How to survive cross-cultural meeting of minds

Brexit negotiators David Davis and Michel Barnier - a multicultural meeting

Cross-cultural consultant Guy Bondonneau (pictured below) tells Jane Hanks that negotiating the minefield of a French meeting is just a matter of understanding some key differences

Understanding cultural differences is vital to a successful professional relationship, as Brexit negotiators David Davis and Michel Barnier may understand only too well.

Research shows that people working in a multicultural environment tend to reinforce their usual learned behaviours, meaning Mr Davis is likely to come across as extra-British, while Mr Barnier will fall back on his French stereotypes during any talks.

Guy Bondonneau of WCT Cross-Cultural, a consultant who runs courses for individuals or teams posted abroad to work and divides his time between London and Paris, says an insight into cultural differences can help avoid misunderstandings and make life at work more pleasant and efficient. “France and Britain are very close physically, but there are enormous divergences in the way they operate in business,” ...

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