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Business Etiquette and Protocol in Brazil Relationships & Communication • Brazilians need to know who they are doing business with before they can work effectively. • Brazilians prefer face-to-face meetings to written communication as it allows them to know the person with whom they are doing business. • The individual they deal with is more important than the company. • Since this is a group culture, it is important that you do not do anything to embarrass a Brazilian. • Criticizing an individual causes that person to lose face with the others in the meeting. • The person making the criticism also loses face, as they have disobeyed the unwritten rule. • Communication is often informal and does not rely on strict rules of protocol. Anyone who feels they have something to say will generally add their opinion. • It is considered acceptable to interrupt someone who is speaking. • Face-to-face, oral communication is preferred over written communication. At the same time, when it comes to business agreements, Brazilians insist on drawing up detailed legal contracts. Business Negotiation • Expect questions about your company since Brazilians are more comfortable doing business with people and companies they know. • Wait for your Brazilian colleagues to raise the business subject. Never rush the relationship- building time. • Brazilians take time when negotiating. Do not rush them or appear impatient. • Expect a great deal of time to be spent reviewing details. • Often the people you negotiate with will not have decision-making authority. • It is advisable to hire a translator if your Portuguese is not fluent. • Use local lawyers and accountants for negotiations. Brazilians resent an outside legal presence. • Brazilian business is hierarchical. Decisions are made by the highest-ranking person. • Brazilians negotiate with people not companies. Do not change your negotiating team or you may have to start over from the beginning. Business Meeting Etiquette • Business appointments are required and can often be scheduled on short notice; however, it is best to make them 2 to 3 weeks in advance. • Confirm the meeting in writing. It is not uncommon for appointments to be cancelled or changed at the last minute. • In Sao Paulo and Brasilia it is important to arrive on time for meetings. In Rio de Janeiro and other cities it is acceptable to arrive a few minutes late for a meeting. • Do not appear impatient if you are kept waiting. Brazilians see time as something outside their control and the demands of relationships takes precedence over adhering to a strict schedule. • Meetings are generally rather informal. • Expect to be interrupted while you are speaking or making a presentation. • Avoid confrontations. Do not appear frustrated with your Brazilian colleagues. Dress Etiquette • Brazilians pride themselves on dressing well. • Men should wear conservative, dark coloured business suits. Three-piece suits typically indicate that someone is an executive. • Women should wear suits or dresses that are elegant and feminine with good quality accessories. Manicures are expected. Business Cards


• Business cards are exchanged during introductions with everyone at a meeting. • It is advisable, although not required, to have the other side of your business card translated into Portuguese. • Present your business card with the Portuguese side facing the recipient.

China and the West • Modern history’s influence on cross cultural (mis)perceptions • Breaking cross cultural stereotypes • How does culture impact business? • Theoretical and practical cross cultural models and examples • Steps to effective cross cultural communication

Communicating with the Chinese • Beliefs, culture, values, ethics, customs and national character • Interpersonal relations • Building relationships • Communication – verbal and non-verbal • Social etiquette and protocol Doing Business in China • Language tuition • Preparing to travel to China • Business in China – features, traditions and ethics • Comparative analysis of Chinese and Western business practices • Making appointments • Using intermediaries • Chinese business etiquette • Business entertaining • Negotiations • Cross cultural man-management Relocating to China • Preparing for the move • What to bring? • Chinese history, culture and values • Western perceptions of China • Chinese attitudes to foreigners • The family – raising children, education, holidays • Spouse coaching • Public behaviour and etiquette • Food and drink • Transport, shopping and entertainment



Germans value their privacy. Mentally there is a divide between public and private life. As a result, Germans wear a protective shell when doing business. Since intimacy is not freely given, this may be interpreted as coldness. However, this is not the case. After a period of time walls and barriers eventually fall allowing for more intimate relationships to develop. Communication styles in Germany may be perceived as direct, short and to the point. Formality dictates that emotions and unnecessary content do not have a place in conversation. Doing Business - Meeting & Greeting Firm, brief handshakes are the norm when doing business in Germany. When several people are being introduced take turns to greet each other rather than reaching over someone else’s hands. Avoid shaking hands with one hand in your pocket. When women enter a room it is considered polite for men to stand. German etiquette requires you to address someone using Herr (Mr.) or Frau (Mrs/Ms) followed by their surname. Only family members and friends use first names. Professional titles should also be used for doctors, academics, etc. Try and establish professional titles prior to any meeting. Doing Business - Punctuality When doing business in Germany, remember that punctuality is a serious issue. Business people work hard and are under a lot of pressure. Germans typically plan their time very carefully. It is considered bad etiquette to be late or early as it shows disrespect for peoples’ time. Doing Business - Humour A common misconception is that the German sense of professionalism and strict protocol when doing business leaves no room for humour. An element of this true in that jokes are not commonplace. Yet Germans, just as much as anyone else, like to laugh and as long as it is appropriate, tasteful and in context then humour is acceptable. Doing Business - Meetings and Negotiations Germans plan ahead. Therefore, ensure you book meetings at least 2-3 weeks in advance. This is also applicable if you wish to have lengthy telephone conversations. Meetings are usually held between 11-1 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Avoid Friday afternoons, the holiday months of July, August and December and any regional festivals. Meetings are functional, formal and usually stick to a set agenda including start and finish times. The phrase ‘let’s get down to business’ is definitely appropriate for German business meetings as small talk and relationship building are not priorities. When entering a room the most senior of you should enter first. The most senior German counterpart should be greeted initially before any others present. Wait to be told where to sit. Treat the whole process with great formality. The Germans will analyse proposals thoroughly. Ensure the information you provide is in written format and presented scientifically. Logical conclusions based on empirical evidence will only normally carry any weight. Remember decisions will not be made on your sales technique or charm but on concrete facts that demonstrate a sound opportunity with minimal risk. Decisions are made slowly and methodically. Do not try to rush proceedings or apply pressure. If anything, enquire as to areas in which you may be able to furnish them with additional or more specific information. Try and back-up information with insight from personal experience or professional qualifications. Once a decision has been reached minds are very rarely changed. Doing Business in Germany Germany is an important trade partner for many countries in the world. Learning how to do business in Germany and understanding its culture, business practices, business etiquette and protocol will only enhance the skills of international business people and lead to greater cross cultural success.


(Señor). Once a relationship has been established your Iranian counterpart will quickly start to address you with your first name. Doing Business – Meetings Business is personal in Mexico. Iranians will generally usually use. 4 . Before doing business there be sure you have contacts that can introduce you or vouch for you. Professional titles such as ‘Doctor’ or ‘Profesor’ should be used as this recognises their status. Interpersonal skills are needed to fit in. Men are addressed with ‘agha’ proceeded by the surname. they are used to Western business people being on time so will also try to do the same. However. Men will shake hands when doing business and in social situations. These can actually be more important than professional experience and know-how. Your success in Mexico is therefore dependent upon your ability to establish. due to the Mexicans’ long established business links with the US. for example. After a relationship has been established do not be surprised if you are met with a hug. The most common greeting in Iran is ‘salam’ which originates from the Islamic greeting ‘Asalamu alaykum’ (peace be upon you). Make business appointments in advance and confirm them with a brief phone call a few days before. Professionals with titles will be addressed similarly. The above mentioned examples of business culture and etiquette are meant to be sign posts to areas business people should become familiar with prior to doing business in Mexico. Time keeping is a relaxed affair in Mexico. build and maintain good relationships. Doing Business in Mexico There are of course plenty of other useful tips for doing business in Mexico. Men may want to wait for a woman to initiate a handshake. ‘khoda-hafez’ (may God preserve you). Investing a small amount of time on cross cultural awareness can positively impact you success. Iran Doing Business – Meeting and Greeting When meeting someone in a business or official context always shake hands. So. Engineers. then simply nod your head and smile. ‘Doctor-e Jones’. Those without titles should be addressed with Mr. Alan Jones will be ‘Agha-ye Jones’. When departing. if they do not. Wait to be invited to address someone by their first name. So. lawyers and architects are similarly addressed by their appropriate titles. cultivate relationships and win the favour of others. Doing Business – Building Relationships Mexicans prefer doing business with people whom they know and trust. (Señora) or Miss (Señorita) followed by the surname. Women may pat each other on the right forearm or shoulder. Once an initial contact has been made it is easier to move on and arrange for business meetings. Once you arrive in Mexico call again or send a fax to ensure it is known you will definitely be coming. Mrs. One would also reply with ‘salam’. Samantha Jones will be ‘khanoom-e Jones’. With women you would use ‘khanoom’.Mexico Doing Business – Meeting & Greeting Etiquette When doing business in Mexico you will find that first names are rarely used initially. As a male you should wait to see if women extend their hands. When doing business in Iran. stick to formalities. They are reserved for family and close friends.

