Communication

Learn about communication styles, body language, personal space, greetings and suitable conversation topics, as well as key words and phrases. Below is a brief excerpt from this section:  

Communication Styles 

In Spain, like in all Latin cultures, personal relationships are often demonstrated through physicality. It is not strange for acquaintances to touch each other’s arms, backs and shoulders when narrating some emotional experience or when laughing together. This should not be considered inappropriate, but a sign of friendship and emotional proximity. In the workspace, for example,the physically closer a Spanish colleague gets to an individual, the better they are responding to that person’s proposals, ideas or comments.

In spontaneous and informal settings, Spaniards tend to gesticulate or use their hands when talking. Hand gestures are usually used to emphasize descriptions and emotional narrations. However, in formal settings it is not so common for speakers or presenters to use their hands, as it might be interpreted as a sign of unsophistication or unprofessionalism...

Topics of Discussion

Spaniards are very proud of their history and culture, and it is appreciated if a foreign visitor shows interest in these. They also appreciate a good sense of humor, which is often used at the outset of important discussions in order to avoid appearing too serious. Talking politics is also a very Spanish thing to do, and it will often lead to agitated discussions. However, during a first meeting, it is best to avoid discussions about politics, as well as bullfighting, the monarchy and religion, as these topics might lead quickly to conflicting pre-assumptions...

Greetings

Shaking hands is typical when meeting someone in business or formal social circumstances. Among friends and close acquaintances, it is more common to greet the other with two kisses on the cheeks (one on each cheek), even when introduced for the first time. It is normal for a man or a woman to greet another woman this way. However, it is uncommon for two men to kiss cheeks unless they have a very close relationship...

Language Skills

Although English is the language of international business and can help to secure a job, doing business in Spain requires the ability to speak good Spanish. What is referred to as Spanish is actually Castilian (castellano) and is the official language in most cases, as well as the language most people in Spain are likely to speak or understand. The main exceptions to this rule are the autonomous regions of the Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia, where Basque (euskera), Catalan (català, which is spoken by 17% of the population) and Galician (galego), respectively, are also official languages...

This is just a brief sample of the extensive information in the GoinGlobal Spain Career Guide, which is carefully researched and regularly updated by local career experts.

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