6 Lessons From The Japanese Culture

6 Lessons from Japanese Culture:

Many a businessman transplanted to the Land of the Rising Sun has come back with tales of culture shock and bewilderment. To us in the West, Japanese culture remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
But beneath its perplexing surface lies an extremely productive and effective society, as evidenced by their economic muscle. Nonetheless, the Japanese are rigidly ceremonious when it comes to making deals. To the foreigner, or gaijin, as the locals call them, Japanese business customs seem so deeply entrenched in their foreign culture and traditions that they couldn't possibly work for us in the West.
But look past the rituals themselves and you'll see concepts that are well worth emulating, such as respect for elders, attention to detail and an almost religious commitment to having fun after work.
Here's a breakdown of lessons we can learn from our brethren in the Far East.
1- Venerate the business card
A meeting in Japan starts with a formal and highly ceremonious exchange of business cards, a ritual referred to as meishi kokan. When receiving a card, a businessman takes it with both hands, reads it over carefully, repeats the printed information aloud, and then places it in a cardholder or on the table in front of him, referring to it in conversation when needed. He never drops it in his pocket. That is considered disrespectful.
What it teaches us:
The business card exchange is a way of expressing the importance one places on an encounter. It shows that you value the meeting, just as you'll value future ones.
How we can adapt it:
You'll look silly or even mocking if you do the full meishi routine in a North American office. When you do receive a business card, however, take the time to abs ...
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