For anyone who has never been in business in Spain before, then there are a few things that you will need to know and understand before you go about chairing your first Spanish business meeting.
Spanish companies are often still structured with the traditional management structure, however as new and cutting edge businesses are emerging this is starting to change towards a more modern way of thinking and management is becoming more fluid, this mainly due to younger managers working and studying abroad and then returning to work in Spain.
If you are going into your first Spanish business meeting then you will need to know that the ethos in Spain is to hold meetings that are there to inform and instruct, rather than discuss ideas or brainstorm. It is up to the Managing Director of the company to make all of the decisions and these are then communicated down the ranks to employees. At meetings it is normal for conversations to stray away from the topic in hand and move to personal and social discussions (remember that the Spanish are very social and this comes across even when they are in the work environment).
If you think that you are going to enter into negotiations then remember that the Catalans prefer a professional negotiation style whereas in Southern Spain it is all about the bargains!
Remember that in Spain it is usual for you to be interrupted when you are speaking, as this is not considered rude, it is actually usually a sign that the person to whom you are talking is involved in the conversation.
Try to dress smart as this will make a great impression in Spain. The way you dress reflects how you are viewed in Spanish business and you will be respected if you wear traditional business dress.
Read more on the topic @ Management in Spain