Doing Business with Japanese Men: A Womans Handbook

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Cards should be double sided to include both English and Japanese. Offer the card with the Japanese side facing upwards towards the recipient. Offering the card with both hands demonstrates greater respect.

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In a group of several Japanese people, cards will be offered to you in order of rank, with the highest ranking presenting their card last. The card should be placed respectfully into a business card holder, not shoved into a pocket like a tissue and do take care not to damage or bend the card; this is considered to be a direct insult. Always play safe and dress formally for your meeting; it never hurts to be overdressed.

This behaviour can result in a lack of trust and you might not be taken very seriously.

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Use black or blue ink when taking notes, not red. Wait for direction from your host as to where you should sit. Exceptional importance is placed upon seating in meetings and the position is determined by status. Usually, the highest ranking person will sit at the head of the table and the subordinates will sit on both sides of the table.

The ranking will decrease the further down the table away from the head of the table you get. Wait for others to initiate and you can then follow their lead. Although not compulsory for a business meeting, gifts may be presented. If you are given a gift which is wrapped, the etiquette is to wait until after you have left the meeting before you open it. In Japan, the first name follows the family name. Most Japanese family names consist of 2 kanji Chinese characters.

The meanings of many of the kanji used in family names are related to nature, geographical features or locations e.

First names also usually consist of 2 kanji and the meanings are usually positive characteristics such as intelligence, beauty, love or light or names of flowers or seasons. This section will be particularly helpful if you are relocating to Japan and intend to work.

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Short verbal feedback is usually given and greatly appreciated. Ways of acknowledgement are asking them to help on high profile projects, invitations to important meetings, and even an invitation to share a meal together is accepted practice. Structuring work as team projects and rewarding people as a team is an effective management tool. Group social outings, team meetings etc. As well as being part of a group, Japanese people want to feel that the group they belong to is a prestigious one.

Any efforts to raise the public profile of your company will pay off with increased motivation. Many Japanese employees chose their employers being mindful that their friends and family will recognise the name of the company they work for. There are many areas in Japan where you will find foreigners who are teaching, translating and working in IT-related roles.

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Which one s should you use? And should you call people by first name or last name? Kimura san.

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Alternatively you could also use the suffix sama although this conveys a very high level of respect that might not be necessary depending on the situation. Akira san , unless explicitly asked otherwise. If you are part of a team and you will all participate to the business meeting, make sure that you define all the roles beforehand. Try avoiding getting into conversations or answers that might denote even slight disagreements or diverging points of view. It is not a bad thing per se, but, when dealing with people who might not be as fluent as you are in English it could cause confusion and doubts.

Enunciation, lowered speed, and volume but not too loud are determining factors. Just as important though is your word choice. Certain expressions that are extremely common in English speaking countries are often unheard of elsewhere, so even a proficient English speaker, if they are not accustomed to a certain country, might not understand several slang words, or turns of phrases. Also any kind of visual representation of your pitch will make a good impression, clarify things, and save precious minutes. What can you expect from your meetings in Japan?

In a general sense, Japanese companies look for long-term partners. In and on itself this kind of commitment requires some time to consider, regardless of the country. This is even more true in Japan. More often than not, people will approach the meeting literally from a prepared script. And if you have a facilitator in between, after the meeting ask her or him for a read on the situation. In Japan, when a meeting is over, the meeting continues. The vibe is completely different.

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  • Very often meetings move to restaurants or bars. Food and alcohol are used as a social lubricant in Japan. This is a way to connect to the person, as opposed to the business partner. You will very often be expected to drink likely a lot. The same goes for dietary restrictions or allergies you may have. After dinner and drinks, one of the favorite pastimes in Japan is Karaoke.

    You may be an awesome singer, or an awful one. No one will actually care or pay attention to it. This does not prevent you from making some conscious choices that might make your party more comfortable. For example, many not-too-young Japanese people may not be all too familiar with the latest western hit songs, but they will most likely know and get very excited to hear a native speaker sing some oldies: Hey Jude, We will Rock You, Take me home, country road they actually have a Japanese version of this song too , Happy, YMCA, and several others are almost sure successes.

    Going back to that Facebook group you may have created before your meeting, make sure that if you take pictures of the event you ask beforehand if you can post them. Thank them for their time, for the fun, and for the attention they gave to your project.

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    It will be well worth it. You will be able to better soak in the level of passion, attention to detail, packaging and presentation that takes place in Japan. It will surely give you a better insight on the people, the country, and the business practices of the country. Lucio Maurizi is an Italian writer, photographer, and streamer. He spent 10 years in the United States and currently lives in Japan, focusing on creating articles and channels dedicated to the Land of the Rising Sun. He loves any form of storytelling, natto, and wasabi, and is desperately trying to make time to work on his novel.

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    Doing Business with Japanese Men: A Womans Handbook Doing Business with Japanese Men: A Womans Handbook
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    Doing Business with Japanese Men: A Womans Handbook Doing Business with Japanese Men: A Womans Handbook
    Doing Business with Japanese Men: A Womans Handbook Doing Business with Japanese Men: A Womans Handbook
    Doing Business with Japanese Men: A Womans Handbook Doing Business with Japanese Men: A Womans Handbook

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