We compiled these brief country profiles with the help of Country Navigator – an online and mobile platform that prepares executives and assignees on how to work and adapt culturally in over 100 countries. It combines assessments, country content and a range of e-learning modules. Contact us to find out how your organization can benefit from using Country Navigator.
Be aware of the class system. France has a strong class system where lineage and education are valued higher than wealth. Indeed, to talk openly about wealth or earnings is seen as gauche; after all, it was the French who coined the phrase ‘nouveau riche’.
Speak French. The French are very proud of their language. Even if you speak little French, use it as much as possible. Your efforts will be respected.
Blend in. Dress conservatively but with style. Act with dignity at all times. Show patience; the French do not like to be hurried.
Respect individuality. Do not try to categorize or make generalizations about the French. They are fiercely individual, something that needs to be accounted for when managing a team.
Embrace the debate. Debate and good conversation are highly valued. Do not be afraid to join in a heated discussion; if you can back up your position, you will win respect.
Build relationships. Business is personal in France and you should make an effort to build relationships before trying to sell or negotiate.
Respect the hierarchy. Understand the hierarchical nature of businesses in France; information might not flow, decisions will be made at the top and the leadership style is autocratic. Protocols are followed.
Be polite. This is a polite, formal society where greetings, small talk, polite conversation and etiquette are held in high esteem.
Present with style. The French appreciate a logical, thoughtful presentation explaining all the key points thoroughly; they will not be persuaded by bombastic and boastful sales pitches.
Embrace multiculturalism. France is a very multicultural society and many different cultural influences may be at play in the workplace.
Embrace multiculturalism. Australia is a highly diverse society with a wide variety of nationalities represented in its immigrant population. It is also a very tolerant society with a large LGBT community. The Aboriginal culture goes back thousands of years.
Keep it casual. Australians tend not to be formal – although a casual style does not mean a lack of professionalism.
Be sincere. Australians dislike pretentiousness and tend to cut a person who boasts down to size.
Use humor. Australians enjoy banter and humor is often used to break the ice, especially in a presentation. You should be able to laugh at yourself.
Be pragmatic. Australians prefer a solid action plan to theory and conceptual thinking.
Do not get offended. Australian communication style can be highly explicit and blunt but this should not be taken as a sign of aggression.
Be professional. Be on time for meetings, be prepared and keep proposals straightforward, without hype.
Embrace a sense of fair play. Try not to be judgmental and try to solve any conflict in a balanced way, using well-reasoned arguments.
Be practical. Allow time to get over jet lag if you are visiting Australia from, say, Europe or North America. Do not try to do business straight off the flight.
Socialize. Although business is not especially personal, the gregarious Australians are enthusiastic hosts and will invite visitors to any number of events to make them feel at home.
Peruvians place great emphasis on relationship building, family and in decision making, family connections play a big part. Loyalty is to family and friends before work.
Business is a mixture of formality and informality; dress code is conservative and good manners essential, although indirect communication may evolve into something much more direct and personal once the relationship has been established.
Don’t be surprised if you are asked personal questions about your family and financial status and answer with care, particularly when discussing money and income.
Business relationships exist between people rather than between companies. A Peruvian contact may trust and respect an individual but have to start from the beginning to build a relationship with another executive from the same company.
Admiration and respect are shown for status, rank, education and age. A person may be more highly respected from the reputation they have built up as someone ‘worth knowing’ than for their actual achievements.
Build into any project the likely costs of supporting your agent or partner in Peru. Regular visits to support them and inform them of new products will be necessary. Face-to-face contact is much appreciated.
Do not assume the language of business to be English by default – it is almost always Spanish and website information and brochures should be translated into Spanish by qualified translators.
Business entertaining is essential and part of the whole relationship-building process. Make the time and put in the effort.
Learn about Peruvian negotiating tactics; haggling is expected in every area of life and Peruvians are skilled negotiators.
Place emphasis on your company’s past achievements, success in similar markets to Peru and your long-term commitment to any project.
Competitors in business often know one another from business school – this is a small country, so show respect to everybody you deal with as word travels fast.
Danes prefer to get down to business quickly with minimal small talk.
Attention to detail, level-headedness and egalitarianism are national characteristics.
Although they claim not to be snobbish, there are rivalries between Danes from different parts of the country. Danes have a high opinion of themselves and their culture but their self-effacing nature prohibits boasting about this.
Danes are fairly insular and it can take a long time before true bonds of friendship are established.
Decisions are usually made after consultation with everyone involved.
In any relationship, maintaining hygge – a sense of comfort – is essential.
Danish society is unofficially governed by Janteloven, the laws of Jante, a fictional town featured in a 1930s poem, essentially a set of rules about conformity.
Preparation is key before any meeting or transaction – Danes are taught to question everything and often hold strong opinions which are difficult to change.
Human rights and environmental issues are key to any business decision.
To learn more about the other 28 cultures represented at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, go back to the main article on this topic.