Summer 2002

L’Epée Coaching & Consulting had a successful beginning of 2002.My Coaching activities saw the number of nationalities participating increasing, from 11 in 1999, 20 in 2000, 26 in 2001 to 30 in 2002. This gave all the participants a concrete opportunity to understand multicultural differences as well as directly apply and understand cross-cultural communication.

As usual, I am actively involved in both personal and management coaching, the purpose of which is to assist my clients in identifying opportunities for improvement and to solve problems by looking within

In the corporate training aspect of my coaching work, I strive to deliver engaging, interactive and flexible customized programs which recognize organizations’ specific needs and current situation and build upon participants’ knowledge and experiences.

Like most of you, L’Epée Coaching & Consulting is taking a break during the months of July and August and will return in the fall with a new range of activities. Although there won’t be any official functions this summer, I do intend to be around Prague, although more sporadically than usual, so please stay in touch.


Effective Communication Strategies

Due to strong demand the next Effective Communication seminar will be a repeat of the June 15th seminar. It will be held on September 21st and will focus on the Power of Values and their impact on cross-cultural communication and will stress the importance of understanding Values in a multi cultural environment.

Look for a separate mailing with more information about this and other events in the months ahead.


July 18th

Cancham PubNight

August 5th

WIB -Women in Business dinner

September 2nd

WIB -Women in Business dinner

September 3rd

Cancham Boat Cruise

September 21st

Effective Communication Strategies workshop

Communication Tip of the Month: Sincerity or 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 judge only by their actions and not by their deepest thoughts, as they are not responsible for how they feel, yet are responsible for how they behave.

Do you label someone a hypocrite because he smiles at someone he does not like? Which is more important to you, a polite smile even if the smile isn’t genuine or indifference?

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 is it leading you to unproductive and/or inaccurate conclusions?

I wish you a great summer and look forward seeing you again in the fall.

Yours truly,Karin