Listening - How different countries approach business




You are going to listen to an interview with an English businessman who travels to different countries exporting his company´s products.


How different countries approach business

On today's programme I will be interviewing Alex Brown from the software company, Symantec. Symantec is a multi-national company that exports its products to thousands of companies throughout America, Europe and the rest of the world. As part of his job, Mr Brown is responsible for installing and configuring Symantec's software at companies all over EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

Interviewer: Good afternoon Mr Brown, welcome to Business Radio.

Alex: Hi, thank you, it's a pleasure to be here.

Interviewer: So, how long have you worked for Symantec?

Alex: Well, that is an interesting question...and I suppose the answer is roughly two weeks.

Interviewer: That's not long?

Alex: Well, you see, Symantec recently bought the company where I have worked for over two years and that happened two weeks ago.

Interviewer: I see, has the merger gone well?

Alex: So far so good. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Interviewer: As part of your job you have to visit different companies all over Europe, how do you handle working in so many different countries?

Alex: I am always on the move. One week Ireland, the next Sweden. Some times two different countries in one week. It is tiring, but I enjoy it. What I have to bear in mind when I'm visiting different European countries is my behaviour. Well; it's not so much behaviour but business etiquette.

Interviewer: Why's that?

Alex: because different countries like to do business in different ways. For example, meetings. Generally in the UK if a meeting is scheduled for 09:30 it will start dead on time, however, in Spain the meeting won't start until 10:00 or 10:15. In Germany a meeting is more likely to kick off before its scheduled time. These things take a bit of getting used to.

Interviewer: What about when it comes down to business lunches or dinners?

Alex: That's another interesting one because what is polite in your country might be rude in another. The British are happy to have a business lunch and discuss business matters with a drink during the meal, but the Germans like to talk business before dinner. However, the Spanish like to eat first and talk afterwards. They have to be well fed and watered before they discuss any business matters.

Interviewer: Ok, looks like our time is up. Thank you for your time.

Alex: You're welcome!



Read the questions through carefully before listening. You may listen to the recording a maximum of two times.

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True or False

Please correct the false statements.

Inicia sesión para hacer seguimiento de tus autoevaluaciones
1)Symatec only exports its products to European Countries
2)Mr. Brown only works in Europe
3)Symantec is a new company
4)All European countries have the same business mind
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