By demonstrating an understanding of Iranian culture and etiquette you maximise the potential of your business venture. Women can now be seen wearing make-up. Business hours are Saturday to Thursday 9 a. 5 . Building a relationship with your Iranian counterpart(s) is critical. as a foreigner it is best to err on the side of caution. families. At the beginning of any meeting engage in niceties and ask after people’s health. Once a relationship has been established you can safely move on to business matters. Many officials will be seen with collarless shirts. This is all part of doing business in Iran. Decision making can be slow. They enjoy haggling and getting concessions so be prepared for long negotiations. women should wear very conservative clothing that covers arms. Ties are very uncommon. Punctuality in Iran is rare. If you are doing business with government officials in Iran be prepared to be kept waiting. Iranians are astute business people. Even within government. Once you are seen as trustworthy you will then move on to meet more senior members. legs and hair. It is most likely that you will meet and negotiate with less senior members of a family or state department first. However. businesses. All offices. Iran’s red tape and layered bureaucracy means a lot of waiting. jeans and scarves that barely cover the hair. Other times to avoid doing business are Ramazan (the month of fasting). Doing Business – Meetings If you plan on doing business in Iran appointments should be made in advance both via telephone and in writing. Wait for your counterpart to initiate the change in conversation to business matters.m. this New Year celebration is an integral part of Iranian culture. Lunch is usually an hour at around 1 p. etc will close for 2-3 weeks.Doing Business – Dress When doing business in Iran you will notice that most Iranian officials and business people wear clothing comprising of trousers. Doing Business in Iran These above examples point to a few considerations one must make before doing business in Iran.m. Eid-e Fetr (festival celebrating the end of Ramazan). do not be afraid to call in favours. No-Rooz is the major holiday for Iranians. There are a few key times to avoid in Iran. A suit is standard although wearing a tie is not necessary. Although its roots are in Zoroastrianism. it is best to arrange for your own interpreter to accompany you. Doing Business – Negotiations Before doing business in Iran appreciate this: Your success is defined by your aptitude to build effective personal relationships combined with a clearly outlined and well presented proposal. Be patient and courteous. work. Implementing decisions are just as slow. If you like tea. Business is personal in Iran. Friday is a holiday.m. When in public women must cover their hair with a scarf. The first meeting should be solely focused on getting to know each other. Applying pressure in a non-confrontational way can help speed matters up although the most effective way to do so is to use people of influence to help you. As a male you would be expected to be smart and conservative. Whether doing business in Iran or visiting. If you have influential friends in Iran. shops. do not be afraid to ask for lots of it! Although many Iranians in business and in the higher levels of government will have a good understanding of English. shirt and jacket. it will be expected of you. officials usually work within networks of friends and associates. However. Just be prepared to re-pay them in the future. Eid-e Ghurban (celebrating the end of the pilgrimage) and Ashura (the tenth day of Muharram). No business will take place so either try and avoid it or ensure you can use it to see some of Iran. Many businesses are family owned and run. – 5 p. the last decade has seen incredible changes in what the authorities are willing to tolerate. The administration and bureaucracy in Iran can be chaotic. meaning that officials may need to address an important issue before seeing you. However. etc. Prior to arriving in Iran telephone again just to confirm time and place.

understanding and you want to conduct business on a personal level. When doing business in Japan be aware of hierarchy and adapt your behaviour accordingly. getting attention. team-work and group cohesiveness are all areas greatly stressed within Japanese society. Whilst doing business in Japan as a Westerner. so always maintain a sense of professionalism. Sincerity means that you are compromising. Hierarchy With its roots in Confucianism. Compatibility is established when you are seen to be concerned about the personal relationship. You will most likely be greeted with a handshake combined with a slight nod of the head. hierarchical structures classify an individual’s position within a group and in society. compatibility and trustworthiness. Trustworthiness relates to the faith put in you to protect from loss face. Consequently. When accepting always use two hands as this shows deference. Respect In order to preserve harmony in society and to maintain the clarity of the hierarchical structure. Include your position within the company on it. It is used when meeting. The bow is an integral part of Japanese society. when doing business. Invest in a carry case to store cards and keep this in the inside pocket of a suit jacket. Introduce yourself with your full name followed by your company name. Respect is conveyed through language. offer your card with both hands or just the right hand. the Japanese stress compromise and self-discipline. It is important to use proper titles when addressing someone. your suitability in respect to conducting business will be assessed during a first meeting. When exchanging. The hierarchical system dictates that due respect be afforded to those of higher status. Present Japanese side up. so should be treated with respect. to show gratitude. The cultural logic behind this is that by avoiding direct or explicit statements one has a better chance of not causing offense.Meeting and Greeting There is heightened sense of formality in Japanese interaction. chair or plant. Doing Business in Japan . body language and other subtle forms of non-verbal communication.Building Relationships When doing business in Japan a successful relationship with a Japanese colleague or client is based on three factors: sincerity. Doing Business in Japan – Communication The emphasis in Japanese culture on maintaining harmony has developed in such a way as to allow very vague forms of expression. The exchanging of business cards when doing business in Japan involves a degree of ceremony. to express sympathy or as an apology. you would not be expected to bow. Individual identity is defined by the social group. the well being of the company and not just focused on financial gain. When doing business in Japan. Status is determined by factors such as age. etiquette. Before travelling to Japan. 6 . Doing Business in Japan .Japan Group Orientation Altruism. company and family background. employment. showing respect to others acts as a crucial social lubricant. Ensure there is no barrier between you and the recipient such as a table. so always establish the position of the other person. behaviour. The card is seen to represent the individual. ensure you have ample cards and have one side translated into Japanese.

Do not backslap or embrace. indirect and non-threatening. If wearing gloves. product or proposal. avoid touching. expect to address a person by his/her first name. Between men and women it is a lot lighter. If rapport has yet to be established then this is your priority. understand ten. do not put people on the spot and always employ diplomatic language when doing business. private and business lives are very much segregated so this informality does not equal intimacy. Be sure to hold off concessions till the end of proceedings. You will greet the most senior employee first and then others in descending order. Thus the saying. Avoid speaking with your hands in your pockets as this is considered bad etiquette. Silence may be also be accompanied by the closing of the eyes. exchange information or confirm previously made decisions.Meetings and Negotiations At a meeting you will always deal with a team as opposed to an individual. remove them before shaking hands. If made early your integrity will be questioned. Reflection is taking place.e. on your company. Each attendee will be there with a particular expertise so either bring assistance or be sure you are confident enough to handle all the questions you will receive. It is important not only to build relationships with all the senior figures but all lower ranked ones too. Swedes like to establish relationships on an informal level. Men should wait until a woman extends her hand first. An explicit communicator assumes the listener is unaware of background information or related issues to the topic of discussion and provides it themselves.” i. Cross cultural awareness in areas such as meeting etiquette. in writing. Remember group consensus is important so the opinions of all staff will be taken into account when coming to a decision on any proposal. If things go quiet when doing business in a meeting then do not panic. business protocol and approaches to doing business are ways of enhancing your business trip and maximizing your potential. Early on in negotiations remain humble. Silence is considered a virtue. When doing business in Sweden you will notice the lack out outward signs of hierarchy and status present in many other countries. Be sure to bring as much information as possible. Expect lots of questions and lots of questions repeated in different ways. Extroverts are seen as brash and arrogant. When doing business in Sweden. The senior employee will be there as a ceremonial representative of the company. Be sure to have the answers as the failure to do so will look unprofessional. Doing Business in Japan These above examples point to a few considerations one must make when doing business in Japan. The Japanese are very detail orientated. Doing Business in Japan . “Say one. Never interrupt or break the silence. Consensus and compromise are ingrained into the business and social life. you will be expected to understand nine additional points to every one made. Do not disagree openly. The Japanese like dealing with quiet. The Japanese however assume the listener is well informed on the subject and minimises information relayed on the premise that listener will understand from implication. The Japanese are implicit communicators. sincere and compromising individuals. Doing Business – Meeting & Greeting Etiquette When doing business in Sweden the handshake is done swiftly and firmly. Swedes tend to stay farther apart when conversing than many other countries. The lesser ranking attendees will usually do the talking or negotiating. Decisions are rarely made in a meeting. service. Personal space is private so with the exception of the handshake. Meetings usually take place for only one of three reasons: to build rapport. Sweden Egalitarianism Egalitarianism is the most dominant social value in Sweden. 7 .When doing business in Japan clarify meanings and dig deeper for more information. However.

Any proposal or presentation must be meticulously planned and logically organized. Therefore. Never be late. Avoid wearing anything flashy. Do not show emotions during negotiations. For business purposes. collected and controlled when doing business. July. your company and your proposal. A decision will never be made in the first meeting. Good friends may greet each other with a handshake and a kiss on each cheek. Being late is seen as poor etiquette and will reflect badly on you. Women should wear suits or business dresses that are stylish yet understated. do not channel all your energy into endearing yourself to the top-level executives. If you must be late for any reason it is absolutely crucial to phone and let someone know. 8 . Several meetings are required before all details are cleared and questions answered. as well as late February through early March. • Men and women would not greet each other in public I from outside the family. the power to make a decision will fall to middle managers. This can come across as abrupt but is not meant to be so. The egalitarian values of Sweden mean you should remember to keep a low profile. They are very detail-oriented. • When Saudis greet each other they take their time and converse about general things. These are very popular times for Swedes to go on holiday. or August. The first meeting may be low key and very matter of fact. • Women generally hug and kiss close friends. Saudi Arabia Meeting Etiquette • Men shake hands. Turns are taken to offer opinions.The Swedes value consensus as the only way of making decisions. Always remain cool. calm. In many cases. although a woman could give them to her hostess. Even senior executives do not dress any more elaborately than average employees. Doing Business – Dress Etiquette When doing business in Sweden. • Flowers do not make good gifts from a man. Doing Business in Sweden The above few examples of cross cultural differences in business practices and culture highlight the areas where business people can face challenges when doing business in Sweden. think conservative. When conversing. Trousers are acceptable for business women in Sweden. Doing Business – Meetings and Negotiations If you plan on doing business in Sweden make appointments at least two weeks in advance. During the Christmas holidays many Swedish business people are unavailable. who may even pass it over to lower levels. know that Swedes respect someone who comes to them with knowledge and experience. company or organisation to acquire when doing business abroad. • If you are invited to a Saudi's house bring something small as a thank you. Cross cultural understanding is an important tool for any international business person. men should wear good quality suits with silk ties and shirts. Punctuality is important when doing business and also for social engagements.Swedish communication style is direct and open. Refrain from scheduling meetings in the months of June. At this stage the Swedes will be evaluating you. be sure to listen intently to anyone speaking and not to interrupt. Gift Giving Etiquette Gifts are not the norm as in many other countries. Before doing business in Sweden.

