Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tatemae 建前 or Honne 本音? You are society?

In present day society, many are forced to choose tatemae rather than honne or vice versa. Before you become confused any further, tateame (Japanese) is the desire of oneself and Honne is the societal obligation (García, 2010). How does this fit into the framework of leadership? These two different mindsets intertwine into leadership in various aspects: cross-cultural competencies, leading individuals who operate within these two realms, etc. As the world around becomes more accepting of different cultures, it is important that many take personal and professional steps to lead others from various cultures to successfully contribute to society in a fashion that one would see fit. Also, as a leader, it would be advantageous for one to understand how others may view the world. Some may deal with an issue of operating within themselves and the rest of the world. Two primary extremes may arise out of the thoughts of honne and tatemae: (1) a person operates solely by their desires, and (2) a person operates only to please others. It is imperative that one seeks to engage the world in a manner that allows for growth with oneself as well as the people that they interact with on various levels. Essentially, we all are a part of society and it is vital to understand that the world is bigger than oneself.

García, H. (2010). Honne and Tatemae. Kirai: A geek in Japan. Retrieved from

1 comment:

  1. I agree that one must get to know the ppl they lead in Oder to be an effective leader. I also think that the leader should possess both these qualities and balance them equally. Because they seem to be a ying yang to one another. If you only operate out of self desire you've missed the boat on what humanity is really about, loving others as yourself. However, if you only operate out of societal expectations then you face the challenge of becoming a ppl pleaser and can lose sight of purpose and vision. So I agree that you should definitely consider others but balance is key.