About Poland

Is it easy to negotiate or work with Poles?

Is it easy to negotiate or work with Poles?

Polish behavioural style as a carousel – once still and another time very dynamic   The question is not easy to answer as… Poland is situated geographically between Berlin and Moscow, and mentally between West and East. Our geopolitical location has always influenced Polish way of thinking and behaviour. In a number of publications on cross-cultural communication and management, Polish character is described as „Polish duality of thinking and behaviour”. That is why, for foreigners working in Poland or negotiating with Poles is not easy for first glance to get an idea how are Poles: You can ask yourself questions – are they? Friendly or indifferent? Open or intolerant? Easy going or stubborn? Direct or indirect in communication? Egalitarian or hierarchical? Formal or informal? Prefer working individually or in a team The answer on above questions is – “both” or “it depends on the situation”.   In Richard Lewis cultural model of 3 types of cultures – presented as a triangle of 3 types of cultures: 1/ Linear  – represented by Germanic cultures, 2/ Reactive – represented be Confucian cultures and 3/ Multiactive  – represented by Latin America, Arab and African countries, Poland lies in the middle between Linear and Multiactive cultures. (R.Lewis’ model at crossculture.com).   This means that Poles express behaviours typical for those two types of cultures – yet we can switch easily from one type of behaviour to another up to a situation and express behaviour, which is more convenient for us. This capability is called flexibility and it is welcomed in work environment, but for foreigners may cause a difficulty to decode us.   Lack of knowledge of Polish pattern of thinking and behaving may be especially confusing and misleading in negotiation, when knowing a counterpart may be a precondition of a success or a failure.   Negotiating with Poles   Poles regarding behavioural patterns of negotiation in following aspects: –    risk taking:  from one side they take a high risk  but from another one they seeking certainty  and like negotiating all in small details disagreeing: they avoid direct and explicit communication but when situation develop in their disadvantage they make be very confrontational in an emotional manner trusting: they build trust to others...

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What are the main cultural differences between France and Poland?

What are the main cultural differences between France and Poland?

As a French woman, when I learnt that I would study for two years in Poland, I clearly did not know what to expect. In the western part of the European Union, strangely, we are quite ignorant of what is actually happening in the East. For most of people in my native country, we just have a limited knowledge of this part of Europe, and this is focused on History of WWII and the Communist era. I have lived in Poland for one year now, so I will try to describe the best that I can the differences I could observe myself when I came to live in Poland, When I arrived in September last year, I was quite shocked when I walked in the streets. I looked around, surprised to see that all people, me included, looked the same. Do not misunderstand, I was not expecting Slavic people to look differently but in France, we saw people from all around the world: black skin, yellow skin. We are so different from one another: small, tall, black, blond, red haired people. African, Asian, Arabic, and so on! Here in Poland, I was among people who looked the same: medium size, even if I could see more real light haired women and more people with light eyes than in France! And women! They are so well dressed, always wearing skirts, nails done, high heels, perfect make up. Slavic women, you-are-beautiful, and I should admit that I had some trouble to stand next to you. I felt so clumsy and neglected! In France, we got so used to be harassed in the streets that we began to fear to look too feminine. I personally think that this fact is deeply linked to the second point I would like to write about. Stop thinking France is the country of gentlemen, true romantic love. It may had been real but it was decades, centuries ago. I was so impressed by the way men treated women in Poland. I see regularly men in the street with roses or flowers in their hands, waiting for their partner. I see everyday men who make lifts waiting for the women who are close to them. I see...

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Intercultural summer in Warsaw

Intercultural summer in Warsaw

When many of Warsaviens leave the city for summer holiday, I like to stay in the city and enjoy Warsaw in summer. It is not only because of less traffic but because there is so much to see in the city.  In July is organized a French ball celebrating French National Day with delicious French music (modern) and many events at Francuska Street (French  street). This year I liked an idea of wall paintings of Polish and French symbols of both capitals. Let’s have a look of nice Tour d’Eiffel and Palace of Culture and Science and more. Since three years Festival of Lampions is organized in August in the Royal Park Łazienki  in Warsaw. For one month alleys in the park are decorated with Chinese lampions, symbols of Chinese culture like a dragon, a swan and a crane for children delight. The whole month different cultural events are organized – for example performance of Chinese Opera or a tea ceremony. For two months every day in the morning for 1,5 hour’s outdoor classes of Taichi quan are offered for free. It is a delight to do exercises in  a nature. Royal Park in Warsaw is a central place offering many cultural evens. Another one was an exhibition of Japanese contemporary art – modern poster, to be seen on hence of the park.  See some of them. Again contemplating the art on fresh air in the evening is an extraordinary experience. Last but not least concerts of Chopin music performed by international musicians were presented in the Royal Park on Sunday two times a day for whole Summer in front of Frederic Chopin monument on open air.  By the way the piano composer is regarded by French people as a French, as  his mother was a French.  It does not matter for me weather he is a Polish composer – Fryderyk Szopen (so is his name written in Polish language) or French one – Frederik Chopin. What really matters is his legacy that can be enjoyed by everybody. Greetings from still summer Warsaw, Wiola  See more photos of intercultural Warsaw summer All photos are made by Wiola Malota.        ...

