Are you traveling to Japan on a business trip? You will need more than just your suitcase! Traveling to any place needs some preparation, but when it comes to business trips, you have to be efficient.
Going on business trips means you will have to meet people from a different culture and negotiate with them. If you are going to have meetings like these, then you must learn to impress your counterparts. Here are some tips for you!
1. Learn Their Language
Now it does not mean that you have to become an expert overnight. You just have to search for the most common phrases and words, and then learn about them. Learn to say hi or how are you in Japanese. Best way to learn Japanese, or any language for that matter, is to engross yourself in it. Download podcasts or shows in Japanese, and listen to them while you are in your car going to work. Watch some movies in Japanese too, if possible.
Learning a language does not only mean memorizing words, but it also means learning how to speak it. The more you listen to the language; the better will be your learning process.
2. Learn Their Customs
This is perhaps a very important step. The beauty of diversity is that everyone has their own customs, language and etiquette. It means that something that is considered acceptable in your country may be regarded as offensive in another. In Japan, people greet each other with a slight bow of their head followed by a handshake. An act as small as a bow can tell your counterparts that you respect them and their culture as well!
3. Dress Properly
Regardless of what your field is, the Japanese find it more appropriate to dress in business attire. Even in cases where the business attire is not compulsory, such as gaming companies or music industry, people still choose to wear formal dresses. Pack your dress shirts and blazers, or suit-jackets. This will help you in your first meeting as it can cast a good impression.
4. Giving Gifts
Giving someone gifts is a very beautiful act in itself. In Japanese culture; however, this tradition is of greater importance. Gift giving, or omiyage, is a tradition where you bring a souvenir home after returning from a traveling trip. Business associates also exchange gifts after the end of a meeting. Bring some gifts, preferably souvenirs from your own country to create a friendly gesture.
5. Always Be Punctual
Business is something that must not be taken lightly. It is not just about how eloquently you can present your proposals, it is also about how you present yourself. One thing that can affect your trip negatively is when you are not serious enough. Try to be punctual and arrive before time. It can really bother your associates if you are late, as it shows a non-serious attitude.
We hope that these tips will make your business trip to Japan a productive and successful one. Good Luck!
Lara Smith has worked for Wall Street English for 20 years. After studying at Stanford University and subsequently doing a CELTA course, she began her career in teaching. She is obsessed with languages and currently writes blogs at https://www.mimicmethod.com/.