Communication Habits of Americans and Japanese
This is a piece of information that we would like to share with anyone who is interested in Japan and Japanese culture. As a company that consists of Americans and Japanese, we've found it very insightful. Some of these may sound somewhat offensive, but that's not our intention. Our intention is to share these comically expressed communication conflicts with those who are engaged in the international businesses.
"Those Japanese!"<Japanese habits that Americans grumble about>:
- Japanese are so polite and so cautious that you never know what they are thinking.
- Japanese use vague words and ambiguous expressions so that it is hard to know where they stand.
- Japanese are comformists.
- Japanese are forever expressing thanks and appreciation for this and that.
- Japanese are always apologizing, even when there is nothing to apologize.
- Japanese seem to be always weighing the meaning of this large Japanese scheme of things.
- Japanese are notoriously slow in making decisions.
- Japanese, for all their modesty, can be very ethnocentric.
- Japanese are very imitative, faddish and overly impressed by status.
- Japanese are too formal.
"Those Americans!"<American habits that Japanese grumble about>:
- Americans talk too much.
- Americans interrupt other people.
- Americans don't listen enough.
- Americans seem to think that if they don't tell you something, you won't know it.
- Americans are too direct in asking questions, giving opinions, and poking fun.
- Americans fail to express thanks and appreciation sufficiently.
- Americans are reluctant to admit faults or limitations: they seldom apologize, even just to be polite.
- American managers and directors give more attention to individuals than to the entire group or team.
- Americans do not appreciate the importance of certain formalities in Japan.
- Americans are too time conscious.
From With Respect to the Japanese A Guide for Americans by John C. Condon.
Go back to Japan Culture Club Home Page.
Go to the Catalog on the Web.