The importance of being aware of cross-cultural communication barriers in Sweden is that it helps you to understand the people, culture, and business environment that you are dealing with.
Being able to identify common problems can help get to the root cause of miscommunication, which can help improve your company's workflow and foster better working relationships.
Sweden is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe, located between the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The capital city of Sweden is Stockholm, and its official language is Swedish. The country has a population of 10.3 million people. Sweden has been ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International.
Business communication etiquette in Sweden
- Don't be afraid to be upfront about your feelings and thoughts. Swedes value direct communication, so if you want to discuss an issue or tell someone how you feel, just go for it!
- Punctuality is key.
- Be respectful of personal space, but don't be afraid to make contact when you need it.
- Don't be overly familiar or overly formal; be yourself!
- It's important to use first names when addressing someone unless otherwise specified. If you are unsure about how formal or informal you should be with someone, ask them how they prefer to be addressed before proceeding.
- Dress appropriately for the occasion.
- You should also avoid using too many exclamation points or emoticons. These are considered highly informal and inappropriate for professional communication.
Sweden's culture-based communication style
Sweden's culture-based communication etiquette is not very different from other countries, but there are some key points to keep in mind when communicating with people from Sweden.
- Sweden is a country with a strong culture of egalitarianism, which means that the style of communication there is generally more direct, straightforward, and honest.
- Swedes are known for being formal with strangers but informal with friends and coworkers after working together for a while.
- There is a tendency to use first names when addressing people in Sweden. This can be confusing for those who are more accustomed to using surnames or professional titles.
- Swedes do not typically make small talk or engage in casual conversation. If you are meeting a Swedish person for the first time, do not expect to have a casual conversation. You should begin by introducing yourself and then moving on to more formal business topics.
- Swedes tend towards consensus-building rather than directness when communicating with others; this means that they often seek input from everyone involved before making decisions or taking action on anything important.
- Silence is often seen as rude in other cultures but not so in Sweden. Silence is a way for people to think about what they're going to say next or formulate their thoughts before speaking. The Swedes see silence as a sign of respect and professionalism.
- Swedes are very punctual people and expect others to be the same way too! If you are late for an appointment or meeting then this might not go down well with your Swedish counterparts who do not like being kept waiting for anything!
Non-verbal communication in Sweden
- Greeting: When greeting someone, it is customary to shake their hand and say "trevligt att träffas" ("nice to meet you").
- Gestures: Swedes tend not to use facial expressions or body language when they speak.
- Eye contact: Eye contact is considered important in Sweden, as it shows respect for your conversation partner(s). Failure to make eye contact can be interpreted as disinterest or even disrespect.
- Personal space: It is important to be respectful of personal space.
- Business attire: In addition, business attire tends to be more casual than in other countries.