It is a common courtesy to greet both customers and visitors to your business in a friendly and professional manner.
It is also common sense that most companies expect their employees to act professionally and to pay great attention to how they greet visitors. In any business situation, but especially in an international setting and when communicating in a foreign language, it is imperative that you also pay attention to the societal norms of different cultures and their customs.
For instance, in most western cultures, the handshake is a common greeting which is also used to conclude business dealings. In American culture, the handshake is a sign that a deal has been agreed upon by all parties, and politicians from all countries vie for the obligatory handshake photo opportunity with visiting dignitaries.
Although the handshake is universally accepted, in some cultures, respect is shown or offered in different ways through gestures such as kissing hands and bowing. Whether or not the handshake will survive the current COVID-19 crisis, or be replaced with a fist-bump, the Wuhan shake or the elbow bump, is anyone’s guess, but the current situation does make greetings in the normal way a little awkward. So, ensuring that your greeting and introduction is as professional as possible is even more important than ever right now!
As the saying goes, ‘first impressions count’, so whether you are greeting somebody in person, or virtually in an online setting, it is necessary that you act in an expected way.
You must look and behave professionally and courteously at all times, offer a friendly greeting and introduce yourself and your colleagues correctly.
For most people, this behaviour is natural and it is probably something you are very comfortable doing in your own language. However, when you are greeting and introducing people in a second language, such as English, you might need to practice a few times to help you feel more comfortable in a new situation.
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