Rules of business etiquette in the Czech Republic.

Ø Czech greetings .

In the Czech Republic, it is customary for people to be introduced to each other, if possible, by mutual acquaintances. Women always present before men, as well as older ones before younger ones. Also in the Czech Republic, it is customary to shake hands both at a meeting and at parting.

Very often, the greeting is strong, with repeated, but short shaking of the hands. But Czech women shake hands much softer, both women and men. In this case, the man must always wait for the woman to extend her hand (an exception may be the case when the woman is the “boss”). Elderly Czechs can depict an “air” kiss on a woman’s hand. For a handshake, a man must take off his gloves, but women may not take them off. It should be borne in mind that when meeting foreigners, Czechs may not smile at all.

o Respect for elders.

If you communicate with older people, do not expect fluent English from them, because this language has been taught in Czech schools not so long ago. Most often German is the second language. Discuss all the terms of the negotiations in advance, so that if necessary, seek the help of an interpreter.

Ø Languages used.

Czech is a language from the group of Slavic languages. The Czech language is very similar to Slovak, which is why Slovaks and Czechs understand each other without much difficulty. It is worth knowing that the dialects in Bohemia and Moravia, the largest regions of the Czech Republic, are slightly different.

Ø Hierarchy and ranks

Ranks in the Czech Republic are based on what people have achieved in education. It is believed that the titles to the Czech Republic came from the Austro-Hungarians. Their bureaucracy was simply in love with various titles and ranks. And even in the modern Czech Republic, a system of ranks and titles is preserved, which are paraded on business cards and plates by specialists with one or more titles in different fields. Even the mailboxes indicate the academic or professional title of its owner.

The most common title in the Czech Republic is engineer (inzenyr). Means that this specialist received a university education. The common title of master (magistr), approximately equal in value to the title of master, i.e. master, teacher . You can also see such titles as PhDr, which indicates that a person has completed a doctorate. EUDr states that a person is a Doctor of Laws . MUDr says that the owner of such a business card is a doctor of medicine and a professor, one who has received a doctorate degree and the title of professor.

Ø Appeal to the Czechs.

When addressing a person and naming his title, in the Czech Republic it is customary to first say “pan” or “pani”, and then the title. For example, if the sign says “Master Ani Narova”, then the woman should be addressed as “Pani Master Narova”, or simply “Pani Master”. It is customary to call a director a pan director, and a female doctor is addressed with the words “Mr. Doctor”. Vaclav Klaus – President of the Czech Republic, before his political activities was a professor of economics. The press still sometimes jokingly calls him “Pan Professor”. Foreigners, of course, are allowed to slightly deviate from the correct pronunciation of ranks and titles, but in cases where this is necessary, it is better to follow the formalities and take into account all the nuances.

Ø Business meetings.

It is advisable to coordinate personal meetings with business partners from the Czech Republic at least 2 weeks before the meeting itself. Since regular mail is not always a reliable means of communication, it is better to negotiate by e-mail. As in most countries, punctuality is welcomed in the Czech Republic . Negotiations must be specific – feelings have no place in the world of commerce. Factors that can interrupt the conversation should be carefully avoided, such as mobile phone calls. Business negotiations over food in the Czech Republic are preferred to be held at lunchtime. The host pays the bill

Ø Topic for conversation.

It is very important to choose the right topic for conversation. Great topics for small talk are culture and sports. Czechs very often ask their guests how the trip or flight went. The second important topic is the family. It is permissible to talk about politics, but carefully avoiding critical judgments. And never try to compare Czechs and Slovaks. It is better not to raise this topic at all, so as not to get into a mess.

Ø Negotiation.

The negotiation process can become too long and not give positive results if the positions of the parties are initially incorrect. Prepare in advance for the fact that some issues will require a fairly long time to be resolved. An unprepared / poorly prepared participant – especially if it is a counterparty business partner in negotiations – is perceived as frivolous and unpromising. Many Czechs try to avoid responsibility for making decisions, because of which the negotiations will revolve, as they say, around the bush, and the Czechs who lead them will seem evasive to you.

