Tip 11
Oral agreements carry as much weight as written contracts. In a relationship-driven society, it is the quality of relationships which will determine events rather than legal niceties.
Tip 12
Do not speak well of yourself but be very positive about your organisation and the department or team to which you belong. Never make disparaging comments about your own company - even in jest.
Tip 13
Humour should be avoided during serious business meetings where it will be viewed as out of place. Humour will, in any case, probably not be comprehensible.
Tip 14
Avoid strong eye contact which can be seen as threatening or hostile behaviour.
Tip 15
Body language is minimal and it can be very difficult to gauge progress made or the general sentiment of a meeting.
Tip 16
Show an interest in your contact as a person. An interest in family, hobbies, health etc. can help to cement a relationship.
Tip 17
Always take gifts to give to key contacts. Gifts need not be too expensive but should always be wrapped.
Tip 18
Dress well, but conservatively. Appearance is very important and you are likely to be judged on how you look.
Tip 19
If entertaining, entertain as well as possible. Remember that a good deal of the relationship-building process takes place over meals.
Tip 20
If confused or in doubt when working in Japan, try not to react immediately. Try to buy some time and reflect on the situation overnight or seek advice from colleagues or other Japanese contacts.