Saturday, October 25, 2008
Walking around New York City (www.nycvisit.com) At almost any hour it seems the streets are filled with people rushing along. At Times Square (www.timessquarenyc.org) it’s a crush of bodies, cars and busses going in every direction. Observing the activity it’s almost impossible to distinguish tourists from residents. Black coats, colorful scarves, denim for all ages, short skirts, knee high boots, t-shirts and sneakers. Old and young. Men and women. Everyone dressed in a similar fashion.
But the sounds of the street reveal that this city’s streets are filled with a varied, global population. Tourists or residents? Unknown. But what you discover is that the languages spoken vary more than the wardrobes. As you walk its likely you’ll catch a few words in French, Italian or Spanish. Hear English in some of it’s many forms: Accents of New York, Southern US, British and Irish. Add to these familiar sounds greetings and conversations in languages unknown to the listener. A cornucopia of sounds that blend with the shouts of vendors, music and honking cars. These are the sounds of a global, connected, energetic city reminding us that we live in a time when the people of the world come together in many ways and places.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
When that Holiday Party is also Business – Tip #1
The season is about to begin. Halloween ushers in business events disguised as parties – the many dinners, lunches, cocktail receptions you’ll be required to attend. It takes some careful thought to navigate this potentially treacherous environment. Be too serious. Not great. Have a great time. Not serious enough. What to do?
Tip #1 - eat before you go. Really. Never arrive with your focus on finding the food. Even a snack will help. You’ll never worry whether the food is going to be good or bad, abundant or skimpy. Instead of searching for the cheese and crackers to head off starvation you'll be able to to chat with clients, customers, colleagues.
When the event ends have people talking about your business skills rather than how you manage to fill a small plate with an amazing amount of food.
What’s your tip for the season? Send a comment to share.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Tom Friedman’s article “Swedish Spoken Here” reminds us that we are now more than ever connected to other people, places, countries, institutions around the globe. (http://www.nytimes.com)
US financial institutions, companies large and small are partners, suppliers,
customers, borrowers and employees tied to foreign investors.
It’s a moment to consider that our American focus on our schedules, deadlines and projects aren’t always seen as the most effective way to do business. More likely the foundation for successful business is considered to be the relationships developed between individuals. Build connections, develop mutual trust and increase the opportunities to flourish wherever business takes you.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
No matter which candidate you prefer for the next American president, even if you’re not wildly excited about either one, if you’re eligible to vote – then take advantage of that opportunity and vote. Some consider it a bother, a chore to be done, or that their vote doesn’t matter.
Too much trouble? Take it in easy steps. Register to vote on line. Go to Rock the Vote (www.rockthevote.com), The League of Women Voters (www.lwv.org), Vote 411 (www.vote411.org) or even the Obama site (www.barackobama.com). Note: the McCain site doesn’t appear to give you an option of registering. You don’t have to read any opinions, simply click and register.
Once you register you can get an absentee ballot. Fill it out in the privacy of your home and send it off. No standing in line. Scheduling time at the polling place. Fill it out, attach a stamp and your voice can be heard.
Be glad you can do this. People fight and die in our modern world to have this privilege.
You may not feel as though you’ve been heard, wonder if you count - but it’s certain - if you don’t vote there’s no chance that anyone will hear you. Rock the World in 2008. Vote.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Business today often means we send e-mails that fly around the world. When you do that, don’t just Twitter off a quick minimal message. Think about who will receive your message. Is it someone familiar with the abbreviations, acronyms of your company, your industry? Is English their first language? Some simple measures will increase the chances that your message will be understood:
Keep things simple. Short sentences. Avoid abbreviations, in-house shorthand.
Remember communication patterns differ. Be cautious about how you phrase questions and requests. Show respect. Be careful about direct questions.
Expect that others may read your message. In cultures where consensus is essential your questions and requests will be shared and discussed before there can be a reply.
Be patient. Not everyone operates on fast, fast, immediate reply, rush ahead time.
And most important – from time to time skip the mail. Instead pick up the phone, call, Skype, build the personal connection in a way that can’t be done by words on a screen.