Filipino Facts – An Introduction To Business Etiquette In Manila

Coworking in Manila presents business with numerous opportunities to grow. The coworking scene is beginning to mature and a number of diverse formats are appearing on the scene. With an already established platform of promoting industry and collaboration, coworking spaces in the city are now homes to digital nomads, those who want to collaborate, and even corporations are attracted to the workspace that practically delivers networking to the office.

With all these resources prepared for fledgeling businesses and start-ups, the only thing you need do is join a space and meet people. Please click onto the following link to see the way in which one coworking space operates. Moreover, while most coworking spaces function in the same way, each is very different. Furthermore, these differences also lend themselves to cultural nuances as well, and understanding business etiquette in Manila can definitely make it easier to do business.

Let’s take a closer look at all you need to know about business etiquette in Manila before doing business in The Philippines.

Relationships Before Business

Like much of The Philippines, Manila’s business structure runs on the concept of family and friendships before business, as trust is a very important part of forming business relationships. While it might be frowned upon in other parts of the world, hiring friends and family is a big part of the business culture in the city. Because of this need to form trusting relationships, partnerships or collaboration is usually the culmination of social relationships, and it is one of the major reasons many of the companies are owned by family-owned businesses. In fact, those who intend to do business in the city for a long while should try to develop several business relationships with people they can trust and can call on in case of an emergency.

Hierarchical Negotiation And Structure

While decisions are typically are made from those in positions of authority, everyone’s opinions are taken into consideration, which is one of the reasons that matters might take so long to be settled. Moreover, decisions are almost always determined by the way professionals feel as opposed to the facts placed before them. Because the structure is based on established relationships, professionals establish connections with other professionals, so if they leave for whatever reason, you have to re-establish a relationship with the new person.

In some cases, you might never meet with the person in authority. If you do, it probably will take a few meetings before you meet with people in positions of authority. In the course of business, subordinates always defer to those in a position of authority. Finally, because business is almost always non-confrontational, professionals do not argue or openly show disagreement. Instead, they might replace “perhaps” with “no” as to avoid offending the other party.

Business Cards

In a day and age when the mobile rules over everything, Manila business etiquette still relies on the business card to communicate information about a business. When making your cards, make sure the card clearly states your title, in addition to your name. Business professionals always present their cards with two hands, and the recipient, upon receiving it, should review it. As customary when dealing with upper management, they only exchange business cards with people of similar stature in the company. While business cards are a small factor in business, they are a major part of introducing yourself to potential partners and contacts.

First Impressions

In this fast-paced, technologically advanced society, it is easy to go for efficiency and forgo customary etiquette. However, etiquette still matters in The Philippines and can go a long way in establishing long-term relationships that translate into real business. In fact, these first impressions can be the difference between accessing the top-echelon in the company or hanging out by the receptionist’s desk.

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Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.