Blog Introduction: As the world becomes more globalized, it’s more important than ever to be able to work effectively with people from other cultures. This is especially true in Japan, where business culture is very different from what you may be used to. In this blog post, we’ll give you a few tips from experts like Kavan Choksi Japan on how to understand and succeed in Japanese business culture.
- Understand the importance of hierarchy.
In Japan, there is a strong emphasis on hierarchy in both society and business. This hierarchy is based on age and experience, and it dictates how people interact with one another. As a result, you’ll need to be careful about how you address people and be sure to use appropriate honorifics. For example, it’s important to use “-san” when addressing someone of a higher rank than yourself.
- Know the importance of face.
The face is extremely important in Japanese culture. It refers to one’s reputation and Honor, and it’s something that everyone wants to protect. In business, this means that decisions are often made based on what will save face for all parties involved rather than what makes the most logical sense. For example, it’s not uncommon for meetings to go on for hours without any real decision being made so that no one loses face by having to admit they don’t know what to do.
- Be prepared to socialize after work.
Business in Japan is often conducted over drinks or dinner after work hours. This socializing time is just as important as the meeting itself, as it’s an opportunity to build relationships with clients and colleagues. It’s important to remember that drinking too much alcohol can lead to embarrassing situations, so it’s best to pace yourself if you’re not used to drinking alcohol frequently.
- Don’t be afraid of silence.
In Japan, silence is often seen as a sign of respect. It’s not uncommon for there to be long pauses in conversation as people take time to think about what they want to say next. If you’re not used to this, it can feel uncomfortable, but try not to fill the silence with small talk—just wait patiently until someone else speaks first.
- Be patient when making decisions.
Due to the importance of face and hierarchy, decision-making in Japan can often take longer than what you may be used ti at home. It’s important not ti get frustrated and try ti understand that things are done differently here. Have patience, and eventually, you will get the result you desire.
- Understand that business cards are important.
In Japan, business cards are exchanged during the first meeting as a way of introducing oneself. It’s important to treat these cards with respect and to never write on them or put them away carelessly. Be sure to have your own business cards printed in Japanese as well as English, and make sure they list your title and affiliation.
Doing business in Japan can be a challenge if you’re not familiar with the local customs and etiquette. However, by following these simple tips, you can avoid making any major faux pas and succeed in building relationships with your Japanese counterparts. Understanding and respecting Japanese business culture are essential for doing business successfully in Japan.