Every country has their own way of doing things. If you do business internationally, it is essential to be familiar with the common business practices of the places you visit to ensure that you make a good impression and don’t hinder any business dealings. This month, we’ll take a look at some of the customs you might encounter during Russia business travel. Remember to pack these tidbits for your next trip along with your Russia business visas.
In Russia, it is considered quite rude to be late for a meeting. You should plan ahead to make sure that you are on time, or even a bit early, for any scheduled meetings. If an executive makes you wait before starting a meeting, chances are they are doing so on purpose as a power play. It would be ill-advised to play the same game in Russia.
If you attend a social event, you can be less punctual. Arriving fifteen to thirty minutes late to a party is perfectly normal. For smaller dinner parties, you should ere on the side of punctuality. And remember to bring a small gift for the host of any social gathering.
- Dress smart
Men are expected to keep their jackets on during business meetings in Russia. It is also expected that everyone should keep their hands out of their pockets – it’s considered rude to keep your hands in your pockets. Women are expected to dress conservatively. Russian women wear skirt suits rather than pant suits, but of course, women visiting Russia on business should wear what makes them comfortable.
Not compromising is a point of pride with Russians. You may have a hard time finding any wiggle room during negotiations with Russians. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground, and understand that “final offer” doesn’t always mean final offer in Russia. Russians are considered very patient in business, so you will need to be patient, too.
When out in public, refrain from speaking or laughing too loudly. Russians tend to be quite reserved in public. You might find the opposite to be true behind closed doors. Russians can be very warm and friendly, but start with a level of formality at any meeting and adjust accordingly once you get to know your business associates better. When looking for good topics to make small talk about, art and literature are always a good choice. Russians take great pride in their strong sense of culture.