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.
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This World Business Culture profile is designed as an introduction to business culture in Mexico only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.