Matthew’s New Year Webinar – Getting Growth in 2017

What will you achieve in 2017?

We have 3 Questions for you – What are the Biggest barriers STOPPING you growing your trainer / coaching business this year? Where does it continue to go wrong? AND How can you get it right?

Group Of Young Business PeopleWill you grow in 2017?

These barriers block critical activity, necessary organisation and positive dynamism (we fall into the trap of doing stuff that PREVENTS rather than produces growth.)

  1. ACTIVITY– What did you do in 2016? Send your profile / CV out to known training providers, put up a basic (non optimized) LinkedIn profile and attended local chamber events with other service providers where you failed to engage with business decision makers? And what results did you get? – A new sub contract relationship that provided 7 training days? A two day training or 3 new coaching customers? AND – Was that enough growth for you?

With your energy invested in more proactive and interactive methods you will generate interest, passion and action – the phone will ring, live opportunities will land in your inbox and your business will grow – You will experience meaningful cash-flow, more hour’s and day’s work, a boost in your charge out rates and the choice to take or decline work, along with the self-confidence and business freedom that comes with knowing how to market and sell yourself effectively and comfortably.

  1. ORGANISATION – How was 2016? You added 74 connections on LinkedIn, collected 47 business cards and put them in your desk draw and found the physical address of 9 companies. – Did this provide the momentum you needed for your dynamic business growth in 2017?

When you know what to do and execute clever marketing and social media moves, you will gain presence, currency and relevance with actual decision makers (and- they will LIKE and RESPECT you). They will ask your advice, do as you advise and pay what you ask because they value your input and take you seriously as a coaching / training professional. AND it will have been your marketing activity that has made the difference and lead them to a positive conclusion about you and your services.

  1. DYNAMISM – How was 2016? Sitting by the phone waiting for incoming calls, checking every e mail ping and generally living on Hopium (the expensive drug that favours hope over action.)

How will 2017 be different? Will you hone your identity statement to perfection? Will you be super CLEAR about what you offer? Will you build your BRAND promise to a level where you are taken seriously? Will you know your Marketing AVATAR? Will you learn to write SUPER-COPY? Will you SEQUENCE your marketing communication to be maximally effective? Will you be ready to launch your informational attention grabbers on Social Media? Will you build a quality DATABASE with high value business contacts? Will you be networking like a HUSTLING pro? Will you master NEW SALES? Will you create a CORE MODEL that describes your offering? Will you generate enough REFERRALS to make a significant difference to your income and business growth?

AND

Will you look back on 2017 and say, “I learnt, laughed and lead my company to profitable GROWTH. What a great year?”

Join us for this 45 minute energy boosting webinar (with 10 – 15 minutes Q&A and get your business growing in 2017)

To Register click on; https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7327277808881017091

The webinar is on Tuesday, 7th February 2017 at 7PM Paris time, 6PM London time.

Thanks and see you there

Group of diverse designers in their modern officeWe are growing!

 

Living with the Culture Shock of Brexit – Then and Now – A personal piece written by Nadège Welsch

Then and Now…

London Skyline at Dusk with City Hall and Modern Buildings, Rive

Part 1 – THEN – 27th June 2016

“This weekend, with news of the results of Brexit spreading across the world, has been a very challenging time for a lot of People, and I would like to share not only what I went through but what some of my fellow European and pro-Remain British friends may have gone through too.

I am an Intercultural Consultant. I help expatriate and global managers adapt to their new environment. In facilitating their adaptation I always refer to the Culture Shock curve and its five stages: Excitement, Denial & Depression, Culture Shock, Acceptance and Acculturation. The last time I experienced the Culture Shock curve for myself was moving to Singapore 10 years ago!

Over the course of this weekend I moved through the first two phases and am now heading, at some speed, towards culture shock.

