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The Art of Harmony: Precision, Patience, and Balancing Work in Japan

Have you ever been impressed by the meticulous craftsmanship or unwavering dedication often associated with the Japanese work ethic? There’s a deeper cultural understanding behind these traits, and it goes beyond just a long workday.

The Art of Meticulousness (Seiketsu):
Imagine a perfectly balanced rock garden, a testament to patience and precision. This reflects the emphasis on Seiketsu (清潔), meaning cleanliness and order. In the workplace, this translates to a focus on detail, accuracy, and well-defined processes.

The Power of Patience (Gaman):
Building on Seiketsu is Gaman (我慢), the concept of perseverance and patience. Just like mastering the art of rock balancing requires focused effort, Japanese work culture values the ability to overcome challenges and persist through difficulties.

Work with patience and precision. Image courtesy:, ©Ikazaki Shinobu.

Balancing Work and Harmony (Wa):
Japan is known for emphasizing Wa (和), meaning harmony. This extends to the work environment, where collaboration and prioritizing the team’s success are valued. Long hours might be considered dedication, but they also reflect a desire to maintain group harmony and avoid letting down colleagues.

Understanding These Concepts:
These principles aren’t just about working long hours. They represent a cultural approach prioritizing quality, dedication, and a sense of collective responsibility.

How Can You Apply This?
While cultural contexts differ, the emphasis on precision, patience, and a team-oriented approach can benefit any workplace. Consider incorporating these elements to foster a more focused, collaborative, and high-quality work environment.

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Top 10 Communication Mistakes in Career You Should Avoid

Photo Courtesy: Pbahealth

According to a new year-long study of over 4,000 college-educated professionals and 268 senior executives, conducted by CTI and in partnership with Marie Claire magazine, you must be viewed as a leader in order to get promoted into top jobs. That takes “executive presence,” which is defined as having gravitas, excellent communication skills, and a polished appearance. These skills are required, but that doesn’t mean you rack up bonus points for having them. Instead, you get demerits for your mistakes, as superiors silently cross you off their good lists. So what are the pitfalls to avoid? The study uncovered the 10 worst communication mistakes that will instantly derail your promotion hopes.

No. 1: Racially Biased Comments: Of executives surveyed, 72% said racially biased comments are a major blunder for men and 70% said the same for women. This is the top offense for good reason. These remarks easily offend or insult, reflect poor judgment and reveal low emotional intelligence, according to the researchers.

No. 2: Off-Color Jokes: This second worst communication mistake is similar to the first. Telling inappropriate jokes makes people uncomfortable, revealing an inability to properly read the audience and environment. On the flip side, 61% of executives believe being able to sense the mood of others and effectively adjust your language, tone, and content is one of the top skills required to advance.

No. 3: Crying: Rightly or wrongly, workplace tears do not communicate leadership potential—especially if you’re a man. While 59% of executives say crying makes a woman look bad, 63% believe it’s a top mistake for men. “You have to be able to control your emotions,” a male banking executive told researchers.

No. 4: Sounding Uneducated: Executives say it’s important for leaders to portray gravitas, worldliness, and intellectual horsepower. Thus, sounding uneducated will immediately undermine your chances of ascension. One IT manager told the researchers, “I’ve been with bosses who look like they would be competent, and then they blow it when they open their mouths and sound like complete buffoons.”

No. 5: Swearing: Cursing is a gender-neutral faux pas. It’s generally considered unprofessional and unfitting of a leader. Interestingly, it’s also a major mistake online, which in itself is a communication minefield. Those polled said the top three online communications blunders are posting unflattering messages about colleagues, posting unprofessional photos, and being too personal.

No. 6: Flirting: Even though some believe flirting can be a currency in the office, nearly half of executives say it will undercut your professional reputation, regardless of whether you’re a man or woman. Flirting–the subtle suggestion of the possibility, but not the probability, of something sexual occurring between two individuals–can easily be taken the wrong way.

No. 7: Scratching Yourself: Not only is this off-putting, but it’s also distracting. The study researchers found that fidgeting, in general, detracts from your executive presence. Fiddling with your clothes or mobile devices in meetings makes you appear ill at ease or as if you’re not paying attention.

No. 8: Avoiding Eye Contact: Body language experts say avoiding eye contact makes it seem like you might be lying or have something to hide. If you’re in a meeting, it may also give the impression that you’re uninterested. On the other hand, looking people in the eyes makes them feel like you’re listening.  “Magazine editor Joanna Coles has some of the fiercest eye contacts in the business,” said Hewlett. “It demonstrates her interest.”

