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The Unspoken Rules of Korean Business Card Etiquette

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In the professional setting of South Korea, the exchange of business cards holds significant importance when meeting someone for the first time. It goes beyond being a simple formality; it is a gesture of respect and a way to establish a connection. When offering or receiving business cards, it’s essential to use both hands as a sign of respect. Taking a moment to carefully examine the received card before putting it away demonstrates that you value the person and their business.

Respecting the Card

In Korean culture, the business card symbolizes the individual and should always be treated with the highest respect. This means refraining from writing on business cards, folding them, or using them as scrap paper. Instead, keeping the card on the table during the meeting serves as an act of acknowledgement and respect. This small gesture can significantly contribute towards building rapport and trust with Korean counterparts.

The Unspoken Rules of Korean Business Card Etiquette 1

Position and Titles

When exchanging business cards in South Korea, paying attention to the positions and titles on the cards is crucial. Korean business cards often include the individual’s position in the company, providing valuable insight into the organization’s hierarchy and structure. It’s important to address the person by their appropriate title and position during interactions, demonstrating comprehensive understanding of the hierarchy and respect for it.


After the initial exchange of business cards, following up with an email or a message is customary in Korean business culture. This gesture expresses gratitude for the meeting and emphasizes the value placed upon the new connection. Nurturing relationships is an integral part of doing business in South Korea, and following up after the initial meeting is an effective way to start cultivating these connections.

Learning by Doing

Upon my initial foray into business in South Korea, I was unfamiliar with the nuances of business card etiquette. However, by observing and learning from my Korean colleagues, I quickly recognized the significance of these customs. Embracing their practices not only helped me build stronger relationships, but also allowed me to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Korean business culture.

With these unspoken rules of Korean business card etiquette in mind, I have navigated professional encounters in South Korea with confidence and respect. Embracing and embodying these customs has not only helped me forge meaningful connections but has also provided me with a profound insight into Korean business culture and traditions. Expand your understanding of the subject by visiting this external website we’ve handpicked for you., get a more complete picture of the topic discussed.

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