Five Things Working Out Can Teach You About Social Media

This is a guest post by Cassidy Davis.

In an effort to follow through on my New Year’s resolution of getting fit, I recently obtained a new gym membership and personal trainer.  Spending an increased amount of time at the gym in combination with working in the field of communications, I have found that there are several concepts about working out that can be applied to social media.

social media tips

Continue reading “Five Things Working Out Can Teach You About Social Media”

How to Take Advantage of Google’s Search Plus Your World

According to the Google site, “when signed in with Google+, you’ll find personal results and profiles of people you know or follow”. This new feature has some pretty important consequences for businesses – good and bad. Which will you choose?

If you haven’t seen the search plus your world action, here’s what it looks like:

Google internet search Continue reading “How to Take Advantage of Google’s Search Plus Your World”

3 Tips to Improve Your Cross-Cultural Communication Skills

If you’ve ever visited a foreign country you’ve probably experienced trying to communicate but feeling like the wires were crossed and the messages weren’t getting through. Learn three easy ways of how you can improve your cross-cultural communication skills.

communication skills, cultures

Know Yourself

A knowledge of self and behavior patterns are critical to effective cross-cultural communication.

Each of us has a personal culture. Often in North America, a person’s identity is centered around “I”.

The culture of “me” is the biggest cause of rifts between relationships. When two cultural entities meet the natural reaction is defensive.

Recognizing your personal triggers improves your cross-cultural communication.  If you can recognize emotions, you can manage them. If not, you may try to push your values system on someone else.

Be Aware of Differences in Personal Space

Personal space is an important issue in communication. When someone enters your personal space you get a brain freeze and tune out – this is where miscommunication can occur. [Try it out: Have a conversation with someone and step closer and closer together. How difficult is it to maintain the chat?]

In Canada, our personal “bubble” is about one arm length (elbow to finger). However, in many other countries, personal space is much closer.

When speaking with someone from another culture and they enter your bubble, acknowledge your emotions so you can deal with it and move on. Recognize that the “affront” to your personal space was not intentional, but simply what the other person is used to.

Don’t Be Afraid of … Pauses in Conversation

Every language has a cadence. This is one of the most difficult things to learn about a language and usually takes about a generation to master.

Using large pauses is not typical in Canadian cadence, but in many cultures this is standard. In fact, if you don’t pause and reflect before answering it’s seen as rude and disrespectful.

This point is especially important when interviewing candidates from another culture. Keep in mind that when the person pauses it’s not because they don’t know the answer, but that they are used to reflecting before responding.

BONUS TIP: Surround yourself with people from other cultures and ask questions when you see them doing something differently. Instead of judging or trying to change the behavior, learn about the difference so you can increase your level of cultural awareness.

Question: What other ways can we improve our cross-cultural communication skills? What have you found works in your experience? Share your insights and examples in the comment section!

How to Get the Media to Pay Attention to your Business: An Interview with Ottawa Citizen’s Business Editor

Reporters get about 100-150 emails per day. Most are from companies hoping to have a story written on their product or service. How do you make sure you stand out? I interviewed the Citizen’s Business Editor to get insider tips.

I had the privilege of speaking with Ottawa Citizen’s Business Editor, Robert Bostelaar. We discussed elements that make a good story, dos and don’ts of writing a news release, how to attract media attention, and upcoming business trends in Ottawa. Read about Robert and our interview below. Continue reading “How to Get the Media to Pay Attention to your Business: An Interview with Ottawa Citizen’s Business Editor”