What’s the proper way to present a business card in China?

In Israel, is “power distance” a factor in meetings and negotiations?

What’s a good way to begin a negotiation in Turkey?

These were just some of the issues discussed at the recent forum “Business Protocol Across the Globe,” sponsored by the Sawyer Ambassadors. The discussion compared different ways of conducting business in countries across the globe.

The event has its origins in a realization that organizer Laura Reales, BSBA ’18, had soon after arriving at Suffolk: People in Boston do things differently than they do in her native Colombia. Which got her thinking.

“What if I wanted to move to another part of the world, like Saudi Arabia or France or China?” Reales said. “How could I make connections with people so that I don’t look ignorant of their culture? So I decided to create a space where it was ok to talk about those differences.”

The first forum she organized focused primarily on European nations. For this second go-round, she looked further afield and included faculty and students from China, Israel, India, Turkey, Taiwan, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. The panel explored everything from corporate culture and punctuality to negotiation and whether it’s ok to interrupt someone in a meeting.

“The event was very helpful,” said Joshua Weissman LaFrance, MPA/MSPS ’19. “You aren't normally exposed to these sorts of lessons, especially in the United States, unless there's specific programming for it. So this really benefits anyone who hopes to work across borders.”

Reales hopes to organize a third event later this year.

What’s the proper way to present a business card in China?
Cup your hands and make sure the business card faces the person receiving it so they can read it right away.

In Israel, is “power distance” a factor in meetings and negotiations?
No. Israel’s business culture is generally informal.

What’s a good way to begin a negotiation in Turkey?
Ask about the other person’s children.

--Ben HallĀ