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Business Etiquette in Europe

In the world of business, business etiquette plays a very crucial role in the successful running of an organization. It is vital to a business because it fosters a positive working environment, contributes to building strong relationships within an organization, and helps enhance its overall efficiency since it covers the range of accepted behaviors, manners, and anticipations professionally. Europe is favorable for setting up an organization because it has a strong economy, well-developed infrastructure, a diverse market, and a skilled workforce. According to a study by Marcin Antoniak (2020), any entrepreneur wishing to set up a business in a European country or any other country, in general, needs to be aware of the behavior and beliefs of their potential partner or employees, which influenced by not only their origin or cultural practices but may differ depending on their country due to its distinctive characteristics. This essay will scout the fundamental principles of business etiquette in Europe, which include formal communication style, time management and punctuality, cultural sensitivity, professional dress code, and dining etiquette, amongst others, and explore their importance in general.

Any entrepreneur wishing to shop in any European country must understand a communication style that respects both parties and does not cause problems or undermine any person’s principles. In European countries, business communication is formal, so there should be politeness. Also, using a respective tone is crucial even if there is a misunderstanding for a better outcome. It is important to note that most European business associates, especially women, who are familiar with each other may greet each other by kissing each other on the cheeks. So, if you are new, you must shake hands to avoid appearing disrespectful. Communication also includes verbal and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication is crucial, mainly where words are exchanged from one person to another, while non-verbal communication is communication without using actual words but gestures. Still, instead, the communicating parties use gestures to communicate. It is also crucial to understand that when there is a language barrier between a manager and the subordinates, there should be an interpreter to deliver commands leading to success.

In European business culture, punctuality and timekeeping are crucial, and meetings always start on time. Therefore, one should arrive a few minutes in time, and if one will be late, to be late, one should call and give notice (MM Aye, p. 5, 6, 2018). In Europe, business meetings and gatherings always start on time and end on time, hence the importance of a manager prioritizing efficient time management and respecting their colleagues’ schedules. In general, in any business, whether a manager or a subordinate, it is essential to keep time and show up to meetings on time because it is respectful and shows seriousness and dedication toward meeting the organization’s goals. Being punctual in anything one does is not only seen as being respectful but also reflects the reliability and commitment of one towards what they are doing. Therefore, it is crucial for a manager always to keep time, whether working in a European country or anywhere in the world.

Europe is a continent comprising many countries, and as with any other continent in the world, their countries each have their own cultural and customary beliefs and norms (Zsuzsanna Tóth et al., 2022, p. 2, par. 2). For any manager setting up a shop in any part of the world different from theirs, it is critical to study and learn the dos and don’ts of the place they wish to settle. Each country has its cultural practices that, when not followed, might lead to workers even resigning from their jobs, leaving you stranded with no workforce. For example, in Europe, there are some cultural practices like kissing a woman on the hand, which may not be taboo in other parts of the world, and if done, it might land someone in trouble. Therefore, it is essential to thoroughly research the area in which you are setting up your corporation. It is also crucial to understand different communication styles in new regions, like greetings, gestures, and any other communication style that differs with the country and region.

A dress code is taken very seriously in European countries. Therefore, as a manager, it is vital to ensure the attire you wear in a meeting or on day-to-day attendance to work is respectable because being well-dressed reflects your commitment to the business world. It is essential to understand that choosing attire also depends on the working environment because the expectations are for a person working on a construction site or an industrial worker to dress in a different clothing than one working in an enclosed office. As an entrepreneur, you should ensure that whatever you are working on is respectable and will not offend your colleagues, building a conducive working environment for everyone. Another well-followed etiquette in Europe is meeting etiquette, and therefore, when holding a meeting in any organization in Europe, one should follow the agendas and ensure detailed discussions.

Table manners are a crucial part of every meeting, whether business or friendly, which makes it essential for anybody to show dining etiquette irrespective of where they are. In Europe, business meals are widespread and seen as an opportunity to build relationships. As a new entrepreneur, expectations are for taking your colleagues or partners to dinners; therefore, it is crucial to keep your dining manners in mind for fruitful interactions. One should remember that there are European dining customs, like a particular way of holding the cutlery, and one should wait for the host to start the meal instead of jumping to eat, which may be because you are starving. With these in mind, there will be an engagement in a polite conversation, resulting in better business ventures. As a European businessperson, expectations are for you to hold business meetings and gatherings. According to H. Mackay, p. 12–13 (2020), a host is to take charge of the occasion and ensure that their guests feel welcome and comfortable. As for the guests, it is important to be cooperative and appreciative and to do some homework about your host and other guests in attendance for better out to interact appropriately without crossing anybody’s boundaries.

In conclusion, business etiquette in Europe is crucial to effective management, hence the importance of embracing these different etiquette principles. These principles include being punctual and sensitive, having dining manners, dressing in professional attire, communicating formally, being culture-sensitive, and being aware of the proper procedure to follow when holding meetings. Following these etiquette norms leads to positive professional relationships and success in business endeavors in the diverse European business environment.


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