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)

Need to Communicate Change? 5 Key Ingredients To Consider

In our lives, change is inevitable. It's always on the prowl, in the background, hiding behind an illusion of stability and safety. When 'black swan' events such as the Covid-19 crisis occur, companies are forced to implement changes to their work environments and their business model at the drop of a hat.  But how to … Continue reading Need to Communicate Change? 5 Key Ingredients To Consider

Genderlect: Why Is It Important?

Good question. But what is genderlect, anyway? Linguists use this blending of gender and dialect to describe how language use differs between men and women (and also to sound cool). Do men and women use language differently? A large body of research shows that yes, indeed they do. With the advancement of gender equality, these … Continue reading Genderlect: Why Is It Important?

Negotiation Impasse? How to Unlock the Deadlock

"Parties can become angry or entrenched in their positions. Perceptions become distorted, and judgments are biased. The parties stop communicating effectively and instead blame one another. One party has a conflict management style that is not compatible with the other. Perceptions are so different that the parties do not believe there is any possible compatibility … Continue reading Negotiation Impasse? How to Unlock the Deadlock

Your 3 Best Friends in a Negotiation

Unless you live alone on a mountain top, you are involved in negotiations every single day. (And even hermits have to drive a ruthless bargain with themselves every once in a while - yes, negotiations can be intrapersonal too). Even though the term sounds fancy, each time you try to persuade another person to do … Continue reading Your 3 Best Friends in a Negotiation