Editor’s Note: The International Business Etiquette Series is designed to help students at the David Eccles School of Business navigate different cultures and countries as they conduct business around the globe.
Did you know that Australia has population about 20 million people in country about the size of the United States? The 93% of the population has a European heritage, mainly English. The language spoken is English and the largest religion is Christianity. In this post, we will explore the business etiquette of Australia along with several aspects of Australian culture.
Note: These etiquette tips are generalized, so be aware and sensitive when you’re doing business in Australia. Not all Australians are going to behave this way, so be adaptive and conscientious of your situation.
What should you wear if you do business in Australia?
- Men: You should wear dark conservative attire such as suit and tie
- Women: You should wear a dress, or a skirt typically with blouse.
- Informal clothing is not appropriate during business settings.
What are the “do’s” and “don’ts” when addressing an Australian?
- Do make good eye contact during meetings and during important conversations.
- Do shake hands when meeting and leaving.
- Do exchange business cards to show them you care about their position.
- Do not greet each other with a kiss on the cheek, it is very uncommon.
- Do not be late for a meeting.
- Do not forget to bring a gift of chocolate, flowers, or wine when invited to a person’s house.
How should you communicate with an Australian?
- English is the spoken language during business meetings.
- Be an active listener; Australians like having your full attention.
- Share your opinions, they like hearing a variety of opinions.
Other things to consider:
- Tea time is between 6-8 pm.
- Sightseeing and sports are good topics to talk about over dinner.
- Australians like people to be direct, but they are also very friendly and open.