Guest submission by Sloan McKinney

From old business vets who’ve sealed deals on almost every continent to young heads of startups who are just worried about not sweating through their suit, knowing how to conduct yourself during a meeting is necessary. It’s more than just reading self-help books and building confidence however– how you should act depends on where your business partner calls home.

Cultural differences exist in every country and region of the world, and what’s considered acceptable or a mark of success in one place can be highly shameful somewhere else. You have to be aware of and prepare for the right way to behave wherever you decide to conduct business.

When it comes to North America, these acceptable professional behaviors tend to have more to do with specific geography than any national borders. Countries like Canada and the United States that divide themselves into smaller pieces tend to take on their own identities, so what works on the east coast probably won’t fly near the Pacific.

While this may be enough to get that suit a little sweaty already, fear not. We have a graphic that will walk you through the basics of conducting business anywhere in North America, from the provincial differences of Canada to the international expectations of Mexico. By the time you’ve read it, you’ll feel completely confident to handle any deal and still have time to change into a drier suit.


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