Punctuality is less rigid than in certain other cultures and it is not unusual for meetings to start late and run over the allotted time.

This level of uncertainty can make it difficult when scheduling a number of meetings on one day (especially if you need to travel around Mexico City between meetings.) Probably the best time to schedule meetings is between 10:00am and 1:00pm – as lunch usually begins around 2:00pm and can be quite lengthy.

If agendas are produced there would be little expectation that they would be followed systematically or any annoyance if non-agenda items are introduced during the meetings. Meetings are seen as opportunities for the free flow of ideas and information — although it is best to avoid very open disagreements with the most senior Mexican present as this could be construed as disrespectful and confrontational.

Open signs of emotion, through the use of interruptions and speaking loudly, are seen as a sign of active engagement rather than an unnecessary loss of control. Do not assume that, if a Mexican becomes highly emotional during a meeting, they have lost their sense of professionalism — they are probably conveying their sense of commitment and interest.

It is not uncommon for small side-meetings to occur during a larger meeting or for people to interrupt colleagues in mid-sentence.

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

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 Mexico. 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 Mexico 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