Although there are similarities in approach to business between the USA and Canada, there are also enormous differences. Be aware of sensitivities in this area.
Canada is officially a bilingual country and efforts should be made, wherever possible to recognise the linguistic heritage of the French-speaking minority.
Canada has encouraged a multi-ethnic approach to its immigration policies. Cultural diversity is recognised and respected. It is very likely that you will encounter people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.
Business structures vary enormously – do your homework on the contact organisation before visiting.
Business meetings in Canada tend to be more formal than in the US with a more restrained approach.
People expect the right to be heard and listened to in meetings situations regardless of rank or status.
Detailed preparation prior to meetings is expected and respected – decisions are not usually made until all the facts are to hand.
Communication styles are reserved and understated and there is a suspicion of hyperbole.
Canadians are direct in their communication style and can usually be taken on face value without the need to try to decipher coded messages.
Women visitors should have little or no problems operating within the Canadian business environment.
Global Business culture is a leading training provider in the fields of cross-cultural communication and global virtual team working. We provide training to global corporations in live classroom-based formats, through webinars and also through our cultural awareness digital learning hub, Global Business Compass.
This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Canada only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.