Hou-Ren-Sou is the most fundamental business practices in Japan and also this is the core principle of the communication style within Japanese business.
“Hou” is Houkoku(reporting),“Ren” is Renraku(Informing) and“Sou” is Soudan(consulting).
The three pillars to this concept are as follows:
You report to your superior the status of your assignment regularly. You report when you made a progress, when you see an obstacle, when you have a problem, when you made no progress, when you go for lunch, when you go to the customer’s site, when you go home from the customer’s site, etc. The key is to keep your superior filled in with the latest and detailed status of your work. You should give him a reporting before he asks you to do so.
Renraku means informing. This sounds similar to reporting, but informing is done to colleagues and those involved or affected by your work.
You inform them about your problems, your work progress to get good ideas or opinions.
Soudan means consulting. This practice involves talking over details and asking for advices from your superior or senior person. Whenever you make a decision or you’ve faced a problem with work, you should consult with your superior.