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Sensitivity and Appreciation

Kuwahata-San, CEO of Adflex Communications came to Nagano to see me last night.
It’ll have been 10 years this year since I met him for the first time.
Speaking with him made me realize the importance of “sensitivity” and “appreciation” again, so I’m going to use this as today’s blog theme;)

The first meeting with him was the interview with him at Adflex Communications on May, 2011. Aa the Head of Sales, near the end of the interview,

“Who do you look up to most in the world?”
he asked. Then,

“My mother”
I instantanously answered.

As he got interested in my answer, he asked me why.
“Until age of 20, I had made my mom worried about me through many things. For instance, my teachers and principals called her to come to my elementary/junior high school almost every week due to all the stupid things I did. Not to make her less concerned about me, I went to a relatively good local highschool. Yet, I dropped out of the high school at the end of my 2nd year. That is, I continuously worn her out and never met her expectation. Still, she gave me another chance to study in the states by supporting some of my educational cost and believing me, no matter what.

That is why she is the person I admire most in the world,” I said with sudden tears.
Kuwahata-San resonated with my story, and let me in Adflex Communications.

When I actually joined the company, he taught many things to me (the 29-year-old who did not know any business manners at all). While taking care of the most important clients, generating new leads, and managing his people, he still made time for me and taught me all the basic stuffs such as how to exchange business cards, take business calls kindly. After I left the company for various reasons, as time passed, various people I had met led me to realize “how much I received from him”.  When I noticed, at the end of every year, I went to Adflex office to give them greetings and show my great appreciation with little gifts.

When I told Kuwahata-San this story last night, he said, “You just didn’t know things, Masaki. (He could tell that I was already aware of the importance of learning and the ability to be grateful.)” I realized again that I couldn’t develop the relationship with him if I didn’t have this sensitivity and appreciation because we had some interest conflict or hurt each other’s feelings. This sensitivity and appreciation recalled me of the vast amount of thought, time, and know-how that he has devoted to me since the time I had met him.

If you can interact with people around you with such “sensitivity” and “gratitude,” the way of communication and the depth and strength of relationships will change. It is difficult to teach in words, but I would like to occasionally talk about their importance. (I’ve been doing this many times. lol)

Masaki “Mark” Iino
Founder & CEO
SOPHOLA, Inc