Nobody likes to commit gaffes. In the world of business even more so, as even the smallest of blunders could cost much more than a moment of loss of flexibility. In this article, we look at some basic rules of etiquette so that you can pass the manners test at your professional meetings in Brazil.
Brazilians are extremely cordial. It is very common for them to treat their business partners as if they were friends. For this reason, in Brazil, it is often said that business deals are agreed between people, not between companies. Be friendly and show interest in the people with whom you are interacting.
GO WELL BEYOND BUSINESS
It is also critical to talk about issues than the economic interests to break the ice and build a friendly atmosphere. Talk about football, Carnival, trips and Brazilian music. Refrain from talking about politics, and do not praise Argentina (the two countries are considered rivals).
KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT BRAZIL
At a business meeting, it is even more important to show that you know about the country. Brazilians will be very pleased if you know that the capital of Brazil is the city of Brasília, and not Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, for example.
SCHEDULE IN ADVANCE
Brazilians love meetings. Most business and other important decisions are solved face to face. For this reason, it is recommended to schedule appointments at least a week in advance. The day before the meeting, get in touch to confirm the meeting.
Despite the general friendliness, Brazilians pay close attention to how people dress. Wear a more formal style of dress, preferably suits or blazers in dark colours. For women, both fingernails and hair must be spotless and tidy.
If the meeting is during a business lunch or dinner, the norm is that the person who makes the invitation pays the bill. However, some Brazilians may make the payment even though they are invited as a way of showing status and cordiality. Do not refuse.
OTHER THINGS BRAZILIANS DO
Brazilians often talk loudly, smile a lot, and love physical contact. Do not feel ill at ease if people constantly touch your arm or shoulder while talking with you: this is a typical gesture of friendliness in the country.