Cultural Clues, Communication Guidelines for DENMARK

The Danes tend to be unexpressive people in public and rather low-key in general. It’s best to subdue yourself a bit, especially if you tend to be animated and use expressive body language. The key to being accepted and respected in Denmark is to blend in rather than be conspicuous.

When talking to a Dane, stand about two arms lengths away to give him or her enough distance.

Offer a firm handshake as you make eye contact. Any effort that you make to include a Danish greeting into your introduction (“Goddag” meaning “Good Day”) will be appreciated.

Giving preferential treatment to anyone is discouraged. Denmark is such an equality entrenched society that you are expected to give the same preferential treatment to a janitor that you would to the organization president.

Punctuality is very important, so make the effort to be exactly on time for all business appointments. Danes expect punctuality for social engagements as well.

Many Europeans and South Americans write the day first, then the month, then the year. For example, October 21, 2005, is written 21.10.05. This is the custom in Denmark.

Although you may get the impression in your business dealings that Danes initially appear to be reserved or distant, in fact they can be very warm people who enjoy lengthy conversations and being with friends. They are especially at ease at home and in other social settings.

It is considered rude to get too friendly with someone with whom you have only a casual acquaintance. This includes questions about the person’s private life or comments about religion, income, and family.

Danish business introductions consist of a formal exchange. If you are sitting and being introduced to a new contact or associate, be sure to stand up before extending your hand. Offer a firm handshake as you make eye contact.

The Danes want each minute spent on the job to be productive and used effectively. It is important to arrive on time and give a well-prepared presentation. Meetings are well organized, move swiftly, and will start and end on time.

Many people are flattered by compliments, but this is not the case with Danes. Danes sometimes consider compliments to be inappropriate.

Traditional Danish culture is always a good topic to discuss. Showing an interest in anything Danish from Hans Christian Andersen to Legos is appreciated.

There is an emphasis on individual initiative and achievement, with one’s competency being more important than his or her station in life.

The dignity and worth of individuals is promoted along with the right to a private life and private opinions.

In comparison with other European countries, Denmark is one of the most progressive when it comes to equality between men and women.

Denmark ranks number one in Europe when it comes to the greatest percentage of women working outside the home, and many women hold top positions in Danish companies.

It would be a mistake to introduce a business plan that will have detrimental side effects for the environment. You will find that Danes are committed to preserving the environment.

The Danes freely express their feelings. You may find them blunt, but that is their way. Be receptive to their comments and respond in a positive tone.

Danes are very tolerant, so it is not advisable to criticize other people or systems.

The Danish sense of humor tends to be more reserved or dry than the American sense of humor.

Danes are typically people of their word. Once an agreement is signed, you can be certain that the project will move forward.

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Tips

Denmark! Danes are very proud and willing to share about their country

Anything related to art, music and culture

The progressive nature of business in Denmark, and the equality between men and women

Your home country and the region you are from

Non-controversial current events

5 Key Conversation or Cultural Gesture Taboos

Avoid mentioning family and personal affairs, unless the topic is brought up

Don’t initiate discussions about your private life or religion

Avoid talking about personal finances.

Avoid discussions about politics and socialism.

Don’t talk about anyone in terms of inequality.

Bon Voyage!

Join us in the future for Do’s and Taboos for EGYPT!

To learn more about the Dos and Taboos for different cultures, and the cultural communication styles for Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East – order Gayle Cotton’s bestselling book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’ available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book.

Watch the ‘Say Anything-5 Keys’ Video

Create Rapport and Organize Strategies for Success

The CROSS of Cross-Cultural

Emmy Award Winner, Gayle Cotton, is the author of this blog and of the bestselling cross-cultural communication book SAY Anything to Anyone, Anywhere! 5 Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Communication’, which is available on Amazon as a Book, eBook, or Audio Book. She is President of Circles Of Excellence Inc. and a Professional Keynote Speaker. Contact Gayle if you need professional speakers for events, speakers on cultural diversity, conference speakers for events, or keynote speakers that specialize in cross-cultural training. She is a leader in the field of public speakers, motivational speakers, and international keynote speakers. She is among the best of female keynote speakers and women motivational speakers and is a ‘first choice’ request for international audiences!

Circles Of Excellence provides Corporate Training, Leadership Coaching, and Professional Keynote Speakers for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including over 50 Fortune 500 companies. Contact us about our customized training programs for Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Communication, Cultural Diversity, Customer Service, Leadership Coaching, Presentation Skills, Sales Negotiations, Stress Management, Teambuilding, and Time Management Training.

Circles Of Excellence Website:

Circles Of Excellence Blog:

Subscribe to My Blog

Recent Posts

Cultural Clues, Communication Guidelines for ENGLAND

Cultural Tips for England - including valuable business travel tips for England! Don’t assume all British English words and phrases mean the same as words and phrases from North America, Australia or other English language countries. Many of British English words and...

Cultural Clues, Communication Guidelines for EGYPT

In Egyptian business culture, punctuality is not as much of a priority as for westerners. However, it’s best to arrive on time even though your contact may be late for an appointment. Appointments with traditional Arabic businesspeople are rarely private occasions....

Cultural Clues, Communication Guidelines for CZECH REPUBLIC

Cultural Tips for Czech Republic - including valuable business travel tips for Czech Republic! When setting business appointments, which are mandatory in the Czech Republic, always make them well in advance. Punctuality for meetings is important and it is taken...

Cultural Clues, Communication Guidelines for COLOMBIA

Cultural Tips for Colombia - including some valuable business travel tips for Colombia! It's an asset to make the effort to learn about the Colombian history and culture before your visit. Having a basic knowledge of these subjects will do a great deal in establishing...

Cultural Clues, Communication Guidelines for CHINA

Cultural Tips for China - including some valuable business travel tips for China! Before your visit, it is a good idea to prepare yourself by studying aspects of the Chinese culture, history, and geography. Your hosts will appreciate your initiative. When scheduling...


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This