In business situation, have you ever considered well which chair to sit down in a room? Where to be in an elevator? What about in a taxi? Maybe never. You just take a seat where it’s available, go to the place you feel comfortable.
But if you are in Japan, you need to be careful where to be because we have a strict manner about that. Today, I introduce you this manner called “sekiji “.
-In a room
If you are the newest in a company or welcoming your client, you will be the lowest position and need to take a seat closest to the door. Please take a look at the picture.
1 means the best seat. This seat is served for the person who has the highest position among visitors. The bigger numbers mean the lower position. In this picture, left seats are for visitors and right ones are for hosts. So if you have only one visitor, just skip 2 or 2 and 3, and keep sitting on the right seats. On the other hand, when you visit your client you can take a higher seat. But don’t rush. You should wait until they offer. You need to show a humble attitude even when you are a guest.
-In a taxi
If you get on a taxi with your boss or clients, you still have to show them respect by sitting on a proper seat. Let’s see this picture.
Same as the first picture, 1 means the highest. You need to take a seat next to a taxi driver so that you can tell him/her a way. The highest seat is behind the driver. Because it’s the safest seat when a car accident occurs. FYI, your seat is the worst safe. Good luck.
-In an elevator
One day my German student told me she was impressed by Japanese kindness. When she was going in an elevator, a stranger inside was standing in front of the operation panel and push “open” button for her. She said this never happens in Germany.
Japanese people, especially businesspersons are used to acting like that. Let’s see below.
The lowest person stands in front of an operation panel and push bottoms for others. When getting off, keeps pushing “open” button until everyone gets off.
Too complicated? No worries. Every Japanese businessperson including me didn’t know the rule when we were college students. We learned step by step, making lots of mistakes. If you are new, we perfectly understand that you don’t know that. But if you can do that, we will be impressed.