As such. 9 . • Entertainment will generally be same-sex only. they will be in separate rooms. • Try a bit of everything that is served. • Dress conservatively. a firm date will not be settled upon until you are physically in the country. understand that there will be a great deal of socializing and small talk before the meal is served. • Accept the offer of Arabian coffee and dates even if you do not normally drink coffee. • It is not uncommon to have a meeting cancelled once you arrive. This means you may expect frequent interruptions. but do not try to bring the topic back to the original discussion until the new person leaves. The sponsor acts as an intermediary and arranges appointments with appropriate individuals. • If you are invited for a meal. If both sexes are included. Part of Saudi hospitality and generosity is to shower guests with abundance.• Never give alcohol unless you are positive they partake. Table manners • If the meal is on the floor. • Honoured guests are often offered the most prized pieces such as a sheep's head so be prepared! • There is often more food than you can eat. Business Etiquette and Protocol Relationships & Communication • You will need a Saudi sponsor (wakeel) to enter the country. You may join in. Dining Etiquette • Saudis socialize primarily in restaurants and international hotels when entertaining expatriates whom they do not know well. If you are invited to a Saudi's house: • You would usually remove your shoes. sit cross-legged or kneel on one knee. Punctuality is appreciated but not crucial. • There is little conversation during meals so that diners may relish the food. • Eat only with the right hand as the left is considered unclean. Business Meeting Etiquette • Appointments are necessary and should be made several weeks to one month in advance if at all possible. dress and present yourself well. • Saudis do not require as much personal space as most western cultures. they will stand close to you while conversing and you may feel as if your personal space has been violated. • Meetings are generally not private until after a relationship of trust has been developed. • You should arrive at meetings on time. • Since Saudis will most likely judge you on appearances. • Show respect for the elders by greeting them first. • Saudis prefer to work with people they know and trust and will spend a great deal of time on the gettingto-know-you part of relationship building. • Try to arrive at the invited time. Others may wander into the room and start a different discussion. • Try to schedule meetings in the morning. After some time you will be invited to the home. • When meeting with government officials. • Meals are generally served family-style.. • You must be patient. although it is an accepted custom to keep foreigners waiting. • Gifts are not opened when received.

• Business meetings start after prolonged inquiries about health. • Dress well if you want to make a good impression. family. . Never inquire about a Saudi's wife. wine. • Once a relationship is established. • Do not use high-pressure tactics. • Repeat your main points since it will be interpreted as meaning you are telling the truth. they may be included in the evening. • People are often referred to as Don or Dona and their first name when in formal occasion as a general rule. • Decisions are easily overturned. Spain Etiquette & Customs in Spain Meeting Etiquette • When introduced expect to shake hands. men may embrace and pat each other on the shoulder. you can bring chocolates. Table manners 10 . Saudis will often make an initial offer that is extremely low when they are buying. so a small gift for them is always appreciated. or flowers to the hostess. • Business women should make certain that their collarbones and knees are covered and that their clothes are not form-fitting. when they are selling. • Female friends kiss each other on both cheeks. • Business is hierarchical. their initial offer will be extremely high. • Have one side of your card translated into Arabic. Be sure to check the translation carefully as there is often confusion with the order of western names. which may only mean 'perhaps'. etc. • If you know your hosts have children. starting with the left. although it may be an idea to be selective if you have few in your possession. • The society is extremely bureaucratic. Business Negotiating • Decisions are made slowly. Dining Etiquette • If invited to a Spaniard’s home. or cakes. liqueur. • Saudis are tough negotiators. It takes several visits to accomplish simple tasks. or brandy. • You may need to compromise on a point if someone's dignity is at stake. • Many men use a two-handed shake where the left hand is placed on the right forearm of the other person. Do not try to rush the process. Most decisions require several layers of approval. Dress Etiquette • Most Saudis wear long white thobes. • There is a tendency to avoid giving bad news and to give effusive acceptances. • When discussing price. Conversely. Decisions are made by the highest-ranking person. You would be expected to wear a suit. pastries. Business Cards • Business cards are given to everyone you meet.

• You may be interrupted while you are speaking. cross your knife and fork on your plate with the fork over the knife. • Decisions are not reached at meetings. • Always keep your hands visible when eating. so they will not necessarily say that they do not understand something. You may be shown to a particular seat. • Several people may speak at once. Do not be surprised if no business is actually conducted during the first meeting. • Spaniards are very thorough. A formal contract will be drawn up at a later date. • Not all businesspeople speak English. it will prevail even if you switch companies. Reconfirm in writing or by telephone the week before. particularly if you are not speaking Spanish. Spaniards do not like to publicly admit that they are incorrect. • First you must reach an oral understanding. preferably by telephone or fax. • It is important that you spend sufficient time letting your business colleagues get to know you. with the handles facing to the right. are concerned that they look good in the eyes of others and try to avoid looking foolish at all times. • Spaniards do not like to lose face. Business Meeting Etiquette • Appointments are mandatory and should be made in advance. • Do not begin eating until the hostess starts. Therefore. tines facing up. Business Etiquette and Protocol Relationships & Communication • The Spanish prefer to do business with those they know and trust. • An honoured guest should return the toast later in the meal. so it is wise to check if you should hire an interpreter. • Trust and personal relationships are the cornerstone of business. Even fruit is eaten with a knife and fork. • Face-to-face contact is preferred to written or telephone communication. • Agendas are often used but not always needed to be followed too strict. since this is a hierarchical country. like many societies. it is important to watch their non-verbal communication. 11 . You must be adept at discerning body language. • It is best to display modesty when describing your achievements and accomplishments. Meetings are for discussion and to exchange ideas. • Do not get up until the guest of honour does. They will review every minute detail to make certain it is understood. • The first meeting is generally formal and is used to get to know each other. • Communication is formal and follows rules of protocol. it merely means the person is interested in what you are saying. • If you have not finished eating.• Remain standing until invited to sit down. • Avoid confrontation if at all possible. since your Spanish business colleagues' allegiance will be to you rather than the company you represent. You may never actually meet the person who ultimately makes the decision. • Hierarchy and rank are important. This is not an insult. • The way you present yourself is of critical importance when dealing with Spaniards. • You should try to arrive on time for meetings. • Spaniards expect both sides to strictly adhere to the terms of a contract. You should deal with people of similar rank to your own. • Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel on your plate. Keep your wrists resting on the edge of the table. • The host gives the first toast. • It is acceptable for a woman to make a toast. You may be interrupted while you are speaking. • Spaniards. • Once you develop a relationship. • Make sure all your printed material is available in both English and Spanish. • Use utensils to eat most food. Business Negotiation • Spaniards place great importance on the character of the person with whom they do business. • Most Spaniards do not give their opinion at meetings. • Decision-making is held at the top of the company.

which is the family or surname. people use all three names. • If you are invited to a Russian home for a meal. so strangers will stop and tell someone that they are breaking the rules. Etiquette and Customs in Russia Meeting Etiquette • The typical greeting is a firm. the handshake is less firm. • Elegant accessories are important for both men and women. bring a small gift. 12 . Friends and close acquaintances may refer to each other by their first name and patronymic. they kiss on the cheek three times. they may pat each other on the back and hug. • When close male friends meet. • Middle name. In formal situations. Russian life centred on the agricultural village commune. almost bone-crushing handshake while maintaining direct eye contact and giving the appropriate greeting for the time of day. • When men shake hands with women. • Dress as you would in the rest of Europe. • This affinity for the group and the collective spirit remains today. • Do not give a baby gift until after the baby is born. Gift Giving Etiquette Gift giving using takes place between family and close friends on birthdays. which is the person’s given name. • Everybody’s business is also everyone else’s. Close friends and family members call each other by their first name only. • Last name. where the land was held in common and decision-making was the province of an assembly of the heads of households. • Have one side of your card translated into Spanish.ovna' for a female. • When female friends meet. New Year. Russia Communal Mentality • For generations until the 1930’s.Dress Etiquette • Business dress is stylish yet. Business Cards • Present your business card to the receptionist upon arriving. The son of Ivan would have a patronymic of Ivanovich while the daughter’s patronymic would be Ivanovna. and Orthodox Christmas. It is seen in everyday life. • Do not give yellow flowers. for example most Russians will join a table of strangers rather than eat alone in a restaurant. starting with the left and then alternating. conservative.vich' or 'ovich' for a male and '-avna' or '. It is bad luck to do so sooner. which is a patronymic or a version of the father’s first name formed by adding '. Naming Conventions Russian names are comprised of: • First name. • Male guests are expected to bring flowers. • Hand your card so the Spanish side faces the recipient.

