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Understanding and Utilizing Portuguese Business Etiquette
By Bernardo Barbosa
Published on 9 January 2024
Whether you're trying to start a business, bootstrap your startup, or looking to find and retain talent in Portugal, one thing's for sure: you're going to have to deal with people!
Business etiquette is fundamental for maintaining a good relationship with partners, employers, and employees, but it varies extensively from country to country.
In this article, we will be exploring the many particular ways Portuguese business etiquette works, helping you build better professional relationships in the country.
Greetings and Introductions
When greeting someone in a business setting in Portugal, it is important to maintain a professional and polite demeanor. Handshakes are the most common form of greeting, and it is customary to greet each person individually. Maintaining eye contact during the greeting is seen as a sign of respect.
It is also common to exchange business cards during introductions, so it is a good idea to have them readily available. Remember to use formal titles and last names when addressing others.
Non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and gestures are also important and can convey additional meaning. It is common for interruptions to occur during conversations, so be prepared for this.
When it comes to dress code in Portuguese business settings, it is important to dress professionally and conservatively. Men typically wear suits and ties, while women opt for elegant and modest attire. It is advisable to avoid flashy or revealing clothing, as it may be seen as inappropriate.
Portuguese business culture values a neat and polished appearance, so wearing clean and well-maintained clothing is essential to make a positive impression.
Remember, dressing appropriately shows respect and professionalism, which are highly regarded in Portuguese business etiquette!
- Dress professionally and conservatively;
- Avoid flashy or revealing clothing;
- Maintain a neat and polished appearance.
Importance of Personal Connections
Trust and mutual understanding are highly valued, and it is important to invest time and effort in getting to know your business partners on a personal level. This can be done through socializing outside of work, such as inviting them for a meal or attending cultural events together.
In Portugal, business is often conducted based on personal relationships, so building and maintaining these connections is essential to thrive in the local business environment.
- Building personal connections is crucial in Portuguese business culture;
- Networking and establishing strong relationships contribute to business success;
- Trust and mutual understanding are highly valued;
- Socializing outside of work is important to build personal connections;
- Business in Portugal is often conducted based on personal relationships.
Business Meetings and Negotiations
Arrive on time and be well-prepared with any necessary materials. During the meeting, listen actively, engage in thoughtful conversation, and avoid interrupting others during discussions. Maintain eye contact and use appropriate body language to show your interest and understanding.
It is also important to follow up after the meeting with a thank-you note or email. Building strong relationships is key in Portuguese business culture, so take the time to foster connections and show genuine interest in the people you are working with, before and after meetings.
Gift Giving and Hospitality
In Portuguese business culture, gift-giving and hospitality play an important role in building relationships. Gifts are typically exchanged during special occasions or when visiting someone's home. It is customary to bring a gift that represents your country or region. When receiving a gift, it is polite to express gratitude and open it in the presence of the giver.
Hospitality is highly valued too, and it is common for business meetings to take place over a meal or coffee. Portuguese people appreciate good food and conversation, so taking the time to enjoy a meal together can help strengthen business relationships.
Finally, it is important to show respect for the host by arriving on time and dressing appropriately. Overall, gift-giving and hospitality are seen as gestures of goodwill and can contribute to successful business interactions in Portugal.
- Bring a gift that represents your country or region;
- Express gratitude and open gifts in the presence of the giver.
- Business meetings often take place over a meal or coffee;
- Show respect by arriving on time and dressing appropriately.
Punctuality and Time Management
In Portuguese business culture, punctuality is highly valued. Being late can be seen as disrespectful and may negatively impact your professional reputation. It is also common for meetings to start and end on time, so it is important to plan accordingly.
By respecting the unwritten rules of Portuguese business, you can increase your chances of finding success in the country.
Written by Bernardo Barbosa
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