FRENCH BUSINESS CULTURE: Major Culture Shocks!

FRENCH BUSINESS CULTURE: Major Culture Shocks!


Salut YouTube! So today I have a special guest with me my friend Isabel where are you coming from? Austria. Austria! So we’re here today because we’ve got some stories to share about our culture
shocks when it comes to working in France so between us we’ve been working
in France for how many years? Um so three years for me and four years for me
some things have become sort of normal now and others less so we want to talk to you about big culture shocks that we had in the French
workplace and of course we’re talking about the kind of corporate business
world because that’s all that we know the kind of things that happen in
meetings the kind of things that happen when your boss is giving you performance
feedback and these kinds of stories so without further ado let’s jump into it!
As Rosie mentioned meetings is like a big topic and when you come working in
France it’s definitely a big part of the French culture and how to work in
corporations here it’s completely different to what I’ve experienced in in
Austria and in other countries and let’s see more the anglo-saxon way meetings
are very different so it’s a big exchange let’s say of ideas it’s not
like an agenda you stick to where you say okay I’m gonna do this this and this, this is the outcome like super kind of tangible thing but it’s much more about
okay so let’s exchange this idea let’s talk about it like so that French love
of discussion and debate and challenging each other intellectually and when you
first arrive you’re kind of there like what is happening? Like are we ever going to
talk about what we’re meant to be here for? Firstly I find that you have a lot
of meetings secondly they often run late or start late and run late
so there’s also another point the France is a time of flexible culture which
means then they aren’t as uptight about timing as some other cultures I’m not sure how it is in Austria if it’s more the German way? It’s definitely the German way the German way want to be on time it’s
not like that here so don’t feel disrespected if you know you turn up to a meeting on time and no one’s there and or if you’ve called a
meeting and if everyone walks in ten minutes late it’s nothing against you and then
yeah when you’re actually in the meeting itself you’re gonna be trying to sort of
converge the crowd and get them to talk about specific points and try and get
them to stay on track and it’s just not gonna happen
as you already said don’t take it personally so I remember myself so when
I started working here I was I saw some exchanges of French people about an idea
and I was like wow why are they fighting? Why do they hate eachother? Afterwards I understand it’s not at all personal it’s really about the challenging the idea and
having an exchange it can be a bit even emotional and kind of like rough and then afterwards to be like okay let’s go to lunch! Yeah exactly! They’ll really be there like I don’t like that idea I do not agree I don’t understand where you’ve
got your numbers from and then they’ll be like you know walking out the door so
how are the kids? You see two different faces you’ve got the personal side and the
professional side and the professional side that’s business only don’t take it
personally don’t be surprised if the meeting doesn’t seem to have a natural
end. What they say for Americans is that it’s a good meeting if a decision has
been made in the meeting for French it’s a good meeting if ideas have been
discussed so you might find at the end of the meeting it just ends with “et voilà” – like what’s that supposed to mean? Exactly like no action points no to-do
lists no delegation of responsibilities everyone’s just meant to know. Speaking of meetings actually so it actually relates directly to our next
point which is feedback although you wouldn’t imagine it for the French
personally it can be quite direct can be quite like say rough so for example the
feedback you would get like you would never get okay Wow
really good was excellent you know it was something that I’m surprised
innovative you’re gonna get “pas mal” which means actually translated like really
good yeah that’s true I think because the French have sort of grown up in this
French education system which is quite harsh how it works is that you get
graded out of 20 but no one gets 20 out of 20 like it’s literally impossible
and almost no one gets 18 or 19 either like it’s it’s never perfect it can
always be better and that definitely translates into the workplace as well so
you’ll prepare and deliver something what you think is very well done very
solid they’ll always be things that you can improve upon and that goes for your
performance in general. There are obviously always upsides and downsides of different things and I saw that although it’s not the most
rewarding kind of lets say culture in the sense that they will say okay pas
mal and you will be like okay wow is it really that bad yeah at the same
time there’s this culture of excellence that makes France so great also
so you know you have products and things like I mean look at the patisserie here
like everything is like tiny and perfect and like ooh wow. If they weren’t constantly striving to be better and be more excellent I mean we wouldn’t have the
booming French luxury industry the perfumes the patisserie so there’s
definitely good sides and bad so on one hand if you feel a bit deflated like oh
it’s never good enough I can never deliver something that they’re happy
with on the other hand you deliver things that you didn’t even know were
possible like that you push yourself to be the best professional you can be
as well yeah another point that was quite surprising
for us was that in France the separation of the professional life and personal
life is quite strong so you would not necessarily share many
things from your personal life at work I was never invited for example to a
colleagues house that’s like a neutral ground I mean unless like for interns
maybe it works like very young people but every colleague that say is not
like 20 it doesn’t work at all and that’s kind of surprising especially if
you’re new here and you’re like would be nice to go to a French house exactly I’m
kind of used to like meeting a lot of people and meeting friends and and
building friendships at work and here it’s so different I mean there’s
definitely a line between your personal and professional life because you know
to be able to establish a friendship you kind of need to share things like a
boyfriend about you know like things that you’re interested in and you know
you’ve got to keep a conversation very neutral people don’t really have photos
of their family and their children up on their desk which is something that
people have everywhere in New Zealand I mean when I first arrived I was dying to
know if my french manager I don’t know was married had children I don’t know
she was at the age where she could have had children so I was curious to get to
know her but I didn’t dare ask I mean you just don’t you can feel that it
wouldn’t be appropriate to ask and you know finally I found out maybe three
four months into working with her that kind of information it’s not something
that they share upfront which is totally fine but it does mean that you know
you’ve got to be careful about what you talk about definitely and you’ve got to
be careful what you ask people and you also can’t expect to make best friends
forever straight away at work it’s just not going to work like that
exactly and lastly what’s really important what we feel is really
important in France too in the workplace is the relationship let’s say it’s a
very relationship based culture so you will see lunch breaks coffee breaks
smoke breaks if you do smoke our super important so I mean Austria actually how
we do it is we come to work obviously we also buy coffee and food
it’s still you know we come to work we are our time we have half an hour lunch
break and then we continue and here like easily I can have one and a half hour
lunch break so now it’s really about getting to know the other person if you
don’t know them or spending like a really nice amount of time with the
person you know and connecting various issues learning what they do and so on
and really creating this kind of network that’s super important here that was a
big shock for me like your lunch break is work actually because you’re
investing time into a colleague and that’s key here because you can only get
things done through your network through your relationships and in France that’s
the kind of culture where if they don’t know you they may not respond to your
email or if you’re not introduced by your manager by someone that they know
they may not reply because knowing each other and that one-to-one connection is
so important and you just can’t get your job done without it I think sometimes it
can be a little bit depressing because you just want to get in put your head
down do a good job and you think that that will open all the doors but it
doesn’t work like that here you need to do the networking relationship thing
it’s very human based their workplace here
all right cool guys I hope you enjoyed that one though culture shocks about the
French workplace they’re actually a lot more so if you’d like to see a part two
if you’d like us to explore some other ones please let me know down in the
comments I must say that overall I very much enjoy working in France it’s
definitely stretched me in ways that I haven’t even been able to imagine and I
definitely think that the stereotype that French people are lazy is super
unfounded very hard workers and I’ve had I’ve got lots of amazing colleagues
around me so overall a super positive experience anyway we’ll leave the video
here for this time and we’ll see you in the next one, à bientôt!

