Spain does not really have a meetings culture. Traditionally, when meetings do occur they often seem to be for the purpose of communicating direct instructions from boss to subordinates.

With the advent of a greater degree of international influence in many Spanish firms, this traditional approach is being eroded and some meetings will be more consultative. Many younger Spaniards, however, complain that these changes are occurring too slowly.

In more consultative style meetings, Spaniards, who are highly individualistic, will express their views freely and forcefully which can lead to the impression that meetings are almost anarchic. More reserved cultures should be wary of equating emotional expression of ideas with lack of control or conviction.

If agendas are used at all they will not, necessarily, be followed. It requires a very strong and skilful chairperson to keep a meeting in Spain moving along linear lines. The strictures of a rigid agenda can be seen as stifling creativity and free expression.

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

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 Spain. 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 Spain 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