Cultural tips: Australien

Motivation factors and Business Characteristics of Australians

  • While remaining law-abiding, show a healthy disrespect for many laws and too much government interference.
  • Always lead from the front and never ask anyone to do anything you would not do yourself. Avoid giving brusque orders or any other form of arrogance.
  • Develop deep friendships whenever this is appropriate.
  • Broad speech is acceptable and popular at all levels of society. Moderate swearing is not taboo.
  • Sarcasm and irony are popular, but when exercising them, let kindness shine through. Jokes and anecdotes are very popular. A sense of humour is essential for getting the best out of Australians.
  • Australians often appear irreverent, but one should take their irony with a pinch of salt. Many rough-and-ready Australians have a heart of gold.
  • Australians love informality. Never criticize anyone for not dressing smartly or for failing to observe etiquette.
  • They are free spenders, so be careful not to appear stingy. Give parties regularly when appropriate. Australians often mix business with social activities. Good progress can be made letting one’s hair down while drinking and socializing.
  • Australians like cheerfulness and affability. Respond accordingly.
  • Be prepared to chat amiably with relative strangers. Australians have developed strategies for making friends quickly.
  • Do them favours. They are quick to repay.
  • Always bear in mind that human rights are high on their list of priorities.
  • Avoid flowery or obscure speech. Call a spade a spade.
  • Australian meetings are in the main relatively informal affairs, beginning with cups of tea and first names in a friendly, jocular atmosphere and ending in compromise where everyone feels he/she has taken away something.
  • Australians are keen on doing business - well aware of the importance of developing trade and commerce for their isolated island.
  • Consequently they have a tendency to facilitate deals for partners rather than adopt a tight-fisted attitude. Outlining the deal and exploring the possibilities are the first steps. The Australian side makes frank proposals (“Do we have a deal?”)
  • If resistance is met, some cynicism may creep in, but is generally jocular. Frankness (and possibly some creative cheekiness) on both sides is an advantage.
  • All in all, Australians are fun and add spice to a multinational group.
  • Australians have the standard Anglo-Saxon view of contracts, i.e. they must be adhered to. They pride themselves on their speed, both in drawing up agreements and implementation afterwards.
  • All sport talk is generally safe and most Australians respond well to a sporting analogy.
  • They love criticising themselves, but take very poorly to being criticised. They also do not like or trust people who constantly or too enthusiastically praise them. Too much praise raises expectations and puts them under pressure. It is quite common for Australian men to refer to each other as “mate”, even at the first meeting. Show you are willing to be “one of the mates”. Women are often called “love” though not in business environments.
  • “Fair go” is also central to the Australian outlook, based on common sense, equality and a healthy disregard for authority and ideology. They don't like the exercise of power and privilege over the weak and tend to root for the underdog.

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