Author:

100 thoughts on “FRENCH BUSINESS CULTURE: Major Culture Shocks!”

  • Salut my Francophiles! Hope you enjoy this insight into the French workplace! It's just a taster, I know, but there's more to come next month 🙂 What do YOU find interesting about the French workplace?? Bisous

  • I worked in 3 different companies in France and It wasn't like you described it. It was an industrial environnement, people with an engineering culture, and it ended with todo-list, planification, product development, providing solution to technical problems, we had to be on time at the meeting, meeting had to finish on time because you had a interview with an engineer from another company, etc. So it seems that it depend not only of the country but also of the nature of the business.

  • At school I had sometime 20/20 in math or physics. A History teacher told me one day that 20 is for god, 19 is for the teacher so student can't expect more than 18/20…

  • Hi !
    I think it's not the same according to corporation. I'm french student and sometimes when I walk past the office of my teacher I see some picture frame of their children. It's rare and I think that's because we dont want to show our kinds to all of our collegue and exhibit too much our life. Also in some corporation their is "open space" so it's unwelcome to too much customize your office because it's not yours but "every body's office".

  • It's always so interesting. All your videos are always so positive, trying to take the best out of two cultures. Great job, I give you 18/20 ;p

  • We do invite colleagues at home, you just need to be close friend with that colleague for a few years 🙂 Usually we don’t invite people that we don’t know well, so first restaurant or coffee then home!

  • I feel like the description you make about your meetings and all are really more related to the field of work you are in than the country you are in. I mean i'm french but i work in a more technical field, with industry, and our meeting are really more about exposing things, like a presentation, or about finding a solution quickly. We don't take as much time to share ideas and talk just for talking.
    Sorry for my poor english

  • What an intriguing dichotomy. A society / work environment based on human connection, but one in which personal information is so closely held. I suppose that's the essence of a coconut culture. This was another helpful video. Thank you Rosie and Isabelle (apologies if I spelled that wrong.)

