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Picture I took at a coffee place in Naraijuku, and the forest walk from Torii Pass to Narai Oct 2018

Ichi-go ichi-e (Japanese: 一期一会, lit. “one time, one meeting”) [it͡ɕi̥.ɡo it͡ɕi̥.e] is a Japanese four-character idiom (yojijukugo) that describes a cultural concept of treasuring meetings with people.

The term is often translated as “for this time only,” “never again,” or “one chance in a lifetime.” The term is a reminder to cherish that many meetings in life are not repeated. Even when the same group gets together again, the essence and chemistry can never be replicated. Each moment then, is unique. Wikipedia

When we treasure the meeting with someone, networking does not need to be inauthentic. Instead of busy engaging in the digital world, we value the person in front of us.

The experience, the conversation, the connection.

As a host to ensure a level of experience possible as there is no guarantee one will have the chance to entertain the guest under the same circumstances again. 

Whether giving a routine presentation, or coaching someone, an ichigo ichie experience. Put down the digital devices and appreciate the moment.

What if I cannot stand my co-workers? Treasuring the moment is about mutual respect.

It is not about being emotional or romantic or best friends forever.

It is about leaving your baggage behind and enter the moment in harmony and boundaries.

Japanese bond with colleagues after work known as nomikai. Despite being introverts, collective cultures like Japan understand the importance of strong workplace relationships. (Often the bill is paid by the boss on company expense.) Although some companies are looking at other activities to improve bonding. This is lacking in most companies today which may be the reason for poor employee engagement – a detachment from your colleague. Bomding is done at an organisation level is not enough, and certainly not the same.

One who smiles rather than rages, is stronger. Japanese proverb