Do you travel for business internationally? Making a trip to Denmark? At Sapphire, we want you to be successful in your business engagements all around the world so we decided to share some business tips to our readers. In part one of this blog series, we shared some general history and culture of Denmark to give you an idea of how their society functions and what they expect in business and social environments. In this post, we’ll be sharing the first of many business tips for you to keep in mind while doing business with the Danes.
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Business communication in Denmark
If you’re an international business traveler, you’ve most definitely come across the various ways cultures favor face-to-face communication, and it’s no different in Denmark than anywhere else in the world. The Danes have cultural preferences and expectations.
For example, communication during business meetings is usually informal and relaxed. Humor and goodwill markes the conversation, and you’ll notice modesty and moderation when it comes to the energy and topics discussed. Also, the promotion of self is considered rude, although it’s not taboo to do so.
Although conversations tend to be light, Danes prefer to get right to business when it comes to meetings and interactions. Their culture is extremely open with their personal lives; however, they have to know you well before this is to happen. So if you notice a long time business colleague from Denmark begin to open up about their personal life like their family, vacations, and selves, it’s a sign of respect. Be prepared for direct, frank, or pointed comments from your Danish colleagues, as sincerity and candidness is held in high regard in the culture.
When in a business meeting, be prepared for direct, pointed comments. The Danes consider honesty to be respectful. You may experience some shock due to your Danish colleague’s frankness, but it’s a sign of respect and a cultural expectation. Do not be surprised if your Danish colleague voices their dissenting opinion towards a topic or idea. Their openness tends to feel abrasive, but, as mentioned, their candidness is a sign of respect and willingness to do business with you.
Business meetings in Denmark
If you’ve never been through a Danish business meeting, prepare yourself for light conversation and a heavy focus on making the most out of the allotted time. Danish business meetings tend to be to the point and prompt. They start on time and end in a similar fashion. Danes prefer to keep things simple, which means the less paperwork the better. A written summary of the meeting is usually kept and circulated after the meeting to keep those involved up to date. Finally, Danes are considered great listeners and fantastic at securing favorable deals without making enemies.
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You can learn more about business in Denmark in part three of this blog series!