As we all know; every country has its own values and customs, its own way of greeting each other, its own way of eating (think of Indian people eating with their hand and European people eating with a fork and a knife). Whatever you think of this way or that way of doing, it does not matter because what matters is that you respect the way of doing from people you are visiting. Especially if you want to do good business with them.
In strangers there is “strange,” and being a stranger is not knowing. To help you to know better here are some introductions to French etiquette in business. These values are not to be discussed, just respected as the fruit of a long tradition of interactions between people through history.
The First Value: Honesty
You may fool someone once, but not really more on the long term. Also technology nowadays allows people to find information about anything, anybody, quickly and almost accurately.
Think also that being honest is greatly preferable because a win-win resolution is always the best solution. So be fair, be honest.
The Second Value: Keep One’s Word
Remember this quote, “I do all what I say, even if I don’t say all what I do?” This should resume your attitude. I know that a lot of business men consider that accords and contracts are made to be broken, but not in my world. Be a “Monsieur” ou une “Madame,” not just a piece of paper. Your name is your most precious asset.
The Third Value: Humility
Being humble is a value always appreciated by French people, so you don’t need to brag or show off. Your actions will speak for yourself. Remember that the real power does not need to be displayed.
The Fourth Value: The Etiquette
“Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
Knowing the codes that drive the behavior that delineates expectation for social behavior is often one of the keys to be able to start doing business with people, and especially in France.
The fifth value: conversation
French people appreciate people able to have a real conversation and not a social chit-chat very shallow or as the Americans say a small talk. In France conversation is an art where the most important is not to show that you know everything on anything, but a fair exchange of ideas where opinions can be discussed if it is with measure and respect for others.
So here are some tips:
Some topics to avoid: