Celebrate and Innovate

On June 29th, 2018, I’m celebrating the start of my third year in business as a Facilitator and Leadership Coach. I am extremely grateful to my family, community and clients for enabling me to bring so much energy to my work, to help so many individuals improve their own performance as leaders and professionals in Japan. I’m so lucky to have the trust and support of so many wonderful people.

Thank you!

I am intensely focused on working with groups within organisations, developing cross-functional communication and deeper understanding of diverse points of view. I love the passionate discussions, aha moments and feedback about the impact the training had on team performance and relationships.

What has changed in Year 2?

  • I’ve continued to expand my knowledge base – Professional Certified Coach with ICA, Points of You® Certified Trainer, Management 3.0 Fundamentals, Tara Mohr Playing Big Facilitators Course, BerkeleyX: GG101x The Science of Happiness. Constantly learning new ideas to help clients connect the dots.
  • Developed new collaborations with Japanese Facilitators including WinBE (Women In Business Empowerment), Points of You® Japan and fellow independent facilitators.
  • I’ve been able to take on some really interesting clients and projects. I’m really able to focus on work that I am passionate about rather than what pays the mortgage. What a gift!
  • I got hooked on Spartan Racing and completed another 2 races in Japan.

 

What trends have I noticed from corporate clients?

  • Increased desire to support employees through organizational change
  • Focus on creating cultures of open and healthy communication
  • Presenting and influencing others continues to be a highly sought after skillset
  • Maturing of the discussion from diversity as a single-issue gender model to addressing wider issues of inclusion in some clients
  • Developing innovation through inclusion of diverse thought

What can you expect from me in Year 3?

Themes for workshops and support will focus on:

  • Innovation through Inclusion
  • Developing Ikigai within your Organization
  • Resilience during Change
  • Connecting the Unconnected – people, ideas or companies

To support these outcomes, I’ll continue to offer presentation skills, cross-cultural training and Points of You® Practitioner Training. My focus is on developing bite-sized development opportunities with shorter workshop sessions, on the job experiments followed by group coaching and reflection.

I will continue to support work style reform and women’s empowerment in Japan through my CSR activities:

 

Thank you again for being part of the journey. Looking forward to collaborating and learning together.

Please do follow me on Facebook or LinkedIn.  I post articles, videos and event reports regularly about training and development in inclusion, communication and change management in Tokyo.

How to Balance Careers and Caregiving in Japan – Event Report

Another conference I’ve attended several times in the last 19 years is the biannual FEW Japan Careers Strategies Seminar. 2 years ago I presented about Online Personal Branding drawing on my experience in marketing and recruitment. This year for the 20th CSS I moderated a panel on “How to Balance Careers and Caregiving in Japan”.

Originally, I was asked to moderate a panel for “Working Mothers”. However, I’m a huge advocate of getting to 50/50 when it comes to balancing careers and caregiving so I set about finding a working father to join the panel. I am grateful to all the people who recommended potential male panelists who are taking an active role in raising their children as part of a dual income family!

Photo Credit: The very talented TopTia

On the day, we represented a broad cross-section of industries, backgrounds and family situations, showing that there are many ways to manage your family and career. We had an active dialogue with the audience in an intimate setting. The panel covered diverse topics from which values drive our priorities to practical hacks that enable us to lead from those values. By telling our personal stories, we hoped to inspire other people to think outside the box.

Main Takeaways

1. Ask for the help you need at work

It’s more expensive for most employers to replace an experience team member than it is to accommodate your needs. Use your internal network to get the support you need, even (especially?!) when it has never been done before. Persevere and be open to different solutions

2. Know what is important to you

Mindful decisions and conversations about priorities with your key stakeholders (partner, employer, children) are essential. Weekly meetings, project management style whiteboards, shared calendars and a financial plan are ways these parents bring their business savvy to their home.

3. Outsource, automate or compromise

Non-iron shirts, automatic toilets, AI in the home, online groceries, no washing on a weekday, cleaning help and other creative hacks will help you to focus on priorities.

 

Recommended Reading

A great resource to consider the benefits to all stakeholders of dual income families is “Getting to 50/50: How Working Parents Can Have It All” . A good mix of statistics, anecdotes and practical ideas.


