職場のコトバ Office language / Det jobbiga jobbspråket



On the first week at my current job, my boss let me take  “Basic Business Manner Seminar” held by a famous institute. “You have no work experience in Japan so you’d better go there”. They paid 30,000 yen for me to attend the seminar. What an investment in me for acquiring the whatever manner. I felt slightly fooled that they just assumed that I would lack in business manner just because I never worked in Japan. But come to think of it, manner at work is taken seriously in Japan. Many Japanese companies educate their freshman which can take some months. Since I lacked the process I had to take the seminar. (I am thankful that it was just a day)

From 10 am to 4 pm I was stuck in a room with people from other companies who were sent there for some reasons. We listened to a well-dressed lecturer’s good presentation on so-called business manner. She had some points. An employee who knows the manner can build good relationships at work that makes her/his work go smooth and that ends with a high result. Manner is in another word, communication. To succeed at work, having good communication with workmates and customers is the key. Communication means output and input of information and feelings both verbally and nonverbally. The three key communication skills at work are named Spinach(Hourensou) that stands for Hou-koku (Report), Ren-raku (communication), and Sou-dan (consultation).  This wasn’t very difficult to understand.

Then, we learnt some Keigo. This manner was completely lost from me after being a student forever until two months ago and living in Sweden for three years. Seeing the lecturer drawing stairs on the whiteboard I remembered what the Japanese language would look like. Here in Japan, especially at work, one is supposed to change the language in accordance with the other person’s social status and if the person is an outsider or an insider. You are supposed to either put yourself lower than your boss or client by calling yourself in the modest language or let them go higher than you by calling them and speaking to them in the polite language.


Keigo stair


In Sweden, I spoke to my bosses and customers very frank. I could call my boss by their first name, like Hi Malin! or Hi Jonas! (I don’t dare to call my Japanese bosses in their first name which I don’t even know…) and just told them the information or my feelings as they were without letting myself lower than them or putting them higher than me.

Now I have to think a lot about how I speak not only what I speak at work. The other day I said I’m sorry “Gomennasai” to one of my bosses for calling her surname wrong and the other boss told me later “Say ‘Shitsureishimashita’ instead;)” I just meant “I’m sorry”…eh. I think I just have to learn this language.

Jag saknar att jobba i Sverige där man får prata med sina kolleger, chefer och kunder utan tänka på hur man ska prata. Man får prata vanligt och klart bara. I Japan är det lite mer kompliserad för att man ska använda speciella språk för själv, chefer och kunder o om man uttrycker fel ses man oartig! Ja det är jobbigt men man lär sig och vänjar sig. Det är som ett spel och om man inte kan regel väll kan man inte spela väll bara.

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