Working with Japan

Flags - part of Japanese life.

Flags – part of Japanese life.

Learn communication strategies to establish credibility, build trust, reach agreements and uncover disagreements for business effectiveness with Japanese counterparts. Avoid delays, offense, and miscommunication by understanding Japanese culture, business hierarchy, and relationship-building during work and after hours. Japanese meeting practices and negotiations are covered; communication tips for more effective E-mail and teleconferencing. Excellent preparation for business trips to Japan and hosting Japanese.

Understand Japanese identity, cultural values, attitudes and behavior. Gain strategies and tactics to be successful in meeting business, operational and management goals; and practice effective intercultural communication with Japanese counterparts.

Training Content – Participants will learn:

  • Cultural Values: Key Japanese cultural values, beliefs, customs and traditions that shape their business and social behaviors (e.g., group connectedness ningen kankei,  uchi and soto, ma, wa and others).
  • Business and Management Practices: Understand tateshakai hierarchy (roles, titles) in Japanese companies; proper introductions, first impressions, meishi, and business protocol; the importance and process of relationship building and face; Japanese negotiation strategies; concept of time, punctuality; and nemawashi and ringi-sho decision-making processes; gaining personal contacts and professional credibility (with special focus for businesswomen); gaining buy-in and commitments; conflict resolution; motivating and delegating to subordinates.
  • Corporate Contrasts: Similarities and differences between Japanese business culture and your corporate culture (values and business practices), i.e., customer orientation, quality, relationship building, risk-taking, innovation, loyalty, etc. are viewed or practiced in Japan.

  • Fundamentals: Essential briefing on “must know” facts about Japan, focusing on its national identity in the region and world; current events, economy and business climate; demographic variety (regional, generational, religious, etc.); plus the education system and learning styles that shape workplace behaviors of Japanese professionals.

  • Communication Style: Learn how to work effectively with Japanese honne vs. tatemae communication style, way of organizing and processing information, giving feedback, negotiating, questioning and persuading. Learn techniques in conducting effective onsite and after-hours meetings, and office communication. Learn conversation openers and topics to avoid; interpret gestures, body language, and personal space.
  • Business Travel: Packing, dress code; personal safety; hospitality, business entertainment and social etiquette with Japanese businessmen; foods, drinking; holidays; transportation; laws and dealing with local authorities.

 What participants have to say:

“”Having a Japanese-national instructor is vital to understanding the subtleties of Japanese culture. In hindsight, I now understand much of the “mysterious” behaviors of my Japanese counterparts in our two previous negotiation meetings. Thanks – I’m looking forward to using what I learned in the role plays in my next meeting in Tokyo.” – J. P., APAC Sales Manager

The process of consensus building to make decisions through preliminary meetings and confidential one-on-one consultations.

Ningen kankei
In business transactions long term relationships, ningen kankei, are critical.