The excitement phase was before the Referendum results, I think most of us were positive that the UK would vote remain and thus demonstrate that we are a strong Europe and that Europeans fit naturally along side British folk. When the results came in on Friday morning, as I woke up at 5:30am, I couldn´t believe that Brexit had happened. I was in complete denial, I just couldn´t wrap my head around it although I had an aprehensive feeling that it might happen, but again, my excitement was stronger. I found myself accepting the decision of the British public, as I live in their Country, and I need to accept their wishes but, trust me, I still felt out-of-place especially going heading out for dinner that evening. The atmosphere felt colder than usual, but I put this down to my own projections.

Tears in the morning

The rest of the weekend was set aside for the depression phase – waking up in tears not knowing what the future will bring, especially working as a freelance Consultant and delivering Trainings to, mostly, European expats – teaching them how to integrate into the UK, so that was a big shock ! What will I do? I thought I would spend the rest of my life here, I have friends which are now part of my Family, I have a home that I bought, I have a car, what will that mean? What does the future hold?

I also had a few talks over the weekend with a few Young British People and asked them what they thought of Brexit and a lot were shocked and angry. They said they were “Europeans” and not British citizens, what will happen for their future and their kid´s future? They won´t have the opportunity to have work experience abroad, travel, learn languages and go abroad to train themselves, so, overall, a big shock all round.

When I spoke to European friends and colleagues most felt betrayed, stabbed in the back, not welcomed and also fearful for their future.

We now know that nothing major will happen over the next two years and that, as Europeans, we will be able to stay. What will be the conditions after though? I think the acceptance phase after the shock sounds like, “One way or another if there are no Jobs, I/we will have to move back to Europe”. I think this is what our culture shock is about, leaving a beautiful country, our friends, our lives.

For now, however, we need to wait and see and try to get out of the shock phase to get on and live our lives.

Part 2- NOW

6 Months post Brexit:

Panorama of a big summer field

Six months have passed since the Brexit Referendum vote. What has happened up to now? How do I feel? And, how do we as Europeans feel in the UK?

Since the announcement of the referendum and even after Brexit was voted into reality, many of us, in the intercultural world and in broader Training and Development have noticed a significant slowdown in business. A colleague of mine mentioned that some of his programs had been canceled, another said that some clients were backing out of training committements and that they wanted to wait for the New Year. Why is that so?

Unfortunately there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment, Brexit was one major event and shock in 2016. This was closely followed by the election of Mr Donald Trump, and now we can hear, throughout Europe, the loud voice of right wing movements, Austria was close and France will be the next test. What will happen there? At the pace we are going, everything is possible!

What will this mean for the world…for Europe?

What we can see is that there is mistrust of politics in general and a fear of the unknown and its consequences for peace, employment and our way of life. All of those participating in racist actions, protest votes and the results they are generating are people that want CHANGE . They are asking – who else can give them change? Noone but those who run against the existing political system.

We need to bring back trust and respect for one another. It is through cultural consciousness that we may avoid further conflict and make sure that our children grow up in a peaceful world, where citizens are respected, have a job and can practice their religion without challenge.

So, where am I then, after these last 6 months? I think I am still in the shock phase. And there is hope. I am edging toward the acceptance phase. we need to wait and see, and to see past what the press is telling us, go past what politicians are trying to sell us (from their own position of confusion, choas and fear) and make sure that our objective is for harmony and making sure that we engineer the conditions that allow for all of us to live together in peace.

welschAuthor Profile – Nadège Welsch

Nadège is Franco-German starting her career with a major German Telco based in Munich where she worked with Latin America, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa.

She expatriated to Singapore for a year and half before immigrated to the UK to pursue her passion for culture. With an MSC in Business Psychology she created Be-a-Chameleon seven years ago, training individuals as well as groups in cultural awareness, working effectively across cultures and working effectively in multicultural teams.

Nadège speaks English, French, German and Spanish and is a passionate advocate for cultural consciousness.

sky and hands

What is a citizen and how do I become one? by Daphne Laing

We are all global citizens now, but what does this actually mean?

