Business Practices in Poland
- The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
Business culture in Poland is rather formal and hierarchical, relations are based on trust and familiarity, and reflect the different classes of Polish society.
The Poles are very attached to politeness and courtesy.
It is important to show patience during the negotiations.
- First Contact
- It can be difficult to establish contact at the beginning of your business relations, but once you have met people several times, they will often be more relaxed and will treat you less formally. Unlike other countries where business may be conducted by telephone or by e-mail, in Poland it is preferable to meet people face-to-face and discuss things in person.
- When you are doing business in Poland, greeting people with a firm handshake and keeping eye contact during meetings is very important. It is also essential to shake hands with everybody when you arrive somewhere or when you leave. Using first names only is rare at the beginning of a business relationship. Address people as Pan (Sir) and Pani (Madam) followed by their first name. Wait for a woman to hold her hand out to you when you are introduced.
- How to Present Yourself
- To introduce yourself, give your first name and surname. Honorary titles are considered impressive.
- Business Relations
- Your network of relations and acquaintances plays an important part in a business project in Poland. Your degree of closeness to your counterparts can determine the quality of your relationship with them and greatly influence the success of your plans.
- Gifts are given at the beginning of a business relationship, especially for a first contact, and at the end of your cooperation. If someone invites you home to dinner, it is considered polite to bring a small gift (bottle of wine, flowers). Bouquets of flowers should contain an odd number of flowers. Gifts are generally opened as soon as they are given.
- Business Communication
- It is important to keep eye contact during a conversation. Remember to avoid putting on an act to impress your business partners. The Polish are very aware of body language. Make an effort to smile. Introductions should be a mix of well organized information supported by statistics and studies, and a good impression of you as a person, your experience and the business relationship proposed. If the decision maker is present at the meeting, decisions may be taken, otherwise this meeting will serve to exchange information and to discuss matters.
- Dress Code
- In SMEs, managerial staff wear plain clothes such as trousers or jeans, a shirt, and a jacket or a coat. You should dress reasonably well but simply. In large companies, suit and tie for men and skirts for women are the accepted dress code. Colors should be dark. Bright colours will be considered inappropriate.
- Visiting Cards
- Visiting cards are exchanged without formalities.
- For Further Information
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