When doing business in Mexico you are very likely to see some, or all, of the following during a business trip. It’s part of the Mexican business and social culture.
- Late arrival for meetings by participants. This might be up to 30 to 45 minutes late.
- Cancellations at the last minute.
- Changes in agreed upon plans and agendas.
- Long lunches or dinners, where business talk is not the major theme.
- Meetings that seem to go on for a long time before coming to the business issue.
- People will gesture and use their hands a great deal while speaking.
- There will be a degree of emotion in business discussions and presentations.
- People will be very formal and polite.
- People will sit very close to you when speaking, and often touch your arm or shoulder while talking.
- Your Mexican partners will not be forth coming and explicit regarding bad news.
- You will not hear the word NO a lot.
- Deadlines may not be met for reasons that you don’t understand or don’t believe.
- Until you establish a social relationship with your Mexican business partners, your business discussions will seem very vague, cold and unsatisfying.
- Decision-making may be extremely swift or excruciatingly slow. You never will know why.
- Dinners, parties, weddings and social gatherings last for hours. There is no such thing as a 2 hour cocktail party.
- You will be encouraged to eat everything, drink plenty and enjoy yourself while in Mexico. Failure to do this is seen as a refusal of hospitality or a sign that you are not comfortable in Mexico or with your hosts.
- In a social gathering the men will tend to congregate in one part of the room or table and the women in the other.