Intending to conduct new business in Ireland? We offer the following business etiquette tips to help smooth the way:
a) Relationships and family are hugely important to the Irish people and are as significant as business itself. You must build up trust before negotiations take place so, prior to an actual meeting, spend some valuable time getting to know the people involved. Small talk before the start of a meeting is absolutely essential for “breaking the ice” and making participants feel comfortable.
b) The Irish set great store by CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and it is now regarded as one of the most important business topics, particularly where multinational firms are concerned. Where possible and practical, try and demonstrate or refer to your company’s involvement/awareness with CSR to gain valuable recognition and give you an advantageous edge!
c) Generally, the Irish are not very time conscious and have a relaxed attitude towards punctuality where business meetings are concerned; a waiting time of around 15 minutes for the start of a meeting is not uncommon. However, as a visitor, you are expected to arrive on time as being late on your side is considered impolite and inconsiderate! This “double standard” can also filter through into negotiations and decision-making, so be prepared to be patient.