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Geschäftsreise auf Englisch - Knigge für die USA

Schlagwörter: Geschäftsreise auf Englisch, Englisch Geschäftsreise, Business Trip Englisch, Knigge für die USA, USA Knigge, Knigge Englisch, Benehmen Englisch, Benehmen USA, Benimmregeln Englisch, Benimmregeln USA, Höflichkeit Englisch, Höflichkeit USA, Gepflogenheiten Englisch, Gepflogenheiten USA, Anstand Englisch, Anstand USA, Manieren Englisch, Manieren USA

The one thing everyone can agree on when
discussing the US is that it is big: big land,
big buildings, big money, big business –
and yes, big food. If you visit the US on
business, you’re sure to feel overwhelmed
by something big – even if it’s only the
size of the airport you’re flying into. It’s
sometimes even easy to be intimidated by
the size of the things you see (including
the business people you may meet), but
once you know a little more about the
American psyche, you’ll see that there’s
really no cause for alarm.

Business people in the US are considered
to be experts at capitalism and
world business. Movies like Wall Street
– depicting ruthless capitalists and
exploitative opportunists – only add to
this image.

In fact, few business people are ruthless
and even fewer will intentionally try to
exploit anyone. While capitalism may itself
be sometimes ruthless, unforgiving and
exploitative, the people behind business
– the individuals – are usually not. Business
people in the US tend to be friendly,
welcoming, open-minded and fair.

Understanding more about the way business
people in the US think and act is important
to building successful relationships across
the Atlantic.

About the US
The United States was first formed out of
colonies owned by the British, French and
Spanish empires. Following the American
Revolution and its Declaration of Independence
from the British Empire in 1776,
the US proceeded to expand its influence,
ownership and power in all lands from the
East Coast to the West.

Throughout history, the US maintained
a stance of isolationism
with respect to the rest of the
world. It rarely involved itself
in international matters. This
changed with its involvement in
WWI and WWII, both of which
brought the US into the international
arena. The growth of
business in the post-war world
( in addition to cheap oil ) fed the
US economy and allowed it to
grow to its current stature,
wealth and power.

The government is a federal
republic system. Each state
has autonomous control over its
own territory, and the inhabitants
of each state are usually proud of the
state and city they live in. And although the
competitive nature of Americans can be
seen in the city-and-state patriotism most
Americans display, the homogenisation of
American consumer culture has resulted in
a strong sense of national identity as well.

Americans are very patriotic to the US as a
whole. The terrorist attacks on the World
Trade Center on 11 September, 2001,
only added to this sense of togetherness.
Unfortunately, the attacks also created
a sense of nervousness and lack of trust
with respect to doing business with the
rest of the world. Keep this in mind during
business negotiations.

Intercultural Tips

  • The US population is culturally diverse.
    Don’t be surprised to find yourself sitting
    at the table with Asians, African-
    Americans, Hispanics and people of
    other backgrounds. And although the
    highest levels of corporate power are
    still dominated mostly by “white” men,
    all bets are off at any level below that.
    Avoid making assumptions about who
    holds the real power and influence
    based on issues like race, sex or even
    clothing. It could really be anyone.

  • Many Americans are devout Christians
    – especially in the southeastern states,
    which are also collectively known as
    the “Bible Belt”. These individuals often
    work religious comments and references
    to God into the things they say. You
    don’t need to respond, but you should
    maintain a pleasant smile.

  • Americans bathe or shower daily
    and use deodorants. They are extremely
    sensitive to any sort of odour
    emanating from the body, hair or
    clothing – including perfume! Perfume
    is OK if used sparingly. If you smoke,
    be sure to use breath mints!

  • US businesspeople believe that everything
    they need can be found in the
    US. Ideas and products from other
    countries are generally not eagerly
    accepted unless it is found that a
    deficiency exists.

  • Americans are analysts by nature.
    Problems are quickly analysed and
    abstracted into concepts. Most businesspeople
    seek to create “general
    rules” and then operate by them to
    avoid the inefficiency of handling
    things on a case-by-case basis.

  • Long-term outcomes are viewed as
    benefits. Short-term outcomes are
    seen as goals. There is little long-term
    thinking. A common American expression:
    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

  • Americans love anything new. Innovative
    products and concepts are preferred
    over the traditional. A “feeling”
    that an idea will work, however, is not
    good enough. Decisions are normally
    based only on hard facts.

