Contemporary Business Etiquette builds on a self-reflective approach to one’s own culture as well as openness and flexibility towards interlocutors from across the globe. Consequently, the highly intercultural fabric of LBS is a great venue to increase one’s competencies in International Business Etiquette. Guided by experienced trainer Barbara Wietasch, the IML students have the opportunity to practice cross-cultural business interaction. The training addresses topics such as time perception, distance, hierarchies, power-relations in managerial decision-making, the use of humor, netiquette in online communication, and behavior at more informal socializing and networking events.
One particularly compelling subject is the culture-dependent approach to giving and accepting presents against the backdrop of rigid corporate governance regulations. These sometimes delicate questions are being examined from the vantage points of the various cultural backgrounds among the IML students. Numerous exercises raise the participants’ sensitivity towards significant differences between business cultures, and equip them with strategies to mediate them in order to succeed globally. For instance, the students learn to introduce themselves effectively within 60 seconds (the so-called elevator pitch). Thanks to the presence of Shanghai-based Business Etiquette instructor Diana Rudolph, this year’s seminar placed particular emphasis on the ever more important Chinese market – and the respective does and don’ts of interaction with business partners in Asia.