1. European countries are more formal than the U.S. in the use of titles and surnames, and they should always be used.

  2. Business cards are frequently treated with much greater respect than is common in the U.S. One should read it, and not write on it, before putting it in a notebook or a shirt or coat pocket.

  3. Nearly every gesture used within the U.S. has potential to offend in some other culture. Therefore, it is safest to make few informal gestures. Hands should remain out of pockets.

  4. Handshakes between men are almost universally accepted as a greeting. The majority of countries also use a handshake upon concluding a meeting. Handshakes between sexes or between two women have a more varied acceptance. Allowing the host woman to extend her hand first is a safe way of assuring there is no offense.

  5. In many cultures, the personal space “bubble” is much less than in the U.S.

  6. Punctuality expectations vary; in gross generalization, Central and Northern Europeans are sensitive to timeliness; Middle Eastern and Southern European countries tend to view punctuality more loosely.

  7. Issues to be checked for cultural biases prior to a meeting include desire for small talk prior to starting business talks; status held by senior staff in meetings; style of negotiating; how critical it is to have agreements in writing; how meetings are typically concluded; use of logic versus emotion or custom in making decisions.