  • Americans do not find it difficult to
    say no. When they want to say it, they
    usually say it directly using No or I
    don’t think so or I don’t like that idea.

  • Punctuality with appointments is expected.
    Try to be 5-10 minutes early.
    If you will be slightly late because of
    transportation ( up to 20 minutes ), it
    is extremely important to call at the
    earliest possible moment. Have all
    relevant telephone numbers ready in
    advance. If you fail to call, you may not
    be forgiven. If you will be later than 20
    minutes, offer to reschedule. Exception:
    It is acceptable to arrive up to
    30 minutes late to a cocktail party or
    networking event without calling.

  • Keep small talk short and get right
    down to business.

  • Topics to avoid: religion, money, politics,
    abortion, race, sexual discrimination,
    horrible events in the news and
    gun control.

Business entertaining

  • Smoking is off-limits nearly everywhere
    – often even at building entrances.
    However, if you happen to be somewhere
    where smoking is allowed,
    don’t forget to first ask “Would you
    mind if I smoke?” Offering your cigarettes
    to others first will make
    an elegant, “European” impression.

  • Business meetings are often held
    during lunch, which is normally between
    12 and 2. Food is eaten quickly,
    and business follows. Business breakfasts
    starting at 7 AM are also quite
    common. Dinner usually begins at
    5:30 or 6:00 and ends at 8:00.

  • If you are invited out to dine and your
    host does not explicitly offer to pay,
    you should assume you are going
    Dutch. If you invite a US colleague to
    dine with you, it’s best to offer to pay.



  • Business people greet each other
    with a very firm handshake. A gentle
    grip is seen as a sign of weakness.
    The strength of the typical German
    handshake is correct. However, the
    German handshake lasts too long.
    Your handshake should last only a few
    seconds. After that, let go. Long handshakes
    make people feel ill at ease.

  • If asked How are you?, the correct response
    is Fine, thanks. Do not provide
    any details beyond this. You may wish
    to add And you?

  • If you are not already on a first-name
    basis, use a title and last name. Most
    people will ask you to use their first
    name right away. For best results, follow
    your colleague’s lead. Avoid asking
    Americans to use your Doctor title
    unless you are a medical doctor. Use
    of such titles is considered pompous.


  • Many businesses have adopted “business casual”
    dress codes. If you are
    visiting for a day or two, a two-piece
    suit is nevertheless advisable. If you
    will be staying for quite some time,
    you may adopt the business casual
    policy yourself ( or be told to! ). Dress
    the same way your highest-level counterpart
    in the US dresses.

  • Business garb can vary widely from
    industry to industry, city to city and
    climate to climate. When visiting any
    office, participating in any event or
    attending any dinner, ask about the
    dress code if you have any doubts
    about what to wear.


  • If you visit someone’s home, a gift
    is advisable but not required. Usual
    standards like flowers, wine and
    chocolates are good ideas. A small gift
    from your home country or city will
    always be received with delight ( or at
    the very least, with curiosity ).

  • Inviting someone out for a meal is acceptable
    in lieu of a gift, except when
    you’ve been invited to someone’s home.

Table manners

  • Americans switch the fork from one
    hand to the other while eating. If you
    keep the fork in your left hand, no
    one will think ill of you. You’re simply

  • In very expensive restaurants, attention
    to etiquette is required. This includes
    knowledge of which fork/glass to use
    when, and so forth. In all other cases,
    Americans tend to be quite relaxed.
    Never speak with your mouth full.

Other notes

  • It is vital that you do not touch anyone,
    make sexual innuendo, jokes about
    women, minorities, disabled people,
    or in any other way violate someone’s
    personal rights.

  • The correct amount of personal space
    between two people who are talking
    is usually about 60 cm. A bit further
    apart is also OK, but do not stand any

  • Direct eye contact is important and
    demonstrates sincerity and strength.
    If eye contact is too intense, however,
    it will be seen as aggressive.

Schlagwörter: Geschäftsreise auf Englisch, Englisch Geschäftsreise, Business Trip Englisch, Knigge für die USA, USA Knigge, Knigge Englisch, Benehmen Englisch, Benehmen USA, Benimmregeln Englisch, Benimmregeln USA, Höflichkeit Englisch, Höflichkeit USA, Gepflogenheiten Englisch, Gepflogenheiten USA, Anstand Englisch, Anstand USA, Manieren Englisch, Manieren USA

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