Source: World Bank
Meeting and Greeting
Ghanaians are more indirect communicators. This means they take care not to relay information in any way that could cause issues, whether that be giving someone bad news, turning down an invitation, refusing a request or any other such matter. Ghanaians always want to protect their own and others’ face as well as maintain harmonious relationships.
As a result they tend to use proverbs, wise sayings, analogies readily. This allows ideas or messages to be convened in a manner that does not seem so blatant. In fact people who are viewed as wise frequently speak in proverbs.
Silence is a common means of communication. If someone is uncomfortable with a question or do not think the asker will appreciate response, they will say nothing rather than make the other person uncomfortable.
Initial meetings are really all about finding out about one another and if a personality fit allows for future, more business specific meetings. One should therefore expect to spend quite a good deal of time in relationship and rapport building. Do not be surprised is business is not really discussed much at all.
First meetings may also tend to be a little more stiff and formal although once a rapport has been built this will soon dissipate. It is important to maintain a polite and somewhat reserved demeanour.
Hierarchy is respected so the most senior person is greeted first. He/she may be the spokesperson for the group or may deputise key stakeholders to speak.
Ghanaians have a keen sense of humour and enjoy telling jokes. However until you have understood their sense of humour it is best to refrain from telling jokes yourself. If a Ghanaian teases you take it good-naturedly. For the most part, this shows they are becoming more relaxed with you.