Many Polish managers and directors are familiar with Western European business etiquette and culture. Polish businesspeople tend to be young, well educated, and fluent in English, but there are also traditional managers and directors who started their business careers during the communist era and tend not to speak English. These businesspeople may find the modern business environment a challenge to them.
There is little difference between business meetings in Poland and elsewhere in Europe. However, try to avoid being overly familiar, particularly during an initial meeting. When meeting someone for the first time you should introduce yourself using both first and last name, shake hands and exchange business cards.
When writing to senior managers in Poland, use “Dear Mr Last name” – never Dear First Name. When your relationships with local contacts develop, you can take a less formal approach.
Hand gestures are an integral part of conversation in Poland. However, little significance is placed on specific gestures and you do not need to worry about inadvertently causing offence.
Polish business people wear suits for business meetings. You should dress well for a meeting as it shows that you value the opportunity to meet them.
English is widely spoken by young people but Polish language interpreters may be required for business meetings conducted outside the major cities. Even if you use an interpreter for the substance of your meeting, a few words of the Polish language will help you make a good impression.
Below are some commonly-used phrases:
|Good day/morning||Dzień dobry||Dzyen dobri|
|Good evening||Dobry wieczór||Dobri vyechoor|
|Goodbye||Do widzenia||Do veedzenyah|
|Yes / no||Tak / nie||Tahk / nye|
|Please / thank you||Proszę /dziękuję||Prosheh /dzyenkooyeh|
|My name is…||Nazywam się…||Nazivam syeh…|