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Argentina: Daily office protocol

by goinglobal.com

Argentines have a reputation for seriousness, and a formal, sober manner is considered
appropriate, at least until relationships have been established. Most Argentines believe in being
frank, open and direct. It is possible in Argentina to disagree with people and even criticize
their opinions, yet remain on friendly terms. As a result, office life can be quite boisterous with
associates interrupting each other to add points or disagree with what is being said. Argentines
can be vehement speakers and may frequently interrupt one another. Such interruptions are
not a sign of disrespect, but instead, of interest in the topic of conversation. However, in some
business situations, one may find that Argentines are more diplomatic and indirect with an
emphasis on not offending.

When talking to one another, Argentines generally stand closer and are more apt to touch each
other than Europeans or North Americans. Argentines consider eye contact important during
conversations. In business meetings, it is customary for men to shake hands. When the greeting
is between a man and a woman or between two women, it is tradition to kiss the other person
on the cheek. It is also customary for two men to give each other kisses on the cheek or to hug
one another with hearty pats on the back in greeting (an abrazo) but only when they are friends
or have had a long-term working relationship.

Business cards are routinely exchanged at the beginning of a meeting in order to identify the
participants, making the interaction easier. It is common to give the card as a way of introducing
oneself or to present it after another person gives out his or hers. Titles such as doctor,
professor, architect, lawyer and engineer are important to Argentines and are most often used in
front of the person’s last name.


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