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Business Etiquette Slovenia – What to look out for

The geographic location

Very important: Slovenians don’t view themselves as Slavs or a Balkan state, but rather as Central Europeans. Its Yugoslavian heritage creates rather mixed feelings, as well. The Italian and Austrian influences are unmistakable, and Slovenians are proud of that.

The greeting

In Slovenia, people greet each other with a handshake and three kisses. Address your counterpart with their title and last name. Even as the discussion progresses, you should always use the title.

Making contacts

If you want to make contacts in Slovenia, it is recommended that you get in touch in writing, i.e. via email or letter. Direct the correspondence to a person who is allowed to make fast decisions. It can also be helpful to attend fairs or seminars and establish personal contacts.

Top-down approach

In Slovenia, the top-down approach applies, which means that important decisions are made by the boss or manager – the highest-ranking person in the company. Be prepared for it to take some time until a decision is made.

Small talk topics

Because Slovenians feel more drawn to Italy and Austria, they don’t like to talk about the Balkans . Instead, speak positively about Slovenian products, which have reached the European standard and are of high quality. Sports are also a popular topic. Slovenians have had great success especially in football and ski jumping.

Your behaviour

Always be respectful and courteous towards Slovenians. Punctuality is also important. Slovenians have copied some manners from neighbouring Austria. By the way, you’ll win over Slovenians by using the local city names, such as Ljubljana, Nova Gorica or Maribor.

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