The Greeks have a rich culture that has developed for thousands of years. They have been an organized and established culture with many external influences that have affected their values,
beliefs, and norms. Greeks are historically influenced by their religion when it comes to how they live their life, and today
it is little different. However, like most nations in today’s modern and global community, it is changing and becoming
less traditional, though there are several traditions that continue to have a strong hold in every day life.
Values: Family, age, wisdom, collectivism and conformity,
high uncertainty avoidance—prefer to avoid risk and uncertain events.
Collectivity - The Greeks have a tendency to
focus more on collectivism than on the individual. Cooperation is valued—“With one voice,” they consider
themselves a tightly knit group. Because of this, building personal relationships are very important, although this takes
time and one needs to be patient. Finally, they have very clear rules for how one should behave
Masculinity - The Greek culture is very competitive
and assertive. As opposed to a feminine culture, which tends to be very humble and modest, the Greeks
are the exact opposite. Furthermore, they are very proud of their culture and work hard to spread their Hellenic values. Women
might sometimes experience problems in communication with older Greek executives because of the traditional view of women.
Time - It is very
imporant not to make elderly members of the community wait. Time tends to be arranged like much of the civilized
however it is rather relaxed. It
is nothing for people to pass time at a café gossiping and snacking. Greeks do many things at once and are not bothered by
not achieving something “on time.” You should not be offended if a meeting is disrupted by a phone call or drop-ins. In
business, it is not to be expected that you talk a lot about business in your first meeting as this is
where you start to build a relationship—asking about Greek food, wine, sightseeing etc. is a good “ice-breaker”
- let the Greeks bring up the business aspects. Visitors are expected to be on time.
Matiasma - A common belief is in "matiasma" or "the
evil eye." Many times one is a victim of this because someone else is jealous of them. You might see someone
wearing a special charm that protects them from this "curse," so try not to make anyone jealous or be jealous.
Eye Contact - Keeping eye contact with someone when communicating
is perhaps one of the most important norms you will find within this culture. When doing business, make sure to always
keep contact with someone, or you will be thought of as untrustworthy.