At a recent International Masterclass I attended, some members of the audience were staggered to find out that according to a recent survey across all sectors, 85% of your business success is due to your communication skills and personality whereas only 15% is down to technical skills and knowledge. I was relieved as that is the USP of my business, where I spend a lot of time explaining about the Japanese methods of communication but also making valuable connections myself using my own softer skills set. Connections matter so much in Japan and even here when dealing within the Japan related business world and how you get those connections and maintain them matters too. (see recent blogs on obligations in Japan) I probably spend 85% of my time networking, building up connections by genuinely getting to know people, helping them out in some way and fostering these relationships long term so I am able to get connections within the correct Japan related organisations for companies I work with. Of course, I make sure I am up to date with the skills and knowledge needed for whatever is asked of me and what I don’t know I will find out or get the correct contact who does know. However, it really does ring true both here and in Japan-people want to deal with people they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, and even more so in Japan, it is all about the connections. How do we make the connections? Through good communication skills and a reasonable amount of technical skill and knowledge!