  • Thank you for this fun video! I guess I'm a little confused. You mention how there's a strict work/life line and you wouldn't get to know a colleague personally. And yet, the mention of the lunches and breaks and stuff being so important in getting to know a colleague. Is the latter just for getting to know someone on a work level only? I cannot imagine having a work-only focused conversation for an hour+ every day for weeks on end, at some point there's not a lot left to talk about work-wise.

  • A neat separation between personal life and work can be a very good thing. If at home life is hard, work time can be very refreshing, can give you the necessary time to recover emotionnally doing something totally different , and if at work you're struggling a little bit, it's nice to come home and forget during an evening your problems. If you mix up the 2 lives, you don't have recovery place anymore… Which can be a real problem when life is not so easy during some time…

  • Yep, we do love our private life to be …. private!
    But I think that for the friendly relationships with coworkers and the knick-knacs and family photos on your desk it must depend on your company and the kind of work you do…. and the company ethic/internal policy as well.
    It's actually writen black on white in the règlement of my company that you should always strive to be polite, say hello to everybody (handshake, la bise only to people you're friend with actually) and be respectful in any circumstance.

    And we have our 10am, 2pm and 4pm coffee breaks (yep, we're a R&D department so we need to feed our brains and take the pressure down….) where most of the people of the department will find themselve taking a well deserved pause… and happily hold conversations about anything and everything! If you're between friends you can speak about something that happened in your private life, I think it's more about news subjects and not private subjects when you don't know the people really well…. or when your boss make some wild apparition for coffee for example…
    Then I'm in engineering, it might be different in l'industrie du luxe…

  • Bonjour Rosie et bonjour à Isabel. Une excellente vidéo comme toujours. J'aime cette façon que tu as d'observer les français et leurs habitudes, autant personnelles que professionnelles. Il est vrai que l'on aime débattre et que cela peut paraître parfois assez violent et cela aussi bien dans la vie privé, en famille, autours d'un délicieux repas. Il est vrai que la table est un excellent moyen de faire connaissance, d'échanger et de s'exprimer. Ne change rien à tes vidéos et à ta façon d'être.
    Et comme tu le dis si bien, "A bientôt".

  • Whoa, whatever you said was so true but we don't really realise we behave like that, I mean it's normal n natural for us, but you spoke the truth, made me laugh coz i was analysing our own behaviour with an extern person's POV lol

  • Never really paid attention but having an outsider perspective explains a lot.. i think we even like watching those "réunions" on TV: The most successful shows in France (ONPC,TPMP,etc.) are often shows with a bunch of people fighting, i mean debating with each other.. On the contrary, shows (popular in anglo-saxons countries) where a host invite only one guest to have a "calm" conversation always have a hard time finding an audiance here in France.
    You're right for the nepotism. We have our flaws and we know it's a BIG one of ours but we really believe in meritocracy and hopefully it'll soon replace the injustice that is nepotism.

  • Again, i learned a lot of things about my own country^^ I don't work for a big company (i'm a veterinarian nurse) so no meetings, most of my friends are or were colleagues and if i finish late it's beacause of an emergency.

  • Have you thought about hosting a Meet-Up? I’m here in Paris studying abroad until May, and I would love to have the chance to meet you and some other Not Even French fans!

  • Thank you! I moved here 6 months ago to worked in the Head Office of a big French company. Previously I worked in an affiliate in my home country. And all you said in the video is so true! Some things like lunch and coffee time are manageable, but all the micromanagement and french-french relationships and promotions are a real ugggghhh….

  • I’m actually moving to France soon to work at a French company (assuming everything works out with my visa) so this video was very helpful! One quick question: is negotiating salary similar in France as other countries? I’m from the US where it’s basically expected of you to negotiate, so I was wondering if it’s the same in France as well. Thanks!

  • merci encore pour cette super vidéo qui a chaque fois me fais comprendre en quoi je suis français, car bien souvent on ne se rend pas conte de ces petites choses qui nous font tres francais

  • I've been studying French for 2 months now and I'm really interested in the language and the culture. I love your videos because I can't afford to visit while in college, though I'd love to. Keep up the great work!

