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About This Week’s Guestnatasha-aksenova

Natasha Aksenova

Natasha Aksenova is specializing on Doing business in Russia and Communicating effectively with Russians.

She has been exposed to different cultures, studies, and work-wise, for the last 16 years, having lived and worked across the world, in Russia, the US, Germany, and in the UK.

Natasha gained her practical business experience, having worked in media industries for over 11 years.

Natasha’s work included acting as a mediator between Russian, Kazakh, Ukrainian and English teams, bridging any possible gaps, identifying and resolving issues and problems and, ultimately, making projects happen.

Now she consults on doing business in Russia from the communications perspective and is a published author of a series of articles about Doing business in Russia.

This is the second podcast I’m doing with a specific focus on Russia. If you want to listen and read the tips of the other, go here.

Her tips (there are many!) to become more culturally aware are:

  1. When doing business with Russia, make sure you build up that relationship. If you’re from the Western World you might have a tendency to pitch your product and wanting to get down to business straight away. It doesn’t work that way in Russia.
  2. Westerns are perceived as being “cold” by Russians. Only showing product and service specs will not work. Russians are much more emotional about these things.
  3. In Russia, deadlines are just the beginning. Not the end. And a deadline is a not a straightforward point. If you want to set a deadline, you also have to show strong leadership.
  4. Don’t assume that in another country that you visit or do business with it is the same as your own. Even if you go in with an open mind and treat people friendly you might or will still face difficulties.
  5. Prepare yourself well. Read books, get help, ask around, follow an intercultural management course.

Interview Links

Links that are mentioned in this episode:


You Can Also Listen to the Culture Podcast and Management Podcast

Chris Smit PodcastCulture Matters Podcast (on international business)Build your Cultural Competence, listen to interesting stories, learn about the cultural pitfalls and how to avoid them, get the Global perspective here at the Culture Matters podcast on International Business.

We help you understand Cultural Diversity better by interviewing real people with real experiences.

Every episode there is an interview with a prominent guest, who will tell his or her story and share international experiences. Helping you develop your cultural competence. Welcome to this culture podcast and management podcast.

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Chris Smit

I'm passionate about Cultural Difference. I have been helping organizations save time and money when they work Internationally for the last 19 years. I have had the fortunate opportunity to hold lectures, workshops, and consulting projects on this subject World Wide. It has made me understand my own culture much better, and appreciate the differences around the world.
I have a Master's Degree in Organisational Psychology and have lived in the USA, the Netherlands and, currently, in Belgium.
Thank you!

Chris Smit
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