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Business etiquette

Business etiquette

Building Relationships & Communication

. Although third-party introductions are not necessary, they are recommended.
. It is important that you treat business colleagues with respect and not do anything to embarrass them..
. Luxembourg businesspeople develop personal relationships with the people with whom they conduct business.
. Do not brag about your accomplishments, as this is seen as a sign of poor breeding.
. Building a relationship requires demonstrating a sincere interest in the country and the people.
. This is a hierarchical culture, so it is crucial that you show proper respect and deference to those who have attained positions of importance.
. Luxembourgers are careful and prudent.
. They take time before they trust people and approach getting to know you in a deliberate, measured manner, which cannot be rushed.
. If you appear impatient, they will not do business with you.
. Luxembourgers are excellent linguists and many are sufficiently fluent to conduct meetings in English.
. This does not mean that they are familiar with the latest idioms or expressions. Be careful to speak slowly.
. Luxembourgers prefer subtlety to directness.
. Although their communication is more direct than many cultures, they use tact and diplomacy when speaking and expect the same in return.
. They will tell you what they think, even if it is not what you want to hear, but they will do so with the utmost of charm and politeness.
. Being blunt is considered rude.
. If you do not understand what has been said or want further clarification of a point, you may ask questions, as long as you do so politely. . Luxembourgers prefer communication to be logical and based on reason.
. Business is not the place for emotions or feelings.

Business Meetings Etiquette

. Appointments are necessary and should be made 1 to 2 weeks in advance if handled by telephone and 1 month in advance if arranged by letter.
. It is sometimes difficult to schedule meetings in July and August, which are common vacation times, the week between Christmas and New Year, and Easter week.
. Punctuality for meetings is taken extremely seriously.
. If you will be more than 5 minutes late, telephone and offer your apologies and an explanation.
. Arriving late may brand you as unreliable, since how can you be trusted to meet a deadline if you are late for a meeting?
. Send an agenda before the meeting. Belgians like their meetings to be well focused and to know what will be covered.
. Do not sit down until you are invited to do so.
. Meetings adhere to strict timetables.
. Meetings commence with a minimum amount of small talk.
. Once a meeting starts it will continue without interruption until it is finished.
. Maintain direct eye contact while speaking.
. Do not remove your jacket during a meeting.
. Presentations should be accurate and precise. Avoid hyperbole or making exaggerated claims.
. Present as much technical information as possible to support your position.


. Business is hierarchical. Decisions are made at the top of the company.
. Decisions are made in private.
. Decisions are reached slowly since Luxembourgers study both the long-term and the immediate effects.
. Business is conducted slowly. Be patient and do not appear ruffled by the adherence to protocol.
. Do not appear overly friendly. Luxembourgers compartmentalize their business and personal lives.
. Avoid confrontational behaviour or high-pressure tactics.