Business Etiquettes To Consider When Doing Business In Thailand
If you are considering expanding your business to Thailand, attending important business meetings, or starting a joint venture in the country, it is crucial that you understand the business culture of Thailand.
Local customs in Thailand may be very different from what you are accustomed to, and you would want to avoid committing a faux pas while seeking an opportunity to impress new contacts. Below, we discuss the important components of business culture and etiquette in Thailand and offer helpful tips for your next business engagement.
The typical Thai greeting often involves the wai. To wai, the hands are joined together in prayer form and raised while slightly bowing your head. You can also smile and nod your head as a friendly greeting to show respect when meeting someone new. As foreigners are usually not expected to know the wai etiquette, mistakes will be excused. However, if you are not sure how to wai, it is generally better to avoid it.
Importance of Hierarchy
Hierarchy, both in the professional as well as family settings is crucial in Thailand. Showing the appropriate respect for a person and their status is the key aspect to building successful relationships. Thai people will also want to determine where you fall in this hierarchy so that they can offer you the appropriate respect. Make this process easier for people you come in contact with by offering your business card, which will clearly display your job title and role within the company.
Dress Code for Business
Appearance is very important to Thai people. The business dress code in Thailand is quite conservative. Men should wear dark suits, white shirts, and a tie. Women should wear plain conservative dresses or suits. If skirts are worn, they should be knee-length or longer. Always remember to cover your shoulders.
Courtesy and Communication
Politeness and courtesy are a cornerstone of Thai culture. It is significant to be courteous and friendly at all times and you should avoid being rude and inconsiderate. Showing anger and criticizing another person publicly is considered undesirable and inappropriate. In Thailand, being modest, self-effacing, and respectful is an essential part of good behavior.
When you are talking to Thai business contacts, remember to be respectful. Use the term ‘Khun’ before addressing a superior, which is equivalent to Mr., Mrs. Ms., and Miss. Avoid interrupting others when they are talking. If you make some kind of mistake while speaking, laugh at yourself and move on.
Following these simple business etiquette in Thailand will make it easier for you to impress local business partners, forge strong relationships and achieve the goals you have set for yourself and your company.