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Swedish business culture by ive16829

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									Swedish business
     To understand the Swedish Business Culture and
to be sure to deal in the best conditions, it is important to
      analyze some points before going there. In this
  presentation, different topics will be introduced as the
 appointments, the business dress, the general topics with
   the welcome topics and these to avoid, then how to
  address to other people, the business lunches and gifts
some useful information and finally the public conduct in
All these information will help you in the aim to realize in
           the best conditions your negotiation!
   Be punctual at all times, to both business and social events, it is
    not appropriate to be 'fashionably late' to dinners
   It is crucial to phone ahead and let someone know when you are
    late--and you should have a convincing explanation as well
   Appointments should be made two weeks in advance
   It would be wrong to expect people to work over weekends,
    holidays, or vacations
   Swedish businesspeople will take work home with them in the
   It is acceptable to call a Swedish colleague at home, assuming
    you have been given his or her phone number and permission to
    do so
                   Appointments 2
   Refrain from scheduling meetings with Swedish businesspeople
    for the months of June, July, or August, as well as late February
    through early March (holidays time) but more in July
   Remember that many Europeans and South Americans write the
    day first, then the month, then the year
   The workweek is 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through
   There is one hour for lunch, and many people go to lunch
    between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
   During the Christmas holidays [from December 22 to January 6],
    many Swedish businesspeople are unavailable
                    Business dress
   Conservative dress is appropriate
   For business appointments, men should wear suits and ties,
    while women should wear suits or dresses
   Good selections for women include designer suits or business
    dresses that have presence
   Pantsuits are also acceptable for women in Sweden
   All Swedes typically dress well, but none that much better than
    others. This reflects the importance of maintaining a sense of
    equality in this society
   The upscale restaurants expect both men and women to dress
   Swedes are fashion-conscious, and well-designed, high-styled
    clothing is preferred, especially at work and in the evening when
    going out , even in small towns
                     General topics

