Frequently ruled by outsiders in its history, the Czech Republic now faces happier times. Let's take a jaunt over to Central Europe and explore some common cultural facts about the Czech people and their expectations when it comes to training and development.
Test Your Knowledge of Czech Culture:
- True or False. Bohemia is another name for a section of the Czech Republic.
- Is "Czech" the English or Czech spelling of the name of their language?
- True or False. Budweiser beer was named after a town in the Czech Republic.
Quick Tips for Training & Development in the Czech Republic1:
- The Czech Republic is fairly young as a free state, a designation achieved in 1993, and it joined the European Union in 2004.
- Remain alert on the roads; many drivers tend to be erratic. Pick-pocketing on the street is also quite common.
- Czechs identify truth through both feelings and objective facts. The ideologies of humanitarianism and democracy also hold prominent roles in day-to-day decisions.
- Czechs value personal achievement and are motivated by individual recognition. As such, formal degrees are respected, so be sure to mention your educational background and even include it on your business card.
- While relationships are highly valued, it's often a slow process to build deep friendships. Allocate time for chit-chat so your students can get to know you. Part of building relationships is asking questions about each other's family.
- Another fun family topic is dogs, as the Czech people are particularly fond of this furry friend. Dogs are even allowed in many restaurants.
- The eldest or highest-ranked person will enter the room first. If there is a tie, the male counterpart will enter before the female.
- Many Czechs feel that past Communist rule has robbed them of many years' worth of profits. This may cause high-even unrealistic-expectations on returns, so be mindful when making agreements or establishing future goals.
- If training directly in Prague, you may be able to avoid hiring a Czech translator, but it's recommended even within the city.
- A typical Czech holiday is four weeks annually, with peak travel times from mid-July to mid-August. When possible, avoid scheduling classes during those months.
- Decision-making is a slow, methodical process.
Knowledge Test Answers:
- True. The easternmost part is Bohemia, and the westernmost part is known as Moravia.
- English. This spelling came via the Polish language. The Czechs call it "Česká."
- True. The town was Budweis, now called Ceské Budéjovice. The Czechs are known for making extraordinary beers, and any beer drinker would be happy to discuss the topic.
1Morrison, Terri, & Conaway, Wayne A. (2006). Kiss, bow, or shake hands (2nd ed.). Avon: Adams Media.