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Business etiquette in other cultures

Three people describe business etiquette in their cities - Sydney, London and New York Read the text and answer the questions


We in Sydney are very easy-going and relaxed about rules. But we work hard. We start work pretty early in the morning. Breakfast meetings are common, starting at 8am. And we like to start meetings on time - so it's important not to be late! We're generally very informal. Men often wear a jacket and tie during office hours. But we prefer informal clothes when the weather's hot. For lunch, we usually go out for a sandwich. What do we talk about? Well - it isn't difficult to talk to Australians - we're very friendly people. But it helps a lot if you can talk about sport.


Most people that I know don't like to start work early. We hate breakfast meetings! People are always in a hurry - so being on time for meetings is important. People think the British are very formal. But things are changing. I think we're quite informal nowadays. Some men still wear formal business suits - but a lot of people come to work in casual clothes. Lunch is often a quick sandwich and a coffee. After work, we like to go to the pub with colleagues. At the pub you can talk about anything you like!


Life in New York is fast and dynamic. Some people say that we're rude. I don't mean to be rude - I just don't have much time for being polite! Work starts early in the morning -breakfast meetings start at 7am - don't be late! Most people dress in suits for business - it's important to look smart. A lot of people eat at their desk at lunchtime. But if we go to a restaurant, we talk business right through lunch. We don't talk about the food. People are very competitive and work always comes first!


In which city…

1…..do people like to be informal?

2…..are people very competitive?

3. ….are things changing?


Complete the table:


  Sydney London New York
Breakfast meetings Common – 8 am    
Punctuality   Important  
What do people talk outside work?     business



· Are business people in your country easy-going or more formal? What do they usually wear to work?

· Write an e-mail to a friend abroad who is planning to come to your country on business. Look at the information in the table above. Tell your friend about any practices that are different in your two countries.

· Add the following prefixes to the adjectives below to make words with the opposite meaning. Use a dictionary if necessary. Use the words to complete the definitions

Un-, in-, dis-, im-


Formal Polite Friendly Respectful
Satisfied Practical Efficient Patient
Honest Considerate Important appropriate



who is bad-mannered is________________.

who doesn’t tell the truth is _______________.

who wants to do thing in a hurry and finish quickly________________.

who doesn’t like other people and doesn’t want to talk______________.

who works slowly and doesn’t do their job well___________________.

who doesn’t think about other people’s needs or wishes is ___________.

who isn’t happy with the way things happened is __________________.



Career skills Being polite


Date: 2016-01-05; view: 3623

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