  • gpoenvie dedonnermonnom says:

    Le problème des réunions en France, c'est que les gens ont une logique proche du zéro.
    Premier point: les horaires
    Imaginions que tu as une première réunion de 9h30 à 10h30. Une personne de ton service ouvre son calendrier outlook et consulte ton calendrier et vois ça, quand vas il planifier sa prochaine réunion…..de 10h30 à 11h30 ==> mais bien sur, je vais me téléporter de ma première réunion à une autre réunion en 0 sec
    Perso, lorsque j'organise une réunion, je fait en sorte que les participants soient disponible 15 minutes avant et 15 min après, et surtout, on ne déborde JAMAIS ==> vos collègues ont faim c'est midi, un rendez vous, une activité sportive, peu importe, on respecte les horaires
    Second point : Les participants
    qui n'a jamais été dans une réunion sans avoir rien à dire et rien n'appris? On invite pas 36 personnes pour une réunion, une réunion, c'est soit une même équipe/département qui se regroupe, dans ce cas les gens de l'équipe sont ensemble, soit ce sont plusieurs départements qui discutent, dans ce cas, seuls les managers avec un ou deux membres de l'équipe au pire qui participent aux réunions, et ce sont aux managers de faire le pont avec leurs équipes en amont (points à aborder, à éclaircir) et plus tard (bilans et décisions).
    Troisième point : Une réunion, ça peut aussi se faire à distance
    appeler ça confcall, lync meeting… Bref tous les systèmes qui permettent de tenir une réunion avec son ordinateur. C'est beaucoup plus confortable, la parole est souvent plus libre, on a un meilleur support visuel avec le partage d'écran et surtout, et ce n'est pas un gros mot, les participants peuvent faire autre chose pendant la réunion, finir de rédiger un email, cloturer un dossier etc… en parallèle de la discussion

    y'aurait tellement d'autres point à aborder mais ça va m’énerver et je vais commencer à râler et soupirer (pfff)!!!

  • If you speak only in english in your videos, why do you write the name and the description of the videos in french? If you want to tell anyone how you appreciate France, good or bad ways, and you speak in english, you should do everything in english. When you write the title of the video in french, we expect you to speak in french.
    I didn't watch the video entirely (I'm not saying it's bad, it's just not what i'm interested about) but when I saw the miniature of your videos, I expected someone speaking in French.

  • Beaucoup de choses intéressantes dans cette vidéo, et des points abordés très vrais (on ne fait jamais assez bien, ça déprime parfois beaucoup mais ça pousse à l'amélioration constante, car les Français aiment pouvoir critiquer, pas que pour descendre ou rabaisser mais pour faire mieux, tout simplement !) Après, l'idée de séparer pro et perso dépend vraiment du milieu qu'on intègre, ma mère est très amie avec ses collègues à l'hôpital, elles se voient hors cadre professionnel, même ceux qui sont partis ailleurs ou à la retraite et elle personnalise son poste de travail avec des photos de famille. Pour ma part, je travaille en crèche et le côté amical est plus facile à aborder, on partage des anecdotes perso et on s'invite après le travail quand on s'entend vraiment bien. Mais je reste d'accord avec vous globalement, on a tendance à prendre le côté pro de manière pragmatique : je viens travailler, me faire des amis reste en option, surtout dans certains milieux.

  • Wanted Adventure says:

    Super interesting video, thanks so much for sharing your perspective on working in France!!! So from what you said, I think the French style of working would be a little hard for me…I really like my meetings to have a set beginning and end and for them to end with a wrap-up or plan for moving forward in the future😁👍

  • Encore une vidéo qui a mon avis vise très juste sur des comportements culturellement très français. Bien joué une fois de plus! Je participe dans ma societé ou ça débat beaucoup autour des idées mais pour concrétiser ces idées et avancer, c est plus difficile. Les français sont très intellectuels mais pas très pragmatiques. En ce moment, je suis sur un projet qui a commencé en aout 2017. on s est fixé une fin et mis en pratique du projet pour février 2018. on a fait une réunion en conférence call 1 fois par mois depuis aout. on avait la solution depuis le 1er mois en fait… mais a chaque réunion, on parle on parle.. mais personne ne dit stop pour mettre en pratique et mettre fin au projet. Semaine dernière, on fait un point pour se dire finalement qu on a rien fait depuis 1 mois, on s engueule, on est tous un peu honteux, mais on se dit qu il faut vraiment sortir quelque chose…et donc ? on met en place une réunion dans un mois en se disant, c est la dernière….lol On fait beaucoup de procrastination je trouve.

  • Rosie, great video! Can you do somo more related videos with job? Perhaps differences in interviews or proper wardrobe to go to work?

  • Félicitations pour  tous  ces  petites  vidéos ,qui reflètent des  images sur les français très réelles , c'est  excellent  et  instructif d'entendre  des vérités , ceci permet  de  se corriger , de  ne  pas  se  " regarder le  nombril " ( ne pas écouter les autres ). Très bonne continuation , j'en profite  pour dire  à nos  amis  étrangers  " WELCOME  "

  • So wait, if you don’t share much about yourself/personal life with your coworkers, but you have to hang out on breaks and lunch with them all the time, what do you talk about..? Politics, the weather ..?

