November 05, 2010
R.D. Lewis: Hungary Business.
At Cross-Culture by Richard Lewis, see "Country Focus: Hungary". It's a quick but fair rundown, and one with an historical thread, of doing business in Hungary. Plus ten rules to guide you. The last three:
8. Show your individuality. Hungarians are rather cynical, for ancient historical reasons, about leaders. The Soviet rule did nothing to change this attitude. But you will gain respect if you can show your individuality and expertise in a particular field, especially if it is intellectual, scientific or artistic. Intelligence, energy, shrewdness and a quick wit are admired. But remain generous-spirited and friendly.
9. Respect high achievement and competitiveness. They are eager to demonstrate that they can recover from the communist era faster than anyone else, and that they have been progressive (such as in having been early candidates for the EU.) They have an obsession to achieve and to show the fruits of their success in the form of status symbols like plush offices, cars and good clothes. It will do you no harm to do the same, if you can.
10. Choose the countries you talk about carefully. It will not help your case to overly praise Romania or Slovakia, or to talk about ethnic minorities unless you are well informed. The same goes for the communist period in general. You are on very safe ground asking about their difficult language and their linguistic and racial ties to the Finns, whom they admire. Always refer to Hungary as being part of Central Europe, not Eastern.
Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzbühel Desk) at November 5, 2010 11:59 PM