Source: World Bank
Meeting and Greeting
- Ukrainian businesspeople are generally less formal than in many other countries.
- Shake hands with everyone upon arriving and leaving.
- Handshakes are quite firm.
- Maintain eye contact during the greeting.
- It is common to repeat your name while shaking hands.
- Academic and professional titles are commonly used with the surname.
- If someone does not have an academic or professional title, use the honorific "Pan" for a man and "Pani" for a woman with the surname.
- Most business colleagues refer to each other by first name and patronymic. (Middle name which is a version of the father’s first name formed by adding "-vich" or "-ovich" for a male and "-avna", "-ovna", or "ivna" for a female.)
- When using someone's complete name, including the patronymic, the honorific title is not used.
- The way someone is addressed often depends upon the situation. Titles and surnames are used in meetings and may give way to first names or diminutives in social situations.
- Business cards are exchanged without ritual.
- Have one side of your business card translated into Ukrainian.
- Include advanced university degrees on your business card.
- Present your card so the Ukrainian side faces the recipient.
- If someone does not have a business card, note the information in your appointment book or portfolio.
Although direct communication is valued in the Ukraine, there is also an emphasis placed on delivering information in a sensitive manner. Often, the level of the relationship will determine how direct someone is. Obviously the newer a relationship, the more cautious people will be. Once a relationship has developed, people will then feel more comfortable speaking frankly.
Meeting schedules are not very rigid in the Ukraine. There may be an agenda, but it serves as a guideline for the discussion and acts as a springboard to other related business ideas. As relationships are highly important in this culture, there may be some time in the meeting devoted to non-business discussions. Engage in small talk and wait for the other party to change the subject to business.