No. 9: Rambling: If you can’t keep your message succinct and coherent, you won’t appear in control. You also weaken the power and impact of the points you’re trying to make. Former Bank of America executive Sallie Krawcheck told Hewlett that women, in particular, tend to have trouble with silences. “You have to get the power of silence,” she said. “Women like to fill spaces with chatter. But if you leave spaces around your important thoughts, you give weight and gravitas to what you say.”

No. 10: Giggling Too Much and Speaking Shrilly: Leaders say that giggling or laughing too much is a top communication blunder for women, and speaking shrilly is a top problem for men. Appropriate laughter and tone of voice are major indicators of gravitas. Researchers discovered that the high-pitched shrill voice comes off as overly emotive and causes others to tune out.

Reference: Forbes Magazine

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The Essence of Experience at Shiseido Ginza Tokyo Store

Photo Copyright: AKM Nazrul (Author)

In Tokyo, the Ginza Chuo-Dori (name of the street) is lined with several department stores like Mitsukoshi and Matsuzakaya, popular apparel shops like Abercrombie & Fitch, and other luxury brand stores. The Shisheido Ginza Tokyo is located at the heart of the Ginza shopping area. The magnificent structure reflecting the Japanese top-notch technologies and global strength of the luxury brand Shiseido. The store is divided into three floors, giving it some 825 m2 of sales floor space.

When you are going to enter the store, at least one salesgirl is going to welcome you at a smiley face with the most popular Japanese word Irasshaimase (welcome)! There are two entrances to the store on the first floor. At each entrance, the salesgirl usually holds the latest products brochure in their left hand and sample products in their right hand. When any visitor approaches the store, the salesgirl welcomes by Japanese-style bow and guides the visitor into the store.

After entering the 1st floor, well-dressed salesgirls approached me and ask me how can they help me? The store is designed to let you “get to know” cosmetics. All the glass gives the floor a sense of openness, and like a march (market) you can freely touch and hold the cosmetics. A key feature is that the cosmetics are arranged by concept and color rather than the item. This makes it easy to find the cosmetics you’re looking for and gives you a chance to “get to know” other product items you’ve never tried!

1st Floor is the home of makeup and cosmetics with the latest technology-supported facilities. The digital devices provide suggestions of products for each and every customer from regular products to the latest collection.

A fun feature to add to your shopping experience on the 1st floor is an innovative bracelet. There’s no need to carry around your chosen products as you browse. As you select a product while shopping, the innovative smart bracelet you’ll be given on entering the store will capture the product information and save it for you. On checkout, just swipe your bracelet to get your hands on all those dreamy products Clever, slick and thoughtful – very omotenashi. You can check the products by touch screen digital device. You can discover your skin color and tone by specialized camera attached device which was termed as the cosmetic bar. The interiors design was neat and clean. And of course, the store has English speaking salesgirl for international visitors. The experience I got on the first floor is the Japanese philosophy of omotenashi is all about hospitality. 

The 2nd floor is all about experiencing the Shisheido Products

Photo Copyright: AKM Nazrul (Author)

On the 2nd floor, there are huge collections of Shisheido products from regular to brand new items. You can try any of them on your skin and the beauty consultants will advise you either the product is suitable for you or not. There are special corners for premium products. You can have a seat and relax. There is no rush for the selection of your items and the salesgirls will guide you to the details of the items. There is a special device to print your short message on the beauty products. If you want to present any of the items of the Shisheido products, you can select the design of your short message. There is a wide range of designs of wrapping papers, colors of the wrapping papers. Even, you can choose the bag for your products.

Shopping Experience:

I bought one lipstick to get the shopping experience. The salesgirl came out of the sales counter with a tablet and was shown the list of the available lipsticks at the store. The wide variation of colors and types of lipsticks (gel type, mat type, and glossy type) may confuse you to select the right products. Therefore, the salesgirl explained to me the functions of each type of lipstick. The salesgirl advised me the best products to buy based on my requirement. Finally, I selected the item and paid the money for the item. I had printed a short message on the lipstick. I also requested customized wrapping paper for the lipstick. There were happy to fulfill my request. At the end of the shopping, the Shisheido Ginza Tokyo presented a 5 oz hand cream as a gift and invited me to visit once again and made my shopping experience memorable.

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