March 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.

At the end of my Cross-Cultural Management Seminar for MBA students at the Masaryk Institute for Advanced Studies on Saturday, February 14th, I asked the classic question: “Does anyone have a question?”

One woman raised her hand and said, “From your point of view, what are the most important characteristics of the best managers?”

Although I had just spent 3 hours illustrating various situations on accepting, adapting and integrating cultural differences as well as going over some of the basic cultural features identified by two famous cultural specialists, Edward Hall and Fons Trompenaars, for a group of professionals, this question reminded me that I needed to summarize my own thoughts on what is the best way to manage across cultures.

Anyone who has ever coached, trained or taught is aware of the differences  between the three disciplines as well as the situations where the areas may overlap. But while coaching is about helping the coachees identify what is important for them and doing your best to avoid saying what you think they should do, the woman’s question at the seminar reminded me that teaching is about sharing experience and knowledge. She was expecting me to share my thoughts and knowledge with her on how to be the best manager in a cross-cultural environment.

I had spent a good portion of the seminar stressing the importance of stretching your comfort zone and reaching out to others’ needs and expectations. Now it was my turn to stretch beyond my coaching habits and tell the audience what I thought was the best way to manage across cultures.

Reflecting on the question from a teacher’s perspective, I said: “A good manager is one who knows what he wants, can identify the issues, knows what is required to reach his goal, and knows how to make the necessary adjustments needed to reach his goal. Finally during this entire process, he needs to be aware of his values and be able to align his goals with his values and behaviors.

SPRING HR MIX – March 18-19, Hotel Prestige, Znojmonontraditional management development – information, inspiration, and relaxation.

This nontraditional get-together organized by Expertis is for managers who have had enough of traditional seminars and would like gain new ideas in an intensive, interactive environment.

I will be leading a workshop on March 19 entitled Creative self-marketing with results – how to successfully present yourself in any situation.You will learn how to make the most of your networking encounters by leveraging what people can see, hear and feel for the greatest effect. I will present  concrete examples and specific techniques you can use right away to get results in your business and personal communication.

For more information or to register for Spring HR Mix, contact Katerina Kubesova at Expertis (, 732 911 524) or see the HR Mix webpages


March 1st WIB – Women in Business dinner at Mlynec
March 10th The Better Management Society Luncheon
March 18th Career Management Lunch & Learn Series
March 19th Creative self-marketing with results – Expertis Spring Mix
March 22nd ASTD Professional Development Series Dinner
March 25th Bluebird Noruz Fundraising dinner
April 5th WIB – Women in Business dinner at Mlynec
April 21st The Better Management Society Luncheon
April 22nd Career Management Lunch & Learn Series

Communication Tip of the Month: The Year of the Monkey

This month, I would like to share a letter I received from a friend of mine.

Hello Everyone!

AsI’m wishing you a blissful and prosperous Year of the Monkey, I just felt like sharing some of my thoughts today:

I received some New Year’s well wishes from my parents and a few friends and a common theme was uttered: “We were so worried about you…” Of course, we’ve heard and said these words many times before. But for some reason, it really made me ponder this whole concept of “worry”.

Doesn’t our society regard worry as a sign of love and care? But just think about this for a second. Do you really want someone worrying about you, or would you rather be self-assured in the knowledge of your innate strength and wholeness? If you were on a sports team, do you want a coach doubting your skills or encouraging you with genuine faith in your ability?

Of course, we all mean well.But worry is not an expression of love and care. It’s an expression of fear and distrust.If you fully trusted in the strength and wisdom of those near to you, you would not worry. Worrying embraces the problem, not the solution. The energy that perpetuates difficulty could be channeled toward success. Worry is not so much directed at the recipient but rather is directed at oneself, affirming one’s doubts and anxieties.

Instead of worry, let’s express love through faith, not worry. A famous aphorism says, “the opposite of love is not hate – it is fear.” Faith neutralizes fear. Don’t perpetuate your own fear; love others by reinforcing their wholeness and encouraging their strength, especially when they seem unable to believe in it. My resolution is to be a loving friend, not a worrying friend.

Or as the saying goes: “A true friend is someone who remembers your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it.” Fear has no power when you spread love.

May all of you have a Happy and Love-filled New Year,Zun

Yours truly,Karin