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
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
"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?
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
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
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
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?
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”
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