Intending to conduct new business in Slovenia? We offer the following business etiquette tips to help smooth the way.
Slovenians have a natural indirect communication style. They can initially appear reserved and somewhat unfriendly, but this rapidly disappears once a relationship is established. Spend time on developing this relationship as business decisions are often based on personal sentiments about the other person.
Meetings normally start with a bit of social chitchat. Do not try to rush this as it is all part of the relationship building. Slovenians admire modesty and humility so remain polite, respectful, tolerant, and courteous throughout, even if things move at a slower pace than you would like.
Shake hands with your Slovenian colleagues (women first, if present) at the beginning and end of meetings and maintain direct eye contact. It is customary to exchange business cards without any formal ritual. It is a nice touch to have one side of your card translated into Slovenian.
Hierarchy plays a major part in business decisions with the final say coming from the highest echelons of the company. Once a final decision is made, this will be translated into comprehensive actions plans, which will be followed explicitly. This is an example of the German-type efficiency that makes up part of the Slovenian business culture.