Winner takes it all - Business practices in Sweden

Business practices in Sweden
Business practices in Sweden

Business meetings in Sweden generally follow an agenda and everybody is encouraged to partake in the consensus-seeking debate. Participants speak one at a time and Swedes appreciate clear and concise language based on facts.

English is commonly used in business settings and therefore, business cards in English are acceptable.

DO respect a Swede’s personal space. In Sweden people tend to leave a relatively large distance between each other when speaking.

DO avoid comparing Sweden to Finland, Norway or Denmark as Swedes are quite sensitive to this and are proud of their own unique culture and identity.

DO avoid criticising someone in public. Criticism should be given privately and diplomatically in a way that gets your point across but avoids offending them.

DO take the time to meet with your Swedish counterparts more than once. Swedes spend a lot of time on details and ensuring everything is right before making a deal so it is important to cooperate and assist where possible.

DON’T be surprised when your Swedish counterparts take a few moments to respond. Silence and not interrupting are important considerations to bear in mind when communicating with the Swedish.

DON’T over-exaggerate or over display your emotions. In Sweden, people pride themselves on their ability to control and present themselves in a sophisticated and respectful manner at all times.

DON’T wear or do anything which would display or flaunt your status or wealth. Swedish culture is very egalitarian and therefore does not consider status to be very important.