France has maintained its status as key business partner in Western Europe because of its size, location, strong economy, and membership in European organizations. France generally has worked to strengthen the global economic and political influence of the EU on a world scale. As the largest country in Europe, hosting the HQ of many global corporations, France is an extremely important business partner for many international companies.
As the two major economic powers in Europe, Germany and France have been closely linked for a long time. Not only politically or economically, but also personally, there is a close relationship and these countries are considered as strong European partners. The UK also experiences a special relationship with France. While France does hold close ties to the member states in the European Union, France, like the US, is an extremely individualistic country. As such, although there are many similarities in the way of doing business, there are also significant differences based on the French national culture.
Both in size and history France is vast and diverse. It is important to be vigilant of this diversity which comes from the myriad cultural and historical differences within France and in French foreign relations. French business culture is unique and it is advisable to honor this uniqueness during your business dealings with France. It is important to be aware of the similarities and differences across France to ensure successful collaboration with your French counterparts and business partners.
Our Cross-Cultural Training – France focuses on the cross-cultural differences in basic French values, communication, leadership, negotiation, decision-making and conflict resolution styles. Cross-cultural awareness is enhanced to ensure effective and successful collaboration with your French business partners.
In the Cross-Cultural Training – France we will provide you with first-hand information on the historical, political, cultural and economic factors that influence French business practice. Information will be given on the opportunities and challenges of collaborating with French business partners. You will acquire knowledge concerning the particularities of business culture in France. Our qualified French trainers and experienced intercultural consultants will provide you with guidelines on adapting appropriately to cultural differences and managing cultural diversity in the collaboration with your French business partners.
We explore key questions such as:
- Why are our French business partners sometimes reserved in their enthusiasm for global or European initiatives?
- Why does decision-making often take so long?
- In how far do rank and hierarchy play a role in relations? Do French business partners see their counterparts as equal?
- Are French corporations meritocracies?
- How can we best deal with the French preferring to do things the French way?
- Are the French risk averse and how do we introduce change management initiatives successfully?
- Can the French be convinced of quality of creativity outside of France?
- Do verbal commitments or contracts play a greater role in France?
- How do I join the French “in-group” if I do not speak French?
Prisca Engeler, Our Expert on Cross-Cultural Awareness – France