Magazine article Supervisory Management

Persuading the Japanese

Magazine article Supervisory Management

Persuading the Japanese

Article excerpt

Bridging the communication gap with clients from overseas is most effective when you have an eye toward cultural diversity. The following points are geared primarily toward interacting better with the Japanese. Keep in mind that despite our focus on Japanese managers, similar issues apply to other nationalities.

1. Slow down when initiating business relationships. Learn to build business relationships patiently, through time spent working together and in social Situations as well.

2. Don't be too assertive. For the Japanese (and many other cultures), assertiveness is not necessarily a favorable trait.

3. Watch for non-verbal cues. The Japanese, for example, use non-verbal cues when they feel direct speech might give offense. Signs of disagreement could include rubbing one's head, a sharp inhalation of breath, or an awkward smile.

4. Maintain an appropriate degree of formality. Americans tend to like relationships to develop quickly from formal courtesy to friendly informality. The Japanese take the opposite approach. Courtesy and formality are signs of respect and indicate the relationship is progressing well. …

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