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Business Culture in Latvia
Boss or Team Player?
In post communist countries, there is a tradition of teamwork inherited from the communal aspects of the previous era where groups and work units commonly met together to discuss ideas and create plans. However, those plans seldom resulted in implementation or results, leading to apathy and cynicism among the workers.
Today the after-effects are still evident among much of the older generation resulting in a lack of drive and energy. However, there is vibrancy among the younger generation, who seem to be eager to tackle many of the challenges and take the opportunities presented. They will participate in teams and share ideas, but intercultural sensitivity will be needed and it should be understood that they will need to be coached in the process.
Communication and Negotiation Styles
Latvians prefer to get down to business quickly and only engage in brief of small talk. You should never interrupt someone who is speaking and make sure you maintain eye contact while speaking. To avoid any cross cultural miscommunication, make sure your printed material is available in both English and Latvian. Latvians are deal-focused, although this is more the case with younger workers.
Business is hierarchical and decision-making is held at the top of the company. Decisions are reached slowly. Latvians often use time as a tactic, especially if they know that you have a deadline. Be cautious about letting your business colleagues know that you are under time pressure or they will delay even more. Latvians prefer detailed contracts and any contract will be followed precisely.
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