What is Rhetoric? Age-old Sources of Persuasion

How's your Latin? And what about your Greek? Because to answer the question in the title, we need to go back to the Ancients. Aristotle, to be more exact, and his book Rhetoric. Rhetoric means 'ars bene dicendi' - or, in translation, the art of speaking well. Not 'correctly' (that's grammar), not 'truly' (that is … Continue reading What is Rhetoric? Age-old Sources of Persuasion

Business Communication: Getting off to a Good Start

A brief interaction with lasting consequences: such is the power of the "first impression". Studies show that the first 7 seconds of an encounter are crucial for forming opinions, and that those impressions - those labels - can stick for a surprisingly long time. Nobody wants to disappoint. So, are there any "universal" rules about … Continue reading Business Communication: Getting off to a Good Start

A Quick Guide to Romanian Culture – OTHER HUMANS

Last time we talked about communication, which is one of the main ways we interact with OTHER PEOPLE. In fact, everything we do can be termed "communication", as it results in different types of messages and human beings are meaning-making creatures. This time, I'd like to talk a little more about power dynamics, decision-making, and … Continue reading A Quick Guide to Romanian Culture – OTHER HUMANS

A Quick Guide to Romanian Culture – COMMUNICATION

Hello again and welcome back! It's really good to have you, what can I offer you and how can I help you today? Yes, Romanians can be quite welcoming (but not always, aggressive behavior is on the rise, especially on the roads), and there are several set phrases you need to master to deal with … Continue reading A Quick Guide to Romanian Culture – COMMUNICATION

SPOKEN DISCOURSE: How Do We Know What They Mean?

Welcome back and a happy, healthy New Year to all! Knowing what people actually mean is one of the most fascinating quandaries in verbal communication, and one that has preoccupied linguists, psychologists, philosophers, and cultural theorists the world over. Decoding information accurately is essential for proper understanding, so it is no wonder that we now … Continue reading SPOKEN DISCOURSE: How Do We Know What They Mean?

Cultural dimensions and their implications: “High context”

You've probably heard it said before: Germany is a low-context culture. But what does that mean? The terms "low-context" and "high-context" were coined by American anthropologist Edward T. Hall. In low-context cultures, people attribute less importance to context. Low-context cultures are explicit, clear, textual cultures, which derive meaning from the actual words on the page, … Continue reading Cultural dimensions and their implications: “High context”

5 Reasons the Romanian anti-Covid campaign failed – A quick communications audit

As someone who's been plagued by chronic respiratory ailments, and an emigrée with very strong ties to the motherland, I have kept a close eye on the Romanian anti-Covid vaccination campaign. My feelings about it went from the initial awe at the exceptional logistical organization with its fast and effective roll-out, to downright dismay when, … Continue reading 5 Reasons the Romanian anti-Covid campaign failed – A quick communications audit

Your social media feed and the snow job technique

Motto: "Indignation is still bondage."Bertrand Russell In negotiation, there is a hardball technique called "the snow job", which consists of flooding the other party with so much information as to overwhelm them and make it nearly impossible to sift through it all. The consequence? The other party will no longer be able to tell which … Continue reading Your social media feed and the snow job technique

Cultural dimensions and their implications – “Femininity”

What is culture? Simply put, culture is a set of beliefs, values, social norms, attitudes and behaviors acquired and reinforced through socialization. In Geert Hofstede's seminal book "Cultures and Organizations - Software of the Mind" there are 5 major dimensions of culture: Power distanceIndividualism vs. collectivismUncertainty avoidance indexMasculinity vs. femininityLong-term vs. short-term orientation Later on, … Continue reading Cultural dimensions and their implications – “Femininity”

RUMÄNIEN – EINE GEBRAUCHSANLEITUNG für deutsche Tourist*innen, Manager*innen und Ausgebürgerte (Teil I)

Kurz, knapp und aktuell. Was deutsche Tourist*innen, Ausgebürgerte oder Manager*innen im Auslandseinsatz in Rumänien erwarten können (im Vergleich zum deutschen Kulturstandard) und ein paar mögliche Lösungsansätze (natürlich ohne Gewähr, denn jeder Mensch ist anders 😉 ): NäheKeine Distanz, wenig Diskretion und deutlich weniger Datenschutz als in DeutschlandLeute meist freundlich, kommunikativ und nett, Verwandte und Familienmitglieder … Continue reading RUMÄNIEN – EINE GEBRAUCHSANLEITUNG für deutsche Tourist*innen, Manager*innen und Ausgebürgerte (Teil I)