Greece – Emotion means involvement
Modern Greece traces its roots back to the civilisation of Ancient Greece, which is considered to be the cradle of Western civilisation. Today, it has a population of 11 million and the capital is Athens. The beginning of the 1980s, when Greece joined the European Union, ushered in a period of sustained growth for the country and unprecedented standards of living for its people. However, more recently, Greece has suffered greatly from the global recession.
Greece is relatively advanced in terms of gender equality in the workplace and foreign business women will be treated with respect. They should not be surprised to be complimented on their looks or fashion sense by male colleagues. This is all part of “old-fashioned Greek charm” and no offence is intended or should be taken.
Although it is still unusual to find senior female managers at the very highest levels of Greek-owned organisations, many multi-nationals promote Greek women to positions of authority.
Business meetings can seem noisy and chaotic to visitors who are more accustomed to a measured approach. Emotions can run high and this is seen as a positive force, implying engagement and emphasis. Formal meetings with set agendas are rare and minutes are unlikely to be circulated after the meeting.
More emphasis is placed upon the spoken than the written word. If an issue needs to be given serious consideration, it is vital to speak to people about it rather than rely on email. Face-to-face meetings are best but if they are not possible, then a telephone call is a good alternative.
Traditional management styles in Greece are directive and paternalistic. It is important to give clear instructions which can easily be followed and to remember that deadlines can be viewed as merely guidelines. Employees are not naturally pro-active. The manager expects loyalty from his subordinates and in return will look after their interests.
Share your Greek business experiences.
Sources: Wikipedia, World Business Culture
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