Essay on Intercultural Differences in Russia

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Cultural differences to take into account for a French businessman in Russia
 Analysis of some aspects of intercultural differences  Their effects on business communication

The purpose of this essay is to show that intercultural differences between French and Russian businessmen exist and discuss if they are a threat for effective business communication. The structure follows the different steps of a real business situation: a French businessman meeting his potential Russian partners for a negotiation in Russia.

Introduction
Before going to Russia, what important information should a French businessman know?

There are many cultural differences between France and Russia that a businessman should know before he goes to Russia in
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Because there is no quality brown tobacco in Russia, French cigarettes would also be well appreciated. Another strong intercultural difference between the French and the Russians is how they call each other. French businessmen are very formal. They use the “vous” form and call each other “Sir”. For people from different companies, it may take years to switch to the informal “tu” form and call each other with their first name. Russian people are much faster. They never call each other “Sir”, which is very official, and prefer using their first names after one or two meetings. There is no big communication issue here because, if he can speak Russian, a French businessman risks nothing but being too polite. He will sound strange for the Russians until he adapts himself to the way they talk, but this will not lead to any conflict. The fact that he tries to speak Russian will even be appreciated because the Russians are proud of their language. If he does not speak Russian, he will probably need an interpreter. Finally, a French businessman will have to take into account Russian good manners. Many of them differ from the French ones. For example, a man never shakes a woman’s hand. He will never stand with his hands in his pockets and will never show the sole of his shoes, which are considered dirty and should never be in contact with any type of seat. Also, laughing or speaking loudly in public is rude
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