Interviews and Appraisals with Points of You (R)

Looking for a new way to engage with your team members around your core values or key competencies in annual reviews?

Want to get beyond canned responses in behavioral interviews?

Using Points of You (R) The Coaching Game, you will be able to connect with your counterpart at a deeper level. You can drill down on interviewees’ key competencies in an engaging way. Whilst some behavioral interviews can feel very rehearsed (“Tell me about a time when you…”), using the Points of You (R) cards enables you to observe a more natural response as well as to see how the interviewee responds to new ideas.

In an appraisal scenario, this process will give your employee an opportunity to talk about the competencies or values in a new way. One of the key concepts of Points of You (R) is to break patterns. The process below will help you to connect with your team member in a different way and make the appraisal meaningful from the perspective of developing your professional relationship.

As part of my CSR activities, I was invited to be a part of the British School in Tokyo and Mums in Business Classroom to Boardroom Initiative for the second year running. You can see the layouts the interviewees created below. It was fascinating to see how the two young men were able to share very honest and open personal stories of struggle and achievement through this tool.

Process Flow

Tool: Punctum Points of You (R)
Punctum cards were used as they do not have topics assigned so it is easier to connect to the specific competency discussed. They are also more

Objective: An interview/ discussion about competencies that would not be filled with canned answers, that could not fully be prepared for. The ability to “dance in the moment” to be flexible and adaptable to new situations is an essential competency in any organization.

Process:
1. List up your corporate values, competencies. Ask participant to choose from the competencies. In this case we had 30 minutes so we covered 3 of 5 competencies.

2. Pick 3 cards (as relevant to the number of competencies), face up, to link with the chose competencies. In my example 2 cards represent competencies that are strengths, 1 represents an area which might hold you back. Notice which cards are rejected, where do the participants eyes hover, how easy is it for them to choose?

3. Ask the participant where they would like to start. Empower them to lead the discussion. You will be able to see how they structure information and how they present themselves. What can they see in the picture? How does it connect with the competency and their experience? Repeat for all cards.

4. At the end of the cards, ask the participant what insight about themselves they have gained. How can they turn that insight into action?

5. Your feedback
In an interview, you can then offer your observations. How do these competencies show up in your organization.
If this is an appraisal situation, you can offer your observations as well as clarifying what resources they might need and how you can support. What action can you commit to so you can support your employee?

 


 

To find out more about how you can use Points of You (R) in your talent development, change management and diversity and inclusion programmes, contact me to arrange a trial session for a small group to see the tool in action.

What is Points of You (R)?

It’s a powerful tool for self-discovery, team building and leadership development, as well as at social gatherings and corporate settings. Played individually, one-on-one, by small and large groups, it can be easily adapted to every audience, objective and theme. And it’s fun!

Don’t accept the default – Lean In Tokyo GOF November 2017 Event Report

10 Lean In Tokyo Girls on Fire Circle members from Australia, Columbia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the US and the UK met in November 2017 to get in touch with their creative sides with Adam Grant’s TED Talk, “The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers” as the launching point of our discussion.

1

With Lean In members from financial services, government institutions, luxury, legal and even a current university student, many people didn’t feel they had much chance to be creative on a daily basis. However, it became clear that we don’t need to be in a traditional “creative” role to be original thinkers. Indeed, many of us bring original solutions to our businesses every day.

A Points of You Ice breaker got us all talking about creativity and thinking about what opportunities we have to be creative at work. We shared our ideas on how to break out of some status quo situations by using creative doubt and pitched our ideas to each other.

Key Takeaways

“What you call procrastinating, I call thinking”

Allowing your idea to marinate a little is not always a bad thing. Just make sure you are not hiding by designing at the whiteboard!

“You don’t need to be first, but you do need to be better”

There is a lot of hype about hustle and first on the market advantage but Grant mentions examples of successful ideas that weren’t necessarily first but were an improvement on existing solutions. This iterative improvement is something that seems to be in the business DNA in Japan. Get someone else to take the risk, push the envelope and then kaizen it to perfection!

