Business culture in the United Kingdom 3 comments This handy guide from Expertise in Labour Mobility includes information on UK business hierarchy, negotiations and etiquette in the UK. Hierarchy in the UK The vast majority of British companies and organisations are still characterised by a distinct hierarchy.
The surprising UK business culture 2 comments Senior intercultural trainer Petra Schlerf points out some quirks of the British business culture and language used in the workplace. For anyone relocating to a new country, the different cultural values which are experienced always cause a few surprises.
First-time movers may not realise how important their own cultural values are and how they have shaped their views and perceptions about the world over time, nor how these values can potentially clash or cause misunderstandings with new friends and colleagues. For seasoned global travellers, each new culture will still bring new experiences and challenges.
The only difference that experience of many new cultures will bring is speed of acceptance. For those moving to Britain, communication style often presents initial challenges. Take for example the comment from a manager: It takes time to learn to read between the lines and understand that the British manager really meant: It is the ultimate illustration of British politeness; however, a visitor to the UK may well be left wondering if that door should remain open or not!
The English humour and use of understatement also takes time to understand.
An off-hand comment like: Only time will allow the listener to develop an ear for the subtleties that lie behind the British language.
Another aspect of British culture which visitors to the UK may find unsettling is that people generally welcome change and are not afraid of making mistakes.
This would be particularly alien to French, Italian or German nationals for example who tend to believe it is better to do nothing than make a mistake. Similarly, Asian cultures prefer to save face and prefer to avoid being seen making any mistakes.
These cultures value stability and like to undertake proper research before instigating change. Meeting British people can also reveal different cultural values. British people are open and friendly, and visitors are often surprised by their seemingly unlimited capacity to make small talk about the weather!
However, they would not usually invite new friends to their home.
When I first came to Britain — although we seemed to get along very well — it was eight years before our neighbours would accept an invitation to a BBQ at our house! However, in time they will learn that in Britain friendship comes through sharing activities like going to the pub, playing golf or going to the gym.
Often people who are new to the UK may find the — often excessive — British drinking culture surprising. However, UK visitors will not feel pressurised to participate.
Integrating into any new culture requires adjustment and for those coming to live and work in Britain this will be no exception. Thorough research and cultural briefings can help smooth that integration.
Cross-cultural management development programmes and international assignment briefings can be a great help to individuals coming to live and work in Britain.Business culture in the United Kingdom 3 comments This handy guide from Expertise in Labour Mobility includes information on UK business hierarchy, negotiations and etiquette in the UK.
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Learn . If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email [email protected] Please tell us what format you need. Learn about business etiquette in the UK and values on punctuality, business dress code, gifts, bribery, corruption and corporate social responsibility.
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