Impactful Services

Cultural Training for Japanese

The differences between Japanese and other cultures’ professional styles are significant and can prove challenging for Japanese who are working globally. Our training can help your employees to increase their effectiveness by enabling them to better understand the global environment and equipping them with concrete skills for improving communication.

All of our training programs for Japanese participants are presented in Japanese, with bilingual participant materials. Our unique session format, the result of intensive development work throughout the past 25 years, presents information about global cultures and business practices in a way that is proven to resonate with Japanese audiences.

Working Effectively with non-Japanese

We all take our own culture for granted until we experience that of others. Our basic session for Japanese who are working with non-Japanese colleagues, customers, suppliers, and partners presents some of the key distinguishing features of Japanese business culture, opening the door to a world of alternative values and viewpoints. We help participants identify differences in communication styles, feedback techniques, attitudes toward risk, decision-making approaches, and teamwork patterns through cultural dimensions, scales that compare a variety of cultures in an intuitive graphical format. Orienting themselves around these dimensions increases participants’ awareness of their own cultural style, and serves as a basis for strategizing how to best bridge cultural gaps. The material is presented through case studies to keep it practical and interesting. Throughout the session, participants are coached on how to increase the quality and quantity of their interactions with non-Japanese. This course is essential for those who are transferring to work overseas, building business relationships with companies outside of Japan, interfacing with subsidiaries or a parent company located overseas, or welcoming non-Japanese staff into their workplace.

Managing non-Japanese Subordinates

An increasing number of Japanese managers, whether stationed overseas or working within Japan, find themselves with non-Japanese reporting to them. Unfortunately, these managers often have quite different expectations for these relationships than do their subordinates. Retaining a highly motivated non-Japanese workforce demands that the differences be understood and bridged. The need, in these relationships, to convey complex issues and subtle nuances in English adds another layer of difficulty. This course helps Japanese managers understand cultural differences and build skills in areas such as giving positive and negative feedback, clearly defining roles, providing clear direction, and clarifying career paths.

Effective Cross-cultural Meetings

Meetings are where much of the work interaction between Japanese and people from other cultures takes place. However, different cultural assumptions about the purpose of meetings and how to conduct them, as well as the language barrier, can make meetings less than optimally productive. This seminar covers ways to make multicultural meetings held in English, whether in-person or virtual, significantly more successful. Participants learn techniques for increasing their own effectiveness in meetings, for example by presenting their opinions persuasively and by speaking up when they may have lost the thread of the conversation. They also learn, as meeting organizers, how to structure meetings effectively, facilitate brainstorming, and clarify the meeting’s results.

Effective Cross-cultural Presentations

In the global business environment, an ability to present your ideas compellingly in English is essential. It’s necessary to be able to introduce yourself, your company, or your company’s products, confidently and engagingly. The ability to present a proposal to a possibly skeptical audience is also a critical prerequisite to successful negotiation. However, Japanese, who often have little training or experience giving presentations even in their native language, often find it difficult to express themselves in English. There are also cultural differences in expectations about how presentations should be conducted. This seminar explains what kind of presentations non-Japanese expect, how to make your presentations easier to understand for non-Japanese, and how to persuade non-Japanese. The participative style of this session provides opportunities for practice and makes it easy to master these skills.

Effective Cross-cultural Negotiations

Negotiations are an inevitable part of the global business environment, and what can be challenging in one’s own culture can be even more so when dealing with someone from a different background. Entering a negotiation without an appreciation of the cultural issues at play adds an unnecessary impediment. Participants learn how different cultures approach negotiation and how that affects techniques and strategies. Specific approaches for clarifying your position and dealing with the twists and turns of the negotiating process are presented. Throughout, we focus on the goal of achieving a win-win solution.

Effective Communication in the Global Workplace

Many Japanese who work closely with non-Japanese feel frustrated by challenges in everyday communication. Rather than lacking basic English knowledge, it’s a matter of lacking experience in how to handle everyday situations smoothly and effectively. After completing this seminar, participants will have learned practical communications strategies that they can put to use right away for first meetings, giving directions, making requests, solving problems, expressing appreciation, and making small talk. As a result they will be more confident in their ability to work effectively with non-Japanese colleagues. Recommended for those who have recently begun to use English in their work, or who are experiencing communication challenges.

Effective Communication in Manufacturing and Technical Environments

Japanese technical personnel who are sent overseas for short-term or long-term stays have much to share with their locally-hired colleagues. Unfortunately, the language barrier and cultural differences can get in the way of effective communication and technology transfer. This seminar is designed to help these key team members connect productively with their non-Japanese colleague. Participants learn practical English to use on the manufacturing floor and in other technical environments, as well as techniques for teaching, giving direction to, and establishing mutual understanding with non-Japanese colleagues. Interactive exercises during the session help to ensure that the learnings can be applied immediately and that they will be retained. The session also covers key information about other cultures that Japanese technical personnel need to know in order to develop good working relationships with their colleagues.

Speaking Sophisticated English

Although all Japanese learn basic English in school, many do not have the opportunity to learn how to use the language effectively in a professional context. In particular, those who interface with overseas customers or with non-Japanese senior management may need to polish their English in order to make it more appropriate for high-level conversations. This course, based on Rochelle Kopp’s Japanese best-seller on how to speak more sophisticated English, shares strategies for balancing directness and softness to achieve more-nuanced communication. Combining intercultural insights, recommendations for phrasing, and practical role playing, this course helps Japanese use English at a level that matches their professional stature.