  • LuluManager2 Ludovic says:

    Sur la partie où culturellement les personnes ne s’invitent pas chez eux, ce n’est pas français, mais parisien. Les parisiens vivent dans des boîtes à chaussures et vivent par conséquent dehors. Dans le reste de la France, et sûrement aussi dans des entreprises à taille humaine où les relations interpersonnelles sont différentes, les gens s’invitent et à manger ou boire l’apéro, fort heureusement 😉

  • Good video! I was kind of surprised by your surprise, so you must have hit the nail on the head! I didn't realized that some of the points you talked about were uncommon and unsettling to foreigners… Good job!

  • As a french, I must confess I don't like that much small talk (unless it's with people I feel friend with !) I hate coffee and I don't smoke. I usually prefer staying inside on the Internet, reading or doing my job instead of going outside and small talk with the other.

  • C'est tellement vrai le point sur les réunions…. je deteste les réunions à mon boulot. Rien n'est structuré, on n'avance pas, et au final aucune solution n'est trouvée….

  • LuluManager2 Ludovic says:

    J’ai trouvé cet article sur le compliment en France, j’ai pensé à toi direct!
    https://m.huffingtonpost.fr/2018/02/28/journee-mondiale-du-compliment-pourquoi-les-francais-ont-ils-tant-de-mal-a-en-faire_a_23373373/?ncid=fcbklnkfrhpmg00000001

  • I am american and I’ve had international business classes and have spoken to people and have many friends from my online game days from all of the world that share their corporate structure and I find it interesting that countries like France, and I’ve even heard Italy, are really big about family they have long lunch breaks, meetings are late and they run over and yet they have some of the most long-lasting, high end, respected brands whereas over here in the US everything is extremely regimented. You come to work and you don’t leave your desk until it’s your break or lunch time then you go back to work until it’s time to go home and if you take too many bathroom breaks people start looking at you weird. I find the difference in dynamic extremely interesting because the things from France and Italy are known all over the world, from their cheeses to their wines to fashion and vehicles and so many other things. What is the US known for around the world because I don’t feel like it’s much.

    I feel like knowing you can step away from your desk for smoke break if you need or that you can sit down and decompressed enjoy your lunch means that when you go back into work you’ll be more refreshed less stressed and able to produce better results.

  • Hello ! I really love your videos, it's interesting to see a foreigner's point of vue. About this video, I can tell that the boring endless meetings where no decisions are made aren't liked by everyone. We are many to wait for meetings where a boss takes real decisions !

  • I think that when we say "pas mal", it's doesn't necessarily mean that you have a lot to improve : it's a set expression used 95% of the time as a litotes.
    It wouldn't shock anyone to see an athlete get a gold medal at the Olympics, and then hear sombody saying "Hé, pas mal!", sometimes we say "Pas mal du tout" to emphasize. You can also hear people saying "Il fait pas chaud, hein?", when it's -30°C outside, it's the same manner of speech.

    I heard that translating from French to English can be really hard for non-native French speakers, and it didn't surprise me at all. So, kudos to all of you learning French. 😀

  • I always hate the fact that meetings are a success when ideas are discussed. For me, discussing ideas IS part of the meeting, but even though I'm probably a "true french" (in terms of family legacy) I'm more fan of a german-like meeting system: discuss ONE idea, and take at least ONE decision. If too much is discussed without decisions, it's leading to more meetings, more discussions, but still no act. It's really a reflect of how the government takes decisions: hundreds of people discussing a law project, but when a decisions has to be made, it takes months of debates and discussions (sometimes years) and less than 25% of the whole deciders finally vote.
    I recently stumbled upon an issue like this with the editing studio I work for as an extra job, we had a 3-hour long meeting and 6 of us had to discuss our personal feelings and express what we thought about the upcomnig year (like a "G6" meeting with the heads of the studio :p ), and it took 3 hours only because everyone was repeating stuff that was already said before, the chief coordinator was too exhaustive about some subjects we all knew about already, so it could have been halved by just organizing the meeting correctly and making decisions 🙂

  • Christian Barnay says:

    If you want meetings to be useful you need to discuss the subject in all aspects even if it leads to strong argument.
    Once the discussion is over and the outcome is clear we can live on.

    There's nothing as stupid as a meeting were everyone simply agrees with the leader and 2 hours later they all gather at the coffee machine bickering about how stupid the leader is to come up with such an idiot idea.

    If you have a better idea and keep it for yourself you're acting against the group. And that's bad for everyone.

    Regarding networking and meals being still work, it's more a thing between managers. Other workers are not like that. Meal time is a 1 hour break out of work. It's much more appreciated to talk about your latest holidays, the last book you read or the last funny act by your 3 year-old daughter.

