In this age of Brexit, I’m sure many of you are left wondering, who exactly are the Brits, you thought you knew so well.
In his book ‘When cultures collide – leading across cultures’ Richard D. Lewis offers us an in-depth study of cultures and how to deal with other cultures in a business environment. https://amzn.to/2OXiNvq *(Book of the Week) *affiliate link.
I distilled the part on ‘Britishness’ into 5 fun phrases, here’s No. 1:
“Don’t rock the boat.“ – don‘t do anything to causes problems.
- Brits regard themselves as honest, reasonable, caring and considerate.
- Statements and actions are reserved/low key – no boasting, name dropping, no strong opinions, please.
- Brits are reluctant to put another person to trouble, to bother them or intrude.
- In business, making money is serious but be casual about it.
- ‚Golden middle‘- not too formal, not too informal – use of first names after 2 to 3 meetings.
- Use small talk at the beginning of a meeting – (private)/family but not too much, holidays, sports
- Use of indirect communication methods to ‘soften‘ the language
Like with anything, these points are merely guidelines. However, I’m sure you found yourself nodding your head saying “YEP”. On the other hand I’m also sure you can also think of many situations, in which Brits do rock the boat – BREXIT being probably the biggest – oops!
You will find all 5 of the series “Getting to know the Brits”. In the Walking English Dictionary (WED 2) – It’s all about culture – *out in March 2020.
Hope you enjoyed getting to the Brits – a bit!
to be left wondering (man fragt sich doch), to distill (hier: zusammenfassen), “to rock the boat“ (für Unruhe sorgen), reasonable (vernünftig), caring (einfühlsam), considerate (fürsorglich), to boast (prahlen), to be reluctant to do sth (etw nur ungern tun), to bother sb (jdn stören), to intrude (einmischen), to ‘soften‘ (admildern), merely (lediglich), guidelines (Richtlinien), however (jedoch), to nod one’s head (mit dem Kopf nicken)