The Dominican Republic is a Spanish speaking country occupying a large proportion of the island of Hispaniola sharing a border with Haiti. Located in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic’s cultural heritage stems from both Africa and Europe, and the country itself retains close ties to Latin America. These cultural links have intrinsically shaped the customs and etiquette practiced in the Dominican Republic today.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic
In the Dominican Republic finesse is all important. It is perhaps for this reason that the country has adopted Spanish manners, aligning itself with Latin American cultures as opposed to its closest neighbour, Haiti. That is not to say that etiquette in the Dominican Republic is identical to that of Latin America. In fact, the Dominican Republic is just as much European, culturally speaking, as it is African and Latin American. As a result, the Dominican Republic has colonized the island nation with influences from all over the world. Take for example, the Hispanic culture that is so influential in the Dominican Republic, in particular Spanish etiquette. Today’s business etiquette in the Dominican Republic certainly reflects this by encouraging interactions to be carried out with a certain precision.
Personal introductions are an integral part of business etiquette in the Dominican Republic. It is expected that a proper introduction is made between each person before any business discussion can begin. For example, in meetings whereby there is a table of participants, it is considered good manners to introduce each person by name for the benefit of those participants that are unknown to one another.
In addition to establishing a sense of equality, this is also a method through which business etiquette can be instilled in the Dominicans.
It is common for business etiquette to require the participants to greet one another by crossing hands and shaking them; this is applicable both for introductions and during the course of business discussions.
It would certainly be a good idea to carry out business in the Dominican Republic by learning and adhering to the following rules.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic:
Marking a Break
In the Dominican Republic, people are always working! It is a nation that thrives on work ethic and it would not be uncommon for people to work 10 to 12 hours a day, and perhaps even seven days a week.
Even when the work day gets over (usually around 5 p.m.), Dominicans will most likely continue working through the night in the comfort of their homes, so it will be important to get accustomed to this constant work ethic.
To mark a break, it is customary in the Dominican Republic for people to meet in nice restaurants and to chat over a relaxing drink. One should avoid showing up without getting acquainted with the surroundings. It is best to first introduce yourself to the group and then to extend the invitation to the group. People are very keen to get acquainted and so it would be wise to follow suit.
The Dominican Republic is a nation with a large proportion of the population being below the poverty line. In a land where money is scarce, people are quick to act on their impulses without much thought or worry about the consequences. For this reason, it is a common occurrence to see Dominicans being carried away by sudden impulses. For this reason, it is very important to think and act with plan and prudence. Doing business in the Dominican Republic can be very satisfying and profitable, but not if one is not careful; there is a danger of losing everything one has acquired.
The Dominicans are a very polite people; calling them rude or inconsiderate would not be appropriate. In terms of etiquette, it is good to display a sense of trust by exhibiting one’s kindness.
It pays to be at the receiving end of politeness. However, it is also important to display courtesy at all times. If one knows the right protocol, then one will be able to be guided towards success in the Dominican Republic.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Strict on Appearance
It is a good move to remember that the Dominicans are very excited to dress well. It is perhaps owing to their love for style that the country has attracted investments from all over the world.
It is very important for you to maintain a standard of dress that is appropriate throughout your business discussions. Needless to say, dress in an appropriate manner to get the right attention.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Looking the Part
It is very important to know that the Dominicans are very strong-willed and love to assert their opinions. It is also very important to understand that the appearance of informality, even in business meetings, is greatly frowned upon in the Dominicans.
Therefore, it is good to pay attention to your appearance at all times especially when meeting with business associates. It would not be good in this case to arrive to your business meetings and conferences without detailed preparation and analysis. It is best to arrive a bit earlier to the meeting to have some preparation time. A brief pre-meeting is helpful, as well as coming up with a plan of action.
Business etiquette in the Dominican Republic requires you to give the impression of not giving much importance to the business proposal at hand but rather to settle on an agreement that is fair and agreeable to all involved.