  • Laure Thiabaud-Vespierre says:

    Beaucoup de choses que vous dites dépend de la où vous travaillez. Mes parents ont déjà ramenés des amis du bureau, mon père a une photo de moi sur son bureau au travaille, etc…

  • paquerette rose says:

    concernant l'éducation, dans le passe c'etait bcp plus strict et exigeant ! a 14 ans vous aviez le niveau de quelqu'un de 18 ans ou plus aujourd'hui, et il y avait bcp de violence des professeurs.

  • paquerette rose says:

    je trouve toujours bizar et ridicule la façon dont on imagine les français a l'etranger, comme en amerique ! on ne porte pas de beret ! ni de tea shirt raye, ni de pain sous le bras !!! on n'ecoute pas des vieilles musiques qui viennent de je ne sais ou ???? on ecoute de tout en france ! bcp de musisue anglaises et americaines ! je n'achete jamais de pain ! et le cote romantique ?! c'est quoi ces cliches ?????

  • Bonjour, tu as aussi le présentéisme très présent en France ! Par exemple, en Allemagne c'est très mal vu de rester tard le soir, d'ailleurs ils préfèrent venir à 8h et finir à 17h. Nous on préfèrera (en tout cas à Paris dans les bureaux) commencer à 9h30 et partir à 18h30-19h pour que quand le patron fait sa tournée, il nous voit encore au bureau. Idem les fameux mails envoyés tard ou le week-end. Pas mal de gens restent au bureau passé 17h30 mais discutent etc, juste pour "se faire voir" ;). Tes vidéos sont toutes extrêmement justes et si les mauvaises langues parlent de clichés, il ne faut pas oublier que cliché ne veut pas dire "mensonge" !

    Tu as aussi la culture des congés, on doit tous poser nos congés en été et en hiver. Tu as aussi les statuts : employé VS cadre. Et je ne sais pas si c'est pareil ailleurs, mais tout ce qui est entretien annuel : faire le bilan de l'année, donner ses objectifs etc. Ah et aussi, jamais de la vie on ira voir votre boss et on demandera une augmentation. On attend que ça tombe par magie à chaque 1er janvier 🙂

  • Hey, I’ve watched almost all of your videos and I really much enjoyed them! I’m really impressed by how nuanced/differentiated your analysis of the French is. What’s the French take on tattoos? Do they value the individuality or are they seen as dubious?

  • vincentours yo says:

    Bien vu vos dernières observations sur l'importance du réseau au travail au détriment du mérite. Cela en est déprimant.

  • Du coup la Suisse c'est parfait, vu que c'est un peu un mélange entre l'échange mais avec un fil conducteur quant-même.

  • Les notes en France sont très en débat, et actuellement elles n'ont plus leur rôle de ''pousser à l'excellence''. Elles sont plus vues comme des sanctions 😐

  • Very nice and interesting video, although (warning: French critique) I think on your last points your opinion is sliiiightly influenced by the company you are working for and the kind of job you are doing (I am guessing big group, French group, very conceptual/competitive job like marketing?). But for sure we like to talk and debate ^^

  • Jennifer Maas says:

    I’d love it if you could explore the topic of bullying / backstabbing in the workplace, which is rampant in Paris. and the work suicide epidemic here, which gets treated quite flippantly. i’m especially interested in your POV from and HR perspective- thanks!

  • c'es vrai que ça ne m viendrai jamais à l'esprit d'inviter des collègues chez moi. ça m'a beaucoup étonné quand tu l'as dit

  • Try to have a great LinkedIn profil if you want to improve your networking, this is very important for business jobs

  • les pires regles du managnemt anglo saxon s'appliques en france depuis des anneés je pense ke c une menace pour notre "way of life"

  • En même temps, une réunion juste pour apporter des info, c'est une perte de temps, un email suffit^^ Si on y va pas pour discuter/débattre, on y va pour quoi?^^ En fait, c'est du brainstorming et il faut laisser décanter tout ça dans nos tête pour prendre les bonnes décisions donc on prend peu de décisions sur le moment. C'est vrai qu'on se dit toujours "on peut toujours faire mieux, tout est perfectible" (ce qui peut être un frein si on est pas très sur de soi ou pas très persévérant mais qui nous pousse aussi à nous améliorer en permanence). On dit souvent que les français ne travaillent pas beaucoup mais je pense que c'est juste qu'on ne travaille pas pareil. Les cadres travaillent beaucoup (ils ne connaissent pas les 35h^^ et c'est "normal" parce qu'ils font beaucoup de choses qui demandent de prendre son temps, plus intellectuels et la réflexion, travailler son réseaux etc ça demande du temps) et pour ceux qui sont aux 35h, il faut être efficace, on doit travailler dur pour tout faire dans un laps de temps réduit (on a pas le temps de discuter des enfants de pierre paul jacques^^).

