Ah, Greece. Financial troubles aside, this country is known for fantastic food and beautiful Mediterranean beaches. Kick back at your desk with some fresh olives and feta as we explore common cultural facts about the Greeks and their expectations when it comes to training and development.
Test Your Knowledge of Greek Culture
- What board game is considered a national pastime?
- True or False. Aristotle was Plato's teacher.
Quick Tips for Training & Development in Greece1:
- Greeks tend to be physically and emotionally demonstrative. It's customary to hug, kiss, or show other signs of physical affection to friends and loved ones in public. Don't be surprised if your Greek counterparts breech your personal space bubble.
- Surprise, surprise, Greek is the official language in Greece and is written in the Greek alphabet. Romanian, not English, is the second most commonly spoken language, so be sure to come prepared with translated materials--and likely an interpreter--when training in this culture.
- For business meetings, it's ideal to have your business card translated, English on the front, Greek on the back, and present it to your counterpart with the Greek side facing up.
- Objective facts will not take precedence over subjective feelings or ideological beliefs. As such, it's important to establish relationships before attempting any negotiations or drastic changes within an organization. Group consensus is huge in this culture.
- An individual's social position gives security and structure to the individual, so be mindful of social cues in public interactions or business meetings. For example, the senior members of a group are typically afforded higher levels of respect and are served first at meals.
- It is not necessary to set an ending time for appointments as it's considered more important to complete the objective or build a good connection than to end the meeting promptly. Always arrive on time for meetings, but your Greek counterparts will likely have a more relaxed view of punctuality.
- Older generations of Greeks signify "no" with an upward head nod. This can be confusing as many members of the younger generations have started using the American head movements to indicate "yes" and "no." When in doubt, clarify their response.
Answers to the Questions from Above:
- False. Plato was Aristotle's teacher.