Cultural Do’s and Don’ts for Relocations to Brazil
Personal Relationships and “Face” are Key in Brazil
With its vibrant culture and beautiful scenery, Brazil can be a dream location for assignees. But knowing a few key do’s and don’ts about how to build relationships with Brazilian colleagues can go a long way toward making an international assignment successful, both inside and outside the office.
A few “must-know” tips:
A knowledge of Portuguese is critical in Brazil—and knowing Spanish is not sufficient! The two languages are quite different, and lack of Portuguese can be a hindrance in business and social interactions.
“Face” is important in Brazil—try to avoid confrontational remarks that can put someone else at a disadvantage.
Appearance and etiquette are critical—appearing too casual in dress or manners (table and otherwise) can be judged negatively.
Brazil is a hierarchical society—decisions are made at the highest levels of an organization, so be prepared for the fact that the people you are negotiating with may not always be the final decision-makers.
Relationships are key—Brazilians like to get to know the people they work with, and that means getting to know something about people’s families or hobbies before the discussion “gets down to business.” That extends to physical contact, as well; Brazilians tend to be a bit more tactile than many other nationalities, and it’s all in the cause of establishing trust, which is so important to success on both personal and business levels.
For more tips on relocation best practices in Brazil, please view our video and request our “Best Practices in Brazil: A Guide for Mobility Managers.”