Teacher’s guide

Case 11: The Phone Call to London, Discussion

Jan explained that British business people tend to be more relationship-focused than most Danes. He added that RF people tend to use higher-context language than deal-focused Danes. So while Christian expected to get right down to the business at hand, James White preferred to get to know his Danish counterpart, to build a relationship first.

Confusion may arise from the fact that while Brits and Danes tend to be deal-focused and low-context when compared to most Asians and Latin Americans for example, within the DF/direct segment of the world’s business cultures most Danes are more direct and task-focused than their British cousins. (For more details on this subtle but important difference see the excellent article by Professor Malene Djursaa cited on page 46 of the book.)

Fortunately, experience shows it won’t take Christian long to understand this nuance and start to adapt his communication behavior to the customer. Remember, the seller adapts to the buyer!