Reply that it is a little something and offer the gift again and it will generally be accepted. • Confirm the meeting when you arrive in the country and again a day or two in advance.• Russians often protest when they are offered a gift. although your hands should be visible at all times. • The oldest or most honoured guest is served first. • You will often be urged to take second helpings. • An indication that you have successfully developed a personal relationship is being asked for a favour by that person. Table manners are generally casual. • Expect a long period of socializing and getting-to-know-you conversation before business is discussed. • Do not begin eating until the host invites you to start. • Use the time effectively to demonstrate what differentiates your company from the competition. the guest of honor is the first to get up from the table. • Do not get up until you are invited to leave the table. You may be given slippers to wear. • Expect to be treated with honour and respect. and trust is needed to build a relationship. • Leaving a small amount of food on your plate indicates that your hosts have provided ample hospitality. which is often required to cut through red tape. • Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a meal is served. • It often takes roughly 6 weeks to arrange a meeting with a government official. so be prepared to be kept waiting. • It is polite to use bread to soak up gravy or sauce. Russian Business Etiquette and Protocol Relationships & Communication • Russians are transactional and do not need to establish long-standing personal relationships before they do business with people. At formal dinners. Asking 'are you sure?' allows the hostess to accept your offer. The Russian word “svyasi” means connections and refers to having friends in high places. 13 . • Do not rest your elbows on the table.the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating. Business Meeting Etiquette • Appointments are necessary and should be made as far in advance as possible. • Meetings can be cancelled on short notice. • The first meeting is often a vehicle to determine if you and the company you represent are credible and worthy of consideration for future business dealings. • It is best to err on the side of formality when you first make contact. • Dress in clothes you might wear to the office. • Remove your outdoor shoes. Dining Etiquette If you are invited to a Russian’s house: • Arrive on time or no more than 15 minutes later than invited. • Men pour drinks for women seated next to them. • It is still a good idea to develop a network of people who you know and trust. This may be turned down out of politeness. Dressing well shows respect for your hosts. • Most Russians do not trust people who are 'all business'. • Table manners are Continental -. • Sincerity is crucial as it is required to build trust. • Typical Russian schedules are constantly changing and everything takes longer than expected. • Patience is essential. • The first week of May has several public holidays so it is best avoided. • You should arrive punctually for meetings.

Romania Etiquette and Customs in Romania Meeting and Greeting • Initial greetings are formal and reserved: a handshake. expect to sign a 'protokol'. expect to kiss twice. They will continue negotiating until you offer concessions. • Russians often use time as a tactic. It is common for several side conversations that have nothing to do with the topic of the meeting to be carried on during the meeting. • When kissing. • Allow your Bulgarian friends to determine when your relationship has reached this level of intimacy. • Nothing is final until the contract is signed. and the appropriate greeting for the time of day. • Women should wear subdued coloured business suits with skirts that cover the knees. • Some older Romanians kiss a woman’s hand when meeting them. Russians do not like being rushed. note their pertinent information. • Shoes should be highly polished. • Include advanced university degrees on your business card. • At the end of the meeting. • Russians view compromise as weakness. Business Negotiating • Meetings and negotiations are slow. rank and position. • Hand your business card so the Russian side is readable to the recipient. • Hierarchy is important to Russians. • Russians see negotiations as win-lose. especially if they know that you have a deadline. Russians will modify a contract to suit their purposes. Foreign men are not expected to kiss a Romanian woman’s hand. • Russians may lose their temper. • If someone does not have a business card. once on each cheek starting with the left cheek. • Do not use high-pressure sales tactics as they will work against you. Business Cards • Business cards are exchanged after the initial introductions without formal ritual. 14 . • Russian executives prefer to meet with people of similar rank and position. • Russians expect long and detailed presentations that include a history of the subject and a review of existing precedents. • Close friends may kiss and hug each other when they meet. The most senior person reaches decisions. • Have one side of your business card translated into Russian using Cyrillic text. Be cautious about letting your business colleagues know that you are under time pressure or they will delay even more. They do not believe in win-win scenarios. • Men should wear business suits. or threaten to terminate the relationship in an attempt to coerce you to change your position. Dress Etiquette • Business dress is formal and conservative. direct eye contact. which is a summary of what was discussed. Even then.• Have all printed material available in both English and Russian. • Have written materials available in both English and Russian. They respect age. walk out of the meeting. • Meetings are frequently interrupted. • It is a good idea to include technical experts on your negotiating team.

• They pride themselves on using proper etiquette in all situations and expect others to do the same. place your knife and fork across your plate with the prongs facing down and the handles facing to the right. as refusals are seen as good manners and are not taken seriously. • Expect to be treated with great honour and respect. • Always keep your hands visible when eating. There may be a seating plan. • Wait to be told where to sit. Business Etiquette and Protocol • Romania is still governed by a great deal of bureaucracy. Even numbers are used for funerals. Do not put it in your lap. • Roses and carnations are always well received. • Wait for the host or hostess to say “pofta buna” (good appetite) before you begin eating. • Table manners follow established protocols of good behaviour. cross your knife and fork on your plate. you will be treated with utmost formality. • Leave your napkin on the table. which make conducting business a time consuming process that requires perseverance. • As long as you are considered an outsider (someone who is not family or a friend). • This is not a process that can be rushed. which lets them treat you more informally. • Only close friends and family members use the first name without appending the honorific title. • To indicate you have not finished eating. • You will have to insist that you cannot eat any more. chocolates. • Once your Romanian colleagues get to know you. • Check to see if there are shoes at the front door. Keep your wrists resting on the edge of the table. • Gifts are generally opened when received. not necessarily to the company you 15 . • Much business involves overlapping local bureaucracies. remove yours. • Personal relationships are crucial if you want to cut through the red tape. start out in a formal style and allow your business colleagues to progress the relationship to a more personal level. or imported liquor to the hosts. • A gift for the children is always appreciated.Titles • People are addressed by their honorific title (“Domnul” for Mr. • Once a relationship has been developed. Building Relationships • Romanians prefer to do business with people who are down-to-earth and do not brag about their accomplishments or financial achievements. • Dress in clothes you might wear to the office. • Expect to be offered second and even third helpings. it is with you personally. Gift Giving Etiquette • If you are invited to a Romanian’s home. If so.hold the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating. Dining Etiquette • Arrive on time if invited to dinner. and “Doamna” for Mrs. they will think of you as an insider. • It is acceptable to soak up extra sauce or gravy on your plate with your bread. • When in doubt. bring flowers. • Friends may address each other using the honorific title and the first name. • Table manners are Continental -. • You may arrive up to 15 minutes late for a party. • Give an odd number of flowers. • When you have finished eating.) and their surname.

There is often a strict protocol to be followed. • Contracts function as statements of intent. if you leave the company. It is expected that if circumstances change. • Punctuality is common in entrepreneurial companies or those that frequently do business in the international arena.represent. • When dealing with state-run companies. • Avoid hyperbole or making exaggerated claims. • If your company has been in business for more than 50 years. • Romanians can be tough negotiators. preferably by letter. • Include any advanced university degrees on your card. Use local banks that are correspondents of western banks. • Do not change members of a negotiating team before a decision is reached or the relationship-building process will have to begin anew. • Have one side of your business card translated into Romanian. If at all possible in this situation.Meetings & Greetings 16 . Negotiating • Business is hierarchical. Therefore. • Avoid confrontational behaviour or high-pressure sales tactics. • Most decisions require several layers of approval. • Decisions are easily reversed. Romanians are impressed by stability. Decision-making power is held at the top of the company. you will most likely be kept waiting. At times it may appear that no one wants to accept responsibility for making the decision. • Use an indirect negotiating style. • Wait to be told where to sit. • Arrive on time and be prepared to wait. include the founding date on your business card. Business Meeting Etiquette • Appointments are necessary and should be scheduled 2 to 3 weeks in advance. • It may take several visits to accomplish a simple task. • It is often difficult to schedule meetings in July and August. • Presentations should be factual and easy to understand. introduce your replacement to those with whom you do business. • Romanians are concerned about being taken advantage of by foreigners. • Base sales on confirmed. • Include facts and figures to back up your conclusions. Being too direct is viewed as poor manners. France Doing Business . irrevocable letters of credit. which is a common vacation time. • Do not remove your suit jacket without permission or until the most senior ranking Romanian does. • Hire your own interpreters for meetings and negotiations. • Meetings are generally formal and follow old-world rules of courtesy. • Romanians have a tendency to tell others what they think they want to hear. • Expect to spend time getting to know people before delving into the business purpose of your visit. • Businesspeople are often unavailable during the two weeks before and after Christmas and the week before and after Easter. your replacement will need to build their own relationship. the contract will accommodate the revised conditions. Business Card Etiquette • Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual.

