Soft Skills – Communication

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

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My Interview with RFI Romania

A few days ago, I was interviewed by Otilia Ghitescu from RFI Romania about our travel guide TIMISOARA23 and the European Capital of Culture 2023. You can read or listen (in Romanian), here: https://www.rfi.ro/cultura-152184-timisoara-2023-pregatita-sau-nu-de-turisti-multe-asteptari-si-un-ghid-cu-secrete Our stories about Timisoara and the Banat region, beautifully illustrated by Claudia Tanasescu, can be ordered on Amazon, in paperback or … Continue reading My Interview with RFI Romania

Happy holidays!

Just a quick line to wish you all a happy and peaceful holiday season and to introduce you to my most recent project, a non-fiction book that uses storytelling to bring my hometown of Timisoara, Romania, European Capital of Culture 2023, closer to potential visitors. There's still time to order the paperback or download it … Continue reading Happy holidays!

A Quick Guide to Romanian Culture – TIME and SPACE

It seems I owe you an explanation. I left you on a cliffhanger, but not for long. Just testing your loyalty. ūüôā So, let us pick up where we left off. What is the Romanians' relationship with TIME and SPACE? In Romanian culture, as in many other high-context, multi-active (Latin) cultures, time is flexible. Objectives … Continue reading A Quick Guide to Romanian Culture – TIME and SPACE

A Quick Guide to Romanian Culture – INTRODUCTION

Ah, culture!... That vague concept, so hard to pinpoint. What is it, really? Is it a concert? A book? A Picasso painting? Is it everything humans have ever created? Is it the opposite of nature? For the purposes of this blog, CULTURE is the shared worldview, mindset, and behaviors of a particular community of human … Continue reading A Quick Guide to Romanian Culture – INTRODUCTION

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?

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

As someone who's been plagued by chronic respiratory ailments, and an emigr√©e 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

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”

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

Food Words 101: Garen, G√§ren, (Er)n√§hren, Gaumenfreude und Genuss

How do you feel about cooking? Love it? Loathe it? Personally, I am not a major fan, but the coronavirus lockdowns have turned us all into hobby chefs. Out of boredom (or dire need), we have picked up those cookbooks or browsed the net in search of something truly yummy (and not too difficult to … Continue reading Food Words 101: Garen, G√§ren, (Er)n√§hren, Gaumenfreude und Genuss