This is going to be a very brief post. There's a reason why communication belongs to the category of so-called "soft" skills. And that reason is: it's not (usually) supposed to be harsh. Barking at folks will not get you very far, unless you're into making enemies or turning friends away. And my guess is, … Continue reading Soft Skills – Communication
The Key to Leadership Communication
Spoiler alert: it's the pronoun "we" (or "us"). But how do we turn it into a livable reality? When discussing leadership communication, plenty of texts and materials out there will have you believe that it has everything to do with a leader’s personal qualities (such as charisma and interpersonal skills), their professional ability (competence, reliability, … Continue reading The Key to Leadership Communication
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
Ideologies – What Are They and How Do They Come to Be?
"We are faced with the curiously appalling trend of modern thought, in which the absolute which was once a means of entering into communion with the divine, has now become an instrument used by those who profit from it, to distort, pervert, and conceal the meaning of the present.“ Karl Mannheim - Ideology and Utopia … Continue reading Ideologies – What Are They and How Do They Come to Be?
Narratology – How Stories Work and Why They Matter
We live in a world of stories. Stories shape the way we think about reality. Stories are what we tell ourselves about ourselves. When the human brain wants to make sense of events and data in the environment, transform them into actionable insights, and share them with others, there is no way around stories. We … Continue reading Narratology – How Stories Work and Why They Matter
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 Few Fact-Checking Tips
We are living through strange, polarized times and research shows that people are increasingly relying on the Internet and social media to keep themselves informed. The only problem with that: how does one decide which information to trust and which to discard? For starters, a basic rule of thumb is to check the credibility of … Continue reading A Few Fact-Checking Tips
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”