September 2004

Over the years, L’Epée Coaching & Consulting has seen a steady increase in the number of nationalities represented in its various activities. While eleven different countries were represented in 1999, that number has swelled over the past several years to a total of 32. This diversity not only provides a unique environment in which to observe and understand cultural differences, but it also gives participants the opportunity to apply various concepts and ideas in facilitating cross-cultural communication.

While I continue to be actively involved in both personal and management coaching, assisting my clients in identifying opportunities for improvement and solving problems by looking within, I have decided to broaden my activities and devote more energy to writing.

In addition to my monthly newsletter, I have begun writing a monthly column for The Prague Post called The Manager’s Handbook.

The first column, Understanding the Multicultural Office, was published on July 28

The second column, A Rational Explanation for Irrational Behavior, came out on August 25

The September issue of Prague Club Magazine will see the first installment of another column I am writing called Coaching for Success. You can visit the Club magazine website at

Toastmasters in Prague

As I mentioned in my summer newsletter, Toastmasters is finally coming to Prague. Everyone is welcome to the first DEMO meeting on Wednesday, September 29 from 18:00 to 20:00 at Novotneho lavka 1, DT CSVTS, Prague 1. (It is the building next to Mlynec restaurant)

For further information please contact Ivana Hospodarova at


August 25 Intercultural Power Lunch: Emotions at Work Part II
September 6 WIB – Women in Business dinner at Mlynec
September 7 Are Leaders Born or Developed?
September 16 Intercultural Power Lunch: Men & Women at Work part I
September 29 Toastmasters DEMO presentation in Prague
October 4 WIB – Women in Business dinner at Mlynec
October 7 Intercultural Power Lunch: Men & Women at Work part II
October 20 ASTD Professional Development Series Dinner
October 27 Intercultural Power Lunch

Communication Tip of the Month: Have You Made Your September 1 Resolutions?

While visiting the United States at the beginning of the summer, I was invited to attend a meeting of Women Entrepreneurs. To my surprise, each participant attending the meeting was asked to share one or more summer goals as well as the strategies they would use to achieve them. “Summer goals?” I thought to myself. Don’t people usually make resolutions for the year in January?

But then how many of us are able to keep our New Year’s resolutions anyway? Maybe one reason why we find it so difficult is because we’ve chosen the wrong time of year. 4000 years ago, the Mesopotamians celebrated New Year in March, following the spring equinox. Egyptians, on the other hand, chose September to kick off the New Year, something that for us has become a back-to-school tradition.

The concept of making resolutions is itself a paradox: If we had the discipline to keep see our resolutions through we wouldn’t need to make them in the first place. Moreover, making resolutions that most of us expect to break anyway is clearly irrational.

However, setting goals is quite different from making resolutions. It involves making a plan and following a prescribed timeframe. The beauty of setting a summer goal is that it can last as long as the next equinox and then be easily measured and evaluated. Or why not set new goals in the fall, when most of us come back to work refreshed and relaxed after a well-deserved holiday?

This fall, I suggest focusing on one area of improvement over the next three months and breaking your larger objective into smaller, more manageable sections. Each week, choose a smaller chunk of your overall goal and see it through the entire week. Then, at the beginning of each subsequent week, evaluate your success.

Because setting goals involves reviewing and revising, you may find that your objectives change quite often. Some aspects of your overall goal may become more or less important, while others may disappear as new ones emerge. Finally, make sure to send updates the people that these changes may affect.

Setting concrete and realistic goals will sharpen the clarity of your purpose. However, the realization of any goal takes sound planning as well as a whole lot of discipline.

What are your goals this fall?

Yours truly,Karin

Interesting and useful websites:

  • The Prague Daily Monitor: The Prague Daily Monitor is the most complete source for Czech news, emailed to you each morning, free! For more information and to subscribe, visit
  • A complete source of financial information