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Correct business etiquette and cross-cultural awareness and understanding serves as both a passport and bridge to sustainable business success.

Conducting oneself in accordance with the highest standards of presence, poise, politeness and civility makes an instantaneous impression. This ‘passport’ allows us to present some initial credentials which, inshallah, will allows us access and entry. At the very least, we now have a fledgling interpersonal relationship and communication. This in turn, over time, becomes a bridge, as professional and personal relationships are fostered and strengthened.

We do business with people, not firms; and as such if we feel a connection with someone, we are more inclined to relax; and build relations, trust, respect and a positive feeling that ‘this is someone we can do business with’. It is also the bridges of cross-cultural awareness and understanding that significantly enhance sustainable business success through strengthening our personal relationships.

It is critical then, especially for firms doing business internationally, that business etiquette and cross-cultural understanding, and the concept of personnel serving as business ambassadors, are placed front and centre of high-performance cultures.

In The United Kingdom we are, more often than not, regarded as a polite society and country. The image of the quintessential English gentleman is a universal one, acknowledged for the standards, values, character and attributes entailed within such a description. We should be proud of this, and across British business proactively promote the highest standards of business etiquette and cross-cultural understanding in all we do, at home and overseas.