The starting point for awinning strategy in global trade is a sensitive understanding of foreign cultures
BUSINESS ETIQUETTE AND CULTURE IN EUROPE SUHARSH L PESIT MBA
BUSINESS ETIQUETTE AND CULTURE IN EUROPE Work-related values Communication Giving gifts and complements Meaning of time Business meetings Greeting, dining and entertainment
FEW UNIVERSAL RULES• Respect your opponents• Be a good listener• Never reveal essential Information in the first meeting• Be humble but assertive
• Foundation for all relationships is trust• Negotiators must avoid confrontations• Good timing is the key
WORK RELATED VALUES• Work ethos or work ethic is a cultural norm that places a positive moral value on doing a good job.• It is based on the belief that work has an intrinsic value
The level of work ethos for each European country can be calculated using the inhabitants opinions about the following five statements:1.To fully develop your talents, you need to have a job2.It is humiliating to receive money without having to work for it
3.People who dont work, turn lazy4.Work is a duty towards society5.Work should always come first, even if it means less spare time.
COMMUNICATION• In France and Germany, written communication is desired. French lay great emphasis on grammatically correct communication;• Germans expect the business communication to be precise.
• Typical business interactions are more effective (and more enjoyable!) if you consider some cultural differences such as titles and introductions, language differences, differences in organizational structure and philosophy.
GIVING GIFTS AND COMPLIMENTS• Across Europe, business gifts should not be too personal and should be wrapped professionally.• In Europe particularly, giving compliments is a perfectly acceptable.
• Compliments can be very simple- admiring someone’s taste in office furnishings or complimenting someone on their proficiency with the computer or complimenting their analysis of a situation.
• Many Europeans for whom English is a second language particularly like to be complimented on their grasp of English by Americans.• Expressing sincere compliments is a practice that is much more common in Europe and also effective in developing rapport with people anywhere.
BUSINESS MEETINGS• Generally more relaxed. Introductions are never neglected, and meetings often start with a joke or a “brain teaser” puzzle or activity to get everyone involved and thinking together.
• Meetings are seldom scheduled before 10:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m, in deference to people’s family or social activities.• A significant amount of meeting time is used in setting up ground rules, determining the purpose and expected outcome of the meeting, and so forth, especially when there are people from several cultures involved.
• People participating in meetings in Europe are expected to be involved in the conversation, not buried in their digital device or cell phones.• They demonstrate interest and attentiveness to the person speaking with their body language and by asking relevant questions.
MEANING OF TIME• Be Punctual and Use Your Time Wisely• Be on schedule in Scandinavia, Germany and Austria •In the UK, be early •Italians or Spaniards are generally more relaxed
Take Blame and Give Credit• In the 1930s, an American named Dale Carnegie.• By admitting fault quickly and emphatically when you’ve made an error, you immediately take the antagonism out of a problem, and everyone’s focus turns more quickly to a solution rather than fault-finding.• Passing along credit is even more effective than taking it for yourself.
GREETING• Standard business greeting throughout Europe• Exception is Britain• Italians shake hands often• Germans may bow slightly
GREETING• In France, a lighter grasp is customary• In Austria, be prepared for a two-cheeked kiss after the working relationship established• When opposing sides from different Western cultures reach an agreement, shake hands
DINING AND ENTERTAINING• Your European host will always make the first toast• Reply with a toast of thanks at the end of the meal• Talking business over lunch is not a violation of etiquette in France, Austria, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Portugal and Spain, In the Czech ,Republic, Italy and Greece• Not talk business over lunch unless your host initiates
DINING AND ENTERTAINING• Dinner in Europe is usually reserved for social entertaining• Be on time for dinner in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark. Elsewhere, being fashionably late is acceptable• Do not take wine to a dinner in the Netherlands, France or Belgium
CONCLUSIONAppreciating the cultural differences and making a conscious effort to adapt to the ways of a country is necessary for any flourishing businessWith a little bit of advance preparation, openness to new experiences and a willingness to behave with the utmost in formality, respect and professional decorum, you will definitely increase your chances of success in your business relationships in Europe