Everyday Cultural Conversations….

September 6, 2010

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The opportunities for us to share and learn from other cultures are all around us. Just yesterday I was talking with my barrista, Akiko. As I placed my order for a green tea frappucino, Akiko suggested that the next time I ordered one, I might like it the way they prefer to drink it in Japan. “Ask for extra green tea powder and hold the melon,” she recommended. In less time than it takes to sip a latte, Akiko had cracked open my worldview just a bit and I learned something about her culture that I hadn’t known before.

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Embarrassing Etiquette Blunders: What Would You Do?

August 9, 2010

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  • Your colleague extends his arm across the dining table to shake hands with a client to whom he has just been introduced. As he does so, he notices your horrified look as you and your co-workers look down below your colleague’s beltline. He follows your gaze only to discover that he has inadvertently immersed his tie into his glass of water.

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“Etiquette” vs. “Manners”

July 5, 2010

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Is there a difference? You bet.

Etiquette is a code of polite conduct based on social acceptance and efficiency. Just as there are traffic laws to create smooth transportation flow and prevent collisions, so there are societal rules designed to facilitate positive human exhanges and reduce conflict. When you know the rules of etiquette for any given situation, it increases your comfort, confidence and competence, and by extension, the ease and comfort of people around you.

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