The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for Greece
A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z
Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Greece
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 Greece and cultural travel tips for Greece is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Greece, tips for communicating in Greece, and business strategies for Greece to help with understanding the culture in Greece. 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 Greece and tips for intercultural communication!
Cultural Tips for Greece – including some valuable business travel tips for Greece
The Greeks are known for their hospitality and generosity towards guests.
They are not necessarily known for their timeliness.
Visitors to Greece should be prepared for meetings to start a bit late and also run late, however as a foreigner you will be expected to be on time for appointments.
The subway system can be much faster for getting from one side of the city to another than taking a taxi.
The Greeks celebrate two national days among other holidays that are religious in nature. Independence Day is celebrated on March 25 and “Oxi” (which means No) Day is celebrated on October 28.
During business meetings you will be offered a Greek coffee, often accompanied by a small sweet of some kind. A typically Greek coffee resembles an espresso and can be quite strong.
Greeks are avid conversationalists and typically very knowledgeable about world events.
Greeks may engage you in a conversation about politics however let them bring up the topic. They are well educated and will have a wide of range knowledge about the political issues.
It has been said that Greeks live their lives with an exclamation point. Whatever the emotion that they are feeling, they live it to the fullest!
The Greek style of conversation can be louder and more emotional than what some people may be used to.
They use expansive arm and hand gestures when speaking. Physical contact is common, even amongst two friends who may be of the same gender.
Hugging, kissing on the cheek and walking arm in arm are all common.
Greeks will maintain strong eye contact when speaking.
While the Greeks may criticize aspects of their society or daily life (politics, traffic etc.) they do not appreciate the same criticisms being offered by outsiders.
First names are commonly used however, for higher business levels they may add a title such as Mr. or Mrs. before a first name as a sign of respect.
Greeks are great negotiators and their conversation style is skillful when negotiating.
For foreigners coming from a more direct conversational style, the meandering style of the Greeks may be confusing at first.
It is recommended that a local partner or lawyer be found to assist in any negotiations. This is important not only for the legal issues, but also as the Greeks place great value in knowing who they are working with.
Presentations should be formal in nature and should focus on the senior executives who make most of the decisions.
The Greeks often use the phrase “slowly, slowly” when talking about making progress. Be prepared for changes and delays.
Greeks are sensitive to people from larger countries that feel that they are more important based upon where they are from.
5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips
Passing along a compliment or showing interest in learning more about the impact of Greece in the world.
Greece has so much history that anything historical is a welcome topic.
Discussion about the great people and philosophers from Greece.
The distinct Greek Cuisine and drink is always a good topic.
Architecture, the progressive Greek cities, scenery, nature and the diversity of the country terrain.
5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos
The OK sign is considered obscene in Greece and should be avoided. The open hand facing outward (the hand signal that is often used for “stop” in the US) is also considered offensive
Politics can be a touchy subject for foreigners so unless they initiate the discussion, it is best to avoid this topic when you are first developing a relationship.
Cyprus is also a touchy subject, as is the topic of Turkey, so both should be avoided if possible.
Anything negative about their food or coffee.
Greece is a very proud culture, so avoid criticism of anything pertaining to Greece or the Greek people.
Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for HONG KONG!
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
Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success
The CROSS of Cross-Cultural
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 customizedtraining programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Team building, and Time Management Training.
Circles Of Excellence Website: www.circlesofexcellence.com
Circles Of Excellence Blog: www.circlesofexcellence.com/blog
Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com
Gayle Cotton’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog
Gayle Cotton’s Video: Speaker preview for Gayle Cotton
Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews
Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!