Working and Communicating Effectively in Japan

Taking on new a role can be challenging, often because of unclear expectations, unknown work processes and unfamiliar relationships. Most of us deal with these challenges in our home countries and cultures. Most expats in Japan face the extra challenge of doing all this while at the same time navigating a significantly different culture and doing it in a language they do not speak fluently.

Program Summary

This unique workshop centers on the most relevant topics to your real-world work in Japan.

Understand how cultural differences can affect your job performance in Japan, and learn how to bridge cultural gaps to communicate better with your Japanese colleagues at all levels of the organization.

Target Audience

  • Experienced non-Japanese leaders who are based in Japan
  • Non-Japanese leaders who lead Japanese team members
  • Non-Japanese leaders who have internal Japanese stakeholders or report to a Japanese supervisor
  • Improved work effectiveness
  • Greater work satisfaction
  • Better, stronger relationships with Japanese colleagues
  • increased agility for communicating across languages and cultures

Available formats

Can be conducted both in person and online

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how Japanese culture and business customs affect work habits and expectations of many Japanese
  • Learn how to work through cultural differences without judgment
  • Get real-world, practical tips for working effectively with your Japanese colleagues, direct reports or supervisors

Classroom Training

Virtual Training


This program covers the same material as the in-person version.


Half day

Learning Methods and Tools

This program centers on experiential learning and uses a wide variety of group exercises for applying and practicing skills including:

  • Individual reflection
  • Small-group and classroom discussion
  • Personal action planning

Pre-program work

  • Complete a GlobeSmart Profile assessment online
  • Complete a short pre-workshop survey
Day 1
  • Understanding culture and cross-cultural differences
  • Decode five common aspects of Japanese culture and business culture
  • Adapt your communication style for your Japanese colleagues
  • Learn techniques for information gathering and decision-making with Japanese teams
  • Gain insights to address real-world issues that matter to you
  • Create a personal action plan