Table of contents Facts and statistics Brazilian society & culture Brazilian business structure Greetings in Brazil Brazilian meetings Business cards Brazilian communication styles Brazilian dress code Brazilian gifts Successful entertaining in Brazil
Facts and Statistics Location: Eastern South America Capital: Brazilia Climate: mostly tropical, but temperate in south Population: 184,101,109 Ethnic Make-up: white (includes Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish) 55%, mixed white and black 38%, black 6%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 1%
Facts and Statistics Religions: Roman Catholic (nominal) 80% Government: federative republic Language: Portuguese
Brazilian Society & Culture Brazilian Diversity Brazil is a mixture of races and ethnicities, resulting in rich diversity.
Brazilian Society & Culture II Brazilian Family Values The family is the foundation of the social structure and forms the basis of stability for most people. Families tend to be large and the extended family is quite close. Nepotism is considered a positive thing.
Brazilian Business Structures Brazilian companies tend to be organised along strictly hierarchical lines with information flowing up and down the various chains of command. All key decisions will be made at the most senior levels. therefore International negotiators are advised not to try to get a decision out of somebody who does not really have the requisite level of authority.
Greetings in Brazil Men shake hands when greeting one another, while maintaining steady eye contact. Women generally kiss each other. Hugging and backslapping are common greetings among Brazilian friends. If a woman wishes to shake hands with a man, she should extend her hand first.
Brazilian Meetings 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. Expect to be interrupted while you are speaking or making a presentation. Avoid confrontations. Do not appear frustrated with your Brazilian colleagues.
Brazilian Meetings II Although first meetings can be more formal, they are generally quite informal and relaxed. There is likely to be a great deal of small talk before the meeting proper starts. Brazilians have a Latin temperament and will often appear extremely emotional during meetings. Meetings often start and finish late. It can be difficult to schedule more than one or two meetings per day. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to rush off at the end of a meeting. Take the time to seem relaxed and easy- going as these are qualities much admired in Brazil.
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
Brazilian Communication Styles When dealing with people outside the major cities, you may need to check if translation to Brazilian Portuguese is necessary. Great emphasis is placed on the value of verbal communication. The things that people say are often given greater weight than anything in a written format. Dont simply rely on emails to give information. Follow things up with a phone call or a meeting to discuss the matter. Brazilians use a great deal of body language, stand at relatively close proximity and have strong levels of eye contact.
Brazilian Dress Code Appearance is extremely important in Brazil and it is vital that you look your smartest. Men are best advised to wear conservative dark suits. Women tend to be less conservative in their dress sense at the office. They „dress to impress” and are more flamboyant than in many other countries.
Brazilian Gifts If invited to a Brazilians house, bring the hostess flowers or a small gift. Avoid giving anything purple or black as these are mourning colours. Gifts are opened when received.
Successful Entertaining in Brazil Business entertaining forms an integral part of business life in Brazil and business meals can be lengthy affairs. Do not be surprised to spend two hours over lunch and three hours or more over dinner. Business meals are really about getting to know each other as people so don’t be tempted to try to use the meal as an extension of a meeting. Keep the conversation at the social level. Brazilians tend to use their knife to cut up the food and then place it against the plate whilst continuing to eat using only the fork. Although most social events will start much later than the official start time, it is good idea to arrive at any business functions on time Most restaurants will automatically add a 10% service charge on to the bill, but it is still a good idea to leave a further tip of between 5 — 10%.
Conclusion Mixture of races and ethnicities Family is very important Companies tend to be organised along strictly hierarchical lines Relationships come first, second and third in Brazil Informal meetings A lot of small talk Great emphasis is placed on the value of verbal communication
Conclusion II Great emphasis is placed on the value of verbal communication Use of emotion in communication Body language, relatively close proximity and strong levels of eye contact Appearance is very important for both men and women