Business with Style


Business with Style: A simple guide to Australian protocol and manners

Gives you step-by-step guidelines for dealing with Australian business colleagues in the office and social situations.


Why read this book?

Although Australians may appear casual to the outsider compared with many other cultures, it would be a mistake to believe that business affairs are conducted in a haphazard manner.  A knowledge of local protocols and behaviour is just as essential in Australia as it is elsewhere.

It is a simple fact that if you wish to be accepted into a new group you must be prepared to ‘follow the rules’.  Part of the challenge for up-and-coming young managers is recognising that theses rules of behaviour do exist and that they are essential for success.

Companies are judged on the behaviour of their people.  If you use accepted protocol and manners you will be perceived as ‘professional’ and business-like.  Others will feel comfortable about doing business with you or having you as a member of their team.

For those who recognise the importance of image, this book provides a simple, down-to-earth guide on how to do business Down Under.

What it is about

The contents cover not only strict business interactions such as office meetings but also social occasions where the main purpose is to build business relationships.  The book offers background and practical advice to business men and women who are visiting Australia or are new to the Australian environment.  These guidelines will also be valuable for young Australians who are moving up the career ladder and are keen to improve their business interaction skills.

This book does not cover full details of standard meeting protocol as these may be found in several other publications. What it does cover is information that is not readily available elsewhere.  That is, precisely how to deal with people leading up to, during and following business related events. It looks at the small details of behaviour that make the difference between interacting adequately and doing it extremely well.  To assist those of non-English speaking background, examples of the actual words spoken during interactions are included wherever possible.

Business protocol and manners are constantly evolving and changing. The result is that there is no single correct way of conducting business or social business interactions. However, if you follow these guidelines you should never be accused of ‘getting it wrong’. The advice has been tested with a selection of Australian business people and the book takes their views into account. You can therefore apply the recommended protocols and manners with confidence.

Chapter outline

The following is a brief outline of the Chapter contents, which are arranged in three Parts.


This covers a brief commentary on the Australian culture.  It is an amalgam of many different views of those both inside and outside Australia.  Its purpose is to convey a flavour of the Australian people and to offer some suggestions as to why they have developed the values and traditions they have.


Outlines a number of general protocols that cut across most business transactions.  These include terms of greeting, use of business cards, gifts, body language, dress, making conversation (including appropriate ‘small talk’), status protocol, office manners and relationships in the workplace.  There is also a section highlighting how protocols differ for men and women.


The final section covers specific business interactions or events.  Each event is outlined first from the perspective of the host (or initiator of the event) and secondly from that of the guest (the person who responds).  This enables you to follow a simple series of steps for the role in which you find yourself.

The following business and social business events are covered:

  • Formal group meetings
  • Informal meetings
  • Business meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Cocktail parties/evening drinks
  • Dinner parties held in a private home
  • Informal meals held in a private home (barbecues etc)

To assist those from a non-English speaking background, examples of actual words spoken during interactions are included wherever possible.

Production details

The book is 103 pages in length and is printed in black print on high quality paper.  It is produced in soft cover.  The book dimensions are 148mm by 210mm by 7mm.

Published in 1992 by ClearSpeak Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia.

The ISBN is 0 646 12899 X.