The experience you have in Canada will vary greatly depending on whether you are in Anglophone (English-speaking) or Francophone (French-speaking) Canada. Understanding these differences and the way the history colors work-culture today is an important first step when working with Canada.
Self-reliance, control, opportunity, responsible for conduct of own life; independence
Brings out best in individual; need challenges to produce best possible
Balance of Task and Relationship Orientation
Time is a commodity not to be wasted and people tend to be result-oriented; yet, quality of life is very important.
Slight Tolerance for Ambiguity
Comfortable with ambiguous situation; taking unfamiliar risks is somewhat encouraged. Québec less individualistic and less tolerant of ambiguity
Minimizes differences in class, rules; democratic ideal; initiative valued; informal
Eschews reference to context; in general, no exception to the rule
Immediate results more important than future, long range relationship building and market position
- Emotional sensitivity valued, initially reserved
- Decision making slow paced
- Some degree of face-saving
- Social interaction primarily cost/benefit driven
- Negotiation is cautious, adaptable
- Punctuality is important
Canadian Communication Style
Explicit communication, say what you mean and mean what you say, succinct.
Reserved initially, emotional displays avoided at first, relaxed and casual
Respect for courtesy, agreement in business meetings is sought and a “give” and take”, open expression of opinion is encouraged
Reserved demeanor, good manners, and following rules of social etiquette important
Firm handshakes and direct eye contact in meeting creates impression of sincerity. Men will wait for a woman to extend her hand for a handshake. French Canadians are more expressive generally.
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|PROBLEM SOLVING||Structured, detailed and complex.|
|MOTIVATING PEOPLE||Recognition very important, individuals, relationships, and performance are important.|
|APPRAISING PERFORMANCE||Recognition very important, individuals, relationships, and performance are important.|
|NEGOTIATING, PERSUADING||Cautious, stretch out process using language, time, distance, not very susceptible to advertising gimmicks.|
|DECISION MAKING PROCESS||Slow, involvement of committees.|
|PARTICIPATION IN MEETINGS||Structured approach, important to adhere to timed schedule.|
|SUPERIOR / SUBORDINATE
|Comfortable with hierarchy and authority, supervisor not part of group, not enthusiastic about matrix reporting.|
|HIRING||Experience, education, achievement.|