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Thailand Business Etiquette

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Karena Oun

on 6 December 2012

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Transcript of Thailand Business Etiquette

Thailand A Thai Introduction Known as the Land of smiles, Thailand is a country of natural beauty, tropical climate and
hospitable people. Thailand, previously called Siam, is the only Southeast Asian county never
to have been taken over by a European power. Thai people are very proud of this and it is
reflected in their culture. However, foreign colonial power in the countries surrounding
Thailand has resulted in a large external influence, especially in Bangkok, offering a good
balance between foreign and Thai culture. With a sense of humor and a welcoming attitude,
Thais are pleasant people who value the Buddhist tradition. Doing business successfully
with Thai people requires understanding the values and beliefs of Thai society. Business Greetings The wai is the common form of greeting and adheres to strict rules of protocol.
Raising both hands, palms joined with the fingers pointing upwards as if in prayer, lightly touching the body somewhere between the chest and the forehead, is the standard form.
The wai is both a sign of respect as well as a greeting.
. The senior person returns the wai, generally with their hands raised to somewhere around their chest.
. If a junior person is standing and wants to wai a senior person who is seated, the junior person will stoop or bow their head while making the wai. The Wai Business Cards Business cards are given out after the initial handshake and greeting.
. Using your right hand, deliver your business card so the Thai side faces the recipient.
Look at a business card for a few seconds before placing it on the table or in a business card case. Meeting Etiquette International Business Etiquette Thailand Karena Oun
Stephanie Okpala Business Introductions Thais prefer doing business with people they respect.
Relationships develop slowly and do not flourish after one meeting; it may take several meetings.
Always be respectful and courteous when dealing with others as this leads to the harmonious relationships necessary within business.
Rank is always respected. The eldest person in the group is revered.
Watch your body language and facial expressions, as these will be believed over your words. Table Manners Etiquette A fork and spoon are the usual eating utensils. However, noodles are often eaten with chopsticks.
. The spoon is held in the right hand and the fork in the left.
. Most meals are served as buffets or with serving platters in the center of the table family- style.
. You may begin eating as soon as you are served.
. Leave a little food on your plate after you have eaten to show that you are full.
. Never leave rice on your plate as it is considered wasteful..
. Never take the last bite from the serving bowl.
. Wait to be asked before taking a second helping.
. Do not lick your fingers. Gift Giving Etiquette If invited to a Thai's home, a gift is not expected, although it will be appreciated.
Gifts should be wrapped attractively, since appearance matters. Bows and ribbons add to the sense of festivity.
Appropriate gifts are flowers, Good quality chocolates or fruit.
Do not give marigolds or carnations, as they are associated with funerals.
Try to avoid wrapping a gift in green, black or blue.
Gold and yellow are considered royal colors.
Only use red wrapping paper if giving a gift to a Chinese Thai.
Gifts are not opened when received.
Money is the usual gift for weddings and ordination parties. Dress Etiquette Business attire is conservative.
Men should wear dark colored conservative business suits.
Women should wear conservative business suits or dresses. Women need not wear hosiery.
Since Thai's judge you on your clothing and accessories, ensure that your shoes are always highly polished. The Wai (continued) A wai can mean "Hello," "Thank you," "I'm sorry," or "Goodbye." A wai is not used to greet children, servants, street vendors or laborers. Never return a wai to a child, waiter, clerk, etc. Simply nod and smile in response. Meeting Etiquette When being introduced or greeting someone, men say Sawatdee-krap and women say Sawatdee-kah.
Introductions are common only in a formal situation. Introduce yourself by your first name. Feel free to introduce yourself or ask for someone's name. When introducing your business partner to an important Thai, mention your partner's name first. Conclusion Thai value systems regarding dress, social behavior, religion, authority figures, and sexuality are much more conservative than those of the average Westerner. Although the Thais are an extremely tolerant and forgiving race of people blessed with a gentle religion and an easygoing approach to life, visitors would do well to observe proper social customs to avoid embarrassment and misunderstanding. Thai people are extremely polite and their behavior is tightly controlled by etiquette, much of it based on their Buddhist religion. Sources http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/thailand-country-profile.html
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