Ireland is a magical country with a rich, exciting heritage. The beautiful countryside, historical landmarks and warm, friendly citizens make Ireland a popular tourist destination. PGi Meetings Expert Susan Butler shares her secrets for business etiquette and success in this enchanting country.
Q: How do you greet and say goodbye to a colleague or client?
A: We are fairly informal, so just a “Hey, how are you doing?” and a handshake is a perfect greeting. To say goodbye, simply say, “See you later!”
Q: Where do business meetings usually take place?
A: Meetings are usually held online in web conferencing tool GlobalMeet or in a customer’s conference room.
Q: What are some small talk topics to start the meeting? And what topics should be avoided?
A: Weather is always the number one small talk topic! As the weather is so unpredictable in Ireland, it keeps us busy talking about it. There are no real topics to avoid as Irish people are very open and chatty (just make sure to avoid anything that might be uncomfortable, like politics or religion).
Q: What are the best times to request meetings?
A: Anytime within working hours except lunchtime (12:30-2). Just ask the participants as it depends on the individual workplace.
Q: How should I schedule a meeting in the Ireland? And what do I need to supply before the meeting?
A: Initially a meeting would be set over the phone and then followed up by an Outlook invite. A general overview of what will be discussed is always welcome, especially if the participants have anything to prepare in advance.
Q: Should I schedule a lunch or dinner meeting? What is the etiquette for sharing a meal?
A: Yes, meals are always welcome as it builds relationships. The service provider, sales person or requestor should make the reservation, and standard lunchtime for most Irish businesses is 1-2 PM. Lunch in Ireland is usually sandwiches, but a full meal is preferred if meeting with a business associate.
Q: At the meeting, what should I provide and prepare?
A: It really depends on the meeting. If you’re meeting for the first time, business cards, Power Point slides and company literature are preferable.
Q: How long should the meetings be?
A: Thirty minutes to one hour. Small talk would generally be about 5% only at the start.
Q: What can I do to encourage collaborative discussion during the meeting?
A: Just be friendly, personable and chatty. That fosters a good personal relationship and, in turn, a good working relationship.
Q: What should I wear to meetings?
A: Business casual clothes, like trousers and a jumper or business suit. You could need all three in Ireland! At all times, it is advisable to have an umbrella and raincoat — even in the summer!
Q: What should I do after the meeting?
A: It would be advisable to follow-up with, at the least, an email. Also sending of some promotional gifts would be a good idea.
Q: What else should visitors to your country know?
Irish people are quiet and informal. Our humor is quiet sarcastic, which some cultures might find hard to understand. We are also a very social country, so we meet up with friends and family for dinner, drinks, etc.
Have more questions about the meetings do’s and don’ts in Ireland?
Photo courtesy of TravelToWork.Net