The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for England
A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z
Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for England
It’s easy for business travelers to think that even when they travel, business is going to be done pretty much the same way it is at home. But that’s not always the case. Cultural differences can have a big impact on global business etiquette. That’s why it’s important for business travelers to make sure that they understand the culture of the country that they’re doing business in.
This article on cultural differences in England and cultural travel tips for England is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for England, tips for communicating in England, and business strategies for England to help with understanding the culture in England. It’s important to keep in mind that as we homogenize as a ‘global culture’, cultural tendencies change and evolve as well. Awareness is the first step when it comes to cultural do’s and taboos for England and tips for intercultural communication!
Cultural Tips for England – including some valuable business travel tips for England
Don’t assume all British English words and phrases mean the same as words and phrases from North America, Australia or other English language countries. Many of British English words and phrases have different or even opposite meanings! Spelling may be different as well.
British English pronounces consonants more clearly than many other English language countries. Avoid speaking too quickly or slurring words or you could come across as unprofessional.
Speak in complete sentences. The English generally find the North American habit of trailing off in mid-sentence irritating.
In business conversations, maintain a low, moderate tone of voice. Discreet, businesslike approaches are welcomed and respected.
Refrain from giving unsolicited praise, since it is not necessarily welcome.
English businesspeople are generally interested in long-term relationships rather than quick deals.
It’s important to give them the necessary time to make an assessment of you, as well as of your company and business proposal.
Once they decide that they want to do business with you, the English can be blunt, direct, and will not hesitate to speak their minds.
During initial meetings, facial expressions are kept to a minimum and, consequently, it may be difficult to read what the other participants are thinking. The English are “masters of understatement.”
In decision-making, the English tend to seek guidance from established laws and rules, rather than their own personal experiences or feelings.
Company policy is the primary authority for business people at all levels of the organization.
Objective facts and evidence are the only legitimate sources of truth in business, and feelings are usually irrelevant.
Precedent plays an important factor in decision-making. your proposal stands a better chance if it conforms to the way things have been done in the past.
Direct questions may result in evasive responses. Aggressive sales techniques such as the “hard sell” or denigrating another company’s product or service will not be well-received.
Humor is often an important part of business discussions in England. Having a repertoire of jokes and anecdotes can be an asset. People who are good at telling jokes and stories should make the most of these attributes.
Characteristics of British humor include not stating the obvious, as well as implying the opposite of what is being said. Consequently, paying attention to what is not said or done is often a necessary part of appreciating this style of humor.
The English sometimes use humor, especially irony or sarcasm, to ridicule an adversary or show disagreement and even disgust.
Although English business culture is intensely hierarchical, teamwork remains important, especially in influencing decisions.
Usually, a consensus is reached before presenting the final decision to the individual highest in power.
Decision-making tends to be a slow, deliberate process. Rushing or putting pressure on the decision-making process is usually counterproductive.
Unlike some countries, the English won’t hesitate to say “no.”
5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips
Positive experiences in England and other travels.
Your immediate surroundings including nature, architecture, food, ambience, weather etc.
Soccer, polo and other sports
English history, and any current events
The English love animals, especially dogs. Family pets are always a good topic.
5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos
The English enjoy talking about current events, however, avoid getting into discussions about politics, particularly relating to Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Do not be the first to bring up the subject of the Royal Family.
Refrain from making enquiries regarding a person’s occupation, birthplace, religion, or other intrusive personal questions.
Discussing your “family tree” is frowned upon here. Also avoid bringing up the British class system in conversation.
The reputation of British food has improved significantly, so avoid the stereotypical comments about its mediocrity.
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To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the cultural communication styles for Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book
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Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book ‘SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural training. She is a leader in the field of public speakers, motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!
Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Leadership Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized training programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Teambuilding, and Time Management Training.
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