In a previous article I discussed the importance of knowing your target market--their culture, customs, and expectations. This week I'll explore the cultural nuances of the Latin American culture, specifically in Argentina.
Test your general knowledge of Argentinean culture with the Fun-Fact questions below.
- The __________ is the national dance obsession in Argentina.
- Which type of business attire is most appropriate--especially in the capital, Buenos Aires?
- Trendy. Only wear what is up-and-coming.
- Conservative. If you want to be taken seriously.
- Expressive. Clothing must represent your unique personality.
- Compared with other South Americans, Argentines have a reputation for:
- Seriousness and melancholy.
- Joviality and happiness.
- Outgoing and outlandish personalities.
- Spanish is the official language, although many people speak English. Other commonly spoken languages include __________, __________, and __________.
Quick Tips For Training & Development in Argentina1
- As a culture, Argentines are known to have a high ranking in uncertainty avoidance2 which may cause hesitancy to risk or change. It will be helpful to substantiate your perspectives with facts and statistics and allow time for confidence to build in the new initiative.
- Visitors are expected to arrive on time for business meetings; but it is culturally acceptable for Argentine participants to be late, especially if they hold an important title or role. Keep this in mind when scheduling meetings or classes, and clarify if attendance is necessary en punto (on the dot).
- Dinner, typically, does not begin until 10 p.m. on weekdays, so it is common to have coffee and pastries in the early evening (somewhere between 4:00-6:00). Be mindful of this should you hold a training class in the afternoon as this snack break may be expected.
- Strive to maintain eye contact when speaking, and avoid placing your hands on your hips as this could be interpreted as anger.
- Many Argentines have double first names (i.e. Maria Theresa) but may go by Maria, Theresa, or Maria Theresa. Until you are sure which name they use, it is safest to address them by their surnames.
- (b) Business people should bring a conservative wardrobe to be taken seriously.
- (a) seriousness and melancholy. To call someone or something "not serious" is a harsh accusation.
- Italian, German & French
1Morrison, Terri, and Wayne A. Conaway, Kiss, Bow, Or Shake Hands, 2nd ed. (Avon: Adams Media, 2006).
2One of the cultural dimensions defined by Geert Hofstede.