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Archive Monthly Archives: January 2017

Understanding Cultural Differences Saves You From Embarrassing Faux Pas

It’s not all that difficult to get caught up in our own little world and forget that differences exist between us and our foreign colleagues with whom we interact and/or do business.  I’ve been guilty of it and was it ever an awkward and embarrassing moment when I found out I committed an egregious faux pas.  (I wanted to hide when I was calmly and tactfully corrected.   Luckily, I had a forgiving friend.)  Here are some terrific tips to help you understand cultural differences.  They come from Rhonda Coast, who is an expert on cross-cultural training in the workplace. It’s a must read to help you to avoid making a mistake that leaves you embarrassed.Continue reading

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How “Fox in Socks” Helps Busy Executives (Speak More Clearly)

When I work with an executive on diction and pronunciation, I always check their jaw/tongue/lips for signs of tension.  Usually, it’s visible.  The lips are clenched a little and the mouth doesn’t open very widely.  It’s no wonder that they sound like they are mumbling and are difficult to understand.  In the case of tension and “tongue tied”, we often work on relaxation exercises to realize the potential the muscles of our vocal tract have.  We practice an exaggerated mouth opening on counting and other automatic speech tasks.  (Most clients find their jaw exhausted after our exercises.)

Then, we find ways to incorporate this skill into everyday activities.  If my clients have young children, the first thing that I recommend is to read, “Fox in Socks” by Dr. Seuss. Continue reading

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