Brazilian Meetings


Initial meetings can be somewhat formal - where you are expected to shake hands with everybody present on arrival, but any subsequent meetings are likely to become much more informal. There is likely to be a great deal of small talk before the meeting proper starts. Do not be in too much of a hurry to end this initial part of the meeting as the tone you set here could be important in the relationship development cycle. Do not make yourself appear impatient or overly pushy.

Although non-confrontational, Brazilians have a Latin temperament and will often appear extremely emotional during meetings (especially to those cultures who have a more reserved approach). Emotion is merely an expression of commitment and interest and does not indicate a lack of control or anger.

Less emphasis is placed on the importance of absolute punctuality than in some Anglo and Asian cultures and you should not be surprised if meetings start late and finish even later. Again it is important that you do not become obviously frustrated by this flexible attitude to time. The relationship is seen of far greater importance than time-related issues.

If an agenda is produced, do not expect it to be followed. All the issues on the agenda will be covered, but not necessarily in the order they appear on the written document. In a country which is severely hampered by red-tape and bureaucracy, this flexible approach ('jeito') is of real importance and may prove to be your greatest asset.

Don't be in too much of a hurry to rush off at the end of a meeting, even if the meeting is running late. Take the time to seem relaxed and easy-going as these are qualities much admired in Brazil.