Being fifteen minutes late is perfectly acceptable and the further south you travel. etc) to bring revelation to mankind. keep wrists above the table and try to eat everything on the plate. Holidays in France are usually taken in July or August so these months should be avoided. However. Similarly. If you speak French stick to the vous form until told to use tu. Abraham. the person extending the invitation always pays. Women are advised to dress simply but elegantly. The French draw information on people based on their appearance. use first names only after being invited to do so. Be careful with adding salt. You will be judged on your demeanour combined with your ability to present your arguments coherently. When doing business in meetings remain polite and courteous at all times. Ensure you have a carefully planned proposal that has been logically organised and presented.Shake hands when meeting and parting. so lunches are the norm when doing business in France. In social settings with friends kissing is the norm. Pass dishes to the left. this is dependent on those doing business there preparing themselves for cross cultural differences and approaching situations with an openmind through appreciating differences in etiquette. Doing Business in France Doing business in France is a challenging and exciting affair. Try not to appear over friendly as this may be construed as suspicious. ‘bon appetit’. If eating in a restaurant. If a stalemate has been reached when doing business. Use Monsieur or Madame followed the surname. questioning and probing. The French communication style is direct. The French are most receptive to low-key. These usually consist of an appetizer.Cuisine The French are passionate about food. rational presentations and arguments that clearly highlight benefits. Punctuality is a relaxed affair. Dress well. approach and style in business. This is a time for relationship building. He was distinguished with bringing a message for the whole of mankind. pepper or sauces to your food as this may imply you find the food tasteless. stylish and conservative. Do not begin eating until the host says. cheese. Accessorizing and wearing make-up is practised widely by business women. Argumentation is not meant to be confrontational but rather a means to analysing your case logically. Avoid exaggerations as the French do not appreciate hyperbole. the more flexible this becomes. ‘Faire la bise’ refers to the little air kiss people trade upon meeting. Moses. Doing Business . rather than just to a certain peoples. Turkey Turkish Society and Culture Islam Islam is the religion of the majority of Turks although the state is fiercely secular. the French will continue to state their position.Meetings and Negotiations If you plan to travel to France on business. once decisions have been reached the only means of overturning it would be through a well argued defence of your case. Christmas and Easter are also periods where business winds down. meetings should be booked in advance in writing or by phone. The French will sometimes introduce themselves using their surname first. Avoid personal questions. followed by their first name. Be sure to reciprocate this gesture. dessert and coffee and normally take up to two hours. When doing business in France. Islam emanated from what is today Saudi Arabia. The Prophet Muhammad is seen as the last of God’s emissaries (following in the footsteps of Jesus. The emphasis is on you to take apart their arguments and approach the issue from a different angle. As Moses brought the 17 . Doing Business . main meal (with wine). Your business attire is a reflection of your success and social status. Always try to be tasteful. Negotiations can become passionate.

The most usual gifts to take are pastries. Gift Giving Etiquette • Gift giving has no real place in business relationships or etiquette. At social occasions greet the person closest to you then work your way around the room or table anticlockwise. • The only time you would need to give any great thought to gifts would be if you were invited to a Turk’s home for dinner. • Tea or Turkish coffee is served at the end of a meal sometimes with pastries. Friday is the Muslim holy day although this is not practised in Turkey. Flowers are not usually taken to a host but can be if felt appropriate. cigarette smoking. noon. Turkish coffee is sipped and allowed to melt into the taste buds so do not gulp it down as you would instant coffee. It is best to ask a florist for advice on what is best to take. It is always a good idea to bring gifts from your own country such as food stuffs or craft items. or gum chewing Etiquette & Customs in Turkey Meeting and Greeting Etiquette • When meeting shake hands firmly. Elders are always respected by kissing their right hand then placing the forehead onto the hand. • When entering a room. if a gift is given it will be accepted well. afternoon. The exact time is listed in the local newspaper each day. When departing it is not always customary to shake hands although it is practised occasionally. Fasting includes no eating. which may be seen as polite. Other useful phrases are ‘Gunaydin’ (Good Morning. It will comprise of a few courses with the main course always meat or fish based. accompanied by bread and a salad. pronounced ee-yee gun-ler) or ‘Memnun Oldum’ (pleased to meet you). However. During the holy month of Ramazan all Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk. The best policy is to graciously thank the host then a few days later invite them to do dinner at a restaurant of your choice. Dining Etiquette • Most business entertaining will take place in restaurants. 18 . Turks enjoy food and the meal is a time for relaxing and engaging in some good conversation. • Turks smoke during meals and will often take breaks between courses to have a cigarette and a few drinks before moving onto the next. and evening.Torah and Jesus the Bible. but you would never be allowed to do so. if you are not automatically met by someone greet the most elderly or most senior first. a little sugar or sweet. drinking. It comes either without sugar. You may try and offer to pay. pronounced goon-ay-dun). ‘iyi gunler’ (Good Day. Turkish coffee is a national drink and should at least be sampled. sunset. Relationship building and the like will usually take the form of dining or sight seeing trips rather than lavish gifts. The Quran and the actions of the Prophet (the Sunnah) are used as the basis for all guidance in the religion. • The protocol of Turkish hospitality dictates that the host always pays for the meal. usually the local tipple called Raký (pronounced rak-uh). Never drink to the bottom of the cup as it will be full of ground coffee and taste awful. Among certain obligations for Muslims are to pray five times a day – at dawn. • Be aware that Turkey is a Muslim country. most males will attend the congregational afternoon prayer. • Friends and relations would greet each other with either one or two kisses on the cheek. (especially ‘baklava’) and decorative items for the home such as ornaments or vases. Muhammad brought the last book. • Greet people with either the Islamic greeting of ‘Asalamu alaykum’ (peace be upon you) or ‘Nasilsiniz’ (How are you? pronounced na-sul-su-nuz). the Quran. The concept of sharing a bill is completely alien. • However. • Evening meals may be accompanied by some alcohol. If the host has children take some expensive sweets or candy. It may be a good idea to inform the restaurant manager that under no circumstances are they to accept payment from your guests. Before giving alcohol to anyone be 100% sure that they drink.

chart and graphs. with many questions that may seem irrelevant to the purpose of your visit. • As well as looking to the person. projections and the like try to present information vocally or with maps. • Decision making can be slow. Questions about children will be welcomed. Beþiktaþ or Fenerbahçe. When conceding ensure you present this as a favour and a decision made out of respect and liking for your counterpart(s). Your success is defined by your ability to build effective personal relationships combined with a clearly outlined and well presented proposal. • Relationships are fostered in the office. Although this is changing with the influx of big multi-nationals and a more corporate culture in some of the larger companies. Turks are also astute business people.than business-oriented since Turks prefer to do business with people they know. Ensure your proposal clearly demonstrates the mutual benefit and profitability of any agreement or partnership. • Ask about his/her family without prying. Once a relationship has been established you can safely move on to business matters. • It is vital that you maintain eye contact while speaking since Turks take this as a sign of sincerity. It is most likely that you will meet and negotiate with less senior members of a family first. A decision is ultimately made by the head of the family/company. the Turks will start at extremes in order to gage your response. over extended lunches. • Have all printed material available in both English and Turkish.Business Etiquette and Protocol Relationships & Communication • Turks prefer to do business with those they know and respect. dinners. • Discussions may start slowly. trust. • Presentations should be well thought-out. Do not immediately begin discussing business. It is extremely rude to insist that your colleagues get to the point. • Turks do not require as much personal space as many other cultures and will stand close to you while conversing. therefore spend time establishing a personal relationship. Business Meeting Etiquette • Appointments are necessary and should be made 1 to 2 weeks in advance. and social outings. • Turks will want to do business with those they like. communication is direct. • Business is personal. Once you are seen as trustworthy and your proposal financially viable you will then move on to meet more senior members. The first meeting at least should be solely focused on getting to know each other. graphs and charts. • First appointments are more social. Asking after their team’s recent fortunes will always produce lively and animate responses. many businesses are still family owned and run. • Most Turkish men love football (soccer) and usually support one of three teams: Galatasaray. thorough. • Courtesy is crucial in all business dealings. preferably by telephone. • Many Turks take vacation during July or August. and backed up with visual aids such as maps. feel comfortable with and with those that can provide a long term relationship. • It is also not a good idea to schedule meetings during Ramazan (Ramadan). • Small talk helps establish a rapport. • Once a relationship has been established. • Turks are primarily oral and visual communicators so in addition to written statistics. If they feel you are hiding something or there is an element of suspicion about your motives you may not get very far. • Punctuality is expected although you should be prepared to be kept waiting. • Building a relationship with your Turkish counterpart(s) is therefore critical. • The Turks are proud of their country and will enjoy answering questions on their culture and history although be sure to avoid political history. Business Negotiation Etiquette • Always come to Turkey knowing two things. Prior to negotiations know your target figure and work slowly towards it through meaningful concessions. as this can be construed as unfriendly. 19 . • Do not back away. • When negotiating. so it is best not to try to schedule appointments at that time.

