Cultural Intelligence Part 12

Montrealers as per their Cultural Intelligence Part 12 tend to address each other on a first-name basis. Then again, it is recommended to start with Mr. or Mrs. or Dr or any other title followed by the last name of the person. 

56. Vous ou Tu ?




  • "Tu” is the familiar you. "Tu" demonstrates a casualness and familiarity. “Vous” is the formal and plural you.

  • A formal "vous" that shows respect or that maintains a certain distance with a person. 

  • A plural "vous" used when talking to more than one person.

  • Permission must be asked before using the "tu". It is always preferable to wait a little before asking.

  • Some people use whatever the other person uses with them, but it could be misleading.

  • Someone in authority may use the “tu” with you, but it does not mean you can respond in kind.
  • When in doubt, use the “vous”. It’s better to show someone too much respect than not enough!
  • The same rules apply to the use of first names instead of Mr. or Mrs.

57. Women at Work


  • In French, women’s titles and functions have been “feminized”. 

  • Women are present in all business and industrial sectors.
  • Men and women are treated equally in all workplaces.
  • Women have acquired individuality, economic independence and freedom.
  • Then again, violence, discrimination, marginalization and exclusion still have a negative impact on women.

58. Work Place


  • In business, men and women treat each other as colleagues, with no reference to gender and/or age. 
  • Many men feel that mixed groups (men and women) are more effective and more pleasant than groups made of men only. 

  • The friendly relationship between members of opposite sex must not be interpreted as a sign of sentimental interest.

59. Working Hours


  • Working days start between 7:00 and 9:00 AM, with a peek between 8:00 and 8:30 AM.
  • Business people often have an appointment or attend a breakfast meeting at 7:00 or 7:30 AM.
  • Some are working long hours, others worry about job insecurity and others suffer from stress.
  • There are 28 bridges around the Island of Montreal and traffic is always slow. 

60. Your Word


  • When you promise a service, a price, an appointment, you must deliver what you agreed to deliver.

  • Your credibility could be affected if you do not respect your promise. 
  • The value of your word would be at stake and you could lose your credibility.

Ms should be used by default. Ms refers to women without any references to their marital status considered a private matter.

The French Mademoiselle for a young lady and Madame for an adult is still correct by not the Madam associated with brothels in French and probably in other Cultural Intelligence Part 12 similar to ours.

Montreal BUSINESS Kit
Cultural Intelligence Part 12 by Rachel Louise Barry
You may also wish to visit Global Affairs Canada- Cultural Information


Discovering the 60,000 or so companies established on the Island of Montreal.