2NOT TO BE MISTAKEN - TO BE ATTENTIVE IN ANY COUNTRY NEW FEATURESGone are the times when you could be screwed up at any corner, nowadays businesses strive for long-term reputation and loyal customers.NOT TO BE MISTAKEN - TO BE ATTENTIVE IN ANY COUNTRYRUSSIAN BUSINESS CULTURE – INFLUENCED BY DIVERSIFIED CULTURE AND THE DESIRE TO STUDY
3Russian culture - key concepts and values CollectivismEgalitarianismDusha (soul)
4Working in Russia Working practices in Russia - stereotype The Russians attitude to time means that a few minutes delay on their part is of little importance. However, they will expect you to be punctual.Faxes and s are the best way to communicate in Russia, as the post can often be unreliable. It is customary before making a trip to Russia to inform the prospective company of your intended business proposals and objectives.Paperwork and putting pen to paper is an essential part of all working practices in Russia. In general, they have little faith in unsigned documents.
5Making appointments:Persistence and patience are essential. Once your appointment is scheduled, do everything you can to avoid cancellation.Don't schedule your trip to Russia near the end of July or during the month of August- this is the time of year many people take their vacations.The Russian day begins early, but it can be difficult to foresee when all other daily activities will begin and end. Schedules are constantly subject to change, often at the last minute.Allow plenty of time for each appointment.Business day is usually 9:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday and some Saturday mornings.
6BUSINESS DRESS CODEOld Russian proverb--“one meet you depending on how you're dressed and say good bye depending on how wise you seem to be”Russian businesspeople pay a lot of attention to how they are dressed. Russian people in general probably spend more money from their family budget on clothing then any other nation in the world.
7ConversationVisitors should try to speak in a calm, moderate, tone of voice at all times.Your Russian colleagues will be delighted if you make the effort to speak even a few sentences of their language.Russians are sometimes very careful about what they say, speaking metaphorically, symbolically, and perhaps even cryptically.Bringing up the subject of Russian culture and history is appreciated.Compliments - with caution, they may cause a feeling of misplaced obligation. (admiring a decorative object, your hosts may insist that you take it).
8Structure and hierarchy in Russian companies The hierarchical structure in Russian business practices means that the decision makers higher up have authority over their subordinates. However, the nature of the collective good often encourages a flexible and democratic work ethos.Showing respect for seniority and recognizing the hierarchical structure is vital for establishing and maintaining strong business relationships.
9Working relationships in Russia Personal and informal contact is a central part in doing business in Russia.Physical contact during business meetings (a simple hand on the arm or even embracing) is a positive sign. The notion of social space is close in Russia.In situations of conflict - to avoid taking an official stance and remember that Russians are 'people orientated' and will respond to a more personal approach.
10First Name or Title?Very intimate friends or relations - refer to one another by the first name.Ensure that you learn the titles of everyone you plan to encounterRussians have three names: the first name is a given name, the last name is the father's family name, the middle name is a version of the father's first name.
11GIFTS:Russians take pleasure in giving and receiving gifts . Russians spend a lot of money on gifts .Gifts for children are usually opened in private, gifts for adults are generally opened in the presence of others.Gifts are expected for social events, especially as “thank-yous”Bringing a bouquet of flowers for women.
12Business practices in Russia Business cards are essential. If possible, ensure that one side is printed in Russian and one side in English.Presentations should be straightforward and comprehensible.Although many principal concerns are discussed in an informal environment final negotiations will be conducted in the office.Generally, when beginning a meeting, the head of the organization will open the discussion and introductions should then be made in order of importance.
13GENDER ASPECTSWomen usually do not hold high positions in the Russian Business culture.There are more women in business education then in business.Foreign businesswomen sometimes face adversity from the male-dominated Russian business culture.
14MEALS AND BUSINESS ETIQUETTE The business breakfast is not a part of Russian business culture.Business dining is getting more and more popular -is generally taken as a time for “sealing” a deal.The center seats are reserved for the most senior officials.Begin eating only after somebody says a toast. Toasting is a very important part of dining.Russians use the continental style of holding utensils. If you're unsure of which utensil to use, start from the outside.
15SOME GENERAL FEATURES The handshake is common. Eye contact is very important, must be maintained as long as the individual is addressing you.Smoking in public places is still a common occurrence, although some restrictions are slowly imposed.Wearing your coat and/or winter boots in theatres, office buildings, universities or similar public spaces is considered unacceptable.
16ATTITUDE TOWARDS FOREIGN PARTNERS The first meeting is usually just a formality-a time to assess the credibility of you and your company.Russians can sometimes place a great deal of confidence in your professional competence and experience; very high expectations and demands.Russian business people are open-minded to new ideas, especially from western business cultureRussian negotiators could make minor concessions and ask for major ones in return.
18D O ‘ sDO shake hands firmly when greeting and leaving your partners and make direct eye contact.DO partake in small talk that involves talk of family and personal matters, before dealing with business.DO make a gift that symbolizes the stature of your company, preferably an item characteristic of your local area or one that displays the company logo.Knock before entering an officeClose the door behind you, when leaving an officeSupply beverages and snacks during business meetingsGo out and have a drink with your counterparts, it is a good way to break the ice.Bring small gifts for the children of a home you visit
19Don'ts DON'T be afraid to show some emotion, the Russians won't! DON'T as the Russian proverb states 'hurry to reply', but 'hurry to listen'.DON'T praise or reward anyone in public as it may be viewed with suspicion or cause envy and jealousy. Remember the collective rules over the individual.Wear lavish clothing or jewelry.Use a restaurant as a place for doing business--it's for celebration
20Doing business in Russia? YES, but neither simple, nor easy Fierce competition to gain control over rich resourcesSelection of the Russian partner (especially in the region)Normally long-term projects worthy of developmentBuilding trust with Russian staff is criticalSpecial marketing strategy
21Russian Culture Quiz - true or false It is considered good luck to shake hands over the threshold of the doorstep.When taking flowers as a gift you must only take an odd number.If you leave something behind in Russia it means you're coming back.In business negotiations Russians view compromise as a sign of weakness.In Russia, the 'OK' symbol with the thumb and forefinger touching in a circle means 'everything is fine'.
22AnswersFalse. It is considered bad luck to shake hands over a threshold and should be done either inside or outside.True. Even numbers of flowers are only given at funerals and are a sign of bad luck.True. A Russian superstition that is still present today.True.False. The Western sign for 'OK' is considered rude in Russia.