If we accept that an individual can have multiple non-opposing identities, it would logically follow that it is possible to have multiple citizenships, as indeed many of us do…yet this multiplicity seems only to mean that we can use different passports to facilitate travel from one political system to another….and has nothing to do with sharing values, rules etc. Having looked at the questions for the UK citizenship test and scored a big fat zero on history, just scraping through, I am having an(other) identity crisis…… a UK passport holder born, brought up, educated and tax paying in UK for most of my working life, having taught English, acculturation and intercultural communication for 35 years, I am somewhat surprised at the criteria for citizenship of “my” country.

multiple non-opposing identities

Memories of Communication

Multiple non-opposing identities

For the first time I ask myself “Do I want to be a citizen?” Though I feel a strong connection with my home culture and I understand that on a deep level I probably make assumptions and bear prejudices that would link me to membership of a group of “people like me”, I have long preferred to introduce myself to “others” as a European- thus avoiding the Westerner (i.e USA) or the British (i.e. football hooligan) labels. I am proud of the values which underlie the formation of and continuance of EU, and believe passionately that the institution, for all its faults, has gone a long way to building bridges, to signalling a third way of “doing things”; an alternative to purely money or military oriented politics…. And a clearly stated definition of citizenship.

Yes, I like that…….

To note the ease with which I can explain my choice of association and acknowledge the possibility of duality here may go a long way to explaining my utter bafflement at recent events; but does this also indicate that EU citizenship as a concept is doomed to be more divisive than inclusive? A Them or Us sense of belonging which by its very nature hints at republicanism?

This brings me to a third model: global citizenship, whose qualities seem to be espoused by international NGOs like Oxfam and which is defined as a quality a person demonstrates whose identity is linked more with a common humanity than with any political or other allegiance- but if citizenship means to be held to account by a system; history; shared values, how can any of us possibly call ourselves global citizens except as representing an academic intellectual stance?….

Recent developments have forced me to reflect on what it means to belong….to an organisation at odds with my personal values; to a country hurtling towards xenophobia and isolationalism……

Am I the only one to feel like le Petit Prince?

“To establish ties?”

“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Little Prince

About the Author – Daphne Laing is a renowned education professional in the field of culture, language and citizenship.

daphne-laing

Independent Trainer Mini Series – Trust based Marketing – Blog Post 5 by Matthew Hill

A little Marketing magic goes a long way

The word marketing can make us dizzy with its many different meanings – and no one should claim to understand them all.

Notepad with word marketing concept and glasses

For the purposes of this short and pithy post, marketing refers to the information you put out there in the web-o-sphere (technical term) to influence and inform your potential customer base of your offering, your persona and the value of your work to them.

Coffee to Sex and Marriage

BTW – this is the first rule of marketing – be as provocative as you dare to grab people’s attention – if they don’t read you, you don’t exist for them.

The phrase “coffee to sex” refers to the pathway of engagement. At each stage there is an appropriate interaction for them to expect from you or for you to offer to them. Mess that up and you end up looking foolish.

Trust based communication

Linked the pathway of engagement is the trust ladder. If I am low on your trust ladder I cannot ask you for much. If we are both high on the trust ladder we can exchange value for mutual gain – this is witnessed in the exchange of ethical and sustainable business.

“Know, Like & Trust”

The social media marketing guru, Penny Power OBE, coined the phrase and wrote a book describing how a consumer of information behaves and what they need to receive in order to become a healthy, happy and profitable customer of yours.

*Know – Here we move the unsuspecting prospect from a position of not knowing you exist to knowing that you both exist and have something to say that they need to hear. You also need to grasp the audience’s attention. Your well expressed purpose in a punchy headline will normally work a treat. (See the previous post 2. on Identity.)

*Like – Now you get the chance to express your wonderful and warm personality in print, via video and in person so that the audience can fall in like with you and see your true and authentic self. Being funny, offering wise insights, providing stories that entertain and inform – all add to the emotion of liking you.

Two modern entrepreneurs partners doing thumbs up gesture for celebrating business success. Successful modern businesspeople outside. Positive elegant man and woman smiling and looking at camera.

We buy from people we like

*Trust – Trust is a real thing – ABI – Ability, Benevolence and Integrity – You top the charts when you consistently demonstrate your depth of knowledge with solutions and skills that match your promise. When you over deliver with kindness and a positive attitude you will be perceived as benevolent. And, when you keep your word, under-promise and over-deliver you will gain a tick in the integrity box as well.

