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Same Words, Different Meanings -- Effective Communication with Japanese
Rochelle Kopp
Mar 07, 2014 12:41 AM
The fourth presentation of our Succeeding in a Japanese Company telesummit is Sarah Aptilon talking about Same Words, Different Meanings -- Effective Communication with Japanese. The presentation will be posted at 9 am Pacific on March 6th. To listen, please register at

Sarah offers a unique perspective on Japanese organizations. Early in her career, she spent seven years living and working at a Buddhist monastery in Kyoto, where she presented lectures, workshops, and study groups, and participated in daily business operations. Since joining Japan Intercultural Consulting, Sarah has worked closely with the Mexican operations of Japanese firms, particularly in the automotive, auto parts, and electronics industry. Now back in her hometown of Kansas City, Sarah conducts trainings and team buildings for Japanese firms in English, Spanish, and Japanese.

Communication is one of the key challenges to non-Japanese doing business with Japanese individuals and organizations. In this session, Sarah will share techniques for deciphering often-subtle Japanese communication, and ensuring that your communication is not off-putting to Japanese. The discussion will cover directness of communication, attitudes towards conflict and disagreement, correctly interpreting non-verbal communication, and how to draw information out of Japanese and resolve ambiguity.

During Sarah's call you will discover...
  • The inevitable communication "triple whammy" that can derail your career if you're not prepared
  • The difference between non-verbal and indirect communication in Japanese culture
  • What you need to know about Japanese non-verbal communication styles
  • Strategies to communicate more effectively with Japanese colleagues who seldom verbalize their thoughts
  • Why don't Japanese just say what they mean?
  • Watch out! Examples of words that carry more than one meaning and could get you into trouble
  • How to discover what even the most indirect Japanese person is thinking
  • How to tone down your direct communication style when speaking with Japanese colleagues
  • How to help Japanese colleagues who are struggling with your language
  • How to become a better listener by knowing the characteristics of the Japanese language that affect how Japanese communicate in English or other languages
  • Do Japan and Latin America share any notable aspects of communication style?

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