Tip 1
Italians are uneasy with the search for an absolute truth. The truth is a flexible commodity, which can change shape and move position with great rapidity. The search for an absolute answer is non-practical and over-rigid.
Tip 2
In-depth, long-term planning is not really expected or respected. Such planning is pointless in a rapidly changing, volatile business and personal environment. Long-term plans, if they exist at all, tend to be in grand-outline terms only.
Tip 3
The greatest amount of respect is not necessarily due to the person with the greatest depth of technical merit. Personal qualities and loyalties are far more important.
Tip 4
Decisions are rarely reached by voting. It is important to get consensus and buy-in to a decision. If no real consensus is arrived at it is possible that dissidents could undermine the group's work from within.
Tip 5
Leadership styles are varied in Italy but traditionally tend towards the authoritative with direct instructions given by a strong leader. A sense of authority is important and this derives more from the personal qualities of a leader than their technical expertise.
Tip 6
Outbursts of emotion in the workplace are viewed positively and do not mean that an individual is out of control or non-professional. It would be dangerous to underestimate an Italian because of their emotive nature in meeting situations.
Tip 7
It is not always sufficient to get a verbal agreement - this may be given merely out of politeness. Persuasion, insistence and follow-up are essential.
Tip 8
Relationships are all important in Italy. Everything flows from these networks of relationships. An essential pre-requisite to successful co-operation in Italy is the establishment of strong, long term ties. Do not view such relationship-building exercises as time wasting.
Tip 9
Delegation tends to be on the basis of individual relationships rather than on technical competence. This means that one individual may seem to have an alarming variety of responsibilities. Job descriptions tend to be imprecise.
Tip 10
Some small talk is usually engaged in before the meeting proper starts. This stage of the meeting is, however, rarely protracted (five minutes or less.)

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