About the course

Communicating Effectively Across Cultures

50 common examples of misunderstanding between Japanese and foreign colleagues—and how to reduce misunderstanding.

In this program, we will go through the examples and scenarios of business situations where Japanese business people misunderstand their foreign colleagues (and vice versa). These could be due to different cultural values, different behavioral expectations or even language mistakes. For each of the scenarios, we will identify the cause of the issue, think about possible solutions and use role-plays / dialogues / group conversations to practice solving the issue. In addition to class practice, there will be additional (optional) homework with more examples / ideas on how to improve communication. The instructor will provide individual feedback and improvement suggestions to each participant.

Language level: This program is for anyone with at least Intermediate level of English (or above).

Course taught in: 10 lessons

Price: 34,000 JPY

Days taught: Saturday, 13:00

Language: English

Class List

Week 1 Cross-cultural communication: How will improving cross-cultural communication skills benefit your career? Language practice: Common challenges with greetings / introductions / small talk and how to improve.
Week 2 Cultural values: Differences in cultural values between Japanese and foreign business people - how do they affect communication? Language practice: Explaining and clarifying the details of working tasks, confirming your understanding.
Week 3 Communication styles: How to reduce hesitation when speaking? Language practice: Asking for opinions / sharing your opinions without hesitation.
Week 4 Discussion: How to participate actively in discussions? Language practice: Asking questions and giving suggestions.
Week 5 Convincing: How to convince your colleagues? Language practice: Convincing foreign colleagues to support your ideas.
Week 6Communication context: How to communicate your messages more effectively? Language practice: Apologizing in the correct context.
Week 7 Behavioral expectations: How do you understand your foreign partners better? Language practice: Agreeing / disagreeing politely and giving reasons.
Week 8 Cultural Stereotypes: How do cultural stereotypes affect communication? Language practice: Asking questions / making comments about foreign cultures.
Week 9 Differences in body language: How can you adjust your body language in cross-cultural scenarios? Language practice: Giving feedback or constructive criticism.
Week 10 Review practice / individual feedback / role-plays

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Course Instructor

Mikhail Kotykhov

Mikhail Kotykhov is Adjunct Professor of Business at Lakeland University, and teaches courses in economics, business, and hospitality management. He has a Master Degree in Business and he started his teaching career in Auckland, New Zealand in 2004. Mikhail has been designing and teaching university courses and cross-cultural communication programs in Japan, working with university students, as well as business managers and executives since 2010.