Cultural Differences – Italy

The exchange of mutual favors combined with long-term loyalties is the basis of every cooperation. Business relationships in Italy are therefore considered to be stable and successful only when the personal relationship between the partners is right and they all fit into a personal relationship network. The most important basis is good communication, because talking […]

Cultural Differences – USA

Casual small talk US-Americans are certainly considered experts when it comes to innocuous small talk. Having an easy-going conversation helps creating a pleasant atmosphere, and this again is important for doing business. It may well be the case that during this kind of conversation your US-American business partner tells you that it would be nice […]

Cultural Differences – Baltic States

What the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania all have in common is a period of Russian occupation after the Second World War when they were under socialist rule for around 40 years. Today, however, the three Baltic republics deliberately distance themselves from each other and want to be perceived each in their own […]

Initial business contact with US-Americans

There are several ways of doing so. Keep in mind that for US-Americans time is money and they find it difficult to deal with things that seem “strange” to them. As a first step send an e-mail in which you explain your offer or your request in a nutshell. Make sure you indicate your potential […]

Negotiating with Southeast Asian business partners

In Southeast Asia hierarchies are of great importance. That is why seating arrangements for negotiations are not left to chance. Each participating party sits on one side of the conference table. High-ranking participants and decision makers sit with their backs to the wall, usually facing the door, where the guest and negotiating partner is often […]

Cultural Differences – Croatia

About 90 percent of Croatia’s population are ethnic Croats, catholic, and speak Croatian. Four to five percent are Serbs who belong to the Orthodox Church and speak Serbian. Another five percent are of different ethnic origin, such as Bosnians, Hungarians, Slovenes, Czechs and Roma. Since the disintegration of the multi-ethnic state of Yugoslavia and the […]

Italian meeting culture

The seemingly innate desire to talk is typical of Italian business meetings. Italians embrace a fairly lively communication style. While you may communicate more directly and objectively, they display more enthusiastic gestures, facial expressions and emotions. Their expressive style, which always includes a little self-staging, includes simultaneous, loud speaking, which makes it significantly more difficult […]

Presentations for Chinese business partners

When you present to a Chinese firm you will presumably do it in English. Be aware that you are communicating in a foreign language and that misunderstandings can arise more often. Therefore: Speak slowly, clearly, and in short sentences. Put in pauses. Show a lot of text on your presentation slides. The written word is […]

Cultural Differences – Switzerland (German speaking part)

In terms of competitiveness, Switzerland is number one, according to the latest global Competitiveness report from the World Economic Forum. Innovation, efficiency and a strong work ethic are strong pillars of the economy. Certain characteristics of German-speaking Swiss in particular, such as tidiness, precision and a high level of risk-aversion shape a business culture which […]

The art of drinking vodka

The owner of a company, Mr. Schmidt, was very satisfied with the course of the business dinner. The conclusion of the contract was as good as perfect, his new partners obviously enjoyed themselves very much, everything was perfect. Perhaps he should not have drunk so much, he was no longer in command of his tongue […]

Presentations for US-Americans

A presentation in front of an US-American audience needs to be short, concise and goal-orientated. Pay attention to the order of your structure! Do not begin by talking about the firm or the product history but emphasis the customer benefit. Then move on to the main aspects, results and conclusions. After that you explain with […]

Cultural Differences – Finland

The following tips on cultural stumbling blocks in dealing with Finnish business partners are intended to facilitate cooperation: Introductions and address It is common to shake hands in Finland when greeting, but this is often left out when leaving. Using names is also of no significance to Finns; this is also true for written communication. […]

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