Ukrainian Business Etiquette Tips
Business people who are going to establish and develop their own business in new Ukrainian markets will benefit greatly from observing the local business etiquette. Being familiar with these rules and following them will give you a privilege when working with your Ukrainian partners.
Bear in mind that Ukrainian culture may seem fatalistic sometimes and people may not seem friendly at first. Sometimes life in Ukraine is unstable and unpredictable, what has led to the fatalistic views. Once your Ukrainian colleagues get to know you they will be warm and hospitable. By demonstrating experience in Ukrainian business etiquette, you will impress your colleagues and demonstrate your aptitude in the business world.
Ukrainian Business Meeting Etiquette
Business etiquette for Ukrainian meetings is different from that in Europe and in many other countries. Here are some business etiquette tips to help you to interact appropriately with your Ukrainian colleagues:
Use titles – Address your Ukrainian colleagues with a title and a surname while the first meeting. If your Ukrainian colleague does not have a professional or academic title, please use the prefix of “Pan” (for men) and “Pani” (for women) and his or her surname.
Build relationships – Ukrainians like to do business with familiar people. Expect a short talk at the beginning of a meeting with your Ukrainian partners to get to know you. Let your colleague switch the conversation topic from personal to business.
- Be diplomatic – When talking to little-known Ukrainian colleagues, be cautious of their feelings when delivering information. After your colleagues know you better, expect to be engaged in more frank conversation. If you don’t speak Ukrainian, consider hiring a Ukrainian translator or interpreter to demonstrate your professionalism and facilitate communication.
- Dress formally – Men should wear suits with ties and women should wear suits or dresses.
- Place academic titles on business cards – Ukrainians respect academic degrees. Also, please translate one side of your business card into Ukrainian or Russian.
- Shake hands – Shake hands with your Ukrainian colleagues upon initial meeting. Please maintain eye contact and repeat your name during each handshake. Shake hands again when departing.
Other helpful etiquette tips for Ukrainian business meetings include:
- Don’t plan to follow strictly an agenda. Ukrainians see agendas as suggestions for further discussion. Don’t be surprised if some part of the conversation during a meeting revolves not around business.
- Go that extra mile and impress your Ukrainian colleagues by providing them with all of your pertinent documents translated into Ukrainian.
- The government plays an important role in the business atmosphere of Ukraine. It is important for businesses to have personal acquaintanceship with people in governing bodies. The rules that the government follows when interacting with businesses are not always clear. This frustrates Ukrainian and foreign business people in the same way.
- Always partake toasts during the dinner with your Ukrainian colleagues,. If you don’t drink, please say you have medical issues. If you are not drinking alcohol, do not clink glasses during the toast. The host toasts first. You will be expected to reciprocate later in the meal.
- Business meetings often take place over meals, as it helps to build relationships. Don’t be surprised of being invited to a business meeting with a meal to a colleague’s home.
- Ukrainians act under traditional gender roles. Ukrainian men will open doors for women, pour their drinks and light their cigarettes.
- Some Ukrainians are superstitious. Please do not shake hands over a threshold. Also please do not pass anything over a threshold. Both gestures are considered bad luck.
Values Honored in Russian Speaking Countries:
- Traditional Gender Roles
Intellectuality and good manners in business society should be resided to all modern businessmen. Such elements of breeding as politeness, easiness, caliber and tact are important.
Entering the room, where there are people, they should compliment all unacquainted people with a light bend of the head and clasp hands to all familiars. On the street they salute with the bend of the head without any exclamations. Sitting at the table in café or restaurant it is usual to compliment kith just with the bend of the head. Man greets woman first, the younger greets the older, subsidiary – his manager etc.
Men should always shake hands, women – by mutual accord. When a woman is being introduced to a man, she offers her hand first. In some cases man holds out his hand first, but only if she is much older or incomparably higher ex officio.
Introducing is a very important element of business communication. Etiquette foresees abidance by definite code of conduct, which defines when and how they should introduce and be introduced. They should avoid intense familiarity, simple phrases should be used. When man is being introduced to a woman, he should stand up and give a little bow, she should stay sitting.
Etiquette of business behavior demands businessmen invited to the reception to keep the rules concerning clothes, behavior at the table, communication, business cards exchange, etc. In this way, man should always wear a suit of any tender color while visiting receptions held before 8 p.m.; to reception held after 8 p.m. men should wear suits of black or other color.
Another critical moment is appearance and clothes of businesswoman. Business dress is notable for classic cut, tender colors, and multifunctionality. The main woman’s wear is suit. Dresses are being wore just in summer, they should be self-colored; hairstyle, make-up and jewelry should organically compliment business wear. Hair-dress should be strict but elegant. They should better have not much décor; make-up should be modest almost unnoted. They should often smile and listen to the partner in conversation.
Business cards exchange can be realized just by business partners. By this the exchange should be provided with mutual light bows; after receiving the card name and surname of the partner should be read aloud; the office should be itemized.
Essential element of business communication and obligatory condition of successful business activity is negotiation. Modern requirement concerning the negotiations’ conducting are directly relating to competence and high professionalism of business partners. They should prepare carefully for conferences and negotiations. They shouldn’t answer partners’ questions with general phrases; but demonstrate knowledge of technical and organizational details of all the aspects of negotiations’ matter. It is important that not only companies’ management take part in the negotiations, but also specialists and managers who are experts in technical details of the points discussed.
For achieving wishful success in business relations it is important to use the tactics if business negotiations. First of all they should use all the known means of influence for the partner to pick his interest to the proposal. Negotiations should be conducted so that the partner gives by his own a guess desired to be heard from him. Secondly during the negotiations they should turn attention to the partner, be maximally interested listener. At the third the negotiations should be realized in polite and favorable tone; all indelicate (moreover rough) methods are inadmissible. Correct and persuasive speech and positive tone are indispensable conditions of successful negotiations. Not only pronounced words but also non-verbal modes of communications have definite meaning.