Japanese preferred Business Communication style

HorenshouWhen you are working in a Japanese company you will need to communicate with your Japanese manager and colleagues in a way that is appropriate to the business culture. Relationships here are very much based on developing and maintaining a state of harmony, and communication is key to this. The preferred approach to communication is often referred to by the mnemonic ‘hourensou’ which, as well as being Japanese for spinach, stands for Houkoku (to report), Renraku (to inform), and Soudan (to consult and advise).

Hourensou was developed in 1982 by Tomiharu Yamazaki, the then-president of Yamatane securities (now SMBC Friend Securities). The approach was adopted and made famous by the administration of Prime Minister Nakasone in 1983 who ran a “ hourensou campaign” improve communication in their party. Today, it has become standard practice in most big Japanese businesses.

Houkoku(to report)

This first point emphasizes the importance of keeping your manager or boss up-to-date with what’s happening in your daily work life or the project you are working on.That means telling him or her about progress, or lack thereof, problems that have been encountered, possible delays, new developments and information.

Renraku (to inform)

Renraku is about making sure that everyone who needs to know about some information, event, problem, upcoming project or plan, actually knows.`To inform`gives the impression that a simple email may suffice, however the point of renraku is that you ensure that the people you are informing have read that mail and taken the information in. In the case of your manager, it could be as simple as asking “Did you see the mail I sent you yesterday?” The point is, no one likes surprises (even if that surprise results from them not reading their emails properly), so if you are setting up a project that involves multiple departments, it’s important to get all the stakeholders onboard and ready, well before the project goes live.

Soudan(to consult or advise)

Finally, you have reported and informed, and now it is time to get feedback and share ideas. This works on many levels. First, you might find that there is some idea, problem, efficiency, hitch, opportunity, mistake and/or innovation that you have missed. It also covers your back, because the more people you get involved, the less responsibility is on your back if you do make a mistake, or a project doesn’t go to plan. Finally, it promotes interdepartmental communication which is always a good thing in any organization.

Hope this approach to communication ( HOURENSO) can help you build smooth and strong relationships with your Japanese manager or colleagues.

Note: Horensou may not be applicable if you are working in International company based in Japan, but it can be a valuable resource reporting tool to use.

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Q&A

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costa rica can someone help me answer these questions? | Yahoo Answers

I am Not costarican but its part of central american and trust me all of us speak non-verbal communication. it instead of say. usted (means you in a really polite way like 4 old people)
we do say usted. but. Vos = you nonverbal.
people are really friendly in costa rica so that should be a problem at all. if u r going there well have fun its a beutiful country. also about the business norms. well shake hands and stuff and a : Hola, Mucho gusto is just Fine. (hi, nice to meet you)
hope I help you :D


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