Relocation Blog

Trust and Integrity in Sweden

Posted by staff alexander on Jun 6, 2017 2:03:00 PM

handshakeAn author recently wrote that Sweden is a country where people are intensely preoccupied with learning NOT to trust one another. I can only agree, since the first time I heard the word Mängelliste from an Austrian transferee I've come a long way. For years I tried to say that a handshake is enough and answering questions on "Can we be sure?" with "Yes, of course he said so". To most nationals that isn't good enough so we have adapted, but in my heart a handshake is still a handshake and in most situations I still trust someone’s word. That being said I can sniff out a lier very quickly - so we simply don't get to the actual handshake. This is a skill you need when you live by the trust morale.

Scandinavians, yes this is shared by our neighboring countries, brought this trust to America as well and even today several generations later it's been discovered that the former Swedes still trust the society and its institution more than the average American. Some call us naïve, but a Swedes pragmatic outlook on things is that it’s a waste of time to be suspicious since it’s so rare that someone in fact is dishonest. “It takes one to know one is a commonly” used expression and when faced with distrust we immediately raise awareness that there may be “something rotten in China” that needs to be explored. So if you want to be trusted you need to trust others – success feed success, talent draws talent.

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Topics: Swedish Culture, HR