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Beliefs, Values, Norms
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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 within society.

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 world, 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.


A Guide to Doing Business

Provided By M.A.D. Consulting Group