BRAIN FOOD: A passport to Italy

BRAIN FOOD: A passport to Italy - The prejudice: we see them as excitable, volatile and flamboyant; they see us as reserved, serious and reliable.

by DR FRANK BURDETT, language and culture for business programme,
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

The prejudice: we see them as excitable, volatile and flamboyant; they see us as reserved, serious and reliable.

Best foot forward: to create a good impression, be confident, outgoing and full of goodwill. Be genuinely pleased to meet your Italian colleagues and to be in Italy. Try out a few words in Italian. Old-fashioned good manners will go down very well. Be flexible and untroubled if the arrangements seem a little haphazard.

Dress code: wear a formal suit for meetings, but with a dash of colour/style. Be well-groomed and fashionable.

The main event: take care to be punctual. Meetings are for expressing your ideas and for persuasion: gently seek agreement rather than coldly stating your requirements.

Table manners: dinner at a restaurant is the opportunity for your Italian colleagues to see if they like and trust you. Initial talk about business will not last long, as this is mainly a social occasion. Relax and enjoy the food and the company. Be delighted to see children in a smart restaurant. Be courteous and amiable at all times.

Do say: how much you like Italy - the beautiful countryside, architecture, culture and the food and wine.

Do not say: politics and religion are best avoided, and, in the South of the country, don't mention the M ...

Signs of success: if the Italians seem warm and friendly towards you after considering your business proposals and dining out, this is a good sign. They will normally be quite clear about acceptance or rejection of your ideas.

Buona fortuna!

How To

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

The art of leadership: From Marcus Aurelius to Martin Luther King

Transformational, visionary, servant… enough is enough.

Lockdown stress: 12 leaders share practical coping tips

In hard times, it's far too easy for the boss to forget to look after...

Don’t just complain about uncertainty, find the tools to navigate it

Traditional in-person research methods won’t work right now, but that’s no excuse for a wait-and-see...

How well have CEOs performed during the coronavirus pandemic?

A new survey offers a glimpse into what their staff think.

Why women leaders are excelling during the coronavirus pandemic

There is a link between female leaders and successful responses to COVID-19.

Why your employees don’t speak up

Research: Half of workers don’t feel comfortable to express concerns - and it’s usually because...