Last Sunday, when Bavaria voted to shift the local political balance for the first time in 60 years and send the cold shiver of irrelevance down the spines of major traditional party leaders, structural factors were invoked. So, has the population structure really changed that much during the past electoral cycle? Let's have a look. … Continue reading Germany – A Country of Immigrants?
According to communications consultancy Ketchum, effective leadership in times of crisis is centered around transparency, honesty, empathy and respect. Communicating openly, admitting mistakes, collaborating in finding solutions, caring for those directly and indirectly affected, showing respect for different cultures and keeping your word are essential for managing reputation risk. The number one thing you have … Continue reading Weathering the Shitstorm: 7 Key Elements of Reputation Management
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Now, another theory I absolutely love in terms of conversation analysis and pragmatics (speaker meaning) is Brown and Levinson's "Politeness theory". According to Yule (2014), politeness is showing awareness and consideration for another person's emotional and social sense of self (or "face"). Psychology tells us there are at least two basic psychological needs we all … Continue reading Social Interactions via Language – Politeness
The usual underlying assumption in conversation is that the participants are co-operating with each other. But are they? Always? Did you ever have a conversation that was not only ineffective, but it left you completely unfulfilled and bamboozled? I know. Been there, done that. The reason for this is probably quite simple. Either you or your … Continue reading Social Interaction Via Language – The Co-operative Principle in Conversation
So how do we make sense of words, sentences and texts? How are we able to decipher discourse and take part in conversation? What are the required elements of meaning and how are they glued together? Words usually have both a conceptual meaning (their literal definition in a dictionary, the reference they point to in … Continue reading Meaning Revisited
"Be a first-rate version of yourself, not a second-rate version of someone else." - Judy Garland. In the current context, imitation and a mismatch between claim and reality (hypocrisy) rarely go unnoticed or unpunished by customers, and social media is amplifying the process. Companies need to harness this transformative power, embrace criticism openly and honestly, engage … Continue reading Authentic Branding in an Intercultural World
“Try seeing, feeling, and tasting the water you swim in the way a land animal might perceive it. You may find the experience fascinating -- and mind-expanding.” ... “Each of the eight scales represents one key area that managers must be aware of, showing how cultures vary along a spectrum from one extreme to its … Continue reading What Is Cross-Cultural Understanding?
"Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence." George Steiner
Exploring other cultures is a fun thing to do on vacation, but for business people it is more than a curiosity. For executives, getting it right can make the difference between an organisation that runs smoothly and generates results, and one that seems to be falling apart. And by it I mean, of course, the cultural … Continue reading The cross-cultural office dilemma