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For Japanese & foreign managers


Executive Power, for both foreign and Japanese managers


Coaching for executives, managers, and individual contributors. Upgrading management style and boosting Japanese team performance


Foreign managers of Japanese

Their #1 challenge is "Getting my message across: I’m not sure they understand." This from our research, from a sampling of foreign executives from 15 foreign companies operating in Japan and representing 7 different industries including retail, IT, consulting, finance, fashion, automotive and healthcare.

You’re here to produce results that you’ll be measured against. And, while working in any foreign environment exerts its own pressure, Japan can challenge event the most experienced. Here the rules of engagement with colleagues and customers can be difficult to discern, like trying to hit a moving target. 

Other common challenges to foreign managers of Japanese teams may face:

  • As a team we lack clear, concise communication

  • We seem to agree upon something, but then later I learn that we didn't

  • Strategies and plans often lack clarity and logic, so are difficult to understand

The above challenges can, perhaps, seem one-sided. Japanese from the same companies offer a different perspective. Many find foreign executives out of tune with how to do business in Japan and they state that the often one-way communication approach hinders engagement and team performance and that’s just scratching the surface. We can help you upgrade your management style so it’s in sync with your team.

Find out what your team really thinks and put together a solution that meets the needs of both sides.

Common scenarios for friction:

  • Manager and team are new to each other. (As Japanese tend to stay longer with companies, they see many managers coming and then leaving after a short 3-year stint. This can lead to friction and frustration)

  • Manager or Team not performing to expectations. (Sometimes due to a strategy that is inappropriate for the market. Or is misunderstood causing confusion, and sometimes passive-aggressive behaviour)

  • New products, services or strategies to be implemented.

We offer dual, integrated solutions, one for the manager, another for the team. These are targeted to your specific needs, based on how you and your colleagues assess your situation. A short call will determine if we can help you.

Japanese executives with regional or corporate roles

Japanese tend to be hard workers that know their business. The challenge facing them when rising to a regional or corporate position most often lays in their capability to engage and, if necessary, challenge others. Language plays a large role, but it’s far from the main factor. Due to the way business is done in Japan, Japanese tend to a more 'quiet approach' which can seem out of place in a global business setting.


While each person requires a unique solution, our experience shows that these areas must be mastered for success on the global stage:

  • A calm, confident and reassuring presence when speaking, presenting or reporting

  • Ability to offer differing opinions and 'push back' when required

  • Ability to assess strategies, plans and situations by strategically probing

  • Ability to influence people and outcomes


Naturally, the above areas are also key to Japanese business. That said, the approach and expectations on how to perform these in Japan and globally is quite different. Vital to success is  an ability to switch approaches, adapting your thinking to engage appropriately. 


Using our propriety tool, Friction Point Analysis™, we do a 360 assessment developed specifically for Japanese needing to perform at regional and corporate levels. A quick call will help you to determine if we can meet your requirements.