Glacial lakes of dark blue water, the Norwegian fjord coast, a range of seemingly endless green forests … the omnipresent calm of Scandinavian landscapes is reflected in the lifestyle of the locals. Not without reason are the Scandinavians seen as calm, well organized, deliberate, and reserved.
One for all…
Business culture of Scandinavian companies is characterized by a flat organizational structure, where employees are trusted, and teamwork plays an important role. Supervisors do not force their ideas by any means.
Seeking mutual understanding and avoiding open conflicts can also be seen. Another characteristic feature is informal style and addressing each other by first name shortly after the first meeting. Courtesy phrases such as “Mrs.” and “Mr.” are almost not used.
An important element of business relations with the Scandinavians is meetings, which precede every important decision. Most often, they take the form of an open discussion where all participants share their opinions on a particular topic.
When meeting with a Nordic businessman, you should be punctual, as being on time is perceived as a sign of respect. Therefore, instead of arriving late, it is better to cancel the appointment in advance and postpone it to a later date.
Speech is… golden!
The Scandinavians value words a lot and interrupting our interlocutor is considered by them tremendously rude. For the same reasons, a parol contract is practically as important as a written agreement.
That is why Scandinavian partners can often be surprised seeing the number of documents we submit to them to sign.
Yes and no
Swedish people very rarely state their opinions directly by saying “yes” or “no”, as this may lead to a conflict.
They rather avoid such words and use such phrases like “it depends”, “maybe”, or “I will see what can be done”.