Tips For Navigating Business Etiquette In Georgia

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Doing business in the state of Georgia requires a certain level of etiquette that can take some getting used to. Whether you're attending a meeting, networking with potential contacts or having an informal gathering with colleagues, it's important to understand the norms of business etiquette in the region. To help you get up to speed, here are some tips for navigating business etiquette in Georgia. From how to greet someone to appropriate behaviour during meetings, these tips will ensure you make the best impression possible.

The importance of business etiquette

Business etiquette is important to networking and success in any professional setting. And Georgia is right up there, with the country being ranked 7th out of 190 countries in the World Bank's 2020 Doing Business report. Georgia has a favourable business environment, with a relatively low tax burden and a simplified tax code. Understanding the local customs and expectations will help you make a good impression on potential clients and colleagues. For instance, it is important to note that the traditional greeting in Georgia is not the handshake standard in other places like the United States or Portugal, but rather the touching of hands on the forehead, accompanied by a head nod. This gesture may seem foreign to those who have not experienced it before, but it is a crucial aspect of showing respect in Georgia.

Know your audience

Understanding the culture of the people you are meeting with is essential when navigating business etiquette in Georgia. This is especially true in the case of Georgia as its economy is primarily driven by the service sector, which accounts for over 60% of its GDP. The Georgian language is unique because it does not belong to any known language family. Its writing system is based on the Greek alphabet and was adopted from the ancient kingdom of Kartli, which was located in what is now the Republic of Georgia. The country also has cultural influences from Armenia, Greece, Italy, and even Portugal. Knowing these cultures and their customs will give you an edge when it comes to understanding the people you are meeting with.

How to greet someone

Greeting someone correctly is an important part of business etiquette, especially in a place like Georgia. If you are meeting someone for the first time, it is best to introduce yourself with a handshake, a nod, or a bow. Always make sure that you address your counterpart with respect, even if they're from another country or region. Avoid offensive language and inappropriate jokes that could put your counterpart off. It's also common courtesy to give the other person your undivided attention throughout the conversation. Additionally, be mindful of body language; crossing your arms can appear confrontational whereas sitting up straight shows that you are attentive and engaged.

How to dress for success

When attending a business meeting or networking event in Georgia, it is important to dress for success. The way you dress can help you make a good first impression and show that you are prepared for the occasion. When dressing for a business meeting or event in Georgia, you should opt for more formal attire such as a suit or dress shirt with dress pants. Women should choose professional clothing such as a dress, skirt, and blouse, or a smart casual outfit. Make sure that all clothing is neat, clean, and pressed. Avoid wearing bright colours, loud prints, and anything too revealing. Jewellery should be kept to a minimum and should not be distracting. Dressing appropriately shows respect to the people you are meeting with and demonstrates that you take the occasion seriously.

How to eat and drink at business functions

It is important to remember that when attending business functions, the way you eat and drink can be just as important as the other aspects of business etiquette. To start, when sitting down for a meal, always wait until everyone is seated before beginning. If you are unsure of which utensils to use, start with the furthest utensil and work your way in. You should also avoid speaking with food in your mouth and cutting all of your food up before taking your first bite. When drinking alcohol, it is considered polite to pour drinks for others before pouring your own. If you do not wish to drink, you should politely decline and say something along the lines of "no thank you" or "I'd rather not, but thank you".

How to network

Networking is an important part of business etiquette in Georgia and is often the key to success. Whether you are attending a professional event or even a casual gathering, there are a few important tips to keep in mind. When networking, the most important thing to remember is to be open and friendly. Showing genuine interest in the people you meet and making conversation can help you create strong connections. Be sure to bring business cards with your contact information, as this is a common way to exchange contact details. Also, be sure to listen carefully to what the other person has to say and make sure to ask questions about them and their interests.

How to follow up after a meeting

Following up after a meeting is an important part of business etiquette in Georgia. A few simple steps can help you make a lasting impression and strengthen your relationship with the other person. The first step is to send a thank-you note. This note should be sent as soon as possible after the meeting, typically within 24 hours. In the note, make sure to thank the person for their time and restate any key points or commitments you discussed during the meeting. The second step is to follow up with any promises you made during the meeting. If you said you would provide more information or take certain actions, make sure to do so in a timely manner. The third step is to stay in touch with the person. Keeping in contact allows you to stay up-to-date on their business and progress.

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