Working in Japan

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Meetings in Japan

How to condut meeting in Japan is an art. You must spend time in understanding and getting experience in arranging and managing meetings. Meetings happen several times a day for many reasons. There are formal and informal meetings.

If you are meeting a customer for the first time, please check this.

If you are having a meeting along with your boss and sub-ordinate, please check this.

Learn what to do during meeting and at the end of the meeting.

If you are arranging meetings, then ensure the following is done:

When you arrange a meeting ensure that the following are shared well in advance and you request for a meeting
+ First of all - Request for a meeting well in advance

+ Share clear agenda

+ Provide name, designation and roles of people participating from your side
+ If you are asking for people from customer side, ensure you have similar level designated people in your side
+ Sometimes we will request a GM to participate whereas in Japanese work culture (a GM is a very powerful person in a Japanese company and does not have time for all the meetings)
+ We cannot have a meeting where we have a GM from our side and expect a President from customer side to participate

Date and Time
+ We must clearly mention the date and time (including the time difference if different time zone are involved)

Minutes of the meeting with Action points and RnR
+ Ensure well written Minutes of the Meeting (MOM) is taken
+ Ensure all Action points are documented along with Roles and Responsibilites of who does what
NOTE: This will haunt you in case if you make a mistake in your deliverable
+ Hence what we agree in the meetings are important.
+ It must be well documented and above all it MUST be DELIVERED as per commitment

Customer response
+ Do not ask, any decision or response from a Japanese customer during the meeting.
+ They will answer depending on what the question is and how serious it will affect the project etc…
+ However, please have a practice of meeting each and every Japanese stakeholder
See Honne and Tatemae

End of the meeting
+ At the end of the meeting, summarize what are the action points taken
+ Close the meeting on time
+ Watch the time carefully and ensure the meeting closes on time

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