The Secret of Sequencing

Putting the various marketing communications together whilst sticking to the pathway of engagement and incrementally building awareness and trust is the magic formula that will result in an enriching flow of incoming new business enquiries.

Next

For more ideas on how establish and grow your Independent Trainer Business we invite you to join us for the Independent Trainer Consultative Selling Webinar 3 – GOING FOR GROWTH, on 5th October 2016, 6PM London time, 7PM Paris time. Register now at;

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8107589113940386817 

Benidorm - mirador del mediterraneo

Don’t forget to check out the Lisbon Bootcamp details at the top of the page.

 

 

How Europeans could relate to Life in 2016: Beauty can be the key to belonging. An inspiring post by Carmen Barnhoorn

Words of hope

There are no easy answers to great problems, even though some of us are willing to give them. And easy answers don’t help either to internally stay on track, although it might feel that way. The world is not a simple place, but like the human being, infinitely complicated. We all have come to know that now, I suppose.

Disconnected

“Is this still my world?”, you might ask yourself, looking back on the recent attacks in Europe: Paris, Brussels, Nice, Munich — unfortunately this is not the end of the list.

breaking wall

Is this still my world?

It is sad but true that the ugly face of modern violence seems to unite all of our magnificent European cultures at the moment through our grief, anxiety and pain. And at the same time the deep beauty of each and every culture might offer us the possibility of an escape out of our feeling “unheimisch”, estranged or disconnectedness.

The Italian psychologist and philosopher Pierro Ferrucci describes in his book Beauty and the Soul (2009) what happens when we feel empty, discouraged and worst of all, out of place. We are closed in in our own inner world, feeling disconnected;, we are ‘under house arrest’. This happens often when other people are not behaving like we think they should, when we feel a lot of pain, or when we are tired. When we aren’t relating to the other persons’ way of thinking any more.

Experiencing Beauty

It is vitally important to release ourselves in moments like this from our own house arrest and to open up again. Ferrucci underlines the relative ease of experiencing beauty as a way to elevate ourselves in this way. “Experiencing beauty is a victory over discouragement”, as he puts it.

Beeren Früchte Erdbeeren Himbeeren Blaubeeren Blätter von oben

Experiencing beauty is a victory over discouragement

In our disorientation we might tend to think that it is wise to counter evil with goodness, if we have the energy, to neutralize its damaging effects. But there are very wise people (the Russian writer Dostoevsky for example) who say something else: Beauty counters evil.

Experiencing beauty is also in my opinion the most personal and easy way to be elevated from heaviness, from injustice, and to create mental space. It also leads us to celebrate life and still be good to other people.

European reservoir

What a comfort that we have so much of this precious stuff in Europe. What a reservoir full of medicine for our discouragement!

So I sincerely hope that these days you are able to experience the beauty of the green grass under your feet in the United Kingdom, the beauty of the magnificent buildings in Paris or the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea in Nice.

I do hope that you are moved by the beauty of the attentive face of a good friend in Munich, that you see the beautiful colours of the good food in Italy and enjoy the beautiful ironic atmosphere of Brussels.

And that you do think in these moments what I think when I see the huge Vermeer-like clouds in The Netherlands:

“Yes, I do belong! This is still my world.”

carmenbarnhoorn[1]Author Profile – Carmen Barnhoorn MSc is an ICF international qualified coach, psychologist and facilitator, based in both Leiden, The Netherlands and in Rome, Italy. She works with individuals and groups to enable significant growth in her participant’s ability to relate to others and to themselves. She is passionate about her topic and how it connects to current social developments.

Please contact Carmen via www.carmenbarnhoorn.com: & LinkedIn: Carmen Barnhoorn

Sources for the post;

Ferrucci, P (2009) Beauty and the Soul: The extraordinary power of everyday beauty to heal your life. New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin.

Campbell, J. The Hero’s Journey (2003) , Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work, Novato, New World Library.

Dostoevsky, The Idiot, (2013), Amsterdam, Van Oorschot.