This may seem like a tough process, but rest assured that it is all fair play in the long run. And once you get that part right, you will find your self settling on mutually beneficial agreements with the Dominicans.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Patience is a Virtue
Merchants, especially storeowners in the marketplaces of the Dominican Republic are some of the most patient people you will ever have the opportunity to meet. They are usually the first to arrive and the last to leave and never shy away from asking questions. Patience is an outright requirement in business etiquette in the Dominican Republic; it is best to steer clear of any display of impatience. Whilst you may be feeling irritated, the best thing to do is to just deal with the situation, especially since you may find yourself in that situation again in the future.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Pace yourself
Getting things done quickly is not a particular lesson to be learnt in the Dominican Republic. Punctuality is important to the Dominicans, the only difference is that time is an important factor that is left up to the schedule of the participants. However, do not make the mistake of going too fast while doing business in the Dominican Republic. You may find that you won’t be able to get back in business.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Learn to Understand the Dominicans’ Communication Patterns
The Dominican Republic is characterized by an African culture of communication. People communicate in a very direct and loud manner and it is expected that they express themselves loudly. This may come across as disrespectful, but that is not the case; it is simply a matter of style of communication in the Dominican Republic.
Business etiquette in the Dominican Republic is not limited to communication patterns. There are many other facets of business etiquette in the Dominican Republic that one must learn to become successful while doing business in this Caribbean nation.
Furthermore, there is another very important lesson to be learnt in terms of business etiquette in the Dominican Republic.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Practice Patience!
Do not miss out on any opportunity; practice patience and even if you feel that you are being hassled, keep your cool. The Dominicans move fast, but if you keep your calm, you will be able to go with the flow.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Throwing the Boomerang
Showing the Dominican flag is a very important part of doing business in the Dominican Republic. The nation is a nation of patriots and shows pride in its Dominican flag. It is a great custom in the Dominican Republic to keep the national flag at one’s desk or office.
It is also important to bear in mind that Dominicans are very emotional people and so they generally wear their hearts on their sleeves. They value patriotism and morals so much so that they can be very sensitive people. They can quickly lose their temper and then get over it with just as much speed after.
It is good to maintain a good rapport with your Dominicans business associate, but at the same time, it is important to be able to maintain your calm when dealing with them. It is expected that they will go off topic, but it is good to avoid engaging in arguments.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: A Word on Money
If you are looking to do some serious business in the Dominican Republic, then you need to know one very important lesson in terms of business etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Never be too open with money matters.
Although the Dominicans may be business friendly, they are known to be very lavish and open to bribery. Remember to keep a very close watch over your money matters and be careful about the money that you spend.
Also remember that the Dominicans are known as a people who really know their way around real estate; the cost of land is not usually fixed. However, this is not a bad thing in general, but it is very important to be cautious when dealing with Dominicans in business.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Leave Personal Matters Outside
It is important to leave personal matters outside when dealing with business; especially so if you have a meeting or a conference with the Santo Domingo Group. For the Santo Domingo Group, or Grupo Santo Domingo, there are many things that are more important than money.
The Santo Domingo Group is a very elite group and has a long history of providing business in the Dominican Republic. They were the ones responsible for building the Panama Canal.
Furthermore, it is important to remember that the Dominicans are known not to be forgiving and may have special preferences. For instance, they may see a product more favorably than another.
It is important to establish a solid relationship with the Dominicans, as that would ensure future bilateral business. To best achieve this, it is advisable for businessmen to know what they are talking about when it comes to business etiquette in the Dominican Republic.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic Is Important
It is important to remember that the cost of living in the Dominican Republic is not as cheap as in neighboring countries. However, doing business is not as demanding as it may appear, and the Dominican Republic is a very pleasant place to be.
It is important to bear in mind that the Dominicans like to talk business openly and if you need to talk to someone about some business, that can be done right outside your front door. They are business people and will be very polite.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Rapport Is Key
On things such as meetings, social gatherings and the capacity of your surrounding, it would be very good to state your needs instead of making demands. Dominicans are not known to be very forgiving if you insult them. So do not be rude.
Business Etiquette in the Dominican Republic: Learn to Read
Dominicans conduct their business in two tones of voice: high and low. When the Dominican is high, be prepared to be insulted. At the same time, when the Dominican is low, he is trying to transfer information, and this is the best time to listen as this is when you will be “reading” your Dominican associate most.
Business etiquette in the Dominican Republic is something that is definitely worth knowing and practicing. So the next time you do business in the Dominican Republic, remember these tips.