Business Meeting

Shaking hands is accepted but not necessary

The typical business language is English, so do bring material in that language and make sure that PowerPoint Slides are properly translated as well

You would typically exchange your greetings and perhaps your name card

Eye contact is usually brief and longer stares are to be avoided as a rule of thumb

Managers tend to be older which in itself lends them an air of authority

Age still implies wisdom and people will be more comfortable dealing with an older manager than a young one

Be well prepared and establish expectation levels at the start

Do not be surprised if your counterparts are running a tape recorder as well

Managers delegate decisions to their teams and expect the decisions to be overtly respected

It is important that meetings should remain as harmonious and non-confrontational as possible

Bear in mind that the quality of the relationship, is the key determinant of a successful and mutually fruitful partnership

Never toss your card across the meeting table as you would deal cards,That is seen as very rude

Do study the cards you received carefully to show respect

Never scribble notes on the cards you have received

Conversation is mostly business focused with food, weather, and the state of the world economy

It is often a clever idea to let any sticking points drop, returning to them later through another approach

Respect should be given to the hierarchy during the meeting

Do not leave your junior members to deal with their senior team whilst you attend to something more important

Punctuality is crucial, as lateness implies a lack of respect

There are four languages in common usage – Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil and English

As in many Asian cultures, ‘no’ is a difficult word and other ways of expressing disagreement should be sought

Business cards are exchanged very formally and offered with both hands

Compliments are rarely given unless the meeting partners know each other very well

For meetings, ask where you should sit or wait to be seated

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