Firstly, if you work for a company that has the honor of doing business with Japan, you might get to sit in on a meeting where you'll see the culture around Meishi. Here's some Etiquette:
- Bowing is done first upon meeting, though handshakes are becoming more popular too.
- If your card has English on one side and Japanese on the other, present it Japanese-side up to show respect of the language.
- Note that the boardroom will be filled with men of varying rank; the one with the highest rank (CEO, for instance) will present his card last. This is probably because he is considered the best and most important to remember.
- Take time to study the other cards given to you, and don't be alarmed if the others whistle or hiss through their teeth while reading. These cards are considered a true extension of the person and not just a paper tool like we see them here in North America.
- Treat their cards with utmost respect, so no shoving in a pocket, writing on, or otherwise mistreating. It can be seen as a direct insult.
- Rather, look at the card for long enough to remember their details, then gently place the card into a business card holder. It shows you care about their position in the company.
- Carry your own cards in a nice holder, and bring lots!!
Here in Red Deer, Alberta
As a blogger and artist, I have gone to Vistaprint.ca and gotten some good quality business cards, so it makes it easier to share this year-long daily project with people I meet every day. In this day & age, one does not technically have to be a 'business person' to carry personal cards. I remember all the way to grade 4, a boy named Thomas came up to me and proudly presented a small card with his full name, saying he was a professional video gamer and game tutor. This wasn't a simple slip of paper written in crayon - it was a real actual one printed in raised black, on cardstock. I was blown away!
Then, on August 6, 2008, my husband (then, crush) Rob asked me out in a sneaky way, because he was a manager where we worked and we didn't want it to be too obvious. Thankfully around that time, I had made 'personal' cards that were like business cards for dating. So my name, phone number and stats, basically. It worked! He called the very next day and well....
So Now For the Fun!
- Try making a simple shape out of a few of them, and leave it in a public place to be found by others. How creative can you get?
- Hand one to every single clerk or cashier you meet. Even if you're getting a Slurpee or you're just leaving a restaurant and the waitress is clearing your bill. Challenge yourself do to 5 a day!
- When you borrow a library book, place a business card in there like a book mark for the next book-borrower :) If you're a book nerd like me, try making special book marks for that.
- Give one in each greeting card, whether during special events or a co-worker's birthday.
- When you use a fancy washroom that makes you feel spoiled, leave a small row (4 or 5) along the counter where it's clean & dry. Before you say "eeww!" I have met people this way.
- If you happen to sell packaged goods, leave 2x in each parcel; offer a deal on the next purchase if the finder shares your other card with someone else.
- Look up local networking events in your area. In addition to handing out cards, you can meet others with whom you can really collaborate ^_^
- Check grocery stores, coffee shops, gyms, and even the laundry room of your apartment or condo building for public bulletin boards to pin some cards too.
- Ask local businesses if they can keep some of your cards at the counter or desk, in exchange for you doing some advertising for them. Win-win situation.
- If you need to order more cards soon anyway, try offering some sort of promotion like a 2 for 1 deal, percentage off something, free giveaway, contest, or gifts in exchange for shares.
- And last but not least, buy some sticky name tag pins (like the ones pictured below) and carefully attach some to a few cards; wear one yourself and challenge your friends to do it too.
Thank you again for your loyal reading. I wouldn't be able to run this blog if not for supporters like you, and you deserve to smile and have fun every day ^3^