The Ultimate Guide to International Body Language in Business
Each of us knows how to use our body parts to send messages but not many of us realise that people in different parts of the world 'speak' different body languages. Humans have more than 700,000 forms of body language: facial expressions, gestures, mannerisms, greetings and degree of eye contact vary greatly across countries.
In today's global business environment, you will likely visit foreign countries or build working relationships overseas. You may work directly with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Improving your level of knowledge of international cultural difference in business can aid in building international competencies as well as enabling you to gain a competitive advantage. Body language training is therefore a great asset to organisations with practical applications to leadership, sales, customer relations, HR and workplace dynamics.
As you can see, there are significant cultural differences in body language, and knowing how to non-verbally communicate in any particular culture will help you build and maintain stronger international business relationships.
So before travelling to a foreign country for business, it is a good idea to read up about the body language etiquette of that culture. You should also try to dull down your gestures and mannerisms until you've had the chance to observe some of the locals - once you have seen how they use body language, you can subtly try to mimic this behaviour. This will help you to present yourself in an appropriate manner, avoid any awkward situations or accidental offences, and gain acceptance into the culture.