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Spaniards do not take punctuality for business meetings seriously, but expect that you will be on time! (call with an explanation if you are delayed) * Spain haven’t a meeting culture. Meetings are for communication or to save time. * Spaniards will want to spend time getting to know you and establishing chemistry before doing business. * Typically, Spanish is the language of business, but most large companies conduct business in English and Spanish. (You cannot expect English to be widely spoken.
Check ahead to determine if an interpreter is needed.
) * Spaniards like making decisions on their own. 5. Meeting and Greeting: * Shake hands with everyone present–men, women and children–at a business or social meeting. Shake hands again when leaving. * Men may embrace each other (friends and family only). * Women may kiss each other on the cheek or embrace * Never touch or hug a Spaniard you do not know well,( unless a friendly Spaniard touches you first) * Generally, Spaniards stand very close when are talking.
Spaniards speak a lot with their hands. (Never mimic them) 6. Time: * It is acceptable to be late by 30 minutes in southern Spain and 15 minutes in northern Spain for social meetings. * Never be late for a bullfight. * Lunches/dinners are a vital part of business. 7. Dress: * Appearance(izskats) is extremely important to Spaniards. They dress elegantly, even for casual occasions. * Dress conservatively. Avoid bright or flashy colors. * Shoes are the most important element of dress. * For business, men should wear jackets and ties, even in warm weather.
If the senior person takes his/her jacket off during a meeting, you may do so, too.
* Women should wear dresses, blouses and skirts. 8. Gifts: * Do not give a gift at the first meeting. * When you are invited to someone’s home, always bring a small, wrapped gift for the hostess. * Open a gift immediately upon receiving it in the presence of the host. * Do not give a gift until meetings are finished, and then give only a token gift. * Give: pastries, cakes, chocolates, flowers (red roses connote passion, yellow roses infidelity; give an odd number of flowers).
Do not give: chrysanthemums, dahlias or 13 flowers (unlucky number). 9. Topics for conversation: Welcome topics of conversation: * Your home country; * Your travels, especially in Spain; * [Spanish] art and architecture * Spanish traditions [e. g. flamenco] * Sport, especially football [soccer]; * Family, especially [your host’s] children. Topics to avoid: * Religion [i. e. any aspect of Roman Catholicism]; * The Civil War and the second world war * Gibraltar; 10. Questions
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