American Business Culture and Etiquette

America is known for its diverse heritage. People of all races and nationalities come together in the United States, leading many individuals to wonder about american business culture. When it comes to american business culture, however, there is less diversity. Individuals planning to work in the country need to know what is acceptable and what is not. What makes this part of the world unique?

Particularities Of The Business Mentality

A watch and dollar billsThe United States is built on the American dream. In fact, the entire american culture revolves around the idea that hard work leads to financial prosperity and success. Innovation is highly rewarded in the country, and people are expected to put in long hours at work. Furthermore, there is a clear line between management and lower employees. People tend to be competitive but informal in their interactions. Time is considered to be an asset in America, much like money is, thus everything people do is geared toward this concept. Efficiency and punctuality are rewarded, and the same is true of individual initiative. People who are willing to go above and beyond what is expected of them go far when working for american companies.

Characteristics Of Conversation/Communication

People in the country tend to be friendly, yet get right to the point. Short answers are normal in business conversations, and people need to be very clear during interactions. This does not mean it is acceptable to be rude, however. Remain polite at all times, and ask to have things clarified when needed. Criticism needs to be worded carefully, while compliments are always appreciated. Silence is rarely present, and people will often continue talking to avoid periods of silence. Be aware that many business conversations occur on the golf course, thus be prepared to engage in a round or two when working with Americans. Humor is often good in business dealings, and sports phrases are often thrown in as part of a conversation. Don’t hesitate to joke with others or make use of sports metaphors.


A woman and a man in typical business clothingIndividuals are often confused as to how they should dress when working in the United States. What appears appropriate for one company may be completely wrong for another. However, one rule an individual should follow is to always be overdressed as opposed to underdressed. Similar to the chinese culture conservative clothing is generally a safe option, especially when the job involves working directly with clients. However, when the industry involves something of a creative nature, smart casual clothing tends to be a good choice. Consider wearing nice slacks and a top or polo shirt in this situation. Although many employers in America allow workers to wear jeans and sneakers, it’s best to hold off on these clothing choices until it is determined which employers are comfortable with this type of attire and which are not.

Behaviors And Manners In The United States

  • Close physical contact is discouraged in the business world. Stay a minimum of 18 to 24 inches away from others when conducting business.
  • Eye contact and a firm handshake are expected when meeting someone new. However, titles are not of great importance in the country, and individuals need to be expecting informality in these situations.
  • Small talk is frequently used in business situations. Always ask how someone is doing and reply with a basic answer. They aren’t looking for personal details, but an overall statement as to one’s overall wellness. Hobbies, sports, and local entertainment are all good topics in this situation. People often state they wish to meet for lunch as part of this small talk┬ábut never follow up. When someone mentions this and another meeting is desired, it’s best to make plans immediately.
  • Business cards aren’t common in the country anymore. There is no established set of rules regarding the exchange of these cards, and people should not be offended when a business card is stuck in a pocket without being viewed. This is considered perfectly acceptable.
  • Disagreements are not uncommon, although a person will always adhere to company policy.

Take time to learn about the business world in America before embarking on a new venture in the country. Those who do so find they go farther in a shorter period of time. With some time and effort, you can learn how to navigate the business world and move ahead in your career. As the us economy remains one of the largest in the world, you’ll find the time you invest here will benefit you in the long run.

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