If disagreements between the parties are revealed during the negotiations, then in each such case it is best to try to resolve the contradictions face to face outside of official meetings. Considering how important status is to the Czechs, such a direct confrontation in the face of subordinates and/or colleagues can be so sharp that it will lead to the collapse of the entire negotiation process.

Ø Clothing.

The attitude to clothing here is standard for European countries. The Czechs are quite conservative, because a business suit is an indispensable feature of business etiquette, and they will not meet deviations from the norm of understanding. However, teams with a predominance of young people rarely obey this requirement, and in everyday life, few people even remember the suit – convenience is held in high esteem. But cleanliness and tidiness are given tremendous attention, so you need to especially monitor your appearance, especially when attending official events.

The folk costume, which has its own in each locality, enjoys the same great honor. A traditional dress will be perceived as very appropriate even just on the city street, not to mention all kinds of holidays.

Ø Humility.

In the Czech Republic, it is not customary to demonstrate one’s wealth, especially if it significantly exceeds the average level. There is a well-known anecdote about the attitude to material well-being in the Czech Republic. In short, it is about the fact that a German and a Frenchman ask a goldfish for a country house, a car and a herd of cattle, because they do not have it. And the Czech asks the fish that the house and car of the Frenchman and the German burn down, and the herd of cattle run away, because the Czech does not have this. It’s not just jealousy or greed. Here, most likely, the consciousness of the Czech is at work, that no one should succeed so much as to exceed the level that is considered “normal”.

In the Czech Republic, it is not customary to brag about one’s wealth, it is generally considered bad form. But for the Czechs, it’s much more common to be shy. You can hear from a Czech that he is in distress, he has a small salary and high expenses much more often. Sometimes it may even seem that the Czechs are competing, trying to overtake each other in their financial difficulties. Although their real well-being is growing every year. Many Czechs believe that the standard of living of foreigners is much higher than that of Czechs. This confidence has affected some service industries. Taxi drivers, by tradition, charge foreigners and those whom they take for foreigners more money for travel than fellow citizens. They believe that foreigners can afford to shell out. Waiters in restaurants try to warm their hands on tourists and foreigners. And this attitude towards foreigners, judging by the polls, is supported by many Czechs.

Ø Tipping culture in the Czech Republic.

In the West, the tipping system has been established for a long time, and at least it is not customary to break it. Every country has its own culture of tipping. For example, in America it is customary to tip up to 25% of the order amount. At the same time, tips are completely unacceptable in Japan or Australia, where it is considered that quality customer service is the first duty, so additional reward for good work is considered an insult.

In the West, it is customary to leave tips for almost all people from among the attendants: bartenders, maids, porters, porters, head waiters. A knowledgeable hotel guest in Europe, for example, will definitely leave 0.5-1 euros on the table every day so that the maid cleans the room with double zeal and changes bed linen and towels more often. According to recent sociological studies, it turned out that most often people leave tips to waiters, taxi drivers and, surprisingly, hairdressers.

Conclusion.

Thus, we got a portrait of a classic Czech. This is a calm, polite and non-conflict person, and with a good sense of humor. Among them there are many very educated and intelligent people who, however, are sometimes quite conservative. If you are invited home to a Czech family, then it will not be out of place to give the hostess a flower. In this country, it is customary to take off your shoes when entering a house. Thanks to the sociability and goodwill of the Czechs, not a single person here will be left without attention and the necessary help. Even ignorance of the language is not an obstacle. Most of the inhabitants of this country are fluent in English. In addition, the Czech language belongs to the Slavic group of languages, which greatly facilitates communication with this friendly people.

Bibliography.

1. “Values and mentality of the Czechs.” Material from oPrage.com

2. “Rules of business etiquette in the Czech Republic: how to behave.” R.Stache

3. “Czech Republic”. Guides with Dmitry Krylov. D. Krylov, T. Yarovinskaya

4. “Business Czech Republic”. Vachnadze G.

5. Prague. Russian view. S.V. Nikolsky

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