Czechs like to plan meetings well in advance and it can be quite difficult to set up a meeting at short notice.
This need to plan ahead stems from the fact that Czechs do not like to arrive at a meeting unprepared. Czechs are detail oriented and prefer to arrive at a meeting feeling that they have all the facts and figures at their disposal. (Friday afternoon is not a good time to try to organise a meeting in the Czech Republic.)
It is important that you arrive at the meeting on time as lack of punctuality can imply a lack of professionalism as well undermining the seriousness of your intentions. In a country where everybody is seemingly mistrusted in the early stages, it would be foolish to put yourself further on the back foot for over such a simple matter as punctuality.
Cards are usually exchanged at the start of a meeting, although there is no particular ritual which goes along with the exchange. As a great deal of importance is placed on titles and educational background, it is quite a good idea to ensure that this information is printed on your business card.
Czechs tend not to show too much emotion within a business meeting and this, coupled with limited body language and facial expressions, can make your counterparts quite difficult to read. Do not mistake lack of emotion or physical feedback as a sign of lack of interest.
There will often be some small talk at the start of a meeting but this is limited in scope and duration.
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
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 the Czech Republic. 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 the Czech Republic 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: