Effective Communication: no need to be born with it!

“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” – Brian Tracy


participative meeting

Even though communication skills are so important to success in the workplace, there are many individuals who find these skills to be a stumbling block to their progress. They struggle to convey their thoughts and ideas in an accurate manner, making it difficult to move forward and nearly impossible to lead well. Things even get more complicated when communication happens between actors of different cultures through times zones and maybe even virtual means of communication.

However, there is hope for anyone who finds communicating to be difficult! These skills can be practiced and learned. It takes learning about how communication works, how to communicate exactly what it is you want to say, what mode of communication is best, and what factors are influencing the ability for you to send and receive messages with acumen.

Leaders and staff have to first understand the theory and best practices of what effective communication actually is about; then, through role plays and practical examples as well as case studies directly taken from their work environments, they should get a feel about how they communicate (verbally and non-verbally) and how others are perceiving their efforts.

Finally, written communication is a topic on its own and should be looked at separately: knowing what happens in your body when receiving unwanted mails, practicing empathy, and responding mindfully; truly  necessary ingredients for any effective communication in the office and elsewhere!

Want to know more? Looking forward to hearing from you,

Jenny

 

Coaching/Counselling in Switzerland

Contact | EbermannBeing new in a foreign country is not only an exciting experience but also somewhat disconcerting and definitely a challenge. Coaching/Counselling can help you overcome uncertainties and settling in more easily.

Please click here to find out more! Looking forward to hearing from you!

Jenny

Are you new in Switzerland?

Have you ever found yourself living or working for a longer period of time in a country different from your own? If so, you will certainly have felt something like:

  • Uncertainty as you don’t exactly know what is waiting for you in the new environment
  • Anxiety concerning your ability to deal with all of the new impressions and tasks in an efficient manner simultaneously
  • Excitement because of all the interesting aspects of your new life although this can quickly turn into a feeling of being overwhelmed

You will almost certainly also have had a lot of questions even more so when you moved to the new location with your family. If you were lucky, you had something called an ‘expat package’ where competent people in the target country took you by the hand and showed you all you needed to know. Nowadays however, these packages are either non existent anymore (as you are more likely to get a local contract even as an international hire) or somewhat reduced so that you still need to do many things on your own.

Having lived in and moved to many foreign countries myself, I very well know what it is like and how you might feel. As a multilingual coach and consultant, I am more than happy to help you over the hurdles and accompany you on your journey, so that it will be an enjoyable experience for you and for your family.

Contact me today for a non-binding offer!

In addition, if you are reading this and you happen to be moving to Switzerland or just arrived in the country, please join me at the Welcome Event of International Link, the non-profit organisation created by the Chamber of Commerce of the Canton Vaud to facilitate the integration of 
foreign businesses and international employees into the local environment. The event will be held centrally in Lausanne on the 1st of May.

The goal of the Welcome Day is to officially welcome international newcomers and to get them acquainted with the Lake Geneva region. You will receive a first introduction and I will be guiding you into the Swiss culture and its different facets.

Looking forward to meeting you there!

Keys to multicultural communication in Switzerland

I am sure most of you know that Switzerland has more to offer than cheese, chocolate and fiscal advantages.As a matter of fact, and to quote Ute Limacher in her excellent post on that matter:

Switzerland is a multilingual country with four national languages: German, French, Italian and Rumantsch (…). But only German, French and Italian maintain equal status as official languages at the national level within the Federal Administration of the Swiss Confederation. According to the federal census of 2000, 63.7% of the Swiss population speaks German, 20.4% French, 6.5% Italian, 0.5% Rumantsch and 9.0% speak other languages.”

For (international) communicators coming into the country with a multinational or simply having to communicate from within a company locally, this might mean a major headache as the language is not the only thing that differs from one region to another. In fact, culturally speaking, every region – not to say every canton –  has its different worldviews, habits, behaviors, understanding of time etc.  The beauty of it is that all of this coexists in one country!

A Swiss from German speaking Switzerland might thus not have the same values as a Swiss from Italian speaking Switzerland and so on. In order to be able to effectively manage or work in teams, communicate internally/externally, launch a marketing campaign etc. you hence need to know exactly how to do this in the different parts of the country and how/where to approach the local structures, media outlets, agencies… In fact, if you do this the right way, communicating effectively and appropriately in Switzerland might even boost your brand image across Europe, if not globally.

In summary, if you are able to:

  • address the right audience with the right words, tools and media outlets
  • know what it means to have Swiss people on your team or be managed by a Swiss
  • know how to deal with the various differences,

You will definitely have a major competitive advantage, without a doubt!

Exactly for that reason, I have decided to team up with a local senior consultant so that we can bring both international/intercultural and local targeted communication strategy/management knowledge together.  We offer it in form of a workshop to international companies and multinationals who are eager to make the most out of their stay in Switzerland. If you are interested in learning more about the offer and what we do, please visit us here or contact me directly here. We are definitely looking forward to hearing from you!

Further reading:

1. On Ute Limacher’s blog:

2. The Federal Authorities of the Swiss Confederation

3. Intercultural thoughts on Switzerland (Jenny Ebermann)

 

 

Intercultural thoughts on Switzerland

I have been asked a while ago to contribute to the excellent site of Ute Limacher by writing a post on Switzerland. The post is called “Thoughts on Switzerland and the so-called “Röstigraben” and I invite you to read it here: http://tinyurl.com/d3tjhmg