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What have POLAND and India in common?

What have POLAND and India in common?

This year there is a 60 anniversary of diplomatic and trade relations between Poland and India. The Polish Indian Forum discussing relations between both countries was held on the 20th of January in Warsaw at the Polish Chamber of Commerce. Representatives of Chambers of both countries have confirmed low level of trade and investments up to now. The Polish Ministry of Economy announces every year the „priority countries” in their promotion activities. This year India is among other 10 countries on the priority list, so there is a hope that the situation will change for better. Why is India a good trade partner? Indian market is huge and its potential is growing – population of 1,3 billion of people, 26 million of children born every year and Indian society getting richer and possessing large disposable income along with a third largest economic by GDP, there are good preconditions for economic development and power. If is so good, why the trade exchange between both countries are at such low level? In was quite funny, when during the session with Polish entrepreneurs investing in India and Indian entrepreneurs investing in POLAND, the answers for the question: which barriers and problems do you experience in cooperation with the host country, the same arguments were quoted. So Poles complain about infrastructure in India (low quality of roads, electricity not available all time, visa problems, burocracy and bribery. What do Indian entrepreneurs complain about investing and working in Poland? Low quality of roads (they compere Polish roads with those of Western Europe, visa problems, burocracy and bribery. And that Polish clerks do not speak English. So the list of barriers looks very similar, but on the Polish side is additionaly low level of knowledge of English. There is only one advantage of the fact that on the list are the same factors – when they are common for both countries, we know how to cope with them, we are more resilient for them and can find creative solutions. When Polish companies chose India to invest and not for example China, it is because of the fact that Indian are speaking English and there is no problem to communicate. The Forum’s headline was India –...

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What about POLAND?

What about POLAND?

Intercultural Poland First Sunday in January Polish people celebrate the day of three Kings, a new  religious holyday introduced since some years. On this day a ceremony commemorating the trip of three kings to Bethlehem is performed on the street of Polish cities. In organized walk of people there are actors playing the scenes form life of Jesus and historical figures from Polish history. This year I have spotted a figure of  Chinese dragon which sourly  has not been at the time of Jesus present in the area of his  living. I find it as very nice exemplification of intercultural approach of polish society (dragon in a catholic ceremony) and good direction in culturally and religious very homogeneous country. European Union has quoted latest statistic about the percentage of foreigners living in different countries of EU. Poland is on the last position in ranking with 0,01 % of population with not being a native. This is about 40 000 foreigners, so much as the number of football funs who arrived  at one time during Euro 2012 to Warsaw  for Championship. This number confirms  the claim about Polish society being culturally very homogenous. When we take into consideration the situation –low expose of Polish people to contacts with other cultures in everyday life and “cultural” heritage of years of cultural isolation during communism (from 1945 till 1989). I welcome every sign of Polish openness for different cultures. So my WOW for dragon in a catholic ceremony. This situation confirms also the high level of Hofsede index of  uncertainty avoidance, which in case of Poland is very high – and is at the level of 92 (the higest level is 112 for Greece). Due to Hofstede „countries exhibiting strong Uncertainty avoidance Index or UAI, maintain rigid codes of belief and behavior and are intolerant of unorthodox behavior and ideas. Weak UAI societies maintain a more relaxed attitude in which practice counts more than principles” (from Wiki English). High level of UAI means that the society tends to regard strangers more as a enemy than a friend, and this set of mind is represented in a approach to others – distrust, lack of openness, exclusion of others. Poland together with Greece being on...

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What I like in Warsaw?

What I like in Warsaw?

It is nice to be for Christmas at home and enjoy family,  friend and Warsaw! Happy New Year! Wiola Malota See more: What I like in...

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