 

“People who achieve the most are also the ones who fail the most”

It was interesting to discuss this as mostly foreign women working in Japan. Sometimes we feel we can take more risks than our Japanese colleagues due to our “outsider” status. However, this can also make it difficult to build the social capital around an idea to get it to take root in an organization.

Don’t accept the default

In Grant’s TED talk he highlighted the most original thinkers are those who use Chrome or Firefox? Why? Because they don’t accept the default – they ask questions and go to an extra effort to find and then install the best solution. Wonderful example of questioning the status quo! What “straight out of the box defaults” have you accepted?

Why shouldn’t people support your idea?

Acknowledging the potential downsides up front can clear people’s negative thoughts out of the way and leave them more open to your solution.

 


 

Are you an English-speaking professional woman in Tokyo? Request to join our circle or follow Jennifer Shinkai Coaching on Facebook for up-coming event information.

2017/18 Meeting Dates
Generally held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month  7pm to 9pm at Dale Carnegie Japan. Meetings are free unless otherwise stated.

2018 1/17, 2/21, 3/21, 4/18, 5/16, 6/20, 7/18

Would you like to join an English Speaking Lean In Circle in Japan?

Request to join the Lean In Japan Creating Change Chapter and we will set up a call to decide which circle is best for your needs.

 

 

Resilience II – Spartan Sprint 2017

After Tokyo Marathon, it’s time to take on a new challenge and this time raise ¥400,000 for Resilience.
On May 27th, the first Spartan Sprint ever will be held in Tokyo. Whilst the 7km run is no problem for me, I’ve never done any strength training in my life! With no regular access to a gym, I’ll be working with my bodyweight and seeing what monkey bars I can find around my house.

The obstacles in the race look terrifying to me but nothing like the real threats that women go through every day in Japan when they are in an abusive relationship. Survivor stories show the extreme mental and physical suffering that people need to endure.

By raising awareness and funds, I hope to help Resilience NPO continue their valuable work in supporting survivors in Japan.

 

Sponsor me today!

April 2017 Lean In Creating Change Events

I’ve been facilitating Lean In Circles in English since 2015. Each group meets monthly and has a maximum of 12 members. The meetings are completely free thanks to our venue sponsors and are part of my CSR activities to support women’s empowerment in Japan.

Lean In Tokyo Girls on Fire

For professional, English-speaking women currently working in corporate roles in Tokyo. We meet on the third Wednesday of the month at the Dale Carnegie High Performance Centre in Akasaka.

Wednesday April 19th, 7pm to 9pm  – Lean In Peer Support Power Hour.

Request to join the circle and become a member

Lean in Japan Entrepreneurs

For English-speaking entrepreneurs based in Japan. We meet online once a month on a weekday morning from 9:30am to 11:30am.

Tuesday April 25th, 9:30am to 11:30am – Lean In Peer Support Power Hour

Request to join the circle and become a member

 

Want to keep up to date with news of diversity and inclusion events in Tokyo? Sign up to my mailing list today.

Resilience Marathon – Update

With a time of 5 hours 34 minutes, it wasn’t even close to a personal best, but I am delighted to have completed Tokyo Marathon on February 26th, 2017 and be able to raise significant funds for Resilience.

Today, I transferred 271,880JPY to NPO Resilience’s bank account.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored the run and also for the opportunity to raise awareness about domestic abuse and sexual violence in Japan. I will launch another sponsored challenge in April where I will really be pushing myself to new limits!

I attended a FEW event in March and I was lucky enough to hear Sachi speak again.

Her stories always make me want to do more which is why I will continue to fund raise for Resilience in 2017

You can find more resources at their website: http://resilience.jp

Here is the message I received from the founder, Sachi Nakajima:

“To everyone who was generous to donate to our cause, and to Jennifer who donated her race funds for Resilience!

Since 2003, we have been providing services to those who have been abused in relationships of all kinds (families, schools or at the work place).  During that time, the demand for our services has continued to be on the rise. With such a growing need for our work, we have had our share of struggles in continuing to run our non-profit organization.

Jennifer’s incredibly generous donation will now allow us to keep offering classes and workshops to those in need.

With much gratitude,

Sachi Nakajima”

What can you do today to support people who don’t have a voice? Can you volunteer, fundraise, raise awareness?

What strengths do you have that can be of service to others?