Friday, February 13, 2009

Awareness of Cultural Differences

Several years ago I traveled to Nagoya Japan for a start-up meeting. I was fortunate on this trip because 2 other co-workers were also allowed to attend.

Prior to my travels I consulted my co-workers, who have traveled to Japan before, about any cultural differences I should be aware of so I didn’t offend our clients with my “American Ways”.

  1. When you receive a business card, hold onto it with 2 hands and really inspect it.
  2. Prior to the gathering exchange gifts (with your counterpart), but do not do it in front of everyone.
  3. If giving a presentation do not have jokes, because they may not translate well.
  4. At the end of your presentation, typically they will not have any questions, but they will confront you later on, one on one (so make sure you offer one on one time).
  5. Talk with them about their country's history and if you have some free time ask them for suggestions on historic places to visit.

"I note the obvious differences between each sort and type, but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike."
~Maya Angelou

Osu Kannon Temple, Nagoya, Japan