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- Reconda Armijo
How does teamwork help organizations? What communication challenges does teamwork pose? How might one prepare for these challenges in a business communication course?
Team work helps organizations by bringing together people’s varying strengths and talents to solve problems and make decisions (Locker & Kienzler, 2013). Teamwork also allows for input from varying perspectives based on type of job or function as well as from a different cultural perspective. For example, in my office, my strengths are on an administrative side thus I am given the administrative tasks to focus on while my co-worker who is bubbly works more in creating the inviting atmosphere we want for our customers. Teamwork can also create challenges in communicating tasks and distribution of work. It requires the ability to see one another’s strengths and utilizing them. A communication course can help prepare individuals to recognize ways to effective communicate ones strengths and place them in tasks where they can utilize those strengths and at times be able to draw one out of their own self-limiting habits.
In what ways is teamwork connected to other current trends in business and administrative communication that the chapter discusses? Find examples where current trends in business and administrative communication seem to converge.
Teamwork offers an opportunity to maximize employee’s strengths. This is evident in customer service especially. Team members who are strong in customer service can assist those who may not be as strong to develop those skills more easily. Teamwork is also important to assist with balancing work and family. When we work together as a team, we are able to handle situations that may arise when a coworker is out and vice versa. In my office, we are all trained to handle all situations. This allows us to continue moving forward regardless of who is out. This helps our company to continue to be productive and not have to wait for a particular person to return for a task to be completed or resolved.
Conduct some internet or library research on the concept of Kaizen. How does this technique help business and other types of organizations? What communication challenges and opportunities does the technique create?
Kaizen is a coaching method used to transform people into better problem solvers, thinkers, and leaders. They utilize a hands-on approach to learning. They teach you how to observe processes, identify abnormalities and root causes and apply their techniques to make practical improvements (Kaizen Institute, 2014). This could present communication challenges as you try to help employees see their faults but more importantly their potential. Employees will be sensitive to being told they are doing something wrong so caution needs to be exercised by showing them more efficient use of time and skills. This also offers the opportunity to express ways of maximizing on strengths and acknowledging those strengths.
Help Caleb and the group draft the memo for Doug, Some questions to consider: How will you address its multiple audiences, which include the president, VPs, and managers? What should be the primary purpose of the memo? The secondary purpose? What type of and how much information on Kaizen should be included?
All-Weather, Inc. has had the privilege of experiencing Kaizen, a method of learning to improve our current methods and maximize our resources and strengths. We will be implementing a system for reducing waste, creating measureable improvements, and developing people and enhancing our customer’s delight. You are all a part of this process. Together we can transform this company and our individual lives.
Training workshops will be scheduled with two of the best experts on the subject. These workshops are designed to coach, teach, mentor and guide us on a transformation journey focused on getting results and developing people to be better… better problem solvers, thinkers, and leaders. The Kaizen focus is on everybody, everyday and everywhere improvement. We look forward to seeing our company and staffs develop to be better in all aspect.
Chapter Five: Planning, Composing, and Revising
Find the mistakes that Tanner made in his interaction with the Japanese professors.
Tanner’s mistakes included the firm handshake and using terms meant only for phone conversations, improper handling of the business cards and not offering one in return, the pat on the back of Dr. Kawabata, and the choice of his gifts and insistence in opening the gift. These all show his lack of learning the cultural differences and etiquette. Understanding these differences can make a huge difference in the relationship formed.
Prepare a memo for Caleb to include information regarding the aspects of Japanese culture and etiquette.
As we quickly approach the Kaizen training, it important for us to take some time to understand the Japanese business culture and etiquette. In practice, Japanese business etiquette is not so different than our own. Politeness, sensitivity and good manners are the pillars of Japanese business just as they are here. However, Japanese business etiquette is more formal, almost ritualistic in some aspects.
Below are a few key aspects of Japanese business etiquette:
- Business cards are a must have. Accept them with both hands and say “thank you”. Treat them with respect and keep them in a proper carrying case.
- Business attire: Men wear a dark suit, black or navy in the winter and grey for summer months, and have well groomed short hairstyles. Additionally, facial hair and shaved heads are not allowed. Do not wear a black suite, white shirt and black tie as this is considered funeral attire. Japanese men do not easily relate to women in authority so it is recommended that women wear shorter (tied back) hair, trouser suits with seasonal colors like the men. Jewelry, short skirts and high-heeled shoes are also not accepted. Business attire is not complete without business cards.
- Business Meetings: it is proper to confirm the appointment 1-2 hours prior to scheduled meeting as well as 1 hour advanced notice if you will be late to give the opportunity to reschedule if necessary. Arrive 10 minutes early. Be prepared and able to present in the allotted time. Wait to be seated and take lots of notes.
- Personal Habits: Avoid firm handshakes. Japanese seldom shake hands and this can make them uncomfortable. Never pat a Japanese man on the back/shoulder. Never make derogatory remarks about anyone. Always smile, be pleasant, willing to learn and ask questions. Do no
As you can see, things that we consider a normal part of our business day can be offensive in other cultures. We need to be mindful and respectful to our valued guest. We would expect nothing less from our business partners as well.
Kaizen Institute. (2014, January 18). Lean Consulting. Retrieved from Kaizen Institute: http://us.kaizen.com/consulting/lean-consulting.html
Locker, L. O., & Kienzler, D. S. (2013). Business and Administrative Communication. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Venture Japan. (2014, January 18). Japanese Business Ettiquette. Retrieved from Venture Japan: http://www.venturejapan.com/japanese-business-etiquette.htm
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