 

 

 

The Benefits of Being a Mature Student by Maria Creisson

An optimistic Piece 

There are many reasons people decide to return to education at a later time in life. Often none of these reasons seem sound to other people and they are seldom fully understood. Why would a person opt to become financially poor, or leave a perfectly good job and why don’t older people just leave education to the young who are believed will have much more of a future after education.

Mature Student Maria Criesson

Entrepreneur and Mature Student – Maria Creisson

For me, though I can’t claim financial wealth, I had a fairly good job by some people’s standards. But for the longest time I held the feeling that I was not living up to my potential. I remember experiencing the need to express my abilities but thinking I was boxed in and limited because I did not have the appropriate academic background. I knew I could do more!

“Improvement is impossible without change”. Jon Maxwell.

I have just completed my undergraduate degree in Human Resources Management BA Hons. (I found out today as I am writing this piece – I have achieved a 1st Class Honours degree.!) I couldn’t be happier and as I write I am scrambling to remember the fears the doubts, the character, the personality of the woman I was at the start of my degree. I am a different woman today. I don’t know how best to articulate the benefits of being a mature student because I have felt them to be more profound than words can describe.

I guess the first was that for me I was old enough to claim to have some life experience. This was so useful in being able to relate to some of the academic content and put it in perspective. This experience was something I could also use to help my younger student colleagues who had only ever been in the education system and were curious about life in the ‘real world’. This helped us “mature students” develop stronger bonds with younger people rather than work separately in our own silo. Being amongst them all I also found kindred spirits and developed lifelong friends. Finally after some years I can say I have started to discover my life’s calling and that as a mature student it was enough to understand the true implications and applications of the knowledge I was gaining to better myself and fulfil my potential.

“Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you will ever have is your mind and what you put into it”. Brian Tracy

I went to university and discovered myself and what I’m capable of. Whilst we all know that life itself can be an education, University is but one place you can exist as a mature student. In these modern times we now know that education in its many forms is a lifelong journey. At university or within your career, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, at whatever stage in your life as long as you are open and keep learning you will experience the benefits of your efforts in work and in living with yourself.

 

About the Author Maria Creisson – “Maria is a recent graduate of Human Resources Management and has a passion for developing people.  Her interests include training, coaching, writing and speaking”.

The French Paradox, Part I: “Oui…mais…”, By Anke Middelmann

“Oui…mais…”, or,”Finding the Perfect Solution”

In the early years of my teaching and training career in France, I was often confronted with comments from such as: “All the French do is talk—but there’s no action” (Anglo-Saxon, North European, Indian, Chinese); “they’ve agreed to something and then change their mind at the last minute” (German managers), “they overcomplicate everything” (British), and more general remarks that “they contradict everything”, “always disagree and complain”, “are disorganized” and “cannot be relied upon”.

Man drawing a picture of Paris

Determined to find satisfactory answers, I had to look no further than the French Enlightenment philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650). And was delighted that all the above could, in some way, be linked to his theories, specifically his anti-thèse. Eureka!

Just how does it work? One of René (“I think, therefore I am”) Descartes’ main premise is that thinking should be driven by logic and rationality. His argued that “doubt is the origin of wisdom”, and that, in seeking the Truth, “it is necessary… to doubt, as far as possible, all things”. Moreover, to find this Truth (i.e., the perfect solution), “it is important to have a Method“—known as the thèse – antithèse – synthèse.

Still today, this Cartesian “method” is applied in all situations. The starting point (thèse) is straightforward—it’s the problématique, or proposition, situation, problem, or project to be dealt with. It’s the second stage, the anti-thèse, the process of figuring out the solution, that is tricky and that confounds non-French counterparts. While the British generally come up with an objective, devise a way forward, and change course if necessary, and the Germans develop, and follow, a structured approach, the French do something entirely different.

