>> Danish Business Meeting Etiquette

Danes tend to have lots of meetings and often complain that they are too long.

Meetings can be used as information exchanges, discussion forums or decision-making events and it is important that all participants are made aware of the emphasis of the meeting in advance in order to allow the appropriate level of preparation to be undertaken. Although thorough empirical preparation for meetings is seen as essential, pre-meeting lobbying can be seen as underhand and Machiavellian.

Meetings tend to follow a pre-determined agenda, which is nearly always adhered to. Although not as zealous as their neighbours (the Swedes), punctuality is definitely a virtue and meetings will begin and end on time.

Due to the consensus-orientation of the Danes, meetings can seem to be overly discursive to cultures more used to a command and control approach from management. Everybody is expected to speak and everybody is (ostensibly) listened to.

Debate can be very direct but is rarely confrontational – confrontation being seen as unhelpful in the consensus-building process. Attendees tend to speak one at a time and often seek permission from the meeting leader before speaking. Interrupting somebody who is speaking and overt signs of emotion are seen as poor meeting etiquette and would be frowned upon.

Latest version updated:: 23rd March 2017

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