Business Customs in Denmark
Focus on the Team
Business etiquette in Denmark requires workers to focus on the overall quality of the work by having faith in the team. It is expected in the business place, that you and your team cooperate and work together to accomplish tasks. Managers often play a large role in this process. Managers, not as a paternal figure, but as a team player, rely upon the etiquette of the team. Managers often work on the same level as their employees, getting “down to business.” Overall, Danes seek a need for consensus. This thought is strongly encouraged in the workplace.
Although not many Danes speak multiple languages, some businesspeople do. One is not seen to have an advantage if someone cannot speak the language. No matter what language a business partner speaks, the opportunity is to be seen as equal for both. It is often customary to have debate during business deals. Debate in Danish business is not confrontational or rude; it is strictly a business process.
Humor is often incorporated into the negotiating process. Many use humor in order to find camaraderie in their workplace. It is also customary that body language not be used in business situations that have serious connotations. It can be seen as threatening or overbearing, going against equality.
One of the most popular business procedures in Denmark is a meeting. Meetings are generally determined before they take place and follow strict agendas. Many complain of meetings, similar to other countries workplaces. When in a meeting, one is expected to remain attentive while others speak and not interrupt. However, this does not mean feedback is not encouraged. In fact, everyone is expected to have some sort of role, or to speak during a meeting.
It is customary in Denmark to be fully prepared for a meeting and to ask permission to speak from the meeting leader. If one is not prepared, it reflects poorly on an employees record. Speaking over someone in a meeting is considered to be rude, as well as showing excess emotion. A calm demeanor is expected while trying to relate a point or a disagreement. It is also customary to treat everyone with respect, no matter their education, standing within the company or appearance.