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A research about the cultural and communication styles of the bulgarians

Business communication Face-to-face Communication Bulgarians like to do business face-to-face and it is important to visit local partners and customers in person to get to know each other and build a lasting relationship.

If communication is limited to only emails or faxes, it will not be well-received and will not have the desired effect. Many Bulgarians are direct but it is important to pay attention to non-verbal signs of communication and sometimes to ask the same question a number of times, to see if the response changes. Bulgarians make a lot of gestures while communicating and clearly show their emotions in facial expressions. Most Bulgarians maintain eye contact while talking, which indicates sincerity, friendliness and respect.

A large percentage of the young population speak foreign languages and English is widely used, having been taught at all schools and some universities.

Ethnoculture and National Communication Style

Despite that fact, outside of Sofia, interpreters are often required for business meetings. Other languages such as Spanish and French are commonly used and most of the older generations understand and freely speak Russian. Bulgarians also understand other Slavic languages when they are spoken slowly, such as Serbian and Macedonian.

  • The survey was completed within one month and included all heads of departments and their teams;
  • Bulgarian society is highly centralised and only in recent years have there been attempts at decentralisation;
  • In general, communication is a means of connecting people or places;
  • Dress — Dress Code depends on the industry — IT and BPO centres are more casual, while formal dress is typical for financial and other conservative sectors;
  • Most Bulgarians maintain eye contact while talking, which indicates sincerity, friendliness and respect;
  • Communication is largely dependent on words.

They feel uneasy about sudden breaks in conversation and although interruptions are not well accepted, they can demonstrate that someone is interested and paying attention to the subject matter.

In most cases, it is considered very rude to interrupt. At first, it may be difficult to start a conversation but with a little perseverance, Bulgarians will normally open up and may start talking a lot, at times with several people speaking at once. Contracting is a very important part of doing business, because it serves to document the arrangement and states what the individual participants have agreed to.

It also ensures the agreement is respected and what corrective actions may apply, in case it is not. If part of a contract includes penalty clauses for missed deadlines or milestones, Bulgarians will pay close attention and consider them very seriously. Mutual trust and personal relationships in business may take a number of years of cooperation to develop and, even then, it is advisable to have a written contract.

Sometimes, Bulgarians accept verbal agreements as contractual obligations, but this is not a widespread practice and not seen in serious business relationships. Being able to allocate responsibility is something that Bulgarian managers are not very good at.

Business communication

Typically, all important decisions are made by the head office or senior management. Bulgarian society is highly centralised and only in recent years have there been attempts at decentralisation.

Business communication skills of Bulgarians within a multi-cultural environment

Management is not democratic and there is a very clear division between employer and employee. Bulgarians usually consider the demonstration of intense emotions in the workplace as unprofessional. They have a high appreciation for humour and can often have a self-deprecating attitude. They use a number of understatements when they do not like something or they are unhappy with a situation.

Light hugs are something typical between close friends and family. A kiss on each cheek is a usual greeting between women who know each other. With members of the opposite sex and business colleagues, it is appropriate to keep a moderate amount of space when conversing.

A research about the cultural and communication styles of the bulgarians

Between friends and family, the need for personal space is less. It is normal to exchange business cards at the beginning of a business meeting. The use of formal titles is mainly limited to the workplace and even in situations where the person is highly-regarded, they might prefer to be addressed by their given name.

It is important to include your job title and professional accreditation on your business card, although mentioning an academic degree will hold little weight without supporting evidence. It is important for Bulgarians to be well acquainted with the person they are doing business with.

  • Over the years, the expansion of global organizations, innovation in technologies, high dynamics and speed of operations, have created the need of special focus in inter-cultural and multi-lingual communication in a business environment;
  • Straightforward and open-minded Starbucks Coffee;
  • The study provides for the recording and analysis of derogatory and contemptuous words, of verbal means that contradict the institutional and acceptable norms of communication in order to harm the communicative position and self-assessment of the other person;
  • It takes months or even years to recover the damages of inappropriate communication within organizational functions and business partners;
  • Utilizing one common language, in the vast majority of international organizations that is English, every non-native English speaker would translate into English;
  • How supportive is each operational team?