Doing Business In Australia
In Australia, people find themselves in a very relaxed working culture. Hierarchies are flat, and employees and supervisors almost always use first names. All are supposed to be treated fairly and equally.
No value is placed on academic titles or hierarchical positions. One knows one’s own position, and everyone else knows it, so the general idea is that it does not have to be broadcast.
Respect is gained in Australia through hard work and excellent results, not by position or title. Focusing on one’s own performance is generally not done in Australia. This has nothing to do with lack of work ethic! Professional success is extremely important in Australia and is a source of pride. But as already mentioned, tooting one’s own horn is frowned upon, as is a superior attitude. Conversely, this means that you should not underestimate your Australian business partners or colleagues if you have little knowledge about their respective abilities.
True Participatory Leadership
Australians have an aversion to authoritarian behavior. The supervisor is seen as a first among equals and is expected to treat all employees equally well and with courtesy. The goal is to manage the team so that everyone can work well. A pleasant working atmosphere should be accessible to everyone at all times. A dominant and commanding of leadership style or a reference to one’s own superior position would, however, be perceived as arrogant and rude.
Camaraderie As A Principle
The concept of the Mateship (camaraderie) forms the basis for Australian modesty, that is, the participatory style of leadership and the comparably flat hierarchies. Historically, this can be traced back to the colonial era when people depended on each other’s support to ensure survival in a harsh environment. Everyone helped everyone. Mateship thus stands for friendship, willingness to help, cohesion, loyalty and equality. Perhaps the best example of this is the perennial revival of the effort to include the term in the Australian constitution. Unfortunately, this has not yet been achieved.
Despite the overall attitude of camaraderie and friendliness, Australia is also an individualistic culture, that is, one is not secondary to the community; rather, the individual focuses first on himself and his family. In the working world, everyone strives for personal success, but not success obtained using force. As in sports, there is team spirit and fairness on the one hand, but winning and wanting to be the best on the other.
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