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373 Should Women Be Public Speakers In Japan?

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Manage episode 400577548 series 2950797
Kandungan disediakan oleh Greg Story and Dale Carnegie Training. Semua kandungan podcast termasuk episod, grafik dan perihalan podcast dimuat naik dan disediakan terus oleh Greg Story and Dale Carnegie Training atau rakan kongsi platform podcast mereka. Jika anda percaya seseorang menggunakan karya berhak cipta anda tanpa kebenaran anda, anda boleh mengikuti proses yang digariskan di sini https://ms.player.fm/legal.

I hesitated to use this title, because it smacks of click bait, doesn’t it? To hell with it, live dangerously, I say! What flagged this question for me was an article in the Financial Times by Anjli Raval about Wall Street earnings calls. She mentioned that researchers from the University of Bergen and Said Business School analysed the question-and-answer sections of earnings calls from 2993 American listed companies between 2010 and 2019.

They were looking at a term I had never heard of before, called “uptalk”. This is a common thing with women, who sometimes end their sentences with a rising intonation. It comes across as open, friendly and not being domineering or pushy. All good. However, it also can sound as if they are not convinced of what they are saying. That rising tone sounds like the statement is morphing into an unstated question conveying uncertainty.

The research showed that whenever they used this uptalk element in their speech, male analysts made less buy recommendations when female CEOs were doing the earnings calls. The academics noted, “Analysts respond negatively when female executives use unexpectedly high levels of uptalk”. The study showed that this did not apply when men used uptalk in the earnings calls.

Raval also captures some dilemmas facing women executives when she writes, “They must be vocal but not deemed ‘shrill’. They must be confident but not perceived as arrogant; empathetic but not so much that is shows weakness; they should smile and be enthusiastic to not appear ‘threatening’ or ‘hostile’ (words rarely used for male counterparts). And they shouldn’t complain”. Whew. That is a tricky path to navigate for female executives.

What about Japan? In my experience, there is definitely an expectation here about how women are supposed to speak. Television panels, talk shows etc., here usually feature the woman as a charming appendage to the male. He is the expert and the center of attention. Her job is to not say much, listen intently to what he is saying and make him look good.

I should point out though, that sounding hesitant using “uptalk” style of speech is a fixture of the culture in Japan, for both men and women. It is a means of sounding polite, humble and non-aggressive. These are welcome attributes in a country which values social harmony. Having said that, I feel there is greater pressure on women here to restrain themselves in what they say and particularly in how forcefully they say it.

Infamously, ex-Prime Minister Mori, when he headed the Japan Olympic Organising Committee, complained about women wanting to talk too much at the meetings. That caused a huge furore and very, very reluctantly, he resigned his position after holding on to it until the bitter end. What I think he was saying was that the women on the committee should sit there and listen to men like him, and say nothing. They should be guided by the senior males in the room, so their opinions weren’t required. “If you need an opinion, I will give it to you” type of approach.

Ex-Prime Minister Aso is also a reliable source for faux pas regarding the place of women in Japanese society. There is even a dedicated section on Wikipedia titled “Controversial Statements”. I wonder how many Japanese people listed in Wikipedia have such a dedicated section? In 2014, he talked about women who didn’t give birth being “problematic”. In 2018, he said “there is no such thing as a sexual harassment charge”. January 2024, he called Foreign Minister Yōko Kamikawa, aged 70, an “obasan” or old lady, and commented that she was “not particularly beautiful”.

By the way, he is 83, light years distant from being handsome and grew up with a massive array of silver spoons stuffed into his mouth. Being male, his looks don’t enter into any calculations. In that same speech, he also said she was a “new star and could inspire new stars to emerge in politics”. Some serious mixed messaging going on there from Aso.

So should women in Japan even bother with public speaking, given the male dominance of business here? There are many excellent foreign female speakers here like Helen Iwata, who is a friend and a graduate of our High Impact Presentations Course. She is really skilled and teaches public speaking for women. What about skilled Japanese females? I am sure they must be out there somewhere and maybe I have missed them over the last 39 years living here. In reality, I don’t see many female executives giving public speeches and I am struggling to think of someone who would be a really good role model?

I quoted Raval earlier on the difficulties for women to navigate the right tone when speaking. Japan is no different and perhaps even less open to the idea and certainly less tolerant as well. What we see in our classes, though, is that there is no problem for women to become excellent public speakers. That, I believe, is the difference. Regardless of gender, when we get the training, we know how to navigate all the obstacles to getting our message across.

