Success Tips for Networking in Different Cultures

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Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and Chairman of BNI, an international referral networking organization, offers three tips for successful networking in different cultures.

Some cultural dynamics are fine with close, personal interaction, while others demand a bigger bubble

Doing business outside of one's home country can be tricky. One wrong move or mistranslation could poison vital relationships. Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and Chairman of BNI, an international referral networking organization, offers three tips for successful networking in different cultures.

Business Card Etiquette

Exchanging business cards is an essential part of most cultures. "The business card means much more in the Asian culture than it does here in America," explains Misner. "It's truly an extension of the individual and is treated with respect."

Consideration of Personal Space

"Some cultural dynamics are fine with close, personal interaction, while others demand a bigger bubble," Misner says. "This is not a point to underestimate." For Americans, they typically are: public space (ranges from 12 to 25 feet), social space (ranges from 4 to 10 feet), personal space (ranges from 2 to 4 feet), and intimate space (ranges out to one foot).

Use of Slang

When using slang in a business environment, keep in mind that a phrase that means one thing in the USA might have no meaning--or a very different meaning--to a businessperson from another culture.

Planning some overseas business travel? Do your homework ahead of time. One great resource for information on customs and business etiquette is http://www.ExecutivePlanet.com.

Networking basics are universal. Taking cultural nuances into account will assure that your networking etiquette will be appreciated both at home and in other countries.

Misner provided these tips in his recent monthly column for Entrepreneur.com (the online home of Entrepreneur Magazine). Read the whole story online at: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/0,4621,328260,00.html.

For more information about the power of networking, visit http://www.bni.com.

BNI (http://www.bni.com ) is a referral networking organization, with over 4,000 groups in more than 30 countries worldwide. BNI's Founder & Chairman, Dr. Ivan Misner is the author of several book's including the NY Times best-seller, Masters of Networking, (http://www.MastersofNetworking.com) and the recently released #1 best-seller, Masters of Success (http://www.MastersofSuccess.biz). He is also the Senior Partner for the Referral Institute (http://www.referralinstitute.com), a referral training company with operations around the world.

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Michael R. Drew

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Fax: 512-857-9428

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