   Do not ask personal questions or be offended if Swedes do not
    inquire about your family, work
   Visitors should not praise one area over another because there is
    a great deal of pride in local regions
   Scandinavians appreciate knowledge of the differences among
    the people of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark
   The Swedes have a profound appreciation of nature
   Don't use profanity at any time. If you do, you will offend the
   The age is no important but business people are often young
    Welcome topics of conversation
   Travel
   Swedish culture and history
   Sports [especially soccer] and Hockey
   The fine arts
   Current events
   Politics [if you know what you're talking about]
   Vacations and holidays
   Music
   Philosophy
   The outdoors
   Nature
                   Topics to avoid
   Criticizing the Swedish government, economy and culture
   Family
   Income
   Paying compliments to people you have just met
   The Olaf Palme assassination
   Personal background
   Anything associated with rank, status, and showiness
   Comparing social welfare systems
   Complaining about the high cost of living in Scandinavia
   Criticizing the Swedish sense of humor, which North Americans
    often find incomprehensible
    How to address to other people?
   Expect to address a person by his or her first name
   Swedes like to establish relationships on an informal, but not
    familiar level
   Titles are not important in Sweden
   If you speak any Swedish at all, make the effort to use it. Your
    efforts will be appreciated, and most Swedes will be impressed
    that you know some Swedish at all
   It is very important to greet people at work or in stores or
    restaurants with a hej greeting for most of the time, as well as
    saying 'hej då' [goodbye] upon leaving
   The order of names in Sweden is the first name followed by
                     Business lunches
   Breakfast meetings are uncommon
   The business lunch or dinner is now a more widespread practice but, it is usually
    not the time to make business decisions
   Formal restaurants are recommended for business meals
   Lunch is usually served from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m and beer or wine seldom
    accompanies lunches
   Dinner [middag] is usually served from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in Swedish homes, with
    8:00 p.m. the usual time for weekend dinner parties
   Swedes also pause for a coffee break--once around 10:00 a.m. and again at 4:00
   Meals at a Swedish associate's home can be either relaxed or formal
   Swedes are very hospitable and will invite you to their homes occasionally during
    the week, but most often on weekends
   At the table, be sure to look for place cards, or wait until the host directs you to
    your seat
   In a Swedish home, you will be expected to remove your shoes
   The most common toast is ' skål', pronounced 'skoal.'
                     Business lunches 2
   If many people are being toasted, make eye contact with each individual as you make the
    toast and do not begin eating until the host has proceeded to do so
   Swedes do not switch knives and forks
   At the end of the dinner party, the male guest of honour is usually obligated to thank the
    host or hostess, acting on behalf of all the guests 'Tack for maten' [thank you for the
   Waitstaff may be summoned by making eye contact, since waving or calling their names is
    very impolite
   You should not chew gum, ever, at a restaurant or on the street
   Usually, the person who does the inviting pays the bill, although the guest is expected to
    make the effort to pay
   If invited to dinner at a home, you may offer to help with the chores, but you will
    probably not have to
   Spouses are often included in business dinners [frequently if both business associates are
   When it is time to depart [usually by 11:00 p.m. or so], make it a point to get up and shake
    hands with everyone: the group wave is not appreciated
   It is not uncommon for businesswomen to pick up the check in Sweden, especially if they
    are on an expense account
   Tips are generally included in the total price; nevertheless, waiters usually expect an
    additional 10%
                     Business gifts
   In general, gift giving is not common among business associates
   It is best not to send a gift at any time unless you receive one
    first from your Swedish colleagues
   Holiday cards are appropriate and should be mailed in time to be
    received the week before Christmas
   Gifts are expected for social events, especially in thanks for
    private dinner parties
   Unwrap the flowers before entering the home or handing them
    to the hostess
   Never send chrysanthemums or white lilies (for funerals) and
    avoid red roses or orchids (romantic intent ) and to put them in
    odd numbers
                    Business gifts 2
   Flowers, liquor, wine, cake, or chocolates are appropriate gifts
    for your hostess when you are invited to a Swedish home
   You may also bring candy for the children
   Liquor is a highly appreciated gift, since it is so expensive in
    Sweden and fine liquor or wine from the United States
   Choose a practical gift and books about your country, as well as
    desk accessories
   If you are staying with a family : gourmet foodstuffs [pralines,
    maple syrup, lobsters, etc.], coffee table books about your home
    country or city, or anything that reflects your host's personal
            Some useful information
   Take plenty of business cards with you, however, because the Swedes tend to be keen
    to exchange them
   Titles and education on your business card are not important in Sweden
   The best times for meetings are 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 to 4:00 p.m
   Swedes respect someone who comes to them with established knowledge and
   The first meeting is typically conducted in the office
   Several meetings are necessary before all the details are cleared and questions answered
   Consensus is important
   Appearing reserved or even slightly shy can leave a positive impression with your
    Swedish hosts
   The performance is a group performance for which the group should be rewarded or
    criticized, never the individual
   There is a critical emphasis on privacy and individual accomplishment of one's tasks
              Some useful information 2
   They will not follow a decision made by a superior. All parties are expected to
    work alongside each other as equals
   Facts and figures are crucial, and must be clearly outlined and detailed and
    presentations should include handouts and overheads
   Swedes place emphasis on content which should be short, concise and easy to
   You may be surprised to learn that decision making falls to the lower parts of
    the hierarchy in Sweden, where there is an emphasis on teamwork and
   Once decisions are made, they can be confirmed in writing, but you may
    consider the agreement to be already active
   Women and men are generally treated as equals in this country, so expect
    decision-makers to be of either gender
   In Sweden, doors are habitually closed; moreover, they are locked. Always
    knock first before opening doors, including bathroom doors
   Staying late in the office is not necessarily interpreted as a virtue
                       Public conduct
   In dealing with the Swedes, speak in a subdued, modulated tone of voice, as
    Swedes are a generally quiet people
   Never speak with your hands in your pockets; always keep them firmly at
    your side when standing
   Swedes keep their body language and hand gestures to a minimum, rather
    than relying on nonverbal forms of communication
   Maintain a distance of two arms' lengths between you and the person with
    whom you are conversing
   Shake hands with everyone individually in a group when being introduced and
    when departing
   Kissing is not common as a greeting but handshake is common
   In conversation, you should maintain eye contact as much as possible and
    keep the tone of your voice down
   The proper Swedish greeting is to offer your hand as you make eye contact
    with the person and say, 'God dag', which literally means 'Good Day'
   Do not backslap, embrace, or touch a Swede
   A toss of the head means, 'come here.'
   The appropriate way to answer the telephone is to say 'hallo'? followed by
    your family name

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