What often happens, though, is women in business are left to work it out through trial and error. In companies, men get the training quota, and the women don’t. You need regular speaking spots to make that trial-and-error algorithm work. Executives in Japan just don’t get to give that many speeches in a year. Also, the number of speaking spots for women here is a lot less than for men. It will take female executives a long time to work it out by themselves. I suggest women in business (actually everyone!) get the training, so they can speed things up, improve the process and secure the needed outcomes.

  continue reading

390 episod

Artwork
iconKongsi
 
Manage episode 400577548 series 2950797
Kandungan disediakan oleh Greg Story and Dale Carnegie Training. Semua kandungan podcast termasuk episod, grafik dan perihalan podcast dimuat naik dan disediakan terus oleh Greg Story and Dale Carnegie Training atau rakan kongsi platform podcast mereka. Jika anda percaya seseorang menggunakan karya berhak cipta anda tanpa kebenaran anda, anda boleh mengikuti proses yang digariskan di sini https://ms.player.fm/legal.

I hesitated to use this title, because it smacks of click bait, doesn’t it? To hell with it, live dangerously, I say! What flagged this question for me was an article in the Financial Times by Anjli Raval about Wall Street earnings calls. She mentioned that researchers from the University of Bergen and Said Business School analysed the question-and-answer sections of earnings calls from 2993 American listed companies between 2010 and 2019.

They were looking at a term I had never heard of before, called “uptalk”. This is a common thing with women, who sometimes end their sentences with a rising intonation. It comes across as open, friendly and not being domineering or pushy. All good. However, it also can sound as if they are not convinced of what they are saying. That rising tone sounds like the statement is morphing into an unstated question conveying uncertainty.

The research showed that whenever they used this uptalk element in their speech, male analysts made less buy recommendations when female CEOs were doing the earnings calls. The academics noted, “Analysts respond negatively when female executives use unexpectedly high levels of uptalk”. The study showed that this did not apply when men used uptalk in the earnings calls.

Raval also captures some dilemmas facing women executives when she writes, “They must be vocal but not deemed ‘shrill’. They must be confident but not perceived as arrogant; empathetic but not so much that is shows weakness; they should smile and be enthusiastic to not appear ‘threatening’ or ‘hostile’ (words rarely used for male counterparts). And they shouldn’t complain”. Whew. That is a tricky path to navigate for female executives.

What about Japan? In my experience, there is definitely an expectation here about how women are supposed to speak. Television panels, talk shows etc., here usually feature the woman as a charming appendage to the male. He is the expert and the center of attention. Her job is to not say much, listen intently to what he is saying and make him look good.

I should point out though, that sounding hesitant using “uptalk” style of speech is a fixture of the culture in Japan, for both men and women. It is a means of sounding polite, humble and non-aggressive. These are welcome attributes in a country which values social harmony. Having said that, I feel there is greater pressure on women here to restrain themselves in what they say and particularly in how forcefully they say it.

Infamously, ex-Prime Minister Mori, when he headed the Japan Olympic Organising Committee, complained about women wanting to talk too much at the meetings. That caused a huge furore and very, very reluctantly, he resigned his position after holding on to it until the bitter end. What I think he was saying was that the women on the committee should sit there and listen to men like him, and say nothing. They should be guided by the senior males in the room, so their opinions weren’t required. “If you need an opinion, I will give it to you” type of approach.

Ex-Prime Minister Aso is also a reliable source for faux pas regarding the place of women in Japanese society. There is even a dedicated section on Wikipedia titled “Controversial Statements”. I wonder how many Japanese people listed in Wikipedia have such a dedicated section? In 2014, he talked about women who didn’t give birth being “problematic”. In 2018, he said “there is no such thing as a sexual harassment charge”. January 2024, he called Foreign Minister Yōko Kamikawa, aged 70, an “obasan” or old lady, and commented that she was “not particularly beautiful”.

By the way, he is 83, light years distant from being handsome and grew up with a massive array of silver spoons stuffed into his mouth. Being male, his looks don’t enter into any calculations. In that same speech, he also said she was a “new star and could inspire new stars to emerge in politics”. Some serious mixed messaging going on there from Aso.

So should women in Japan even bother with public speaking, given the male dominance of business here? There are many excellent foreign female speakers here like Helen Iwata, who is a friend and a graduate of our High Impact Presentations Course. She is really skilled and teaches public speaking for women. What about skilled Japanese females? I am sure they must be out there somewhere and maybe I have missed them over the last 39 years living here. In reality, I don’t see many female executives giving public speeches and I am struggling to think of someone who would be a really good role model?

I quoted Raval earlier on the difficulties for women to navigate the right tone when speaking. Japan is no different and perhaps even less open to the idea and certainly less tolerant as well. What we see in our classes, though, is that there is no problem for women to become excellent public speakers. That, I believe, is the difference. Regardless of gender, when we get the training, we know how to navigate all the obstacles to getting our message across.

What often happens, though, is women in business are left to work it out through trial and error. In companies, men get the training quota, and the women don’t. You need regular speaking spots to make that trial-and-error algorithm work. Executives in Japan just don’t get to give that many speeches in a year. Also, the number of speaking spots for women here is a lot less than for men. It will take female executives a long time to work it out by themselves. I suggest women in business (actually everyone!) get the training, so they can speed things up, improve the process and secure the needed outcomes.

  continue reading

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