This is where Descartes’ “doubt”, or “scepticism”, comes in. Since the anti-thèse requires that everything be questioned, the French consider all aspects of an issue by “dividing each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it” (Descartes). It means dissecting, questioning, and possibly rejecting, all angles, knowledge and facts; it is important to decide not necessarily how or whether something will work, but rather why it might not, and if an existing or initial approach is indeed best. It leads to: “Yes, this might work, but…”; “What happens if we do/don’t do it this way?”; “How about this instead of that—or something else entirely?” In working through the anti-thèse, one may retain some initial elements, but discard others, inject new facts, develop new possible approaches, and subsequently review everything (thereby repeating the whole process!) to ultimately agree (often at the last minute) on the solution—the synthèse!

To onlookers, this contradictory back-and-forth thinking process, changing minds and plans, especially at the last minute, the lack of action until a solution is considered finite, the seemingly critical oui…mais, is time-wasting, exhausting and unnecessary intellectual acrobatics. However, to the French, not leaving any stone unturned implies doing a sloppy job. As one Frenchman observed: “We cannot work otherwise, even if, in the end, we go back to our first idea.” Although complex, complicated, contradictory and seemingly disorganised, the “Cartesian Method” can be highly creative and has made France a technologically and scientifically innovative power house: the high-speed TGV train, the Ariane space rocket, Minitel (a Videotex online system that predated the internet by several decades), the Eiffel Tower, the morning-after pill, to name just a few, are all innovations achieved through the Cartesian approach.

How to practically deal with the anti-thèse on a daily basis? Understanding goes a long way: international students and managers say that just knowing that everything will take longer, involve discussion and difference of opinion, makes things less frustrating; a German manager said he now sits back, patiently observing the commotion of the anti-thèse, and reorganising his time accordingly. Non-French university teachers adjust class content to give students more time to discuss their ideas. Others are delighted that their French counterparts’ frequent oui…mais is nothing personal. And yet others see the process as a worthwhile exercise to hone their own observational and thinking skills, and to develop new ways of seeing the same issue.

I’m not saying it’s easy to adapt; just like the process itself, it takes time, patience, and mental agility. Personally, I’ve learned to listen for the oui—without the mais—to know we’re ready to go.

Anke Middelmann was born and raised in Germany, the United Kingdom and Belgium. She spent most of her working life in Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the United States, before moving to France in 2004.

anke middlemann Anke Middelmann – intercultural trainer and coach

She is Lecturer in Multicultural Management at Skema Business School, and Director of two of Skema’s International MSc Programmes.

As an intercultural trainer and coach, she provides training and coaching on a range of multicultural and intercultural issues. She regularly provides training on “Living and Working in France” and the complexities of Franco-German working for Air Liquide, Eurosport, AXA, Valéo, Bayer, Areva, Thales, Adeo Services, Dassault, among others.

 

 

You Gotta Hustle – Upgrade your Networking to be an EFFECTIVE independent trainer or coach by Matthew Hill

Ordinary or Deluxe?

When you hear the word hustle what you think of? My older readership will envisage Paul Newman as a con artist in a snooker hall playing dumb to ensnare innocent victims and relieve them of their holiday cash.

Successful entrepreneur, Shaa Wasmund, has a different interpretation. For her it is the noble and creditable activity of UPGRADING any ordinarily networking opportunity into a LEVERAGED and dynamic one that will strengthen engagement and drive customers and contacts to you.

Aerial platform for repairing works against a sky background

Are you upgrading your networking opportunities?

If you count the number of moments that happen to you in a year where you could benefit from applying the principles of the Hustle – building your business, growing your contact list and deepening your relationships, you will easily find 300 or more magic times.

AND

What are you doing with them? The answer for most people, is, “the bare minimum.” I meet people who have a healthy collection of business cards gathering dust in their desk drawer. I meet people at networking events who still ask, “and what do you do?” I know people who read great books written on their own specialist subject. They take no notes and do nothing further other than slowly forget the content. I know people who pay premium prices to attend conferences, speak to three audience members, attend all the speeches and then leave empty-handed. I speak to people who are actively terrified of meeting a legend in their own field. They would rather that person did NOT make contact with them as they feel awkward, tongue tied and unable to function.

If any of the above applies to you, know this. It all changes now.

Here are 10 ideas to Hustle upgrades from the next opportunity that comes along.

