3 Tips About Business Stories in Brazil
While European often focus on their capability to do things, Brazilians as well as Americans tend to focus on their competence and experience about things they have already done.
Competence is normally not only shown with references but also by including some details of their private lives.
Don’t be surprised if a Brazilian tells you, at the first meeting, about his or hers education followed by a summary of their entire professional career and topped with a short family story including for example details about how his or hers ancestors came to Brazil.
In Europe you will often get away by simply nodding or expressing your understanding with a few “mhm..” sounds while your counterpart is telling a story. In Brazil you are expected to be more active in your listening, especially as foreigner. Using body language and intonation, they will ask you to confirm their point of view and/or make sure that you are following the conversation.
Give what you receive
I do advice foreign business professionals to never take the lead into mixing private background and professional business dialog when doing business in Brazil. A safe advice is to follow your counterpart’s lead. Brazilians will start telling about themselves and their background, both private and professional sooner or later.
It’s then important to follow their lead and give them as much information about yourself as they are giving you. Failing to do so will give them a impression that you are too closed or that you want to hide something from them.