Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKING ABROAD / NOV. 05, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Master Business Etiquette in Slovakia

Slovakia has a number of things that makes it very appealing to companies and corporations: no taxes on dividends, a cheap yet skilled labor force, a flat taxation rate for individuals and corporations, an excellent geographical location, and liberal labor laws.

As a result of these policies foreign investment in the country has increased by nearly 600% in the last 10 years, making it an ideal place to conduct business. The country specializes in metallurgy, food processing, chemicals, and car manufacturing, so if you work in one of these industries, it’s likely that you’ll enjoy doing business in Slovakia.

However, Slovakia does have its own unique culture and business etiquette. It is important that you follow these rules to maximize your business success:

Greetings

When greeting your Slovakian counterpart, a firm handshake is always preferred. Maintain direct eye contact as you shake hands. If you shake with weak wrists, it indicates weakness; a lack of direct eye contact is often an indication of your hiding something.

After the greetings are completed, WAIT until you are invited to sit. The host may have reserved a seat for you.

Gifts

Gifts should be simple, but with sufficient value to ensure that your host feels appreciated. Gifts are usually opened immediately upon receipt, and it’s important to express delight at what you are receiving.

NEVER give calla lilies or chrysanthemums as gifts. They are traditionally presented at funerals.

Meetings

You should always schedule your meetings well in advance. Avoid Friday evening meetings, as many executives leave work after Friday lunch. June and August are fairly slow business months, as they are holiday seasons.

Your first meeting is usually meant to allow you and your host to get to know each other. You may meet with the middle manager first, and you will usually engage in small talk and a bit of personal conversation before you actually start the meeting. Only on your second or third meeting will you actually come face to face with the decision maker. Decision-making power is always held by the highest executive in the company; Slovaks are very hierarchical.

Communication

Slovaks tend to be non-confrontational, taking a more indirect approach to negotiations. They are often more cautious in their business dealings, and tend to be guarded when interacting with strangers. You’ll need to read between the lines in order to understand what is being said--and not said. Slovaks do not gesticulate wildly, but they are more reserved in their communication.

Patience is a MUST when doing business in Slovakia, as negotiations tend to run on for a long time. Always maintain eye contact as you talk, as it shows that you are honest and open. Avoiding or failing to maintain eye contact may be seen as dishonesty or deception, or, even worse, lack of interest.

When addressing someone, you should address them by their profession rather than by their name. For example, if your business contact is the general manager of a company, address him as "Mr. General Manager" rather than "Mr. His Name".

The younger generation may prefer to be addressed by their surnames rather than by their titles.

Punctuality

Punctuality is taken very seriously in Slovakia. Arriving late shows disrespect to your host, and can start your negotiations off on the wrong foot. Always arrive at least 10 minutes early, and sit patiently to wait for your host.

Language

Most executives in Slovakia speak more than one language. Russian, German, and English are commonly spoken in the country, and those from the south of the country may speak Hungarian as well. French and German are commonly taught in university, so younger executives may speak those languages in addition to English and Russian.

With these tips, you can navigate the business world of beautiful Slovakia and hopefully have a fruitful business venture!

 

Image: iStock

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'

LEAVE A COMMENT

0 comments

 

RELATED ARTICLES

How to Master Business Etiquette in Estonia
WORKING ABROAD / NOV 13, 2014

As your career evolves, you might be traveling to different countries for business meetings, or you might decide to move to another country for a new job. No matter what...

How to Master Business Etiquette in Lebanon
WORKING ABROAD / OCT 31, 2014

Lebanon is a Middle Eastern country that lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, close to Israel and Syria. It’s an ancient nation whose cities were prominent...

How to Master Business Etiquette in Seychelles
WORKING ABROAD / OCT 24, 2014

Seychelles is one of the countries in Africa where English is one of the most common languages - along with Seychellois Creole and French. It’s a common destination for...

How to Master Business Etiquette in Singapore
WORKING ABROAD / OCT 18, 2014

Singapore is a unique country, as it blends cultures and customs from a wide variety of countries. It has a strong Chinese influence, but there are many Malays, Arabs...

How to Master Business Etiquette in Albania
WORKING ABROAD / SEP 15, 2014

Albania is a small eastern European country nestled among beautiful foothills and the majestic Mediterranean Sea. When traveling to Albania for business or pleasure...

How to Master Business Etiquette in Venezuela
WORKING ABROAD / SEP 13, 2014

Since entering office more than a decade ago, then-President Hugo Chavez attempted to revamp the Venezuelan economy with a more socialist approach. The government failed...

Get our FREE eBook!
'6 Steps to Landing Your Next Job'
G up arrow