Manual for Azerbaijan companies Rena Safaralieva



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each piece to be served in strict accordance with the hierarchy of guests. The most honorary guest 

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 



in Azerbaijan this jest might end up in brawl with a teashop keeper, who can demand explanation.  

  

“Comrade, let’s light up!”  

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.  



 

The rules of leaving the table also differ in different societies. In some cultures people may stand up 

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.

68

 When talking to somebody from another firm



with which you hope to establish business relations, it is prudent to avoid delicate topics, such as 

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 

social event.  

 

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.  

 

Rules of etiquette are not mandatory, but as demonstrated by international experience, people 



participating in international relations and contacts prefer to follow certain rules. Sincerity helps to 

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 



has the best manners”

69

. Therefore, people visiting other places, shall give preference to local 



traditions, rather than international etiquette norms, because the proverb recommends “When in Rome 

do as Romans do”!  

                                                 

68

 E.A.Utkin, Business Ethics, Moscow, Zertsalo Publishing House, 2000, p. 167 



69

 Ibidem, p. 146 




SELF-ASSESSMENT  QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER VIII. INTERNATIONAL 

NEGOTIATIONS. ETIQUETTE AND PROTOCOL  

 

The questions below are designed to assess  your understanding of the material. 

 

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? 



Etiquette as a tool of conflict settlement 

 



Why conflict settlement helps to receive  material and moral benefits?  

 



How can etiquette assist in settling a conflict?  

 



How do different people view compromise?  

 



In what cases it  is impossible to reach a compromise?  

Negotiation etiquette norms 

 



Please give etiquette rules for discussion   

 



What are peculiarities  of behavior of various peoples during negotiations?    

 



Please give rules for  speaker, listener and for perception of information.  

Invitation to a dinner or reception 

 



What is the minimum  acceptable notification time for invitations and why? 

 



What is the standard dress code for ladies and gentlemen for business lunch or dinner?  

 



Is the dress code something redundant or useful?  

 



What would your response be, if someone is not dressed properly?  

Table manners 

 



How are people prescribed to sit at a table?  

 



What are rules for eating?  

 



How do people eat in Azerbaijan and other countries?  

 



Is smoking at table acceptable?  

 



Which topics are usually a taboo?  

Think for yourself to follow or not to follow rules 

 



Is it mandatory to follow norms of etiquette?  

 



Why you should know norms of etiquette accepted in the country you are visiting?  

 



Which etiquette is more preferable to follow: universal or local?  

 



How shall people respond to ignorance of etiquette norms?  

 



Can local etiquette norms be preferred to international standards and vice versa?  

 

 

CASE STUDIES  FOR CHAPTER VIII. INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS. ETIQUETTE 

AND PROTOCOL  

 

Please read the cases below and chose your answer from the options provided. Please substantiate your 

answer. The notes to cases  can be found at the end of the book.  

 

1. You have been invited by one of your foreign partners. Being a very busy person, you have never 



had time to familiarize yourself thoroughly with rules of etiquette and protocol. However, you do not 

wish to disgrace yourself and would like to represent your country and your firm with dignity. What 

would you do:  

 

(a)



 

Study all rules of international etiquette to be in good shape?  

(b)

 

You think that in this case you should learn norms of local etiquette of the host country?  



(c)

 

You follow neither of one principles of above and believe that everything will be clear once 



you are on site?  

(d)


 

Presume that your country’s norms would do?  

(e)

 

Anything else? 





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