I am experiencing a working holiday in Toronto, Canada. It’s been three months since I started living in Canada. I am learning English by myself while studying online without going to a language school.
I’m not fluent in English, and I’m not good at communicating in Japan either. However, mysteriously, I was able to work at a local cafe bakery in Canada, and every day I realize the joy and difficulty of working with foreigners in an English-only environment. This time, based on my own experience, I will introduce tips for working happily with foreigners.
What to do in the first work day
Greeting with big smile and introduction
Of course, everyone is nervous when it comes to working with foreigners in an English environment. To relieve that tension, it is important to first smile and introduce yourself on the first day of work.
It’s not limited to Canada, but overseas, when you greet someone you meet for the first time, you often shake hands, so it’s a good idea to introduce yourself while shaking hands.
Name is important
For foreigners, Japanese names are often difficult to remember or pronounce. So when you say your name, try to pronounce it as clearly as possible. In my case, it’s a little unusual name, so when I say hello to a foreigner I meet for the first time, I always introduce the spelling of the alphabet. Then, topics such as “I heard such a name for the first time” and “Is your name rare in Japan?”
Just as it is difficult for Japanese people to remember the faces and names of foreigners, it seems that foreigners cannot easily remember the faces and names of Japanese people. Therefore, it is important to give a good impression by greeting with a smile on the first day so that colleagues can remember their faces and names as soon as possible.
It would be nice to be able to greet each person one by one when returning home after work. By greeting with the other person’s name at that time, you will be able to remember your face and name even more.
Don’t say “sorry” if you didn’t do anything bad
What Japanese think
In Japanese, you immediately say “I’m sorry”. Rather, it is an important word in Japan. For example, in Japan, when you ask your boss something, you might say, “I’m sorry, this is the case …”. “I’m sorry” is a very convenient word.
However, it is important not to say “Sorry” in the same sense here. Some people may work with foreigners with this feeling and start a conversation from “Sorry” when asking their boss or colleagues something, but in such cases, “Excuse me” instead of “Sorry”. That is important.
”Sorry” is an apologizing word
“Sorry” is a word of apology used when you do something wrong or wrong, so you should not use it except when you apologize.
Actually, this is what I experienced, but when I finished the three-day training to teach my work and started working alone from the fourth day, I often did not understand so much. I asked my boss a question. My boss patiently answered my question without changing my complexion. However, I was disgusted by my poor English ability and poor memory, and even though I didn’t do anything wrong, I just said “Sorry”.
Then he said to his boss, “You’re not doing anything wrong. So you don’t have to say” Sorry “. If you don’t understand, everyone will support you, you don’t have to be nervous, you don’t have to apologize to the dark clouds, so it’s okay! He said. When I heard this, I felt a cultural difference. Also, my boss will apologize properly when I feel that I have done something wrong or made a mistake. “Sorry, this was my instruction wrong. You were right.” “Sorry, this was my fault, you’re not bad.”
The basic thing is that you apologize if you do something, and you don’t have to apologize if you haven’t done anything wrong. However, in Japanese society, I couldn’t help but think that there were many occasions when I had to apologize even though I didn’t do anything wrong.
Speak clearly and take your time
Don’t think it’s impossible to work with a foreigner because you don’t speak perfect English and you’re not good at communicating. Actually, I’m not good at English, and I’m not good at communicating with Japanese people in Japanese, but I can work with foreigners.
But that’s not because I’m awesome. This is because all my foreign colleagues are kind and supportive.
However, in order to get solid support, you still have to understand your own problems. People understand that I’m not a native speaker, so they talk to me in an easy-to-understand manner. That is why you must be aware that you also speak clearly with a smile. This will allow you to communicate naturally with your colleagues.