​​​Don’t make a cultural faux pas:

  • Germans generally keep their office doors closed.  When you knock on a closed door, wait to be invited in.

  • Don’t give a Japanese colleague a pat on the back; the Japanese are leery of public touching.

  • ​​If you are introduced to a group of people in China, they may applaud.  The appropriate

         response is to return the applause.

  • In France, where cooking is an art, it is rude to salt food before tasting it. 

  • In South Korea, if a local asks to hear a few bars of your favorite song, hop up and belt it out - singing is a Korean passion.


  • For men:  Don’t shake hands with one hand in your pocket and don’t talk with your hands in your pockets.  In many countries, this is considered impolite.



  • In the Middle East, sitting posture is very important.  Slouching or sitting carelessly when talking with someone communicates a lack of respect for that person. 

Tips for Cross-Cultural Success

Making cultural differences an asset

  • Many Europeans shake hands with everyone present  both when arriving and again when leaving.

  • Most Latin Americans use two last names.  The “given name” is first, father’s last name second, and mothers’ last name  last.  You should address the individual using his father’s last  name.

Understanding cultural differences saves you from embarrassing faux pas  (Click here for article)