Ken Uchikura Newsletter Vol. 20

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Ojyama Shimasu

Dear Reader,

The Japanese expression “Ojyama Shimau” means “I will disturb you” or “I will get in your way.” You use this to enter someone’s home. Basically, you are apologizing to someone for something you are going to do or you must do before you do it. The typical response to “Ojyama Shimau” is “Dozo” … It means please do what you need to do. I do not think there is such expression in English except maybe “Excuse Me.”

In business, you cannot always do what customers ask. You do your best but you know your best is not going to be enough. So, you think you should let the customer know from the beginning that your best is not going to be good enough. “Not a good idea.”

You always present yourself as an expert. And you must act and talk like the customer made the best choice he can make unless you know someone who can do better than you. In that case, you just tell your customer to go see that person. In many cases, customers know all you can do is your best and your best may not be good enough. But for those customers, you may be the last hope. In that case, you have a responsibility to do your best and comfort your customers by telling them that they are in good hands.

“Ojyama Shimau” also means one other thing. You say this when you have a better solution than the one people are talking about. For that you “Ojyama Shimau ” … “But I have a better idea….” I am sure a lot of time I shut people down … but I want to try allowing people to talk freely to me. That is what I am trying … please “Ojyama Shimau” anytime. I will try to listen.

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