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 – 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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Problem solving with British project partners

A few weeks after starting a bi-national project, the first question marks appear on both sides and it is usually not long before the first disputes start to loom on the horizon. Even then, the assumption is that it is merely a question of some people not getting on with one another. Eventually, however, there […]

Using French networks for business initiation

Long before the word network became commonplace in connection with social networks, les réseaux was an everyday expression in France ‒ in social life, in the economy or in business. Its meaning can be traced back to life at the French court where personal networks enabled communication between the center of power and the distant […]

Cultural Differences – Belgium

With Brussels at the center of the European Union, the Belgian working world is more international than in many other EU countries. In addition to the multicultural influences of its numerous foreign inhabitants, Belgium also has domestic economic, political and above all cultural borders. By several state reforms in the 80s and 90s, the three […]

Dutch leadership – relaxed, but goal-oriented

Dutch are generally pragmatic. They speak directly and bluntly say what they think and mean what they say. Everyone is at eye level with each other. Accordingly, Dutch companies are also comparatively informally managed. The hierarchies are flat, the boss and the staff are on first-name terms. The boss’s office door is always open for […]

German communication – not rude, just honest and direct

In Germany, generous personal distance is found between speakers in a conversation, at least an arm’s length is expected. Eye contact is also crucial, as it demonstrates attention and interest in a conversation. For those who are not used to this characteristic, it may seem weird and awkward at first, but avoiding eye contact may […]

Cultural Differences – Great Britian

The refined “English manner” is famous around the world and synonymous primarily with respectful and reserved behaviour. Included in this is an unlimited politeness in every situation. Emotional outbursts of any kind are deemed embarrassing and compromising. Everyone who has received a reasonably good education knows how to retain his composure. Small Talk for the […]

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