Business Etiquette in Kazakhstan

Business etiquette in Kazakhstan
The handshake is the common greeting. Two hands are often used. Handshakes tend to be gentle. Many Kazakh men will not shake hands with women. A woman should extend her hand, but if it is not accepted, she should not be insulted. Maintain eye contact during the greeting. Shake hands at the end of a meeting, prior to leaving. If you meet someone several times in the same day, you should shake hands each time. Wait to be introduced to everyone, usually in order of importance. Academic and professional titles are used in business. People are called by their title and surname. Wait until invited before using someone’s first name. Business cards are extremely important to establish one’s position, navigate bureaucracy and open doors. Likewise, show the card of someone significant when trying to gain access or secure an appointment. Business cards are exchanged without a great deal of ritual. It is advisable to have your business cards printed in Russian on one side and English on the other. Make certain that your title is included on your business card.
Protecting relationships and people’s honor is important. As a result Kazakhs finesse what they say in order to deliver information in a sensitive and diplomatic manner. They tend to speak in a roundabout fashion rather than a linear fashion. They respond more favorably to gentle probing rather than direct questioning. At the same time, many Kazakhs have a somewhat volatile demeanor and can raise their voice to get their point across. They are known for their fierce arguments. You may wish to retaliate in kind, but do so cautiously as there is a fine line between standing up for yourself and appearing overly aggressive. Hierarchy is respected in Kazakhstan. Someone more senior is never ever contradicted or criticized, especially in public. You will be expected to treat senior Kazakhs in the same manner. Meeting styles vary by the type of business entity. Private industry is often more...