Proper etiquette goes a long way in business
Please and thank you are part of business etiquette, but so too is cultural awareness.
That’s the message with which Adeodata Czink, president of Business of Manners, hopes people walk away from her international business etiquette workshops.
“It is important when you are hosting a business meeting, event or interview where there are different socio-cultural backgrounds, to create an environment where regardless of cultural or linguistic barriers everyone can feel comfortable and welcomed,” says Czink. “Catering a business meal for a Jewish client with a pork menu is a sure way to lose business if not their respect. Making accommodations and serving Kosher veil instead illustrates that you’ve taken the time to research their culture and that your interest in your guest goes beyond the business agenda.”
Czink also says the North American tradition of power lunches and breakfasts need to be re-examined when catering to business clients from other countries.
“For many international clients, especially many coming from Europe or Arab countries, … there is a distinction made between meal time and business. You do not mix the two. Eating is a time for socializing and for getting to know their colleagues outside of the business negotiation context,” says Czink. “This time is sacred and
therefore needs to be observed. Ignoring these traditional differences can certainly be interpreted by some as poor etiquette.”
Czink says it’s up to the host to not only research the business deal, but also the culture and beliefs of their guest.
“You cannot expect your guest to abandon their way of doing things over a two-day business visit,” says Czink.
From learning what foods are best to serve at business meetings to proper attire and how to introduce yourself, Czink tries to cover all aspects of business etiquette from both a local and international perspective during her one day seminars.
“Good manners are learned through education and exposure but sadly they aren’t always covered through traditional college or university training. Therefore, the consequences often reveal themselves during that first job interview or on the job,” says Czink.
“Good manners play an integral role in every business encounter. Social etiquette can make or break your success.”
Czink’s workshops are offered at the Ontario Club Commerce Court South and at the Royal York Hotel’s Epic Restaurant Private Dining Room.