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 

COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Like in other parts of the world, many communication and greeting habits have been discouraged here due to the coronavirus, especially shaking hands, giving each other two kisses on the cheeks, or touching each other’s arm, back or shoulders while in a friendly chat. The use of face masks has been compulsory throughout the country, and social distancing has been recommended for many months.

These measures have temporarily changed the communication style of many Spaniards. Our descriptions and guidelines might still reflect some of the usual habits that Spaniards share when no public health restrictions are imposed as a way to limit viral infections. The Spanish Ministry of Health (Spanish, English, French, Catalan and many other languages) has updated information on the COVID-19 outbreak and preventive measures...

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

Before COVID-19, shaking hands was typical when meeting someone in business or formal social situations. Among friends and close acquaintances, it was more common to greet the other with two kisses on the cheeks (one on each cheek), even when introduced for the first time. It was normal for a man or a woman to greet another woman this way. However, it was 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 you find a job, you need to speak good Spanish to do business in Spain. 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. The Valencian community also has its own official second language (valenciá or Valencian), although some linguists consider it a dialect of Catalan...

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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