Last Updated Sep 3, 2008 1:21 PM EDT
- The Find: Sometimes the success of an international deal depends just as much on how you handle your vodka as on the content of the contract, so the Economist has rounded up practical etiquette tips to help managers headed to Moscow (and other cities) make the right impression.
- The Source: The Moscow entry of the Economist's Gulliver blog for the globe trotting business person.
- Pay attention to your clothing. Russians dress as well as they can afford to, and rarely do "slacker" style... Arriving at a meeting at the Kremlin wearing a polo-neck sweater instead of a shirt and tie is rumored to have been one of the reasons why Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Yukos, his oil company, were destroyed by the government.
- Boozing is a big part of social life and if you're not inclined to get drunk, it's best to say that you are on antibiotics.
- On business trips in the provinces, a valedictory feast punctuated by frequent toasts may be unavoidable. If you know you are in for a marathon, try lining your stomach with fat first by eating a large chunk of butter, perhaps spread thickly on some bread. You will stay sober longer.
- There are several widely held superstitions. Don't shake hands through a doorway, light a cigarette from a candle, give someone an even number of flowers. Even numbers of flowers are traditionally reserved for the dead.
The Question: Any other hard won wisdom for the manager heading to Moscow?