Business Culture 1
Undersanding Canadians et Canadian Business Culture
(adapted from career advice on Monster.ca)
Canadians are overall a polite people, and slightly more reserved than the Americans. They are relaxed and happy to help. they worship respect, peace and good government.
Meeting and Greeting
- A firm handshake is the usual contact when first meeting a business associate. Both men and women greet with a handshake, although women may acknowledge you with a nod of the head rather than a handshake.
- In Quebec, friends or acquaintances will kiss on both cheeks when meeting and leaving. This happens between female friends and between men and women, but not between male friends.
- In informal settings, such as a party or bar, most young people will simply exchange greetings such as "Hi!" or "How are you?"
- Introduce people in business based on rank not gender.
- In Canada, a person's authority is related to his or her position and responsibility. Women occupy the same range of positions as men and have the same kinds of authority. People do not have authority just because of their name, status, social class or sex.
Behaviour to consider for business transactions and life in general:
- Eye contact is important when conducting business and should be held while speaking to someone, but be careful not to stare. Lack of direct eye contact signifies boredom or disinterest.
- There is little casual touching during conversation and most people will stand approximately half a metre apart when speaking.
- People stand in line when waiting for the bus, to buy tickets, at the store or bank. It is considered very rude to jump the line or go ahead of someone who was there before you.
- Smoking is not allowed in offices, most restaurants, and even bars.
- Be on time. Canadians will not wait more than 10 to 15 minutes for someone who has arranged to meet them for business. If you are going to be late, phone and advise the person expecting you.
- People usually set up meetings or arrange visits. It is not common to just arrive without an invitation.
Customs and Protocol
Canadian businesspeople are conservative in manner, speech, and dress. Business customs are similar to those in the U.S. or the U.K., but etiquette is very important. Excessive body contact, gestures in greeting, or loud conversation generally are frowned upon.
Businesspeople negotiating with Canadians should be well informed and knowledgeable about the details of their proposals. Thoroughness is appreciated and directness is also valued. Evasive answers are not viewed positively by Canadians. You should appear like you're mastering every detail of your proposal. Do not exagerate and speak clearly and precisely.
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You can also find interesting ideas here: http://www.students.ubc.ca/international/international-students/before-you-arrive/understanding-canadians/