Exclusive for Poland India
Author: Marta Nowak
Poland is an emerging young economy placed in Central Europe. Since 1989 it began the transition toward a democratic, market-driven economy. It has been a member of European Union since 2004 and has become the 6th largest economy within the EU. It has not yet introduced the Euro, thus in circulation is another currency: PLN – “Złoty”. Poland, despite the Eurozone crisis, managed to upkeep steady growth throughout 2008 to 2012. Here are a couple of tips how to deal with the polish entrepreneurs:
1. Most of the young Poles speak very good English, thus no need for an interpreter. It is different with the older generation, who usually speak fluent Russian or German. Try to find out beforehand with whom you are going to deal with.
2. The Poles treat their obligations seriously, thus they tend to be well prepared for every meeting. Also, agendas are usually fixed beforehand and major changes in the schedule are very rare.
3. Being on time, or arriving couple of minutes before the meeting is treated as polite. Any delays might be treated as a lack of respect (particularly among the elders).
4. During the meetings, the Poles tend to listen to all the facts and are easily drawn by a good performance. Try not to focus on too much hard data, as the details of every contract will be eventually discussed by the managing partners.
5. Also, the Poles usually wait and carefully think over all the questions, waiting for the right time to pose them. Try to be as well prepared as possible because how you formulate the answers might be the turning point in the negotiations.
6. Poles can be called slightly insecure, therefore the process of socialization is vital. You will probably be invited to dinner or lunch on many occasions. Do not be hesitant, the Poles make a very good company!
7. Because team building takes time in Poland, try not to change your representatives. An integrated team leads to better results and more efficient cooperation!
8. Little gifts are always welcome. Go for traditional foods, drinks, and handicrafts. Expensive gifts are inappropriate.
9. Remember that formalities are very important, particularly in the beginning. Do not use first names unless asked so. Knowing the right titles reflects a great deal of respect (also try to prepare your visit cards accordingly).
10. The Poles use their first name usually among friends and trusted people. Otherwise, they try to stick to professional titles.
11. Polish communication style is known to be quite direct. Do not be offended by blunt comments, as they are intended to be respectful. Poles tend to be vague when not sure, or feeling incompetent answering questions.
12. Always seek the decision making figures. Usually the middle men have no say to the crucial decision process.