Greetings people in English

Greetings in English – Learn how to greet people globally!


Different countries/cultures have diverse ways of greeting…What are the differences.

  1. You are definitely going to impress your partner, senior colleague or a client if you can greet them in their native language – and also address them properly. Simple Hi/Hello! Won’t work in a business scenario.
  2. In your ‘first’ meeting, address the person with the right title
    1. Say Mister for “Mr.”,
    2. Say (Miz) for Ms. if you don’t know whether the lady is married or not (it better than Missiz (Mrs.) Or Miss
    3. Say “Doctor”  for Dr.  (goes for both man/woman- the person may be a Phd, not always a practicing doctor)
  3. Meeting the person you know, always use Second name or full name after the title e.g. Mister Khurana and NOT Mister Ashish
  4. Avoid using ‘Sir’ and ‘Madam’ unless they are very senior or really your teachers. After they tell you to drop the titles use the first name. (in IT companies or MNC people address even the MDs/CEO by first names. I am surprised that it takes 4-5 times to comments to get my students to stop calling me “Sir” and “ Sadaf Madam”. I know, they want to show respect to me/our counseller, but In my view there is sufficient respect in remembering the name of the person and saying it right. So DO call me Ashish and not Ashish Sir…
  5. Hand-Shakes It’s advised that you extend your hand as an offer to shake-hands with all males. Out of respect for women, we still do not offer hands to Ladies unless they are the first ones to offer their hands – then also men must do the handshake more softly than what you do normally with other men. Use the following pictures to guide you the best way for a hand-shake.
shake hands india
Indian Way: with Both Hands: Avoid if the person is not an Indian and is Not really a close friend!


Shaking hands the global way... Don't keep holding the hand for long. Don't press too hard... keep is firm but soft.
Shaking hands the Global Way… Don’t keep holding the hand for long. Don’t press too hard… keep is firm but soft.


<< Avoid in some Cases

Accepted in all Cases  >>





Note: Don’t keep the other hand in your pocket, Do show the other hand even when you shake-hand with your right hand. Similarly you need to accept any paper particularly a cheque or money with your right hand. Do all your transactions after the Hand-shake and look into the eye of the person with a Smile.

Respect the local customs as much even as you adopt the Global Ways:

Saying Namaste’ with folded hands is accepted globally as an Indian sign of welcome or greetings (Ladies can still use it) even when you go global. As we know the custom in Japan is people bend or bow to respect. Look at Obama following the Japanese way:

Obama offers his hand as well as Bends to greet the Japanese emperor
It has been popularized by the Indian govt. though Air India (now Indian Airways)… Most of the Hotels also use it to welcome their guests.

<< For India

For Japan  >>

As I keep repeating in the class keep your smile, and yes, always try to remember the name of the person you have met once, its an important gesture to show that you care. This will go a long way to help you make an instant connect with people. The easiest way to remember their personal names is to say the name 2-3 times in the first conversation itself. However, to remember it for a long time or in the second meeting itself, I make a mental note to link his/her name with my existing friends. Make sure to verify with them the right way of saying their complete name. Some women usually make use of their husband’s family name once they get married. Like your counselor Ms Sadaf Naved

Say ‘I am Sorry’ if you say the name of the person wrong and correct it.

I was always confused about some girls in my class ‘Ms Jyoti and Ms Mansi’ as well as ‘Vinay’ and Vikas’ until I figured out how to identify who’s who. I am totally tongue-twisted with the pronunciation of first name of Md. Haque…its Mazharul. I am sorry folks!

In the Next Post, I will cover tips for international business travelers going for a business meeting. You may Ask questions or just leave your comments in the box below.


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