  • Jovana Filipovic says:

    My experience about the separation of personal and professional life is very much different. I always stayed in academia, so maybe that is the reason, but I find French colleague and especially supervisors, more open to share their personal life than it is the case in my country (Serbia). People in my country are generally more open and communicative than French but in academia the relations, especially between students and supervisors, are always kept very formal and quite cold. So I was really surprised when my bosses and supervisors shared with me their personal stories from the time when they were young, or when they shared about their family, children, and they were even interested to learn about my personal life and opinions. My former boss even had photos of his children in the office. 😀
    Another surprising thing for me was the fact that in the labs all the people refer to each other with tu and not vous no matter how older or important in that field they are. I was always curious if this is the case everywhere in France at work or just in the labs. Could you share your experience at work, to whom you say tu and to whom vous? How is this working in business world? And I was always wondering, as a native English speaker how do you feel about this two forms (tu and vous) when you are using them? Do you think that Engish should also have two different forms? I am asking this because the lack of formal form (like vous) in English has always been causing an uncomfortable feeling for me because no matter which polite expressions I used in my communication, for me that could not replace vous and I always thought that the person will maybe not get the message that I respect him/her.

  • You pretty much well spotted the importance of networking and relationship in french workplaces.
    Actually, this aspect is also pretty well highlighted in intercultural trainings:
    – In France, it's nearly compulsory to establish first a relation with someone in order to start doing business with that person. This explain the importance of the "pause café" or lunch breaks, where some people are putting huge efforts in s***ing c**ks.
    I remember years back being told from my regional manager that I wasn't "doing enough of l**king with the customer". Imagine one sec what it's like when it's told from a regional manager.
    You can observe this same culture in the french speaking part of Switzerland.
    – In Germany for example, this is the opposite: you need first to do business together and be successful before being able to establish a personal relationship

  • Awesome vids, thank you 🙏 I am French by blood but grew up abroad and English is my first language so it’s really cool to get what are obviously true overviews of the culture, spot on! 😍😍

  • yes, pas mal= no bad= good, very good. Funny, when i came in USA I used to say "no bad" for good or very good and people will tell me "ok do you think we can do better , I think it is fantastic". so I have to rephrase it. It is very good. American tend to overstate, this is FANTASTIC!! lol. you can get 20/20 in maths

  • Christophe Salanon says:

    Salut je dois écrire en français car Google me change mes mots tous le temps ,Brravo pour tes commentaires et merci de nous aimés nous les français et j’espere Que ton petit ami t.epousera d.ailleurs pourquoi ne le t’il déjà pas fait tu trop mignonne et d’une positivité incroyable envers nous .
    Continue tes vidéos trop sympa dommage que je ne connaisse pas trop ton pays mais il est vrai que vous les anglo-saxons êtes plus positif que nous ,et si t-on petit amis ne te fait pas de demande de mariage je suis sur les rangs
    Salut un French fan

  • Isabella Renaudin Wycherley says:

    Thank you for your xperience girls : i am a French teacher living and working in Australia and I agree with your culture of excellence a good and bad thing : pushes people to excell but also can make people feel very defeated !! Here in Australia is almost the opposite ……great to here Isabel story from a Germanic perspective !! The French revolution is in the French DNA girls !

  • same in south korea we do last minute meetings for nothing just to argue about stuff and for work mates to talk to eachother nothing more to be honest .. the only diffrence is that in korea everything should be on time not like france who dont even respect time or follow an ajenda Lol
    am half french so i love france alittle tiny bit but everything about france is boring to me and waste of time ..and they dont have open mindset like in canada or america honestly

  • One thing that struck me big-time when I lived in Paris was how much credkt/attention/respect is given to the "intellectual" class, in many ways. But, I ALSO noticed that the government does not consult these "intellectuals" in their decision making, does not absorb them into the giverment, etc.

    I contrasted that with the USA, where "intellectuals" are even now slightly looked down upon, the group/work-hard, play-hard/football-cheering/have-a-beer type persona is the one the country more defined by: if you read a lot you have to sort of make a joke about it in this culture. to out people at their ease

    BUT. The goverment actively seeks out and uses "intelletuals", without talking about it or making a fuss.

    That paradox struck me big when I lived there – never really did anything with the observation (lol) except continue to observe…

  • this is so interesting. It's hard to see our own culture from an outside point of view. It's also really good to see that there are other perspectives in other cultures. I am employed in a public workplace and there is a huge difference between older employees, employees that have a CDI and those who don't. Those who are friends with boss and those who are not. A lot of untold rules that I don't understand and I feel quite unconfortable with, besides the fact that is my own country! For example CDI employees will take many breaks, will arrive late, and you can't say anything because they're friends with the boss who is doing the same things. But us are not allowed to arrive late, take many breaks ect.. and find it quite unjust.

