Posted on December 23, 2012 ยท Posted in General

International business relationships are vital in today’s economy. Items and services are routinely bought and sold across national boundaries, and those with a good sense for business know that it is far better to have help on the other side than to attempt to go at it alone. If you want to keep an international relationship going, you might want to consider these tips that are the core of basic diplomacy.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Communication is always key in any relationship. In personal relationships, it helps you to make sure that the partners understand one another. In international business and diplomacy, though, it helps to keep partners on the same page. If you want to keep a business relationship going, you have to be willing to respond to emails and answer the phone even when it is not convenient. So long as your partners understand that you are always available to hear their concerns, you should be able to foster a relationship that is mutually beneficial and long lasting.

Know the Culture

If you want to go to a foreign country, you should always know how to speak the language, or at least a little. If you want to work with someone in an international partnership, it is far more important to know those things that go unsaid. Every country has its unspoken cues, and understanding this about the background of your partners is a key to maintaining a relationship. Knowing basic issues about punctuality and etiquette is a great way to avoid horrible blunders, and it also shows respect for the culture of your partners.


In the stories of the long history of diplomacy, one of the most time-honored traditions has been the sending of ambassadors from one country to another. Having a physical presence in a foreign land is a good way to strengthen ties between any two entities. As such, you might want to consider having a physical presence near your international partners. If your companies work very closely together, you might want to consider opening a small remote office near the home office of your partner. If not, making sure that you take a trip or two out to meet with your partners each year is the best way to maintain constant contact.

Stop, Listen, and Act

One of the keys of diplomacy is always to think before you act. When you deal with international business partners, you may very well deal with situations that seem far direr than they are in reality. Rather than reacting quickly in any given situation, always give things a bit of time to cool down before taking an action. The distance between you and your partners will give you a great excuse for not reacting immediately, and your development of a good diplomatic strategy will allow you to make choices that will help to strengthen rather than weaken your relationship.

Be Proactive

If nothing else, you should always be proactive in managing your international business relations. When you think that something major is coming down the pipe, take a moment to send an e-mail or make a phone call. Showing that you care about what is going on in your partner’s part of the world is a great way to make sure that you keep the relationship alive. Staying on top of the latest developments makes you look professional and sure, and helps to strengthen bonds even across national borders.

In the end, it always comes down to how willing you are to work with your partners. Following basic diplomatic strategies is the best way to maintain ties, but following good business practices will help to make you a success. If you are willing to embrace that fact, you can plan on a successful international relationship.

Author Bio: Joshua Turner writes articles in relation to the field of business. This article aims to offer tips for successful international relationships and to promote further study in this area with an Online Masters Degree in Diplomacy.