Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Meishi Etiquette in Japan

The exchange of meishi offers you an opportunity to make an impression on your counterpart.

Exchanging Business Cards in Japan

It’s important to exchange business cards correctly in Japan. In addition to the simple exchange of contact information, participants are often trying to glean as much information as they can about their interlocutor and that person’s company.

Takashi Nakano, whose company Soul Products advises business clients on business cards, says that the exchange of meishi offers you an opportunity to make an impression on your counterpart.

Here’s a list of basic rules that Nakano follows when exchanging a business card:

(a) offer your card with two hands;

(b) receive your counterpart’s card with two hands;

(c) ensure the card is turned towards the receiver; ensure no names or logos are covered up when you offer your card;

(d) if the person you are exchanging cards with outranks you in terms of seniority, you should offer your business card first;

(e) if the person you are exchanging cards with outranks you in terms of seniority, you should offer it at a lower level than the other person;

(f) after receiving a business card, you should read over the contents and either place it facing upright on top of your cardholder on the table or, if standing, place it on your cardholder in your left hand until the other person has moved on.

“You need to look at what’s written on a business card very carefully and ask questions, if you can, in order to show that you are interested in that person,” Nakano says. “And don’t talk about yourself the whole time.” — Japan Times, 2017


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia