Cross-cultural negotiating behavior: POLAND AND GREECE
CROSS-CULTURAL NEGOTIATINGBEHAVIOR OF POLAND AND GREECEBy Yuriy Stakh
Plan Communication Initial Contacts and Meetings Negotiation Bargaining Decision Making Other important things to know
CommunicationPOLAND GREECEOfficial language – Polish.Avoid using jargon and slang.People speak very softly.Do not find it difficult to say“NO”.Official language – Greek.Avoid using jargon and slang.People speak forcefully.To signal ‘no’ is by raising theeyebrows.
Initial Contacts and MeetingsPOLAND Scheduling meetings inadvance is required. While meetings may notalways start on time, Polesexpect foreign visitors tobe punctual. Avoid beingmore than 5 to 10 minuteslate.GREECE If possible, schedulemeetings at least one totwo weeks in advance. Although Greeks may notbe very punctual, foreignvisitors are generallyexpected to be on time.
Initial Contacts and MeetingsPOLAND The exchange of businesscards is an essential stepwhen meeting someone forthe first time. Business may be discussed,but do not try to hurry alongwith your agenda. It isunrealistic to expect initialmeetings to lead to straightdecisions.GREECE When presenting your card,smile and keep eye contact,then take a few moments tolook at the card you received. Meetings in Greece mayappear somewhat chaotic,with frequent interruptionsand several parallelconversations. Do not takethis personally; it also doesnot indicate a lack of interest.
NegotiationPOLAND To the Poles, negotiating isusually a joint problem-solving process. The primary negotiationstyle is somewhatcompetitive, Polesnevertheless value long-term relationships and lookfor win-win solutions.GREECE Leveraging relationships isan important elementwhen negotiating inGreece. Look for win-winsolutions.
NegotiationPOLAND Polish negotiators usuallyplay their cards close to thechest, although some mayshare information as a wayto build trust.GREECE The level of informationsharing depends largely onthe strength of therelationship. During initialnegotiations, the Greeksoften play their cards closeto the chest.
BargainingPOLAND Most of Poles are not fond ofbargaining and dislike haggling.However, Poles may be patientand persistent negotiators, and itcan be difficult to obtainconcessions from them. What you may consider a bribe,a Pole may view as only a nicegift.GREECE Most Greeks enjoy bargainingand haggling. They expect to doa lot of it during a negotiation.This may include a lot of drama,exaggerations, and bragging.Your counterparts may beoffended if you refuse to playalong. Corruption and bribery aresomewhat common in Greece’spublic and private sectors.
Decision making Companies are often very hierarchical, and people expect towork within clearly established lines of authority. Decision makers are primarily senior managers whoconsider the best interest of the group or organization. Both are often reluctant to take risks. If you expect them to support a risky decision, you mayneed to find ways for them to become comfortable with itfirst, for instance by explaining contingency plans, outliningareas of additional support, or by offering guarantees andwarranties.
Other important things to knowPOLAND Punctuality is also valuedin most social settings. It isbest to be right on time fordinners, and to arrive atparties within 5 to 10minutes of the agreed time.GREECE Social events do notrequire strict punctuality.While it is best to arrive atdinners close to the agreedtime, being late to a partyby 20 to 30 minutes isperfectly acceptable.
Other important things to knowGREECE Greeks enjoys discussing politics and are often wellinformed. They may be very outspoken, openly sharingtheir opinion. It is best to take a neutral or positivestance in such discussions. The same applies if the topicof religion comes up in a conversation. Topics to avoidin discussions are Greece’s relationship with Turkey ,the tensions over Cyprus. Greeks also dislike beingstereotyped the way you may find in Hollywoodmovies.
Conclusion Both this countries have differences and similarities.They are similar in decision making, attitudetowards corruption and bribery and they differ inattitude towards punctuality, manner of speakingand bargaining.