Similarly a woman’s first name would be followed by ‘hanim’ (pronounced ha-num). A common example is Mr. conservative. • A common phrase you will hear Turks using is ‘efendim’ (literally ‘my master’). ‘Mudur Bey’. Be patient. • Where professional titles exist such as Doctor or Professor. Business Card Etiquette • Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual. respect and other non-monetary incentives. •They see themselves as thrifty. •This allows mothers to be more available to their children throughout the entire day. It is acceptable to just wear a shirt with trousers and in most cases to not wear a tie. and pay attention to the smallest details. would be Ertan Bey. •Families tend to be small. Similarly women should wear smart professional outfits. So. • It may not always be necessary to focus on financial benefits when negotiating. • Present your business card to the receptionist when you arrive. Dutch Demeanour •Appearances are important to the Dutch. You will be expected to wear a suit and tie. •They are disciplined. taxi driver. and especially in the cities of Istanbul. Curiously this is also the case with many other professions such as lawyers ‘Avukat’ or engineers ‘Muhendis’. 20 . doorman. Men should not wear shorts. Business Dress Etiquette • Business dress is conservative. Netherlands (Holland) Dutch Society & Culture The Role of the Family •The Dutch see the family as the foundation of the social structure. a secretary. • Use both hands to exchange cards. You may hear this from a waiter. •Relatively few women work outside the house full-time as compared to many other cultures. Naming Conventions • When addressing a Turk the most common method is to call a man by his first name followed by ‘bey’ (pronounced bay). Within Turkish companies and organisations senior ranking staff will be addressed accordingly. Ertan Gonca. • Quite often Turks do not give their business card unless they are certain that they wish to establish a business relationship. practical and well organized. Manager. shop staff and many others. always use them either on their own of before the first name. Although not a business necessity. • Outside the big cities and especially in the East of Turkey both women and men should wear more conservative clothing. It is simply a polite way of addressing people you are not familiar with. It is just as useful to point to areas such as power. • Have one side of your business card translated into Turkish. hardworking. • In the summer.Try and concede only once you have gained agreement on a reciprocal concession on a separate or related issue. often with only one or two children. Women are advised to refrain from exposing their legs and arms and to ensure clothes are not tight-fitting. influence. Izmir and Anakara the weather is very hot and humid. it will impress your business colleagues. • Do not use deadlines or pressure tactics as the Turks will use this to their advantage and reverse the tactic by threatening to cancel agreements or end negotiations. honour.

starting with the left cheek. •They dislike displays of wealth. •Shake hands with everyone individually including children. as these are associated with funerals. Etiquette and Customs in The Netherlands Meeting and Greeting •The handshake is the common form of greeting. or flowers to the hostess. however. •Wine is not a good gift if invited for dinner. as the host may already have selected the wines for dinner. but he/she will typically want input from the workers and will strive for consensus. no matter how close. •Flowers should be given in odd numbers. •Personal life is kept separate from business. and repetition of your name. this camaraderie will not be brought into the office. •It is firm and swift. •There is practically no abject poverty in the country because of the social programs. •Everyone is valued and shown respect. •Wait until invited before moving to a first-name basis. a book. •The boss may be the final decision maker. •Most Dutch only use first names with family and close friends. also increase the tax burden on workers.•They place high value on cleanliness and neatness. •If a friendship develops at work and is carried into the personal arena. •They do not boast about their accomplishments or their material possessions. accompanied by a smile. •Even in hierarchical organizations. •They are private people and do not put their possessions or emotions on display. •Do not give pointed items such as knives or scissors as they are considered unlucky. •At the same time. •Gifts should be wrapped nicely. •They do not draw attention to themselves and do not value the accoutrements of success highly prized by other western societies. which. •This egalitarian outlook is carried over into the workplace. •Their children are raised without gender biases. Dutch Privacy •The Dutch are reserved and formal when dealing with outsiders. Egalitarianism •The Dutch are egalitarian and highly tolerant of individual differences. Dining Etiquette 21 . •Very close friends may greet each other by air kissing near the cheek three times. every person has a right to their opinion and to have it heard. •Self-control is seen to be a virtue. •Personal matters are not discussed with friends. Gift Giving Etiquette •If invited to a Dutch home bring a box of good quality chocolates. as they run counter to their egalitarian beliefs. but not 13. •Avoid giving white lilies or chrysanthemums. •Gifts are usually opened when received. a potted plant. the Dutch are very private people. •The Dutch do not ask personal questions and will refuse to answer should you be foolish enough to intrude on their privacy. which is unlucky.

•Maintain direct eye contact while speaking. •Remain standing until invited to sit down. •The Dutch are extremely direct in their communication. Little time is spent on pleasantries. •Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your plate. •Information is shared across departments and corporate strategies and goals are usually communicated to all employees. fold the lettuce on your fork. •Finish everything on your plate. You may be shown to a particular seat. •They do not use hyperbole. •Always appear modest and do not make exaggerated claims about what you or your company can deliver. •Cancelling a meeting at the last minute could jeopardize your business relationship. telephone immediately and offer an explanation. •If you have not finished eating. so be clear what your company's intentions are. •In general. •Most food is eaten with utensils. •Men generally remain standing until all the women have taken their seats.•Dining is fairly formal in the Netherlands. including starting and ending times. •They do not touch one another and appreciate it when those they do business with maintain the proper distance. •Since the Dutch value their personal time. An honoured guest should return the toast later in the meal. Business Etiquette and Protocol Building Relationships & Communication •Many Dutch are familiar with doing business with foreigners since the Netherlands has a long history of international trade. cross your knife and fork in the middle of the plate with the fork over the knife. as this is a common vacation period. •Always start with small amounts so you may accept second helpings. •Decisions are often consensus-driven in these cases. Business Meeting Etiquette •Do not try to schedule meetings during the summer (June through August). 22 .the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating. •Older. •Do not begin eating until the hostess starts. and likewise they expect to be told yes or no in clear words. •They will want to know your academic credentials and the amount of time your company has been in business. although it is not mandatory. more bureaucratic companies may still judge you by how you are introduced so it is wise to have a third-party introduction if possible. •The Dutch are hospitable. Do not attempt to deviate from the agenda. do not ask them to work late or come in over the weekend if you want to foster a good working relationship. •Your word is your bond and making claims that later prove to be untrue will brand you as unreliable. •Table manners are Continental -. •Punctuality for meetings is taken extremely seriously. with everyone entitled to their opinion. •The host gives the first toast. •Salad is not cut. do not demonstrate emotion or use exaggerated hand gestures. including sandwiches. •The Dutch take a long-term perspective when looking at business. •Meetings adhere to strict agendas. It is offensive to waste food in the Netherlands. In business they tend to be reserved and formal. •They may sound blunt if you come from a culture where communication is more indirect and context driven. •If you expect to be delayed. •The business community is rather close and most senior level people know one another. •The important thing is to demonstrate how your relationship would be beneficial for both sides. •Being late may mark you as untrustworthy and someone who may not meet other deadlines. especially in more entrepreneurial companies. ideas will be discussed quite openly at meetings. yet this is often reserved for family and friends. •Meetings are rather formal in nature.

•Avoid confrontational behaviour or high. wear stylish clothes that are still rather formal.the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating. • Table manners are Continental -. • Do not give red flowers as they indicate secrecy. •Business is conducted slowly. • Do not wrap gifts in black. Quality. especially when meeting them for the first time. • Gifts are usually opened when received. starting with the left is often added as well as a pat on the back between men.Negotiations •The Dutch prefer to get down to business quickly and engage in relatively little small talk. title or academic honours. 23 . •Communication is direct and to the point. it will not be changed. • Do not give yellow flowers as they indicate jealousy • If you bring wine. •Use facts and figures to confirm your statements. make sure it is a good vintage. bring gift-wrapped such as wine or chocolates. and may seem blunt. Never give your business card in lieu of a calling card in a social situation. • Once a relationship develops. • If you are invited for dinner and want to send flowers. is important. You may arrive between 15 minutes late if invited to dinner and up to 30 minutes late if invited to a party. Anyone who might be affected by the decision is consulted. rather than quantity. • Italians are guided by first impressions. •Contracts are enforced strictly. address. Dining Etiquette If invited to an Italian house: • If an invitation says the dress is informal. Italy Etiquette & Customs in Italy Meeting Etiquette • Greetings are enthusiastic yet rather formal.pressure tactics. jacket and tie for men and an elegant dress for women.e. i. Table manners • Remain standing until invited to sit down. Gift Giving Etiquette • Do not give chrysanthemums as they are used at funerals. • Many Italians use calling cards in social situations. as is traditionally a mourning colour. • Punctuality is not mandatory. have them delivered that day. •Decision-making is consensus driven. • If you are invited to a meal. •Once a decision is made. The Dutch are detail-oriented and want to understand every innuendo before coming to an agreement. •Make sure your arguments are rational as opposed to emotional. so it is important that you demonstrate propriety and respect when greeting people. You may be shown to a particular seat. • Do not wrap gifts in purple. and their telephone number. These are slightly larger than traditional business cards and include the person's name. • The usual handshake with direct eye contact and a smile suffices between strangers.. • If you are staying in Italy for an extended period of time. as it is a symbol of bad luck. it is a good idea to have calling cards made. air-kissing on both cheeks. which greatly increases the time involved in reaching a final decision. • Wait until invited to move to a first name basis.

