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Cultural Training in Russia

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Cultural Training in Russia

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Cultural Training in Russia

Doing business in a foreign country isn't like going on holiday: don't expect to get by with knowledge of a few words, and don't assume business is conducted in the same way universally.

But how can you properly prepare? There are many cultural training companies and schools which can help you. They offer cross-cultural grounding, bridging the translatory and protocolic gaps between nations and people.

Providing guidance in all areas of business and sociality, these cultural training companies are experts when it comes to negotiation training; management training; and diversity training. All training, of course, can be country-specific.

Tutorials can take many forms, so investigate which will be right for you and, if necessary, your employees.

Business Etiquette in Russia

The formalities and informalities; the how dyou dos and how dyou donts. Etiquette is one of the foundations of modern civilisation, and business is no exception. A business blunder, in some countries, could mean the difference between a deal and disrepute. Again, its all about culture if not adopting, at least recognising and respecting the traditions and protocols of a people.

Meeting People

  • The typical greeting is a firm, almost bone-crushing handshake while maintaining direct eye contact and giving the appropriate greeting for the time of day.

  • When men shake hands with women, the handshake is less firm.

  • When female friends meet, they kiss on the cheek three times, starting with the left and then alternating.

  • When close male friends meet, they may pat each other on the back and hug.

  • In formal situations, people use all the names, which for Russian people are usually three.

Doing Business

  • Russians are transactional and do not need to establish long-standing personal relationships before they do business with people, however it is still a good idea to develop a network of people who you know and trust. The Russian word "svyasi" means connections and refers to having friends in high places, which is often required to cut through red tape.

  • Patience is essential.

  • When in doubt, be as formal as possible.

  • Be aware that most Russians do not trust people who are 'all business'.

  • An indication that you have successfully developed a personal relationship is being asked for a favour.

  • Typical Russian schedules are constantly changing and everything takes longer than expected, so be prepared to be kept waiting.

  • Expect a long period of socializing and getting-to-know-you conversation before business is discussed.

  • Have all printed material available in both English and Russian.

  • Prepare long and detailed presentations that include a history of the subject and a review of existing precedents.

  • Russians do not like being rushed in negotiations.

  • Russians see negotiations as win-lose. They do not believe in win-win scenarios.

  • Have written materials available in both English and Russian.

  • Russians view compromise as weakness. They will continue negotiating until you offer concessions. They may lose their temper, walk out of the meeting, or threaten to terminate the relationship in an attempt to coerce you to change your position.

  • They also often use time as a tactic, especially if they know that you have a deadline.

  • If you are under time pressure they will delay even more.

  • Nothing is final until the contract is signed.

  • Western business dress code applies.

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