You haven’t been able to make any business contacts in the Czech Republic or want to build on or foster your business contacts so far? You’ll discover what you should look out for in our Business Etiquette the Czech Republic. Although Germany is the Czech Republic’s next-door neighbour, there are several cultural differences that you should know about before your visit to the Czech Republic.
Always be polite
Some customs, for example carrying your female business partner’s bag, are unthinkable in Germany but are a simple courtesy in the Czech Republic. Open the door for her and pull out her chair for her. That will create a harmonic atmosphere. Listen closely to how the other person introduces him- or herself. For it is recommended to pronounce Czech first and last names correctly. If someone introduces him- or herself directly with their first name, take it as a huge compliment. In addition, don’t skimp on titles like “Engineer” or “Doctor”. They are gladly used in formal and business dealings and are simply part of the picture.
Accept invitations to someone’s home
Unlike in Germany or in other European countries, communicating in business exclusively on a factual level will result in a flop in the Czech Republic. Over time, a formal and reserved approach can give the impression that you don’t take your business partner seriously. Therefore, refresh the conversation with stories from your private life or accept an invitation to meet at the person’s home or in a pub. That will create trust and closeness.
Avoid politics and history-related topics
Before the conversation develops in such a way that political topics or historical events like World War II poison the atmosphere – divert it as quickly as possible. Harmony in the conversation is of utmost importance in the Czech Republic. Self-irony and fine but not too rude jokes can serve as a distraction. If all else fails, mention the Czech ice hockey team, which is the pride of the entire Czech nation.
Take off your shoes
In the Czech Republic, it’s common to take off your shoes when you visit someone’s home. Out of politeness, the host will say it’s not necessary, but do it anyway. You’ll often get a pair of slippers to wear from the host.
Avoid direct criticism
A simple “no” is not well liked in the Czech Republic and is considered impolite because direct criticism is often taken personally. If you want to point out a mistake or a problem, express your comments gently. That way you’ll avoid possible conflicts and won’t embarrass your business partner.
The Czech Republic is not Eastern Europe
The Czechs see themselves as Central Europeans and definitely not Eastern Europeans, so never talk about the former East Bloc or Czechoslovakia.