February 2003

February 2003


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Welcome to this month’s L’Epée Coaching & Consulting February 2003 Newsletter. A warm welcome to our newest readers, and as always, warm appreciation to our long-time readers.

The beginning of a New Year is usually the time for hope and resolutions to make some effective changes. In a world where results are the driving force of business, the words “performance” and “productivity” are key components of our business resolutions. And yet how many managers jeopardize themselves by making resolutions about future performance and productivity without being able to measure their current one. Despite the fact that this third year of the third millennium started with lots of gloomy uncertainties many companies have been looking for more ways to measure their own performance and productivity as well as the performance and productivity of their employees.

To answer my clients’ needs and expectations in the area of personal development and career advancement I have been incorporating the Profiles tests into my Management Coaching and Career Coaching practice.

For those of you who are looking for an all-purpose assessment to help you measure the qualities which make up the “Total Person”- Thinking style and Reasoning, Occupational Interests, and Behavioral traits, The Profile XT™ is the right tool for you. It is used for placement, promotion, self-improvement, coaching, and job description development. The Profiles can produce seven types of report such as: Individual Report – A guide for self-understanding, Placement Report – Selecting the right people through Job Match and Coaching Report – An excellent training and development tool

To measure five key personality factors; Productivity, Quality of work, Initiative, Teamwork and Problem Solving and their impact on seven critically important aspects of success in business you will need the Profiles Performance Indicator™. The reports of the Profiles Performance Indicator will help you understand how an individual is effectively understood, motivated, and managed. It also provides recommendations for improving employee performance such as how to respond to job-related stress, frustration and conflict, how to stimulate employee motivation, and whether the employee is internally motivated or will need external stimulation.

Incorporated within a customized coaching program, these two Profiles tests will help identify areas of strength and determine more specifically the areas to improve and develop.

A Czech and an English version are available.

For further information do not hesitate to contact me or to look at the website: www.profiles.cz


January 25th Career Assessment Workshop Part I
January 30th CCRCC Pubnight
February 3rd WIB -Women in Business dinner
February 8th Career Assessment Workshop Part II
February 11th IWAP evening group
February 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th Biljana Pelic Music Workshops
March 8th Effective Communication Techniques workshop
March 3rd WIB -Women in Business dinner
March 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th Biljana Pelic Music Workshops
March 11th IWAP evening group
March 29th Career Assessment Workshop Part I
April 12th Career Assessment Workshop Part II

Communication Tip of the Month:

Culture as a communication toolWith the issue of international relations and cooperation between different cultures in mind, the Cursus 2002 started its Many Cultures-One Business round table discussions with representatives of France, Germany and Austria.The classic criticism a German will make about the French is that important decisions are never made during meetings but during the coffee break or over lunch, to which the French will reply that the Germans don’t budge from their ideas when they have finally made a decision.Living and working in Prague, besides our daily interaction with the Czech, gives most of us a great opportunity to be frequently exposed to citizens from France and Germany.History binds these three countries for the best today. As Europeans they each have a specific role to play. The challenge lies in understanding each other and capitalizing on their strengths while recognizing that what is perceived as a weakness in one culture can actually be a strength in another one.Regardless of the reasons, be they cultural or historical, these three countries approach communication from a different angle. The French are masters in the art of suggestion and indirect communication which drives Germans crazy as they favor frankness and facts in order for everyone to know what to expect. And as much as the Czech people think that they like honest and straightforward communication, they often follow the French habit of not saying what they think is obvious.When it comes to feelings and people, the Czech and the French both share the need to establish personal contact and relationships while working together whereas Germans have a more distant approach; business is not mixed with pleasure. The French need to get a feeling for the general mood first, business will be dealt with afterwards. From the German and the Czech perspective, these preliminaries are often a waste of time. Beneath the German and Czech serious and often forbidding exterior is a deep need to be thought well of and respected. Their feelings are intense- they don’t show much emotion, but they do feel it, intensely.Charles de Gaulle said: “How can you govern a country that makes 365 kinds of cheese?” Following rules and regulations isn’t one of the French highest priorities. Procedures bore the French as they think they inhibit their creativity and impinge upon their individuality. On the other hand a German will strive to abide by them as it makes them save time and it increases their efficiency. Germans and Czechs want to be correct in everything they do and therefore hate to make mistakes; they become upset when they do, and often offer excuses or look for a scapegoat. German procedures work both as a management tool and a way to correct mistakes.

As I watched France and Germany celebrate the anniversary of their friendship on January 22nd, I couldn’t help but think of the long road it took them to finally enact their 40-year-old treaty. No matter how many treaties and anniversaries we celebrate, for many international companies working together effectively remains a daunting challenge.If on a day-to-day basis, these differences often seem impossible to overcome, many companies have successfully managed to have Czech, German and French employees work in the same company with great success.

How did they do it? Besides offering cross-exposure opportunities, a strong dose of knowing and understanding each other culture as well as a pinch of humor will go a long way to help people of different cultures to work happily and successfully together.How is your culture influencing your communication?

Yours truly,Karin