  • Rosie, please, do me a favour, be a good girl… DON'T say "À bieNNNtôt" but "À bientôt"… I mean, Rosie, after what? Four or five years! Come on, repeat after me… You can do it, I'm totally sure, please, Rosie!… "À bientôt!" Bises!

  • Christian Marcel says:

    I think it’s important to mention that this is your experience and point of you, only. I agree with most of what you guys have said, there’s a pattern there, about meetings for instance, although I think it’s exaggerated. Some things are not what I know about the French work place. It’d be too long to detail again everything but it’s important to remind people that this should be taken with a grain of salt.
    As a side note, it makes me laugh that you think it’s a time flexible culture. Go to South America and you’ll understand what a time flexible culture is. Being 30 to 45 min late is the norme, even an hour can be fine with friends and family. I honestly don’t know how they do. My wife who’s Latina is still having a hard time adjusting to punctuality after 15 years now. At this point she’ll never get used to it LOL. But she has make her own about all other aspect of the French culture. She’s now as French as a French can get LOL.

  • La culture d'entreprise en France c'est celle d'un pays capitaliste avec un management destiné à presser les citrons jusqu'à la dernière goutte. Regardez chez Renault et Orange.

  • i would not get on working in France. I would.ask, what is this meeting about. What are we hoping to achieve etc because otherwise i am busy and have better things to do with my time. lol Also lunch is your time, not work time. If I can't chat about life with my ''colleague'then i'd rather be by myself. If seems very opressive and restrictive. I would definitely try to shake things up and i guess they'd fire me. They are sooooo serious!

  • Maranatha SOS says:

    I really appreciate listening to your conversations about France and French culture. I found that a lot of what you were saying along the lines of open debate I found quite intuitive but I couldn’t figure out why as I am American and I know that open debate at work is not promoted or tolerated at all. In fact I was just called into a meeting to address my opinions and I was called aggressive. Fortunately I was able to calmly and logically explain that what may seem like aggression In a woman is simply assertiveness. In this way I was able to make them think that I am capable of calling their complaint against me discrimination. I refused also to sign their memo that they wanted to put in my file.

    Anyway, I digress. I have been asking myself why it is that I do believe in the benefits and positivity of open debate. And while I have not lived in France yet I have lived in Mexico and I am completely bilingual and have many friends from Mexico and Latin America and have traveled extensively both in Mexico and Latin America for months on end. So I believe it is similar. When I am with my Hispanic friends we are completely free to talk about anything and everything and we can raise our voices and we can have strong strong opinions about everything and nothing but at the end of the day we are still friends and we’re going to stay up all night and dance and drink beer and will be friends forever.

    So i want To thank you for confirming yet another culture who is reasonable along these lines. It’s like you said in your video, if you don’t discuss things then how will they ever change? If when you hear ridiculous and illogical things being proposed and all you are allowed to do is go quietly into the bathroom stall to roll your eyes, then where is the joie de vie?

  • Clayton Soelberg says:

    So… I'm puzzled about part of this. If it is inappropriate to discuss personal life but at the same time crucial to build strong interpersonal relationships, what do you speak about with your colleagues during lunch or other breaks? Work topics only? Thanks Rosie. I really enjoy your videos and hope you continue with a series of your husband's culture shocks in New Zealand!

  • Morzhed-hoc'h 732 says:

    Qu’est-ce que c’est que ces conneries ? J’ai toujours été invité par des collègues et j’ai toujours invité mes collègues à la maison.
    Bon nombre de mes collègues sont devenus des amis. Après avoir quitté une entreprise, je conserve toujours des contacts.
    Pour les réunions, il y a une culture sociale dans certaines entreprises, mais de plus en plus, c’est la vision anglaise ou américaine qui prend le dessus. Dans beaucoup de petites entreprises, tu fermes ta gueule et tu écoutes ton patron. Pas de réunion pour exprimer ton point de vue.
    Enfin, je dirais que la culture d’entreprise peut être très différente entre chaque entreprise et que la mentalité est également très différente entre chaque région de France. J’habite moi-même l dans une région qui ne parlait pas Français, il y a un siècle…
    What is this bullshit? I have always been invited by colleagues and I have always invited my colleagues to the house.
    Many of my colleagues have become friends. After leaving a company, I still keep contacts.
    For meetings, there is a social culture in some companies, but more and more, it is the English or American vision that takes over. In many small businesses, you close your mouth and listen to your boss. No meeting to express your point of view.
    Finally, I would say that the corporate culture can be very different between each company and that the mentality is also very different between each region of France. I live even in a region that did not speak French, a century ago …

  • Trivia Studios says:

    Anyone know how to actually get the French to work? I cant find a way to get my team motivated! constant sand bagging

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