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How it works
Acting with omoiyari can be applied on any level of interaction. On the individual level, thinking and acting with omoiyari is associated with how we treat those people surrounding us in our private life, such as friends and family. In business life, colleagues and customers come to mind.
Yet we can expand this view to how we act towards other people in our community, our country or even globally when we travel for work or pleasure and encounter people who have different traditions, ideas, customs, rituals and the like.

Acting with omoiyari becomes especially important - and rewarding - when we encounter people whom we consider to be very different from ourselves. What is "very different" will depend on the individual and the context, for instance situations in which we have to work with colleagues from different functions, departments, or nationalities.

It may be difficult to communicate with people who we consider so different from ourselves, that we may fail to enter into a constructive dialogue. Miscommunication easily leads to a lack of trust, leading to inefficiency and ineffectiveness, frustration and energy drain.

Luckily, omoiyari is something we can learn! How? Through a simple three step process, building on the benefits of diversity:

• Awareness: to benefit from a diversity of perceptions, we first have to become aware   of our own.
• Appreciation: after this awareness, when we learn that our way is not the only way,   we can start to appreciate differences and to learn from each other.
• Authenticity: appreciating differences does not imply adaptation; we need to stay   authentic to benefit from the different strengths.

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