical role. It is vital that you consider your appearance. Do not make the wrong impression in the initial stages of your meeting.