Norwegians are not accustomed to engaging in small talk and are usually very goal-oriented in their discussions. They prefer to get down to business right away instead of using time to chat.
However, those who do enjoy small talk - and even those who don’t - tend to warm up to certain topics. Talking about the weather is a surer way to elicit a response. Interest in and knowledge of winter sports athletes and events is also popular, as are most outdoor recreation activities. The Norwegian cultural sphere has fostered many well-known names and conversations about authors (Henrik Ibsen, Sigrid Undset, Jostein Gaarder), musicians (Edvard Grieg, Jan Garbarek, A-ha, Lene Marlin, Røyksopp) and artists (Edvard Munch, Odd Nerdrum) will also be well received. Another approach that works is to hold a cocktail party or social lunch prior to the start of business meetings. Activities that take place in a purely social context can pave the way to easier interaction at the bargaining table.