Working with the French

Working with the French is a highly interactive workshop which combines discussion, case studies, role play, video and practical exercises.


  • Develop a keener understanding of the French mentality and business culture
  • Understand how your way of communicating and behaving may be interpreted in France
  • Acquire practical strategies for working more effectively with the French
  • Identify concrete steps to enhance your ability to influence and negotiate across cultures

Who should attend?

  • Managers of companies looking to expand their business activities into the French market
  • Individuals and teams who regularly work with French colleagues and business partners
  • Sales representatives and purchasing agents
  • Marketing professionals


This is a 1-day course.

Did you know?

As a nation, the French rate as the most deductive thinkers in the world. Their ability to work with abstract concepts and to test any ideas presented to them can make them formidable opponents in a negotiation.

Course content

1/ Etiquette and social norms

  • Making appointments
  • Greetings, titles and levels of formality
  • Dress code
  • Suitable topics of conversation

2/ Cultural awareness

  • Introduction to French culture: key characteristics and values
  • How the French see themselves and view your culture
  • Stereotypes versus reality

3/ Key cultural dimensions

Comparison of communications styles and business practices in France and the participants’ countries

  • Low vs. high context communication
  • Time management
  • Tasks vs. relationships
  • Low vs. high power distance
  • Uncertainty avoidance and risk-taking
  • Ways of thinking

4/ Communicating effectively with the French

  • Self-diagnostic: How do you communicate?
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Active Listening
  • When to phone and what to send in writing
  • Overcoming the language barrier

5/ Getting down to business

  • Building trust and relationships
  • What to expect at meetings
  • Planning and strategy in French organisations
  • Decision-making and problem solving
  • Negotiating: Practical advice on how to approach negotiations
  • Presenting your company, products and services
  • Customer Service: what do French customers expect and want?

6/ Top tips and wrap-up

  • Getting ready for your next meeting or negotiation in France
  • Q&A