Norwegian Business Protocol

If you are traveling to Norway on business, there are some key points you will need to understand about the unique Scandinavian culture here. Hopefully, this advice will help your business meetings go a lot smoother and make your stay in Norway that much more enjoyable.

Be on time

In the Norwegian culture punctuality is important. Norwegians appreciate punctuality for social engagements as well. If you must be late for any reason, make sure you call in advance and explain.Standard business or business casual attire is the norm. It’s best for jewelry and accessories to be somewhat understated.

Introductions

Many Norwegians have two given names and both are used as a ‘first’ name, for example Peter Marten or Selma Astrid. It is impolite to shorten the name to just the first of the two.

No Small Talk

Do not ask personal questions until asked first, and don’t be offended if Norwegians do not inquire about your family or work. This is a rather private culture and personal and business lives are often kept separate.

Be Quiet

Norwegians accept silence as normal, so don’t hurriedly fill in pauses in the conversation. Also avoid superficial conversation. Be authentic.

Tone it down

There are few things Norwegians are openly offended by, and they regard themselves as worldly and unbiased. However, they do not appreciate loud or boisterous behavior in any context.

Do Your Research

Norwegians prepare for meetings and expect you to have done the same. Also good for you to learn about some of the differences between Norway and Sweden and Denmark. Norwegians appreciate if you can talk about what makes them unique among their Scandinavian neighbors.

Enjoying A Drink

The most common toast is Skål (pronounced skoal )Do not sip your drink until the host or hostess has said Skål and only then take your glass and raise it.

  • Illustration Source: “The Social Guidebook to Norway”