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Since then, market has developed into several different dimensions:
While executive coaching within global companies in Japan has followed a similar agenda and approach to coaching elsewhere in the world, there is a particular dynamic that adds a different dimension to the coaching work required.
Put simply, many of the the subsidiaries of international companies in Japan are at the interface of a distinct business and social cultural difference which makes effective communication and working practices more difficult. This is usually combined with the ‘Head Office’ vs ‘Local Office’ dynamic which is a feature of many international organisations.
Our research has uncovered a couple of important issues:
Initially, there were western coaches looking to coach ex-patriate executives and Japanese locals on what they need to do to succeed in working at this interface between two cultures. The coaching was generally in English and worked to help people understand the differences in business and social culture.
Leadenhall is now looking at Japanese coaches playing a part in coaching employees and leading workshops on leadership effectiveness in cross-cultural workplaces and women in leadership. We are also looking to implement a Japanese interpretation of diversity and inclusion that is not a straight lift from the western model and focuses on what these things mean in a Japanese context.
At Leadenhall our hand-picked Japanese coaches, fluent in English; with considerable international experience in Asia and beyond; bring a unique understanding of the challenges and proficiencies of working in this cross cultural workplace. Leadenhall delivers one to one coaching and lead facilitated workshops for Japanese and non-Japanese executives for high quality international firms in the finance, consulting, technology and pharmaceutical sectors.
Based on our experiences in coaching Japanese executives and leaders from other parts of the world, we are seeing that many Japanese executives aspire to develop themselves in several areas.
The first in their aspiration to become a global leader – The biggest challenge for many Japanese executives is their ability to communicate comfortably and effectively in English. People are often afraid of speaking in English because they want to be perfect and right. They need to overcome the mental barrier and realize that it is only a tool for communication, so that they can enjoy working with people from other countries and leading confidently in a cross-cultural environment.
The second is the desire to be visionary and authentic – Japanese are group-oriented: often people prefer to follow others and be part of a group. Despite being very hard-working and effective in process and execution, Japanese executives are often under-developed in terms of business vision, and demonstration of their passion and personal brand. Exploring who they are and becoming confident of their authentic self will enhance their ability to influence and inspire others.
Finally, they are keen to implement Adopting coaching approach to their leadership – Many Japanese leaders want to enhance team motivation and engagement, but find it difficult. In addition, managers are required to have regular 1-on-1 conversations with their team members in many Japanese companies. Despite their interest in adopting coaching in the workplace, there is a strong tendency for leaders wanting to teach, to know the answers, and to tell others what to do. However, the first step in coaching begins with deep listening and asking questions to make others think on their own.