January 2004

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

While enjoying the holidays, I hope you also managed to take advantage of the Christmas/New Year’s break to reflect on what you would like to achieve this year. As a coach, the first question I always ask my clients is: What do you want? Coaching is about setting up an action plan so that you can set priorities about what matters most to you. Managing is similar. As a manager, you are expected to set goals and then decide on the best strategies to reach those goals.

Because one of our main goals is advancing our careers, L’Epée Coaching & Consulting will pursue its classic Career Management Workshop and Career Management Lunch & Learn series this year. The Coaching-for-Performance Workshops will also cover some classic and as well as new programs, such as Stress and Emotions, Cross-Cultural Management, Creative Communication and so on.

Career Management Workshop

Are you contemplating a career transition? Do you need to take stock, broaden your perspective, build confidence, gain clarity, and gain a clear sense of direction and desired financial rewards? Whether you want to carry out your current job more effectively, go for a promotion, size up new career options, take the plunge and go freelance, or set up your own business, this career assessment workshop will help you through the process by supporting, inspiring and challenging you to clarify your game plan and take action.

Career Management Program

The January 22 session of the Lunch & Learn Series will review how to present yourself with maximum impact and results in 2 minutes, “The 2-Minute Drill.” It will be followed on February 19 by “How to Market Yourself with Your Curriculum Vitae,” which will give you the opportunity to identify your achievements and skills and learn how to translate those in your CV. This program is available in a lunch-series format as well as through one-on-one coaching sessions. Look for a separate mailing with more information about this program. Should you have any immediate questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Cross-Cultural Management Workshop

The Cross-Cultural Management Workshop will focus on understanding cultural differences, which requires that we accept, adapt and integrate these differences when we want to communicate, relate and work with other cultures. Look for a separate mailing with more information about this new workshop.Should you have any immediate questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Calendar

January 22nd Career Management Lunch & Learn Series
January 31st Career Assessment Workshop, Part I
February 2nd WIB ;– Women in Business dinner at Mlynec
February 7th Coaching-for-Performance Workshop: Cross-Cultural Management
February 11th The Better Management Society Luncheon
February 14th Cross-Cultural Management Workshop for MBA’s students at the Masaryk Institute for Advanced Studies
February 19th Career Management Lunch & Learn Series
February 21st Career Assessment Workshop, Part II
March 1st WIB – Women in Business dinner at Mlynec
March 10th The Better Management Society Luncheon
March 18th Career Management Lunch & Learn Series

Communication Tip of the Month: How to Bridge the Cultural Gap

Ethnocentrism is the assumption that one’s own culture is central to all reality. Understanding cultural differences requires that we accept, adapt and integrate these differences if we want to communicate, relate and work with other cultures.

Accepting differences

Acceptance of cultural differences is characterized by a respect for the unique distinctive traits that distinguish the members of one group from the members of another. Acceptance starts with understanding that cultural differences are inevitable and acknowledging that your world view isn’t identical to everyone’s reality. A valid concern with acceptance is that it might lead to surrender, but appreciating and accepting another culture doesn’t imply renouncing your own. Acceptance doesn’t have to mean agreement. You can respect a different cultural characteristic without making the same choice in your own life.

Adapting differences

Adaptation is the stage where you are willing to venture outside your comfort zone, where you know when to adapt your behaviors when appropriate. A cross-cultural environment provides a valuable opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and experiment with changing some of your habits – and allowing yourself to let go a bit. Each person needs to find the right dynamic balance in being inside and outside his comfort zone. And adapting doesn’t mean assimilating. Adapting means making a temporary shift in perspective – adapting behavior when needed.

Integrating Differences

Integration occurs when you are able to hold different frames of references in your mind at the same time. It occurs when you understand and use others’ frames of references, when you can include life patterns different from your own and psychologically and socially come to grips with a multiplicity of realities.

Leveraging Differences

Leveraging means achieving more output with a given input. Leveraging cultural differences means making the most of these differences. Leveraging is associated with a dynamic view of culture. It implies proactively studying cultures and creatively finding the best in different cultural views.

In our global world, “individuals characterize themselves culturally less and less in relation to a nationality and more and more with respect to a value system, social and political aspirations, mode of production and of consumption.” (Gilles Verbunt,La Société Interculturelle).Only when we are able to accept, adapt and integrate various cultural differences can our identity be viewed as a personal and dynamic synthesis of multiple cultures.

How culturally literate are you?

Yours truly,Karin