Communication in Switzerland

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Jonathan Moak
Communication 101
Prof. Tipton
December 5, 2005

Swiss Communication
Communication is defined as the process of creating or sharing meaning in informal conversation, group interaction, or public speaking. In this process of communicating there are many ways that we share and create meaning without ever even knowing it. In Switzerland, "Basic nonverbal communication rules are not very different than in other Northwestern European countries. Leaning forward means agreement, whereas leaning backward indicates suspicion. Crossing the arms is a sign of closure, meaning that the person disagrees or is bored. People nod their head vertically to mean yes and sideways to mean no." (Micheloud & Cie) In these ways, you can see that Swiss communication is similar to American communication.

Gift giving in a business setting in Switzerland is also similar to what you may find in the United States. In Switzerland, you are not expected to bring a gift, but if you do it probably should have your company logo on it. In Switzerland, "If you are invited to someone's home, you should take flowers for your hostess. Avoid asters and chrysanthemums as they are considered funeral flowers. A bottle of wine or box of (Swiss!) chocolates would also be welcomed gifts." (Axiom Press, 15) These traditions are very much the same that you would find here in the United States, flowers are always welcomed at someone's home and I do not know many people that would turn away nice bottle of wine!

The Swiss also enjoy dining out as much as Americans do, and like The United States, "in most cities there is a wide range of fine restaurants." (Axiom Press, 15) Table manners are similar in that, you should always wait for the host to make a toast before you take a sip of your drink, and you must remember to clink glasses with everyone present with your eyes and theirs locked. A difference in dining styles, though, is that "The Swiss eat in European style, keeping...
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