Connecting Cultures: America and Japan

Global Arena designs, customizes, and delivers a vast portfolio of intercultural training programs that aim to tackle and overcome our client’s cultural challenges. Each training is tailored to each customer’s requirements, specifications, and goals. For our Connecting Cultures 4-part series, we will be sharing cases where Global Arena has designed, developed, and delivered an Intercultural Training program to address and resolve a specific cultural concern.

In our first success story, we addressed the cultural challenges faced by American employees in a Japanese company. Global Arena was contacted to alleviate communication issues that the American employees were facing with their Japanese counterparts. After the information gathering process that described the challenges that the American employees were facing, Global Arena’s intercultural trainer designed and delivered a program to help address the issues related to cultural disparities and disconnects amongst the employees and executives. The HR department tasked Global Arena with the mission to familiarize the company’s American personnel with Japanese business and social culture to facilitate better internal communications and relations. An expected collateral effect was to help Japanese executives to be more communicative in the workplace. This program is now part of the Company’s training schedule and is conducted twice a year. This ensures that all American personnel have access to the program and repeat attendance when necessary.

The Intercultural Training program is conducted as a one-day presentation. Our consultant has ample professional experience in multicultural environments and has deep knowledge of Japanese culture at a business and social level. He developed a curriculum on those subjects and adjusted his teachings to consider the employees’ prior knowledge; which was assessed by using a background questionnaire prior to the training.

The company found the intercultural training program to be a rewarding and necessary experience. The training created the right environment to foster communications amongst employees of diverse cultural background. The Japanese executives started viewing the American counterparts as trusted colleagues and not only employees. The program helped the American employees to increase the understanding of Japanese culture and to better understand the behavior of the Japanese executives. The American employees became more interested in learning about Japanese culture than they previously were. They started requesting to attend the Japanese language class that was being provided by Global Arena at the company. Global Arena added additional Japanese language classes and levels to meet the demand. Originally, the Japanese group classes were scheduled to last 10 sessions. After a successful period, classes were extended year-around creating an internal Japanese language academy.

Global Arena’s Intercultural Training programs played a key role in all the aforementioned situations. Many companies are expanding into global markets and differences in cultures should be addressed right from the beginning to allow for a more interconnected, productive, and positive work environment. Global Arena’s years of experience, professional consultants and project coordinators make us the right partner to help you overcome your cultural challenges. We are here to make a positive impact on your company’s cultural diversity.

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