Business Meeting

Boss expects and receives respect from those below them

Age is highly valued in Nigerian culture

Managers are often of the older generation – age brings wisdom

Although people at a middle-management level will try to give the impression, that they have great power in the organisation, they rarely do.

Put cards that you receive into a case or keep them on the table in front of you.

Establishing a personal relationship with your colleagues and superiors is common

Family and health matters are very important in Nigeria, and they will inevitably be brought up.

In private meetings, don’t be shocked if they are interrupted by calls, emails, or knocks at the door

Try hard to develop good relationships, at all levels within the organisation.

Do some research on the Nigerian company you visit before you arrive.

Most local companies will be very hierarchical.

Always take a moment to examine the business card before putting it away

Don’t ever write on your business cards

Include any academic and professional titles on your business cards.

Nigerians live and work at a more relaxed pace

Patience is a virtue you will need

Try to get to know the hierarchy of the company at an early stage.

Do not ignore lower ranking officials – they may still be highly influential.

Managers make decisions and give instructions.

Managers expect loyalty

The more time spent on relationship-building, the better

Show up on time

Try to be patient

English is very widely spoken in Nigeria

Nigerians using their titles as this shows respect to the status of the person.

Shake hands with everybody when you enter a room

Be aware that Nigerians are likely to stand quite close to you.

You are unlikely to meet women in senior positions

Try to avoid using your left hand when handing things to people

Never go with people you do not trust or know quite well.

Managers are expected to lead quite strongly.

Spell out in detail what needs to be done

The manager is expected to take an interest in subordinates, beyond their directly work-related duties.

Meetings will often start and finish with a great deal of social interaction.

Do not try to rush conversations

Do not expect meetings to start on time

Patience is necessary in many business dealings in the country.

All senior governmental figures and business leaders, will know English

Have long handshakes with everybody you meet.

People of the same gender will often touch each other on the arms or back whilst

Touching between people of different genders, is less common, particularly in the Muslim areas in the north of the country.

If you are meeting someone senior to you, a small bow when shaking hands would be appropriate.

When greeting a group of people, greet them in order of seniority.

Moving swiftly from a handshake on to discussing business may be interpreted as rudeness.

Make sure you present your card with your right hand,

Accept cards from others with the right hand, smile and make eye contact.

Wait until you are invited to use someone’s first name.

If you are a man greeting a woman, wait for her to extend her hand first.

Nigerians make much less use of eye contact than members of Western cultures.

 

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