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Motivation & Japan-style        L13
Followership / Leadership for Non-Japanese Employees

Develop effective communication and planning skills for team-based working

Non-Japanese may not have experience of flexible team-based working style, and find instructions missing or too high context (vague) causing poor results and low motivation

Clearly teach non-Japanese how to follow a team leader and support members flexibly with suitable ongoing communication – and performance and staff retention will improve.

It was really interesting to learn the differences between American / Chinese business model and Japanese model. I am going to work hard with the concept of global mindset and the learning from the Japanese way of working .

Global Operations Staff, Marketing Company

In this seminar I  learned to accept diversity and see things from different culture counterpart’s point of view, so I realized why Japanese coworkers get frustrated when I can’t understand their meaning quickly. Now I  will always I check and summarize Japanese people’s high context explanations if unclear, and I will do it in a polite, grateful and friendly way.

Trainee Coordinator, Retail Company

Clear case studies helped me to figure out how I should communicate with costumers and co-workers.

Shop Staff, Household Goods Store

The Purpose of this workshop:

■ Increase motivation, retention, promotion of non-Japanese employees in Japanese organizations.

Who is it for?

■ Non-Japanese staff working under Japanese managers in their first year or above (May have taken an earlier intercultural seminar just as they joined – and this program can be follow-up 3-6 months later)

How will participants benefit?

■ Correctly understand own managers’ expectations, as valued follower

■ Learn how to coordinate own projects effectively with Japanese colleagues.

■ Use coaching, confirming and reporting in a culturally effective way to succeed in Japan’s team-based work style.

Workshop Methodology:

■ Introduction includes survey and discussion about previously learned content: 1. Peer-to-peer sharing of current work situation and needs. 2. Intercultural frameworks for understanding Japan retail working style:  high context, Confucian, ameba.

■ Learn “followership” style teamwork skills to support each other for dealing with challenges and finding insights.

■ Review working experiences, Confirm usefulness of intercultural cases, and share success strategies. Coach each other to solve issues

■ Identify upcoming challenges and set new personal goals

Program highlights

■ Recently hired globally employees will keep high motivation and stay employed with us (high retention)

■ By learning “followership”  style teamwork skills for the workplace they can find their role clearly, and keep their Japanese manager and team-mates happy.

■ By sharing goals and strategies for recent problems and ideas for upcoming challenges, the participants become less isolated, and feel part of an ongoing “dokyusei” mutual support community

Facilitation Agenda (Example for retail first year hires)


13:00 Orientation Participation style • Open Communication 15
Introductions & goals • Pair and Group sharing
13:15 Peer-to-peer review Understanding Japan retail working style: • Intercultural frameworks: High context, Confucian, Ameba, Growth mindset 20
• Working style:  teamwork, quality, customer-first
Review of previously learned content usefulness and progress • Survey and discussion about main issues, priorities. 20
13:55 “followership”  style teamwork skills Followership skills overview • Purpose and types of followership in team-based business

• Followership models and best practices

• My ”followership” success case

<Break> 10
• Active listening & thinking aloud 10
14:45 Mutual Support Learn to support each other for dealing with challenges and finding insights. • Confirm usefulness of intercultural cases and advice

• Share success strategies

Review of challenges •Review store working experiences,

• Coach each other to solve issues

<Break> 10
Future planning • Identify upcoming challenges (busy April period, new roles, mentoring new staff… etc.)

• Set new personal goals

17:05 Wrap up Teach-back • Groups confirm key points learned 15
Next steps • Pairs confirm personal goals 10
17:30 Finish

Sample Program Slides

Learn flexible ways to support team

Compare team vs. individual style

Share values to achieve team goals


Learn flexible ways to support team

Compare team vs. individual style

Share values to achieve team goals

Program design by Jon James Lynch and J-Global facilitators. Copyright K.K. J-Global 2018. All rights reserved