General Information:Capital: Madrid
Political system: Spain is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with a prime minister and a prime minister.
Population: 47 mil
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Official language: Spanish
EU single emergency number: 112
Rescue service: 061
Cultural differences and advice from Intercultural Communication Coach:
Spain is one of the countries where people emphasize building relationships, networking and getting to know each other with good food and time spent together. Time stops then and no one is in a hurry. In comparison with the Nordic countries, they use more expressive means of non-verbal communication, for which the Slovaks should be prepared. No one is expected to come on time regarding private meetings. A delay of 15 minutes is natural and at large events even 1 hour is accepted.
Spanish people have no problem establishing contacts and discussions with strangers they meet at a bar or restaurant. They belong to the cultures that are known for their friendly behaviour at public places, however, that does not mean that they will immediately accept you into their family circles.
Hierarchy and respect for elderly family members are visible at private or business meetings. Formal clothes and appearance are expected at official events.
Creativity and flexibility are values that the Spanish acknowledge in their private and professional lives. The manager should be able to manage what is happening in the team. A good manager manages the project giving clear orders and instructions and expects team members to follow them. Mutually good relations help to solve crisis situations and motivate employees. Work atmosphere and workplace relationships are important factors when deciding whether to work for a company or not. The agenda of the meeting is understood as a starting point for discussion. It does not equal a precise schedule necessary to stick to. Many cultures envy the Spaniards their siesta. However, a break in the afternoon means an extension of working time in the evening.
Recommendations for Co-operation with Colleagues from Spain:
- The ability to respond to changing conditions is more important to the Spanish than accurate planning and adherence to procedures.
- The opinion of the team members is welcome, but the manager is responsible for the final solution, and therefore he or she also deserves respect and dignity.
- The meetings almost always extend beyond the planned framework, but the Spanish naturally count on it.
- Personal and professional lives are not strictly separated. Lunch time means enjoying a meal with friends or business partners.
- The Spanish are among the cultures that use an indirect style of communication. In other words, they often express their message by means of stories, reasoning, and more extensive explanations. Those cultures that prefer clear and accurate information are often lost in their expressions and consider them poorly thought out.