Cultural Training in Portugal
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Cultural Training in Portugal
Doing business in a foreign country isn't like going on holiday: don't expect to get by with knowledge of a few words, and don't assume business is conducted in the same way universally.
But how can you properly prepare? There are many cultural training companies and schools which can help you. They offer cross-cultural grounding, bridging the translatory and protocolic gaps between nations and people.
Providing guidance in all areas of business and sociality, these cultural training companies are experts when it comes to negotiation training; management training; and diversity training. All training, of course, can be country-specific.
Tutorials can take many forms, so investigate which will be right for you and, if necessary, your employees.
Business Etiquette in Portugal
The formalities and informalities; the how dyou dos and how dyou donts. Etiquette is one of the foundations of modern civilisation, and business is no exception. A business blunder, in some countries, could mean the difference between a deal and disrepute. Again, its all about culture if not adopting, at least recognising and respecting the traditions and protocols of a people. Some bites of cultural training in Portugal follow:
In Portugal it is advisable to have a mutual contact providing the initial introduction, as the Portuguese prefer to do business with those they feel comfortable with, which means those that they know they can trust. Therefore, expect to spend time on relationship building. Always prefer face-to-face meetings rather than written or telephonic communication, which are seen as too impersonal. Portuguese put great importance on the character of the person with whom they do business, so they will take time to get to know you. Never rush the relationship-building process.
Be formal. In greetings rely on strict rules of protocol: address people with the honorific title 'senhor' and 'senhora' with the surname and stress the academic title if they have one. It is important that you treat business colleagues with respect and not do anything to embarrass them. Defer to those in senior positions and maintain a sense of formality in written communication.
Relationships are built with people, not companies, hence if you change representatives or people on a negotiating team once negotiations have started, the relationship-building process will have to start all over again.
Although honest, the Portuguese do not volunteer information unless solicited, especially if remaining silent is in their best interest.
Do not be concerned if your Portuguese colleagues fail to follow through on promises, as they have a more relaxed attitude towards time and do not see deadlines as crucial as people from many other cultures do.
In meetings, wait for your Portuguese colleagues to bring up business matters. Have printed material available in both English and Portuguese, and take care of the details. As a general rule, business is conducted slowly and on the long-term. Do not appear impatient and do not use high-pressure sales tactics. Portuguese are offended by aggressive behaviour.