I must have heard the word nagare more times in the first two weeks of my current job than in my entire lifetime of speaking Japanese.
The message was everywhere when it came to meetings and presentations: “Think about the nagare. What’s the most logical order of discussing things, or presenting information? What’s our goal, and what do we want to achieve? The nagare is everything.”
The importance of nagare of a presentation was easy to understand, but I’d never really given thought to the nagare of a meeting. Looking back, the types of meetings I was used to were not much more than lazy brainstorms. Get together, throw out some ideas, hem and haw, maybe make a decision. With no clear goal in sight to carry us along, we would sit for hours, content with the fact that we were holding a “meeting” and thus “getting stuff done”.
The more I started coming in contact with the almighty nagare and its significance in meetings, I started detecting it everywhere. Everything that had a goal had a nagare hiding beneath the surface. I viewed phone calls in a whole new light. Writing down my talking points beforehand had been a habit, but before I realized it, I was numbering them. How do I steer the conversation for the best outcome? How do I make this transaction successful? As I churned these questions over in my mind and envisioned the conversation, I found myself erasing my numbers and starting over. I could see it taking shape. The key was in the nagare.
Before I knew it, every conversation suddenly came under scrutiny under the nagare magnascope. Every piece of information I held became a playing card, ready to be thrown down at the most effective time. What do I say first? What do I save for last? The word nagare took on a whole new meaning for me, and it’s much more than the simple “flow” or “current” that pops up in the dictionary. It’s the key to getting your point across, influencing others, and taking the lead.
The next time you have a meeting or conversation, take a moment to think: what’s the nagare? Grasp that, and you’re in control.
Written by ジェシー・ナス
[JVTA発] 発見！キラリ☆ 10月のテーマ：流れ