A manager’s personal style is considered to be of great significance and it could almost be said that his or her bearing is viewed as of great an importance as their technical abilities.

The respect which is afforded the manager by subordinates, is directly proportionate to the personality of the boss. Relationships are of key importance in this Latin culture and the boss and subordinates work hard to foster a relationship based on trust and respect for personal dignity.

First and foremost, managers are expected to manage. The boss is expected to give direct instructions and it is expected that these instructions will be carried out without too much discussion or debate (if there is debate it should be done in private to avoid showing public disrespect to the hierarchy).

If giving instructions to Brazilian subordinates, try to be as clear, precise and comprehensive as possible. If tasks remain undone after having asked for them to be done, start by questioning yourself. ‘Were my instructions given clearly? Was I too vague?’ If you only give partial instructions, only part of the task will be performed. (As in most strongly hierarchical cultures, subordinates will undertake the tasks they are given but no more — to do more might be seen as disobeying the boss!)

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Brazil

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Brazil. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Brazil and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips