While the United States (and certainly the McCombs School of Business :)) encourages team work, the concept is nearly unrecognized in French society. This is mainly attributable to the school systems in France, which encourage competition and individual achievement. Thus, don’t be surprised by the rigid hierarchical class system they might use against you.
Consequently, meetings are often dotted with debates. However, do not take things too personal as arguments are viewed as a source of recreation in France. But what should you debate about with a French business partner to build your credibility? Here are some suggestions:
- French history and culture
- Your own country’s history and culture