Navigating the Stress Points

Danish vs American Business Culture

Danish vs American Business Culture

AmCham is pleased to invite you to a virtual event with author & cultural specialist Kay Xander Mellish on navigating stress points between Danes and Americans in the workplace.

Danes and Americans usually work well together – but they can also misunderstand each other.

The US business culture is built on enthusiasm and energy, while a mature Danish adult is calm, collected, and careful not to overpromise – which Americans sometimes misinterpret as lack of ambition or even boredom.

Meanwhile, Danes don’t always understand the fear of product litigation or employment litigation that plagues American business people every day. “Why can’t I just hire whomever I want?” asks the Danish manager.

And while American bosses need to know absolutely everything that’s going on in their section for legal reasons, to many Danes that looks and feels like micromanagement.

There are differences in attitude towards taking time off – for the Danes, it’s sacred, but the Americans can see it as a lack of team spirit – and a negative attitude towards customer service and availability. (Should a top customer be able to call you on the weekend if necessary?)

And there are differences in expectations for feedback. Americans can overwhelm their Danish reports with what seems like empty compliments, while Danes can be so thrifty with their positive feedback that some Americans think they only get a call when something goes wrong.

Come join us for this entertaining but informative presentation about navigating the stress points between Danish and American business culture.


About Kay Xander Mellish
Kay is the author of “Working with Americans: Tips for Danes” and the upcoming “Working with Danes: Tips for Americans” is a US-DK dual citizen who has worked for Fortune 500 companies in both countries.  She consults with and delivers presentations to companies that want their Danish and US employees to work better together.