¡Hola! Let's journey down to South America and explore some common cultural facts about Ecuadorians and their expectations when it comes to training and development.
Test Your Knowledge of Ecuadorian Culture:
- True or False. Ecuador is South America's second largest producer of oil.
- What is the official language of Ecuador?
- What currency is used in Ecuador?
Tips for Training & Development in Ecuador1
- Don't discuss other Spanish-speaking countries with Ecuadorians. Ecuador lost half its land to Peru in 1941 in an invasion supported by the United States, Argentina, and Brazil. Ecuador was previously conquered by Spain and has also faced many border disputes with Colombia. Similarly, be careful not to exhibit a sense of American superiority, as many Ecuadorians are sensitive to this attitude.
- Ecuadorians tend to make decisions on a case-by-case basis rather than using universal laws or standards to guide behavior. Accordingly, an individual's faith or personal feelings may be viewed as "truth" independent of facts or data. Research alone will not gain buy-in from Ecuadorian learners; you must engage them on an ideological or emotional level.
- Family gives Ecuadorians a sense of stability, but personal achievement and individual status are more important than the success of a group as a whole.
- Despite government efforts to promote punctuality, most Ecuadorians view arriving 15 to 20 minutes late as still being on time. As a foreigner, you are expected to be prompt to all business meetings.
- At the executive level, many business professionals arrive at the office after 9:00 a.m. Keep this in mind and avoid scheduling meetings or classes before 10:00 a.m., if possible.
- Address Ecuadorian contacts by their professional title or formal name until invited to do otherwise.
- Ecuadorian time is the same as Eastern Standard Time, so if you're traveling there from the United States, you may be tempted to schedule meetings the same day that you arrive. However, allow yourself at least a day to acclimate if training on location in Quito--not for the time difference but for the high altitude.
- Spanish. English is commonly used in business settings, plus there are many indigenous languages still used by the Amerindian population. Be sure to clarify the language needs of your audience before finalizing training materials.
- The United States Dollar.