Assume Good Intentions in Cross-Cultural Communications? Sometimes Impossible

My colleague was conducting a training during a “train the trainer” session this week on Intent and Impact, the idea being that in communications, sometimes our Intent does not equal the Impact we intended.  For example: “That sweater you’re wearing is really interesting” (intended as compliment).  Unexpected impact:  “You hate it don’t you?” (Spontaneous reaction: …

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3 Things Guaranteed to Alienate When Speaking Across a Langague Barrier

In today’s multicultural world (depending on where you live) it is common to engage with people for whom English is not their first language.  While sometimes the interaction may be casual, with not much at stake, other times business deals, potential sales or enduring relationships may be at stake. Here are three tips to spoil the…

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Australia Meets Tokyo in English Language Ad for Lipton Ice Tea in France

  It’s Hugh Jackman, who’s Australian.   It takes place at a hotel in Tokyo.   The voice over at the end is in English.  But apparently it’s made for…France?  That’s the only part I don’t get about this delightful Lipton Ice Tea spot, “Tokyo Dancing Hotel” by DDB Paris. In the world of multicultural marketing and global…

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Three Lessons from Intercultural Parenting Your Parents

It was the big, burly,  African American football player gushing on and on about caring for his Yorkie post surgery for a hurt paw that really opened my mom’s eyes.  “I figured he wouldn’t be interested,” said my mom, about signing her petition to end puppy mills in Missouri, “but I needed the signatures.”  Not…

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