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Business Etiquettes in Georgia


Georgians are very relationship orientated in their outlook. This means that people's feelings take precedence over facts. It is important to appreciate that you may not the whole truth if there is bad news. Similarly you should be sensitive when communicating difficult information.

Similarly in an eagerness to establish a business relationship, Georgians may offer an affirmative response even if they know it is far from the truth. One way in which this cultural influence manifests is in asking questions in a negative fashion so that the person responding may give a positive response for a negative answer.

Georgians are not afraid to express their emotions no matter how bad. Do not be surprised if people do display anger or extreme disappointment during business. Similarly Georgians can be emotive speakers. When discussing a topic, voices may become raised and hand gestures increased.

Direct eye contact conveys trust. Looking away or making intermittent eye contact may be misinterpreted as a sign that you are not telling the truth.

Although Georgia has a relationship orientated culture, they can also be very direct.

Meeting & Greeting

Georgian business culture is noticeably less formal than in other countries. Shake hands with everyone upon arriving and leaving. DO maintain eye contact during the greeting. The person of the higher status should initiate the handshake. It is polite to wait for a woman to extend her hand.

Academic and professional titles are commonly used with the surname. Always wait until invited before moving to a first-name basis.

Business Meeting

At the beginning of meetings introductions are the norm. These are generally made in order of seniority although women are often introduced first. Be prepared to give an overview of your background, experience and general purpose for your visit.

It can also prove fruitful to send a full biography of everyone who will attend the meeting beforehand to save time and also offer a more thorough introduction.

A first meeting is often more about seeing if doing business together is possible. Do not expect any contracts to be signed on a first meeting. Time and patience are needed.

Meetings may continue over a lunch or dinner. The topic of conversation will shift away from business but this should be used as the time to let the Georgian hosts get to know you on a personal level.
In most cases decisions are made at the top of a company. Unless you are meeting with the boss or owner bear in mind that all your meeting will achieve is getting across the key points that will then be passed upwards to the decision maker.

Meetings can be frequently interrupted. Do not interpret this as a sign of disinterest but Georgians will not see any issues with dealing with more than one issue at a time.

Business Cards

Business cards are exchanged without any formal ritual. It is a nice touch to have one side of your business card translated into Georgian or Russian.





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