PUT YOUR BEST CARD FORWARD
A Woman’s Guide to Corporate Success
Business Card Etiquette in 3 Different Countries
While Mireille Guiliano is best known for “French Women Don’t Get Fat,” her book on healthy eating and balanced living, authorship is actually her second career. Before she took up the pen, Guiliano was president and CEO of the French Champagne brand Veuve Clicquot. She developed Veuve Clicquot’s reputation in America almost single- handedly over a 20-plus year career, and now she has chronicled that success in her 2010 bestseller “Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense & Sensibility” — a guide to climbing the corporate ladder geared specifically toward women. Just as “French Women Don’t Get Fat” upended the typical diet book format, “Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire” leaves the usual business book style behind almost immediately. As Guiliano writes in her introduction, “This isn’t another business book that tells you how to ‘succeed’ or ‘get the corner office.’ Yes, of course, you’ll find advice on getting ahead and getting promoted … but more than that, you’ll find advice on being happy and living a good life, even while you are making the biggest contribution you can to the workplace. That’s why I dare to talk about style, and clothes, and food, and wine, and entertaining, and LIFE in a business book. We don’t work in a vacuum.” Guiliano is true to her word. Between the covers, readers will find advice on topics as far-ranging as developing the perfect handshake, choosing catering for a business dinner, dressing for success, and putting together an effective presentation. Guiliano has plenty of experience to back up her counsel and shares amusing anecdotes about the food and beverage industry, French culture, and her own journey along the way. There are no easy three-step solutions here, only long-term goals and strategies. What really makes “Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire” unique is that it caters specifically to women in pursuit of high-powered CEO or CFO jobs. Guiliano covers circumventing prejudice right alongside choosing a dress and tips on being the perfect lunch date. Still, both men and women will come away from this book with ideas about how to achieve success without sacrificing the pleasures French women hold so dear.
The business card is a nearly ubiquitous way to give your name, position, company, and contact information to potential clients and business partners all over the world. And while the exchange of business cards in the United States does not come with a lot of pomp and circumstance, that is not the case in many other countries. If you find yourself in one of the following places, remember these tips about exchanging business cards. Japan Known in Japan as meishi , the exchange of business cards comes with a lot of ceremony. Present your card with both hands, as this gesture is seen as respectful. Japanese culture places a lot of value on hierarchy and status, so make sure your title is listed prominently. When receiving a card, take a minute to look it over and comment on it. Immediately putting it away is disrespectful, and once you’re done looking at it, put it in a cardholder, folder, or binder. and contact info in English on one side and in the local language on the other is good practice. Gold lettering is considered auspicious, and if your business is relatively old, make sure the year it was founded is on your card. The practice of giving and receiving cards is very similar to that of Japan. Finish the exchange with a bow as a way to thank your acquaintance for meeting with you. India Business cards are exchanged even in nonbusiness interactions in India. Much like hierarchy and status are valued in Japan, academic achievements are valued in India, so list your university, degrees, and honors along with your other information. When exchanging cards, always give and receive them with your right hand. This is also common practice in many Middle Eastern countries. Exchanging business cards the wrong way probably won’t be detrimental to your business deal, but learning the proper etiquette in the country you’re visiting can go a long way in starting a professional relationship on the right foot. China In China, as in many other countries, having your credentials
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