Slovakia

Last updated 23 March 2013 Posted in Europe, Countries

Slovakia
  • Official country name: The Slovak Republic
  • Size: 49,035 square kilometre (18,932 square mile)
  • Population: 5,483,088 (2012 est.)
  • Internet TLD: .sk
  • Calling code: +421
  • GDP: 132.384 billion dollars (24,284 dollars per capita)
  • Major import partners: Germany, Czech Republic, Russia
  • Major export partners: Germany, Czech Republic, Poland
  • Currency: Euro (€) (EUR)

Business skills

Meeting styles

Meetings in Slovakia are seen as an opportunity to get the job done.  Slovakian will appreciate and express their gratitude for efficiently ran meetings. Appointments should be arranged in advance and participants of the meeting should be on time, as punctuality is valued very much in the Slovakian business culture. Being on time shows that you´re serious, polite and most of all, respectful. Arriving late for a meeting means that you do not respect the other person (Wamstram, 2007). For the Slovakian people a delay of 5-10 minutes is acceptable as long as you could explain the reason why you are late and then apologize.  Always try to avoid making appointments in the months of July and August. Many businesses are closed during these month for an extended period.

The dress code at the office depends on what kind of work you do and your position. Managers and executives are expected to wear business suits. Woman should wear a two piece suit with skirt or dresses. Schedules for business meetings in Slovakia are not very tight regulated. Agendas are usually served as a guideline for the discussion and acts as a link to other related business topics.

The usual greeting at meetings is a firm and confident handshake with direct eye contact. Men should wait for  a woman to extend her hand first before shaking it. Other physical contact is not normal among Slovakians in the business setting. When talking to another person, Slovaks maintain a shoulder length distance.  A little small talk may be necessary at the beginning of the meeting, along with a customary glass of plum brandy  and then everyone will be expected to introduce themselves and their company and give the purpose of their visit. Meetings in Slovakia are generally chaired by the most senior person who sets the agenda, the content, and the tempo.

Slovakian distinguishes between the informal ‘ty ’ and the formal ‘vy ’ although both words mean ‘you’. Traditionally the use of the informal form was limited for relatives, very close friends, children and among colleagues. The younger generation is changing and nowadays interaction is usually less formal when the conversation is in English. Honorific titles and surnames are normally used when people are introduced. Close friends may refer to each other using the honorific names.

In Slovakia a senior person, with little consultation of others, usually makes the decisions. Listening and accepting views and opinion that come from lower ranks is still fairly uncommon. During a business meeting or presentation it is not allowed to ask questions by persons who don’t know each other. Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual. This can be at the beginning or the end of a meeting.