will be served the head, especially eyes, while a woman will get lamb’ tail.
In some countries people would turn a glass upside down to show their delight with the cuisine, while
Different customs are not unanimous in their attitude towards smoking at the table. In some countries
cigarettes will be served to signify permission to start smoking. In Britain smoking is allowed only
after dessert was served, while in some business clubs smoking is strictly prohibited.
after a hostess and other ladies withdrew, in others – after the most important guest left. Cocktail
parties are less formal. People may come and leave any time they please, however, this does not
concern guests in honor of whom the cocktail party is organized.
“ Silence is not always gold”
The French say that silence drives people away more than distance. G. Flober strongly recommends to
exclude politics and religion from social discussions.
When talking to somebody from another firm,
politics, religion, equality of women, vegetarianism, as well as somebody’s income and private life. A
potential customer may be alienated by your views. One of a good catches to prevent such
embarrassment is to try the ground with probing questions. A question “Have you ever lived in this
region?” is a good way to probe if you can praise or speak poorly of a certain place.
“I am sorry for being late”
It is recommended to show up strictly on time, as people might be offended with your being late.
However, there is nothing unusual for Latin Americans to be late a couple of hours (it is so nice to be
able to refer to other people!), British and Americans are usually on time and Germans arrive several
minutes earlier. In many African countries the notion of time is very elastic. Azerbaijan people find
nothing blameworthy if somebody is 15 minutes late for a business meeting and up to one hour for a
Think for yourself to follow or not to follow rules
Americans, thanks to their disarming simplicity, invented bad manners and saved people from many
problems related to conventions. They are followed by many Europeans or Asians, who traveled or
studied in the U.S. Still, the Germans, British, Japanese and French would stick to their etiquette
Rules of etiquette are not mandatory, but as demonstrated by international experience, people
overcome barriers. Europeans, Asians and people from Central and Eastern Europe and CIS regularly
meet each other at international conferences and, in most cases, they manage to avoid offending each
other, because people indulge the mistakes of others. For example, we are pleased to mention that
Americans working in oil companies in Baku stopped going to the Opera House in jeans and with a
bottle of beer, although it is difficult to perceive that this would be possible in America.
Jonathan Swift wrote that “A person who puts the least number of people into embarrassing situation
. Therefore, people visiting other places, shall give preference to local
do as Romans do”!
E.A.Utkin, Business Ethics, Moscow, Zertsalo Publishing House, 2000, p. 167
Ibidem, p. 146
Etiquette and protocol
What is etiquette?
Why do people need to follow rules of etiquettes?
Under what circumstance rules of etiquette are used?
Are rules of etiquette universal? Why?
1. You have been invited by one of your foreign partners. Being a very busy person, you have never
wish to disgrace yourself and would like to represent your country and your firm with dignity. What
would you do:
Study all rules of international etiquette to be in good shape?
You think that in this case you should learn norms of local etiquette of the host country?
You follow neither of one principles of above and believe that everything will be clear once
Presume that your country’s norms would do?