Swedish Meeting Etiquette

Meetings tend to be long with a great deal of open debate. Everybody has a view and everybody’s view is worthy of airing and consideration.

However, opinions are expected to be backed up by empirical evidence, which means that a great deal of pre-planning and preparation are expected.

As has already been stated, punctuality is of central importance in Sweden. Lateness is largely indefensible as it implies a lack of courtesy and respect for the other members present. In discussions about the approach to business, Swedes raise the importance of punctuality more often and more strongly than almost any other nationality.

Agendas are usually produced and would, on the whole, be adhered to. Agendas bring the necessary structure to a wide-ranging, consensus-seeking debate. Without an agenda, the meeting would run the risk of disintegrating into an aimless discussion.

During the meeting, participants will tend to speak one at a time with little interruption of the person who has the floor. Those wishing to make a point will often indicate the fact by raising their hands to attract the attention of the person in the chair. As a result, meetings can have a cold, detached feeling for those more used to emotional responses and where many people attempt to interject at the same time.


This country-specific business culture profile was written by Keith Warburton who is the founder of the cultural awareness training consultancy Global Business Culture

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 Sweden only and a more detailed understanding needs a more in-depth exploration which we can provide through our training and consultancy services.

Country Breakdown





Swedish Krona


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