While close in proximity, Canada--our neighbor to the north--is quite different from the U.S. Let's explore some common cultural facts about Canadians and their expectations when it comes to training and development.
Test Your Knowledge of Canadian Culture
- English and French are the official languages of Canada. What is the third most common language?
- True or False? All of Canada is in the same time zone.
- Canadian culture more closely resembles
- What is a "Double Double"?
Quick Tips for Training & Development in Canada1:
- Facts are given precedence over feelings, and objective information is preferred over subjective.
- Business focus is given to completing tasks rather than establishing relationships. Demonstrate immediate results by establishing short-term tasks, and be sure to highlight your progress along the way.
- Individual recognition is a desired reward. Call attention to distinct successes to drive results.
- French provinces have different cultural values than the rest of the country. French-speaking Canadians are prone to interrupting during conversations and are less punctual than English-speaking Canadians. When working with French Canadians, provide your materials in French as well as English. And be careful to remember that French for Canada is different than French for France.
- In Quebec, all commercial endeavors must be in French, and French is the only legal language for conducting business.
- With a wide variety of ethnicities present in Canada, business etiquette often reflects one's ethnic background and may differ from those of other Canadians. Keep this in mind and cater your interactions based on the individual you're working with.
Canadian Culture Answers:
- (b) Chinese. There are also large populations of Punjabi and Spanish speakers.
- False. Canada actually spans six different time zones.
- (b) British. Canadian culture tends to be more reserved, and you may need to overcome American stereotypes of being overbearing or intrusive.
- Nope, it's not a cheeseburger. A "Double Double" is a coffee with two creams and two sugars.
1Morrison, Terri, & Conaway, Wayne A. Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands, 2nd ed. (2006). Avon: Adams Media.