BUSINESS ETIQUETTE IN SWEDEN
A handshake is the common greeting in Sweden for men and women. Use a formal address until you are invited to use the person’s first name. Men are expected to remove their hats when talking to someone, particularly to a woman.
Swedes are generally quiet and reserved; they limit their use of gestures. When visiting Sweden, be aware of your gestures and body language. One common gesture in Sweden is tossing the head to ask someone to come over.
Respect, organization, and punctuality are appreciated in Sweden. The common business attire is suits for men and women. They have a flat hierarchy with definite roles and unspoken rules of conduct. It is expected that subordinates will quietly and diligently fulfill the directions of their boss. Managers do not give direct orders, but instead, offer guidance and invite employees to do specific tasks. Negative or confrontational speech is looked down on.
Being well prepared is crucial when doing business in Sweden; they value knowledge and expertise. They will be more likely to consider an outsider’s proposal if the information is well organized, highly detailed, and professionally delivered. Because Swedes value politeness and avoid confrontation, they rarely say no to a proposal directly. They have a saying, “NJA,” which is a combination of yes and no, but it really means no.
Business gift giving is not a common practise in Sweden. Wait for a business associate to give you a gift before sending one. The Sending of greeting cards, on the other hand, is a popular practise. They express thanks to customers for their business during the past year by sending a card. Ensure that the card is sent early so that it will arrive one week before Christmas.
Social gift giving is expected in Sweden, especially at private dinner parties. Common gifts are flowers, wine, and fine chocolates. It is an old tradition in Sweden for...