HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH SWEDES IN A SUCCESSFUL WAY
Hello everybody! My name is Karin Myring and I will try to give you some useful tips how to communicate with people from Sweden. As I have found out it’s not always easy to understand our unspoken rules.
(Karin on the left and Gunilla on the right)
What about me? Soon I will have a degree in Rhetori, Communication and Leadership at Örebro University. I live in the countryside of Örebro together with my two cats and five horses. I used to compete in dressage and show jumping with my horses but now it was quite a while ago. Another kind of sport I like to practise is skiing down hill. There’s something about the speed and the challenge. I really love to travel and try new things!
I also love to spend time with my friends and family!
Why rhetori, communication and leadership? My plan is to work as a consultant for companies that need help with there internal marketing. I want to help leaders understand the fundamental parts in communication and how this can help them develop a stronger motivation among their employees.
And so, here follows some tips for you who want to be successful when communicating with Swedes:
1.) Do not stand too close. We Swedish people like to stand at least one arm-length of a distance between each other. If you stand too close we will feel uncomfortable.
2.) Don’t interrupt when someone else is speaking, this we might perceive as rude behaviour.
3.) If you yawn, we will think that you are not very interested in this conversation, or that you’re just nonchalant, rather than tired.
4.) If you speak to loudly before we know you, we might think that you are aggressive.
5.) If we ask you a question, we will assume that you will answer the question before you start speaking about something else. Otherwise we might think of you as arrogant.
6.) When Swedes are sitting quiet, just looking at you, it doesn’t mean that we’re not interested in what you are saying, rather the opposite. We are interested and we are waiting for our turn to say something.
7.) What we Swedes try to achieve as much as possible when communicating, is consensus. We want everyone to feel they are a part of the discourse and we don’t want to determine the solution of a problem without asking for your opinion first. And we expect you to do the same. Otherwise we will think of you as a “superior-wannabe”.
8.) Smile often. We like friendly faces. It makes us feel more relaxed.
9.) If you make a joke, don’t make a joke about us! Make it about yourself – we really like that! It means you possess humour and self-distance.
10.) Swedes generally don’t like prestige. Don’t try too hard. Don’t show off. Just be relaxed and show us that you are honest, interested and open-minded.
Peace of cake!
Really looking forward to cooperate with you! =)