• In the north. • Italians much prefer face-to-face contact. emotional. leave your wineglass nearly full. • Do not keep your hands in your lap during the meal. people take a more leisurely approach to life and want to get to know the people with whom they do business. Personal contacts allow people to get ahead. • People often raise their voice to be heard over other speakers. however. as this helps build the relationship • Italians are extremely expressive communicators. they may not be followed. • A third party introduction will go a long way in providing an initial platform from which to work. • If you do not want more wine. and demonstrative. and get down to business after only a brief period of social talk.she sits at the table first. Therefore. • It is common to be interrupted while speaking or for several people to speak at once. • Although written agendas are frequently provided. punctuality is viewed as a virtue and your business associates will most likely be on time. • Pick up cheese with your knife rather than your fingers. • Hire an interpreter if you are not fluent in Italian.• Follow the lead of the hostess . so it is best not to try to schedule meetings then. • Networking can be an almost full-time occupation in Italy. and is the first to get up at the end of the meal. often using facial and hand gestures to prove their point. • Have all your printed material available in both English and Italian. • It is acceptable to leave a small amount of food on your plate. • An honoured guest should return the toast later in the meal. people are direct. Business Negotiation • In the north. 24 . • In the south. eloquent. Meetings are meant for a free flow of ideas and to let everyone have their say. do not rest your elbows on the table either. • Take the time to ask questions about your business colleagues family and personal interests. They serve as a jumping off point for further discussions. • The host gives the first toast. not because they are angry. starts eating first. • Your business colleagues will be eager to know something about you as a person before conducting business with you. Business Meeting Etiquette • Appointments are mandatory and should be made in writing (in Italian) 2 to 3 weeks in advance. • Decisions are not reached in meetings. • Women may offer a toast. • Demeanour is important as Italians judge people on appearances and the first impression you make will be a lasting one. Business Etiquette and Protocol in Italy Relationships & Communication • Italians prefer to do business with people they know and trust. • Allow your Italian business colleagues to set the pace for your negotiations. • Many companies are closed in August. • Reconfirm the meeting by telephone or fax (again in Italian). make an effort to ensure that your Italians colleagues like and trust you. • Italians are intuitive. • The goal of the initial meeting is to develop a sense of respect and trust with your Italian business colleagues. They tend to be wordy. • Italians prefer to do business with high-ranking people. see time as money. and if they are open many Italians take vacations at this time. so it is important to spend time in Italy developing the relationship. • Always take a small amount at first so you can be cajoled into accepting a second helping. Follow their lead as to when it is appropriate to move from social to business discussions.

Dress Etiquette • Dressing well is a priority in Italy. • Haggling over price and delivery date is common. • Always adhere to your verbal agreements. • To demonstrate proper respect for the other person. • Elegant accessories are equally important for men and women. • If taking flowers avoid chrysanthemums. • Women should wear either business suits or conservative dresses. • It is a good idea to have one side of your business card translated into Italian. • If giving a gift to a newborn only give an odd number of presents. Failing to follow through on a commitment will destroy a business relationship. birthdays and when invited to someone’s house. • When going to a Bulgarian’s home for dinner take bring flowers for the hostess and a bottle of good spirits for the host.• Hierarchy is the cornerstone of Italian business. Bulgarian Bulgarian Customs and Etiquette Meeting & Greeting • Bulgaria on the face of it is still a fairly formal society . lilies or gladiolas as they are used at funerals. conservative business suits. look closely at their business card before putting it in your card holder. Business Cards • Business cards are exchanged after the formal introduction. • Address people with their titles (if you know them) or with Mr "Gospodin" / Mrs "Gospozha" followed by the surname. • Never use high-pressure sales tactics. • Heated debates and arguments often erupt in meetings. • Gifts are generally opened when received. • Only friends and family address each other with first names and possibly a hug or kiss. This is simply a function of the free-flow of ideas. • One should always wait for their Bulgarian counterparts to determine when it is appropriate to become this informal. direct eye contact and the appropriate greeting for the time of day. • Decisions are often based more on how you are viewed by the other party than on concrete business objectives. Italians respect power and age. • If you have a graduate degree. • Negotiations are often protracted. include it on your business card. • Make sure your title is on your card. Also ensure there are an odd number of stems. • Men should wear dark coloured. • The general rule for gift giving is that it more about the thought than value – in fact do not give overly expensive gifts as this may cause the recipient embarrassment. Gift Giving • Gifts are generally exchanged at Christmas. Dining Etiquette 25 . Italians like knowing how you fit within your organization. • Greetings consist of a firm handshake.initial greetings are therefore formal and reserved.

Greece General Etiquette & Customs in Greece 26 . so on the initial serving take little to allow you a second serving. • Business cards are exchanged on initial meetings. The next meetings can then be used for more business focused discussions. although your hands should be visible at all times. If possible try to present information visually. They prefer to ensure they have comprehensively covered a topic before bringing proceedings to a close. • Be patient and do not rush meetings – successful ventures in Bulgaria will never happen overnight.• Table manners in Bulgaria could be considered casual. • Do not rest your elbows on the table. • It is important to retain a sense of formality and professionalism. scrutinized and discussed. • Address people with their titles (try and find out if people have one beforehand) – if not then use Mr "Gospodin" / Mrs "Gospozha" followed by the surname. • Bulgarians are not deadline oriented. • Add any academic qualifications you may have too. • Any presentations should be factual and backed with statistics. If others unfold them and place them on their laps. • If your company/firm has been established a long time (25-50 years) include the founding date on your business card. hire an interpreter and fully brief them on your needs. Any slip into casual behaviour may not be appreciated. • Wait for the hostess to give the green light before starting to eat. direct eye contact and the appropriate greeting for the time of day. • There is little protocol to follow. • Handshakes are used when meeting and departing. • Once meetings have started to get into more serious matters they will start to proceed at a much slower pace as details are digested. • Glasses will always be refilled – leave a mouthful at the bottom of your glass if you don’t want more. • Translating cards into Bulgarian may not always be a necessity but it would certainly impress recipients. • Eating more food shows appreciation for it. If you are asking questions and not getting direct answers try asking the question in different ways. Business Meetings • Relationship building is important in Bulgaria. do the same – you will be at a more formal meal. • Meetings often last much longer than anticipated. Try to spend time getting to know people before getting down to serious business. • If you are aware that your counterparts in Bulgaria. • Bulgarians have a tendency to talk in a roundabout way when concerned about not saying anything that could be used against them later. Do not rush the process. but there are certain rules of etiquette that should be appreciated. • Although you may be the guest of honour it is polite to insist the eldest person at the table starts proceedings. • Initial meetings should be used as an introduction. • Napkins should be left folded next to the plate. • Eye contact is important is relaying trust and sincerity. Business Etiquette and Protocol in Bulgaria Meeting & Greeting • Greetings consist of a firm handshake. • When invited to sit at the dining table wait to be shown your seat. • Bulgarians do not appreciate too much “talk” so avoid over zealous statements.

smile. Meals are a time for socializing. • Do not begin eating until the hostess starts. and maintain direct eye contact. Table manners • Remain standing until invited to sit down. Business Etiquette and Protocol in Greece Relationships & Communication • Relationships are the linchpin of business dealings since Greeks prefer to do business with those they know and trust. • Expect a great deal of discussion. • Some Greeks celebrate birthdays. • Gifts should be wrapped. they shake hands firmly. • Table manners are Continental -. Male friends often slap each other’s arm at the shoulder. You may be shown to a particular seat.Meeting Etiquette • Greeks are warm and hospitable. • Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel on your plate with the handles facing to the right. • Put your napkin next to your plate when you have finished eating. which is “stinygiasou” in informal situations and “eis igían sas” at formal functions. • Keep your elbows off the table and your hands above the table when eating. bring something small. giving something of great value could put a burden on the recipient since they would feel obligated to give you something of equivalent value. Gift Giving Etiquette • In general. they may also kiss each other on each cheek. Greeks exchange gifts with family and friends for ‘namedays’ (birth date of the saint after whom they are named) and Christmas. • An honoured guest should return the toast later in the meal. • When invited to dinner at a Greek home. • Gifts are usually opened when received.the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating. but it will be appreciated. • Accepting a second helping compliments the host. Dining Etiquette If you are invited to a Greek home: • Arriving 30 minutes late is considered punctual! • Dress well. Since gifts are generally reciprocated. • The host gives the first toast. • Finish everything on your plate. • When meeting someone for the first time. • It is considered polite to soak up gravy or sauce with a piece of bread. • A floral arrangement may be sent in advance of the actual event. • Good friends often embrace. celebrating namedays is more likely • Gifts need not be expensive. • They maintain an intricate web of family and friends to call upon for business assistance since they can be 27 . • People often share food from their plate. • The oldest person is generally served first. but in general. Your offer may not be accepted. • Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a meal is served. • The most common toast is “to your health”. This demonstrates respect for your hosts. • Expect to be treated like royalty! • Compliment the house.

