Introduction to Spain
Congratulations on being chosen to represent our company in Spain. In effort of ensuring your success, I have taken the liberty to research the customs of the country you will be visiting. It is imperative that you study customs of the country. Use this memo or similar material as a quick reference so that you may socialize appropriately. Misinterpretations of the meaning of behavior can cause conflicts that possibly could lead to misunderstandings. I am confident that you will be successful in negotiating a contract with our potential client. Nonetheless, preliminary guidelines on how to work with a group of people from a different cultural background than your self will help you to feel comfortable in your new environment as well as assure that our client will feel at ease in doing business with you.
The Spaniard way of life
Spain has a population of 45.5 million people. The religion there is predominantly Roman Catholic. The native language of Spain is Spanish in which about 75% of its population speaks. In addition to Spanish, there are Catalan, Valencian, Gallego, and Euskera. The capital city of Spain is Madrid, it is considered to be the city where people never sleep. Priest (1998-2007) noted that Spaniards are extremely family oriented and they have a relaxed style of living. They schedule siestas between 1:30 and 4:30 pm daily in which families get together for a meal. During these hours businesses are closed. Napping is recommended during siesta hours as your colleagues will likely dine with you at every meal. Spaniards do business much later than we do in America. An example of this is that many restaurants do not open until nine' o clock pm, Spaniard dinner time, however the community does not usually start patronizing them until around eleven' o clock. Therefore, if a business meeting is on your schedule you must be prepared to keep late hours. During you initial business encounters and meetings you main objective will be to establish a rapport with you colleagues rather than discuss business matters l as Spaniards do business by means of personal relationships. Additionally, it is common practice in Spain that business meetings do not actually consist of discussing business as networking is ultimately what will result in a favorable outcome.
June weather in Spain in is typically fair but varies in sections. According to (Corrigan, 2010), "The average maximum temperature in Madrid in June is 82F/28C and the average minimum temperature is 55F/13C". Spain is 7 hours ahead of our central time zone here in Melbourne, Fl. This link will provide you with time and temperature, as well as weather forecasting http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/city.html?n=141. The country's monetary unit and its conversion rate to U.S. dollars is 10 US Dollar = 7.96480 Euro 10 Euro (EUR) = 12.55524 US Dollar (USD). I am including a currency converter link for quick reference http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/europe/european-union/spain/currency-converter.htm. U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain contact number and address is as follows: Phone: 91587-2200 Address: Serrano 75 28006 Madrid Spain.
Spaniard Business Protocal
- Proper greeting and mannerisms are as follows:
- hello is hola,
- pleased to meet you is Encantado de conocerte,
- goodbye is despedida,
- thank you is gracias,
- yes is si
- no is no,
Spanish business attire is formal one must dress aesthetically. It is not socially acceptable to wear anything that will attract attention oneself. Spaniards are not punctual people however, as a foreigner you should be. Women with good personal relationships meet and part with a hug and a kiss that begins on the left cheek and ends on the right. Men with good personal relationships meet and greet by exchanging hugs. Although Spain was one of the last countries to liberate women they are extremely important in society and Spain has an overall low masculinity score when compared to other countries. When negotiating business do not use a systematic approach as problem solving by use of rules are last resort procedure for the Spanish. Have your businiss cards printed in English on the front and Spanish on the back as well as have your materials translated in Spanish
Corrigan, D. (2010). Spain Travel. About.com. Retrieved (2010, May 21) from http://gospain.about.com/od/spanishclimate/qt/June.htm
Priest, M. (1998-2007). Spain. International Business Center, Retrieved from http://www.cyborlink.com/besite/spain.htm