Cultural taboos are things that are forbidden, but they do occur accidentally in social as well as in business settings. And when they do, it can not only be outright embarrassing but also very costly!
When taboos happen in social settings, many people are far more forgiving. They try to pretend that the incident did not occur or just look the look way. In other circumstances they might laugh just to quell the situation. However, it can leave a negative impression.
Whenever taboos occur in businesses settings, the consequences can be very costly such as losing creditability or even worse business relationships. People are less likely to forgive, especially abroad, and it could take a very long time to rebuild trust and businesses relationships.
For instance, when entering home of a Japanese or an Indian person, do not wear your shoes. When dealing with Chinese – it is not appropriate to open a present in front of the person giving it. And the number 7 has different undertones. It is considered bad luck in Kenya, good luck in Czechoslovakia, and has magical connotations in Benin.
As the world becomes more global, it is crucial to avoid cultural taboos at home and abroad. It could save you not only awkward moments but also perhaps business relationships