Meeting with Japanese
A whiteboard is a useful tool for those times in meetings when things get out of hand.
Whiteboards are usually available at small companies, so it’s a good idea to let them know in advance that you might use it in the meeting room and have it ready. During a meeting, if an engineer is having trouble understanding what is being said, the whiteboard comes into play immediately. Drawing diagrams of electrical, mechanical, program, flowchart, etc. will help everyone understand each other’s opinions and make it easier to check the contents. The good thing about a whiteboard is that you can write and erase freely. You can also write in different colors, red, blue, violet, orange, etc.
It is also useful for writing a summary of the meeting at the end of the meeting.
The importance of wrap-up in meetings with Japanese people
In many meetings with Japanese people, the person who can make the decision (the decision maker) is often not present.
In such cases, it is important to clearly state what you want the decision-maker to confirm before the next meeting. Meetings with Japanese people are not easy to conclude. In order to come to a conclusion quickly, it is a good idea to set up a wrap-up time in advance. While you are wrapping up, write necessary items on the whiteboard.
The most important items are which side of the work is to be considered and by when. I recommend doing this last step to make the meeting with the Japanese as fruitful as possible.
All of the items in the finished wrap-up, all of which are items from the Japanese company side, may have to be checked with your boss, which is no laughing matter.
Whiteboard with copy function
Usually, whiteboards are equipped with a simple photocopier so that you can quickly make copies and distribute them to everyone. It’s important to write down the date, place, participants, etc. on the board. Unfortunately, whiteboards with color photocopiers are not common yet, so the color information is lost when it is copied, but it is still useful. Finally, if necessary, have the representative or all participants sign the copy. Usually, just the representatives of both sides are supposed to sign on it.
That’s it. I was able to finish my meeting in Japan without any problems and delay.
With this much done, you can fly back to your home country with peace of mind.
Sleep on the plane and go home, hoping that by the next time we meet, you will have carried out the confirmation as promised.
Take a picture using your phone’s camera instead
It is also a good idea to take a picture with your own smartphone.
A photo is easier to understand than a black and white copy because it is colored.
However, you cannot sign the photo, so a paper copy is still better.
Blank paper whiteboard stand
It is also very useful as you know. Not so many Japanese companies have this powerful tool. Flipchart with Blank Page is not so popular in Japan. This Flipchart Portable Easel is perfect for writing down your meeting notes and ideas. Especially it would be very useful for brainstorming type meeting.You are lucky the visited customer has this equipment in the meeting room.