I don’t know what to think of what I’ve just seen… Continue reading
When I was in my early twenties, living on my own in Portland and making my way about town, either on my bike or the bus, I would read the “missed connections/I SAW U” section of my local weeklies (Willamette Week, or Willy Week, or just Willy and The Mercury or Merc). I didn’t have a computer, so I didn’t know about Craigslist or other online sites. I used computers at the time to do occasional research and emailing, but mainly to type up papers for my Portland Community College classes and generally in the college’s communal computer lab.
Since I am an English teacher here in Germany, much of what I do is discuss intercultural communication. It is a wonderfully interesting topic that I one day would fully enjoy officially learning more about (and obtaining a certification in so as to appease the German culturist in me). This blog post, I feel, is about something we Americans and English speakers take for granted and that I often have to actually be reminded of anymore if I interact with Americans (especially one’s that are not used to German communication styles, as I find myself becoming more ‘German’ all the time in that regard), especially if I am on American soil!
The author makes some very good points with this post, otherwise I would not have reblogged it.
When first-time expatriates arrive in the United States they are often underprepared for the North American way of communicating. This is especially true for Central Europeans who tend to assume that
i) they learned enough about American communication patterns via literature and media consumption, and/or
ii) communication styles are very similar and thus, differences can be neglected. The trouble typically begins when expats do not detect or even ignore the transatlantic gap. Unfortunately, many Americans also lack the communicative fine-tuning to realize that their new colleagues from Germany or Austria share information differently. That’s when intercultural team building efforts can hit a roadblock. However, companies and their employees can prepare for these obstacles.
I compiled what I consider the 9 key aspects of the US-American communication style worth internalizing. You can get them as a FREE white paper over at my company website. Just leave your name and…
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Third times the charm with this baby! I don’t even want to tell you how long it took me to retype this. After the first attempt at posting I felt it was my duty to rewrite this topic from my perspective because there isn’t any better time than the present. You can see my initial reaction to WordPress not saving my work here, even after I had clicked on the save draft button numerous times.
While I have attempted to remain rather neutral on this issue, as Ezra Klein recently pointed out, doing just that is rather impossible and is a political act in itself.