Business Meeting

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

Canadians are direct in their communication style, and can usually be taken on face value without the need to try to decipher coded messages

It is appropriate to present a business card at an introduction

It is polite to wait for a third party to introduce you to others

Wait to be seated

If the host is not directing you, It is quite okay to ask your host if you should sit at a particular spot

When speaking to a Canadian, keep an arm’s length distance from the person

Unlike Australians and Americans, Canadians do not give a lot of eye contact to people who are speaking with them

No backslapping, shouting or calling attention to oneself is acceptable

If a meeting seems to be heading for overt confrontation, most Canadians would prefer to calm things down

Attendees at meetings are expected to be well prepared, as decisions tend to be taken on the basis of empirical facts, rather than on hunches or gut reactions

Inability to provide the relevant level of detail, could be viewed as suspicious and evasive behaviour

It is politic to provide French translations of any marketing and promotional literature to be used, when trying to enter the market

Canadians still like to be direct and say what they mean

‘Yes’ will usually mean ‘yes’ and ‘no’ will mean ‘no’

Canadians see evasive language as suspicious, and would prefer any problems to be put onto the table for discussion

Be punctual for meetings and appointments, In French areas, time is more relaxed

Always maintain a reserved demeanor, and follow good rules of etiquette

If you travel to different cities or areas, pay attention to local customs.

Personal space and body movement or gestures differ between the English and the French provinces and cities

In English areas, body movement is minimal, there is rarely touching other than handshakes

In French areas, people stand closer together, people will frequently touch, and gestures are more expressive

Use a firm handshake with good eye contact when meeting and leaving

Men will wait for a woman to extend her hand for a handshake

English is spoken in most of Canada. French is spoken in Quebec, and some area of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

French Canadians stand closer and are more demonstrative when talking

For French Canadians, print all material in French and English

Don’t be boastful, and don’t overstate your product or service’s capabilities

Canada has encouraged a multi-ethnic approach to its immigration policies

Modesty, casualness, and an air of nonchalance are characteristic attitudes in Canadian business culture

Canadians tend to be receptive to new ideas

Canadians are comfortable with time lines, agendas and deadlines and tend to adhere to them

They will not avoid confrontation or negative responses if they feel they need to question something

Business meetings in Canada tend to be more formal than in the US with a more restrained approach

Canadians do not generally express themselves with their hands

Touching, patting or hugging other men in public is considered socially unacceptable

Your best approach to get along with Canadians is to remain exceedingly polite and modest

Interruptions are generally considered to be rude

Everybody expects a democratic right, to be allowed to have their say within the meeting, and for their opinions and views to be respected

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