Barton Insights Barton Insights

British Culture Training

British Culture TrainingWhether you are planning the visit of a delegation to the UK, you are a company with expats in the UK or you are an executive relocating here with family, Barton Insights can introduce British social and/or business culture with a group presentation or tailored one-to-one training in person or by Skype.

Even between countries that may initially appear to be quite similar, such as the US and the UK, there are often significant cultural differences – if ignored, these can lead to huge frustration, inefficiency, poor relationships and even failed international assignments

What is effective or makes someone ‘successful’ or ‘likeable’ in the home country may not be true in the UK. British culture training helps you to know what to look out for, how to interpret the local culture and what is appreciated there; ensuring you can build the relationships you need and that you get your message across in the way intended.

The British themselves can often be sceptical about such training (ironically a very British trait!) and assume that our culture is easy and obvious to work with; however, Barton Insights’ experience with hundreds of expats who have lived or worked a while in the UK, would suggest otherwise. These individuals value having someone external to the organisation who can help them decode the British communications style and understand the ‘why’ behind what they are experiencing. Our British culture training or presentation really depends on who is participating, time available, the format and session objectives. The core however is very simply:

An introduction to the business and/or social culture of the UK – British values, behaviours and etiquettes

Relevant to:

  • Executives and families relocating to the UK
  • Anyone looking to do business with the British
  • Business delegations and other groups visting the UK


  • Group presentations
  • One-to-one private programmes
  • In person or by Skype

Topics Covered

This course intends to answer questions such as:

  • What do the British value in a colleague or friend?
  • How do I make a good impression and gain respect?
  • How do I avoid causing offence?
  • What is the work ethic?
  • What are the stereotypes and expectations they have of my nationality?
  • How do the British disagree or respond to criticism?
  • How do I network and develop professional relationships or friendships?
  • What is the social, dating or parenting culture in the UK?
  • What is typical in terms of levels of formality, hierarchy or expressiveness?
  • What are good topics of conversation?
  • What body language or ‘non-verbal’ behaviour should I be aware of?
  • What is the telephone, email, meeting, dining or gift etiquette?
  • How do the British negotiate, sell, present or get things agreed?

Where relevant, we encourage the following additional topics to be incorporated into the training:

  • Working across cultures more generally and in multicultural teams (Cultural Awareness Training)
  • Managing the professional, personal & family transition (Expat Transition Training)
  • An introduction to British history, geography & politics
  • Everyday Living practicalities and recommendations (e.g. transportation, medical, shopping, utilities, hobbies/activities/making friends)

Key Benefits

  • Gain invaluable insights into British business and social culture
  • Be able to recognise key British values and behaviours in action and identify when / why things are not proceeding as you would like or expect
  • Minimise the potential for misunderstandings or causing offence
  • Benefit from a local British perspective – analyse real cultural interactions and situations that you have experienced so far
  • Ask anything you want to know safely and confidentially – even if that’s navigating British dating or parenting culture!
  • Become aware of your own cultural style and how this may be received in the UK – understand what your strengths or challenges are likely to be
  • Ensure that your professional excellence or personality is not ‘lost in translation’
  • Increase your understanding, tolerance, confidence, flexibility and control over how you approach situations or interact with the British
  • Give you, your company and any family the best chance of success in the UK
  • Where included, learn tips and recommendations for managing everyday living practicalities in the UK
  • Where included, have an appreciation of the political, historical and geographical context

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