Localization: Training & Development in Brazil

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Article Written By Jen Weaver, Carmazzi Global Solutions

In honor of the recent holidays, in this week’s article we visit with Papai Noel who leaves his home in Greenland and brings us to the warm climate of Brazil. Brazil’s Santa Claus sometimes dons a red silk suit to survive the heat of a summer Christmas and came through the front door on Christmas Eve since fireplaces are rare in this country. Let’s look at some other fun facts and explore their cultural impact on training and development.

Test Your Knowledge of Brazilian Culture

  • What is the official language of Brazil?a. Spanish
    b. Portuguese
    c. English
  • True or False? Brazil is Latin America’s largest and most populous country.
  • True or False? The macho male image no longer exists in Brazilian culture.
  • The colors of the Brazilian flag are green and yellow. Should foreigners:a. Try to wear this color combination as much as possible.
    b. Pay it no mind when selecting outfits.
    c. Avoid wearing this color combination.

Quick Tips for Training & Development in Brazil:

  • The family unit is highly valued in Brazilian culture, and loyalty is the first priority. Brazilians view family and personal life as private topics, and they are not discussed with acquaintances.
  • Emotions are involved in problem-solving, and one’s feelings may override facts when making decisions. The Brazilian way also includes finding loopholes, so keep this in mind when instituting new practices or policies.
  • Brazilian time is not punctual. The importance of time is placed on the time spent together and on accomplishing the task rather than starting or ending meetings promptly. When scheduling classes, you may want to stress “American time”, not “Brazilian time”, so participants arrive promptly.
  • A warm friendly approach will receive a much better response than strictly professional interactions. When building in-person relationships, try to schedule meetings to run into meal times, as sharing a meal aids in establishing your connection. When arriving for a dinner or invited outing, it’s considered polite to be 15 minutes late.
  • If training or conducting meetings in February or March, be mindful of the Brazil Carnival, which takes place the four days preceding Lent.
  • Brazilians often value the personal connections within a company more than the company name itself. When possible, maintain the same point of contact or trainer to retain rapport.
  • Animated and sometimes boisterous conversations-including interruptions- are the norm. Close proximity and physically touching the hands or arms are also common, so be prepared and try not to respond stiffly.
  • In a classroom setting, you may see students flicking their fingertips underneath the chin. This means they do not know the answer to a question.

        Trivia Answers:

  • (b) Portuguese. Due to large immigrant groups, some communities also speak German, Spanish, Italian, French, English or Amerindian languages. Provide training documents in both English and Brazilian Portuguese (it’s different from Portugal Portuguese).
  • True.
  • False. Many Brazilian men still view women as subordinate.
  • (c)  Avoid wearing this color combination, as it may be perceived as offensive or insensitive.

Originally published through IconLogic [http://iconlogic.blogs.com/weblog/2014/01/localization-training-development-in-brazil.html]

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