You will have to be patient and not appear ruffled. over extended lunches. it is also serious. Business Cards • Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual. • Companies are hierarchical. which are seen as too impersonal.m. business may begin. • Although some business people speak English. • Many businesspeople eat lunch between 1 and 3 p. • Confirm meetings one day in advance by telephone. • Under no circumstances should you publicly question someone’s statements. By the third meeting. • Nepotism is not viewed negatively and it is very common for relatives to work for the same company. • Never say or do anything that can be construed as challenging the honour or integrity of a business colleague. so this is not the optimal time for a meeting. • Imposing a deadline on reaching a decision may end the negotiations. • Greeks prefer face-to-face meetings rather than doing business by telephone or in writing. • Do not lose your temper or appear irritated during business discussions. • Women should wear either business suits or tasteful dresses. • Business is conducted slowly. • It takes time to develop relationships: this can be done in the office. • Have one side of your business card translated into Greek. Business Dress • Business dress is as in most of Europe. During the first meeting your Greek business colleagues will want to get to know something about you as a person. Business Meeting Etiquette • Appointments are necessary and should be made 1 to 2 weeks in advance. it is a good idea to hire an interpreter. • Men should wear dark coloured. although it is often possible to schedule them on short notice. Several people may speak at the same time. • Greeks are skilled negotiators. Greeks respect age and position. you may have said or done something to upset them. Acting informal before a relationship has developed is considered discourteous. preferably in dark or subtle colours. They view agendas as starting points for discussions and will then follow the discussion to the next logical place. They quite enjoy haggling. • Greeks will deviate from agendas. Business Negotiation • Forming a personal relationship is critical to developing a successful business relationship. • Quite often it is not until the third meeting that business is actually conducted. • Demonstrate how your product or service enhances your colleague’s reputation. • Contracts are often quite simple since the personal relationship dictates that accommodations will be made on either side should the need arise. conservative business suits. • If your Greek business colleagues become quiet and withdrawn. • Decision making is held at the top of the company.. • Present your card so the Greek side faces the recipient. 28 . and social outings. The second meeting is used to develop trust and mutual respect.confident of their trustworthiness. • Meetings are often interrupted. dinners. • Greeks do not like people who are pretentious or standoffish. • Have printed material available in both English and Greek. • Although business is relaxed.

This concept is known as "bella figura" ["beautiful figure"] and is often used in reference to the ability to put on a good performance or simply to present oneself well. Still. Do everything you can to show how your proposal enhances their "bella figura. Hierarchy is key. however. It will be in your best interests to present a warm. logically organized proposal to the meeting. contributes to the beauty and sense of order in the world. if you are unsure where your interlocutor stands. The United Kingdom joined the then European Economic Community in 1973 and. as well as age. although you'll perceive little change in the opinions of the participants. it's important that you bring a carefully planned. your proposal and company. is a signatory to the Maastricht Treaty of 1991 that established the European Union (EU). You will probably notice that very senior Italian businesspeople usually have less information on their business cards. The topic divides the population into ‘Europhiles’ (in favour of greater European integration and embracing the single currency) and ‘Eurosceptics’ or ‘Europhobes’ (in favour of maintaining British sovereignty. The goal. Italy What you should know before negotiating Most Italians in Italy do not speak English well. 29 . especially out of loyalty to family members. Like Sweden and Denmark. friends. and neighbours. and your actions must always at least appear to be the "right" thing to do. is increasingly subject to the primacy of European Union law. where your Italian counterparts will make an assessment of you. it is best to avoid the issue completely or risk being subjected to the forceful expression of strongly held beliefs. a belief in status and hierarchy permeates all aspects of Italian society. All presentation materials and packaging should be aesthetically pleasing. What other people think is considered extremely important. If your Italian counterpart does speak reasonable English it is worth ensuring that your presentation materials and discussions are kept clear and simple. usually more precisely." Italians are generally receptive to new ideas and concepts. should be to cultivate feelings of respect and trust between yourself and your Italian colleagues. Moreover. be aware that Italians generally prefer to do business with only the most important people in any organization. When selecting your negotiating team. in extreme cases. ensure that any advanced educational degrees and your full title or position are featured on both sides of your business card. Italian businesspeople will want to know that they are dealing with an important person. at least for the initial meeting. Moreover. Whether you are worth knowing and doing business with may be more important than the actual details of your proposal. it's essential that things [as well as people] look good: appearance is frequently considered more important than "what's inside. According to opinion polls the latter group constitutes the majority view. despite sometimes difficult relations between London and Brussels (or. You will find that the belief in "bella figura" becomes quite pronounced the further south in Italy you travel. the United Kingdom has not adopted the single currency (the euro) and recent political developments suggest that the UK will remain outside the eurozone for the foreseeable future. so you will probably need a translator in business situations.United Kingdom All UK legislation. The initial meeting is usually conducted in the office. people are traditionally expected to behave with a sense of decorum and formality at all times. there is a belief that behaving appropriately. It is highly unlikely that he or she would admit to not understanding parts of the conversation. The use of business cards is common and you should have your card translated into Italian on the reverse side." These measures become increasingly important as you go further south in Italy. dignified demeanor during the meeting. especially in larger traditional Italian businesses where the importance of the "cordata" [chain of command] cannot be underestimated. Paris and Bonn/Berlin). Again. against adopting the euro and. Indeed the UK has a rather ‘semi-detached’ attitude to the EU and Europe as a whole. Moreover. however. In this culture. hostile to the entire European project and even anything European). In Italian culture. There is tremendous respect for power.

Italian communication styles tend to be eloquent. can be receptive to criticism. vital practical democratic norms. And when leaving a room. The use of this strategy does not automatically mean the negotiations will collapse. Consequently. And what is culture if not the sum of what makes a people unique? 30 . and emotional. In business settings. In most cases. Consequently. etc. or creating consensus among your colleagues in order to accomplish a particular goal. however. In Italy. but not necessarily to the point of attaining equal recognition or authority in business settings. Italians tend to be guided by their feelings. animatedly. Vital present problems are: the development of practices corresponding to the socio-political life of leading foreign states. skills and traditions. the head of the family usually makes the final decision. In this culture democratic goals are sought only by democratic methods and mechanisms. developing research and practical activities in this field. Employees provide what their bosses expect of them. The relationships between families. most decisions are made in “closed quarters” by various people. tolerance of different thinking and of those who think in new or even contrary ways. Italian businesspeople will often base their decisions on what has worked for others in similar situations-even when the two situations may not be directly related to each other. friends. Compassion. diversity. not just the highest figure in authority. There are. make an effort to ensure that the Italians you do business with decide that they like and trust you. tolerance. so ensure that you knock before making an entrance. Complimenting and rewarding employees publicly are not often done. deadlines and efficiency are usually secondary to considerations such as attention to detail and logic. if an idea does not correspond with an individual’s subjective experience or opinion. which is typical of this type of social tradition. All of this occurs in a formal and sometimes very rigid hierarchical structure. Try. In Italian business culture. since rushing or putting pressure on the decision-making process will be only an affront to Italian business protocol. The Roman Catholic Church remains a strong influence in all areas of life. Italians will look at the particulars of each situation rather than seek guidance from a law or policy to solve a problem. demonstrative. never insult the honour or personal pride of the Italians. generally. the individual with authority rarely has to raise his or her voice. Italians speak loudly. preservation of Eastern features and national distinctiveness. the need and inevitability of pluralistic ideas. groups and other social strata there is political cooperation. or their friends. The Italians. not to be too blunt. Women may be treated with particular respect by Italian men. as well as immense spaces and extreme climate are some of the components that have shaped Canadian society. and neighbours are of crucial importance. always close the door behind you. Pluralistic culture A pluralistic culture has the following important features: stable democratic principles and standards of life. Be patient. it is often rejected. unexpected demands as a way of unsettling the other side. Between classes. office and washroom doors often remain closed. as long as it is constructive. their towns. their families. It is not surprising that those are also the traits that best describe the unique character of Canadian people. however.There are not large numbers of women at the highest levels of business and government in Italy. wordy. Consequently. Cultural Influences in Canadian Art In the last century. in these organizations. Compiling the information required in order to do what your boss expects from you. Canada has emerged as one of the great successes of the world. consistent directives. Final decisions are slow and protracted. Consequently. and interruptions are to be expected. Honour and personal pride are critical in this culture. freedom and openness. can take a considerable amount of time. Italians will sometimes make sudden. usually taking several months to a year. however. a large proportion of family-owned businesses here. and the preparation of reports and plans can be timeconsuming and even complicated. especially in the south of Italy.

Immigrants have brought the world to Canada and have opened us to the world. Canada is a pluralistic society. Canada is no exception. Cultures all over the world are feeling the pressures of globalization. The dynamic relationship between Francophone and Anglophone Canadians has been one of the hallmarks of Canadian culture for the last 300 31 . can be arbitrarily divided into three elements. and its influences. we are preserving culture itself. and a pluralistic culture. By preserving cultural identities around the world. Although Aboriginal cultures have always been a cultural influence in Canada. Canadian culture is what brings meaning to being Canadian. the richness of thousandyear-old traditions and the more than 50 indigenous languages spoken in Canada today are still being discovered and are increasingly appreciated and studied. http://www.culture. Today. We are a strong supporter of the international initiatives to preserve and promote cultural diversity. and bilingualism and multiculturalism are traits that continue to define us as Canadians.The composition of Canadian culture. and the rapid pace of technology.