International Protocol: Avoiding a “Sticky Wicket”

Before con­duct­ing busi­ness in for­eign coun­tries, it is impor­tant to famil­iar­ize your­self with the cus­toms and cul­tures of that coun­try. What is accept­able here in the United States may be taboo in that coun­try. By prepar­ing ahead of time, you will lessen the risk of embar­rass­ing your­self and stick­ing your foot in your mouth and poten­tially dam­ag­ing your busi­ness rela­tion­ship. Pres­i­dent Obama is cur­rently mak­ing his first offi­cial visit to Aus­tralia and kudos to him for tak­ing the time to famil­iar­ize him­self with some com­mon jar­gon. Dur­ing a speech at the Par­lia­ment House in Can­berra, Aus­tralia, Pres­i­dent Obama worked in Aus­tralian jar­gon terms like ear­bash­ing and sticky wick­ets while talk­ing about the rela­tion­ship between the United States and Aus­tralia. Hav­ing used these jar­gon terms cor­rectly, Pres­i­dent Obama has shown that he prides him­self in prepar­ing him­self for busi­ness in other coun­tries and hope­fully this will improve our for­eign pol­icy and help get us out of our sticky eco­nomic situation.