Feb 20 2020 5 Tips for Effective Communication between you, your colleagues, and your boss in Japan!
Communicating isn’t just talking. It’s the perfect balance between being able to express your thoughts clearly, being a good listener and of course being observant of the other parties involved. If you are a foreigner in a Japanese workplace, there might be a few concerns when it comes to communication. It can be language barrier, cultural differences or others but this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to establish good rapport with your colleagues & boss while thriving in your career. It all boils down to effective communication. Are your ideas properly pitched and heard?
With our recent session “Communicating with your boss when you’re not feeling heard in Japan” here are some of the tips that you can practice to achieve effective communication in your work place.
1.) KNOW WHO YOUR AUDIENCE IS
It’s very important to do your part in taking time to get to know who your audience will be. Who is it that you are going to speak with? How is he/she like? What is their goal? How will what you are pitching or sharing to them be beneficial for them to reach their goal? Do your research so that the conversation will be clear, direct and mindful of the listener’s perspective.
2.) LEARN HOW TO READ THE AIR ( 空気 くうき を 読 よ む )
Japanese people in general are not as expressive vocally and may often rely on unspoken language or body language. That is why there is a concept of knowing how to read the “air” or sense the vibe/atmosphere of the situation. You should be aware of a person’s body language and change of expression during the conversation.
3.) DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER
When you find yourself in a situation wherein someone expresses concern about you or about what other colleagues say about you. You should appreciate the effort and courage of that person to come to you and confront you. It took a lot of guts for that person to come forward and let you know that this is how others feel like or think like about your ideas. Don’t get mad at the messenger, he/she means well.
4.) KEEP IN MIND THAT THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS THE COMPANY’S SUCCESS
Remember that you are in the same company and in the same team. Your targets and KPIs might be different but everyone is ultimately working for the company’s success. The big question is “HOW.” How can you work together when your functionality and priority is different?
5.) REMEMBER THAT SOMETIMES IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT YOU
There are times where we present ideas and the people we work with needs or wants to hear it from someone else. I.e. You presenting a great idea but kept getting shut down by your boss and colleagues and a week later someone else (possibly a Japanese colleague) presents the same idea and then getting a more positive and accepting response. Getting credit is important and you should be acknowledged for what you have brought to the table BUT, sometimes you just have to let it go and let things happen. If the important thing is the execution of the idea, and the project to be a reality then sometimes you have to accept that it’s okay to take a step back.
We hope these tips were useful and you’ll be able to successfully apply them in real life.
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