The Latest! Cultural Clues, Do’s and Taboos for Norway
A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z
Cultural Clues & Communication Guidelines for Norway
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 Norway and cultural travel tips for Norway is a brief snapshot of conversation guidelines for Norway, tips for communicating in Norway, and business strategies for Norway to help with understanding the culture in Norway. 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 Norway and tips for intercultural communication!
Cultural Tips for Norway- including some valuable business travel tips for Norway
When doing business in Norway, punctuality is important. Norwegians appreciate punctuality for social engagements as well. If you must be late for any reason, make sure you call in advance and explain.
Standard business or business casual attire is the norm. It’s best for jewelry and accessories to be somewhat understated.
Tonality in business should be moderate. Norwegians prefer that people do not raise their voices when discussing something.
Body language, touching and gestures aren’t overly demonstrative, nor do Norwegians use extremes of expression in business.
Do not ask personal questions until asked first, and don’t be offended if Norwegians do not inquire about your family or work. This is a rather private culture and personal and business lives are often kept separate.
Norwegians accept silence as normal, so don’t hurriedly fill in pauses in the conversation. Also avoid superficial conversation.
All Scandinavians appreciate it if you can show knowledge of the differences between the people of Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.
During introductions, give a simple, firm handshake often with just one or two pumps. It’s not the norm to exchange gifts in ordinary meetings. Norwegians introduce themselves with their first name followed by their surname.
Many Norwegians have two given names and both are used as a ‘first’ name, for example Peter Marten or Selma Astrid. It is impolite to shorten the name to just the first of the two.
For business purposes, Norwegians sometimes introduce themselves by title if expected to do so. However when a relationship has been established, Norwegians usually move onto a first name basis.
There are few things Norwegians are openly offended by, and they regard themselves as worldly and unbiased. However, they do not appreciate loud or boisterous behavior in any context.
Norwegians prepare for meetings and expect you to have done the same. Punctuality is extremely important.
The Norwegian communication style is often seen as somewhat ‘direct’, and they will get to the point quickly and establish the boundaries before addressing the finer details. Facts and figures are very important and must be accurate.
Presentations should be concise, matter of fact and to the point. Any visuals or handouts should contain only the essential information.
In meetings and negotiations, Norwegians believe that everyone should be included and everyone should be given an opportunity to have a say. They consider and value all opinions.
Although negotiating teams may have a leader, they are not necessarily the main decision maker. Consensus after discussion is the goal, and because negotiating teams typically come to decisions as a group – negotiations can take longer.
There is a strong emphasis on equality and all members of a negotiating team are of equal value and status. Don’t be surprised if the lead is taken by a woman even when she is obviously younger than any of the men.
There is a high value placed on proven ability, and there is a defined management hierarchy. The authority to make a decision may be delegated down the management structure, however, there may also be a need to refer decisions sideways to ensure that all those affected have their say.
Norwegians have a great appreciation of nature and the environment. They make great efforts to protect their countryside and coastlines.
Norwegians are very hospitable and will invite you to their homes occasionally for dinner. Be sure to arrive promptly and take a bottle of wine, or flowers for the hostess.
The most common toast is ‘ skål’, pronounced ‘skoal.’ Do not sip your drink until the host or hostess has said ‘ skål ‘, and only then take your glass and raise it.
5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips
The Nobel Prize is a well-known feature of the Norwegian culture
Folk Music and Norwegian composers such as Grieg
Travel and experiences in other countries
Current events and politics – if you know what you’re talking about
Sports – especially football (soccer), biathlon, cross-country skiing, and rally driving
5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos
Any criticism of the Norwegian government or culture
Discussing how much you earn or comparisons with pay scales in other countries
Paying compliments to people you have just met – compliments are typically well earned
Bragging or anything associated with rank, status and showiness
Avoid overly demonstrative expressions and body language
Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for PERU!
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 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 Video: Speaker Preview for Gayle Cotton
Gayle Cotton’s Newsroom: Media Interviews
Gayle’s Bestselling Book: SAY Anything to Anyone Anywhere!
Gayle Cotton’s Website: www.gaylecotton.com
Gayle Cotton’s Blog: www.gaylecotton.com/blog