November 2008

Communication Quotient

Sound communication is at the root of success, as everything we do involves communicating. A large part of managing a successful organization rests on a manager’s ability to provide a continuous flow of information up, down and across the organization. That ability to effectively communicate not only ensures a productive, focused workforce and satisfied stakeholders, but also is ultimately felt by the customer.

Now think about all the tasks you face on a daily basis. Whether you are meeting with your staff, writing an e-mail or lunching with a client, your professional success rests on your ability to communicate effectively.

Of course, if you are like most managers, you would assess your communication abilities very positively. However, there is always room for improvement. A Communication Quotient (CQ) test can help you gauge your communication strengths and weaknesses by determining your communication level.

The following questions will help you think about how effectively you communicate.

  • Could you describe your job and what your company does to your children in 30 seconds?
  • How well do you keep your employees/team members informed of new developments in the business?
  • How would your stakeholders rate your communication abilities?
  • Which of the following skills do you think is the most important to your job: persuasion; negotiating; talking; listening?
  • How often do you invite your banker/accountant/lawyer to lunch just to chat?
  • Do you have a pile of letters, voice messages, e-mails you have put off answering?

Have you checked your CQ (communication quotient) lately?

Public Speaking Training: Prepare, Practice, Proceed.

Whether we are introducing ourselves, presenting our company’s latest innovation or chairing a meeting, knowing what to say and how to say it is crucial to our success.

This public speaking training program offers participants a unique opportunity to practice their communication skills and improve their self-confidence in a friendly atmosphere and professional environment.


  • Message: What is your message? (September 30th)
  • Delivery: How to deliver your message? (October 21st)
  • Audience: Who is your audience? (November 25th)

Location: The Palace Hotel, Panska 12, Prague 1

Time: 18:30-20:30

November 3 “Five questions that change everything” by John Scherer
November 4 Power Lunch: Why the mind gets what it expects
November 15 and 16 Toastmasters District Conference in Bamberg, Germany (
November 25 Public Speaking Training: Prepare, Practice, Proceed Part III
November 30 DLA Bazaar at the Prague Hilton Hotel
December 2 Power Lunch: Why we are dishonest and what can we do about it
December 4 to 6 European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) Conference in Prague.

Sincerity vs Hypocrisy?

During one of my early workshops with a group of Czech salespeople I was told that I smiled like an American. Being French I wondered what that meant and if it was good or bad. After asking, the salesman who made the comment told me: “I don’t know yet”.

Soon after I moved to Prague, I realized that if Americans smile more than the average European, the Czechs on the contrary smiled a lot less than what I was used to.

When I asked my Czech teacher why the Czechs didn’t smile more often, her answer startled me: “Why should they smile if they don’t feel like it?”

Smiling is perceived as a visual signal of sincere happiness and/or appreciation and it is also a tool some of us use to connect with total strangers.

Do you judge people by their behavior or for their thoughts? Do you have to know people to smile at them and do you have to feel good and happy to smile? Are you only nice and polite with nice and polite people or do you show kindness and behave politely with people you strongly disapprove of?

This all depends upon your cultural background and your personal values. If for you, smiling is a sign of sincere appreciation, you might not be able to smile when you don’t feel like it and you will judge people who do smile when they don’t feel like it as hypocritical and insincere.

Sartre believed people should be judged only by their actions and not by their deepest thoughts, as they are not responsible for how they feel but they are responsible for how they behave.

Do you label someone a hypocrite because he smiles at someone he does not like?

In some cultures, how you feel is irrelevant; the social interaction and behavior must be within the expected norms–if you don’t smile you are considered rude. In other cultures sincere behavior is what counts; smiling without feeling happy would be considered hypocritical.

Do you judge people based on whether you think they are being sincere or on their behavior or do you simply judge people according to your cultural expectations? Is your judgment style giving you the results you want, or could it be leading you to unhelpful and/or inaccurate conclusions?