General Business Etiquette – Sweden

General Business Etiquette
  • Never be late! Punctuality is an obsession with the Swedes. Being late to a meeting will reflect very badly on you.
  • If you are running late, it is absolutely crucial to phone ahead and let the waiting person know. If you are running very late (more than 30 minutes), be open to the option of rescheduling.
  • On the other hand, avoid coming too early- you might make your host uncomfortable for coming to early.
  • Upon entry and exit, shake hands with all attendees while maintaining eye contact. Younger people are likely to shift more quickly to a first name basis.
  • An agenda for the meeting is normally distributed to participants in advance. Meetings will usually start directly and to the point, with very little small talk.
  • The Swedish business arena is extremely detail-focused. It is a good idea to have supporting data for anything presented.
  • Maintain personal space boundaries- avoid any unnecessary touching.
  • Direct communication is expected- “say what you mean and mean what you say”. However, silences are rarely regarded as awkward in Sweden.
  • Try to minimize your use of superlatives during a sales pitch- you might be conceived as insincere.
  • Women and men are generally treated as equals.