  1. Meeting a Powerful Person – let’s start with an easy one. The device that allows you to read this post has a search bar where you can dig, delve and find out anything on the web about the legend you are about to meet. Don’t go for the obvious because everyone else will do that and your target star’s communication will be numb and automated in response.

Find the interesting and subtle quality, property or activity that this person is really all about. If you can drill down to a deeper level and, with a bit of luck, find a connection to common people, common experience or a shared qualification, then you have engineered the possibility of creating an INTIMATE moment with someone you admire. This further enables the chance to make a connection, a suggestion or to offer something that will result in a second meeting, a leveraging of the moment or, at the very least, creating a charming talking point. It’s all about doing your homework.

  1. LinkedIn posts – 89:10:1 – 89% of web users are basic consumers of info-tainment. They do nothing. 10% are interactive and can work their way around a keyboard – they may like or share a stimulating post found on Pulse. You need to be in the 1%, those people who are actively engaging, who are converting their experience into authored words and, possibly, authority. The next time you read a stimulating post, take matters into your own hands, locate the writer’s e-mail or ask for a connection with the author and begin an appropriate and respectful dialogue, asking simple questions, showing appreciation and contributing your value through opinion or example. Don’t be a contrarian, but align instead with their point of view. In such a way, you can form a relationship with thought leaders, opinion leaders and business leaders and engage at a professional level gaining access to what is otherwise impossible to achieve.
  2. Meeting an impressive mortal. By this I mean coming across a film, post or live speech made by someone who is of high calibre. They are on the way up and, maybe, you appreciate them for their talents more than those around you. This creates mutual leverage. Let me illustrate this with a story. When I see someone who is a BYT, a bright young thing, with a brain the size of a planet, a charismatic presentation style, and a slightly cautious approach to their audience, I will endeavour to meet them afterwards, thank them for their speech and invite them to give a webinar for my audience if appropriate. Because they are on the way up, they will often take up the opportunity that is being provided for them. In such a way we have captured the energy and spirit of many great people and presented it (free of fees) to a hungry audience, some of whom will tell me later that they are amazed at how I find such unique talent.
  3. Get a quote – sometimes, your face time with the Guru or Star is too controlled or limited to ask for a full favour. In this case a simple quote will do. What question have they not been asked before? What question will access their passion? And what answer will be of value to you personally? If you rack up a number of such questions you will always be prepared for that next spontaneous encounter with a legend.
  4. Hustle at a conference. Why be a passive member of the audience, being fed great but repeated keynote speeches when you can turn the event into a business accelerator? There are many ways to do this. If you buy a ticket to some great people like Joanna Martin or Tony Robbins, you may get asked to be a runner or a volunteer the next time. Don’t resist on the basis of your dignity or ego. Yes, they will have you running around in a silly T-shirt and singing and dancing but think of the amazing opportunity. You have stardust on your shoulders and borrowed authority being a runner at the event. You may channel your personality, and speak to an unlimited number of great people.

Alternatively, on a more earthly scale, if you see a conference coming up in 3 or 6 months time, contact the organiser and offer a keynote speech. Instantly reject any organisation that asks for a fee from you to speak. I know that seems strange, but it happens. In such a way I have spoken at many conferences and it is the number one converter of your time into a business enquiries – Aim to speak to a warm qualified audience on your core topic and make it punchy and memorable.

  1. Read a good book, write a good review – as I write this post I have checked in for a flight early tomorrow to Prague. 100 minutes flying time is a great opportunity to get into a good book. One was recommended to me 3 days ago, I ordered it on Amazon Prime and it arrived yesterday. I will read it, take notes and convert those notes into a review for either Amazon or my blog site AND create one, two or three posts that result from my thoughts and reactions to the content of this good and recommended read. In such a way I am repurposing the knowledge that I gain, enhancing my chances of retaining the wisdom held in the pages, and teaching and sharing the goodness I encounter thus creating equity and enhancing my reputation amongst my tribe.
  2. Warming a prospect. Let’s assume that you have someone on your list with good prospects. They know vaguely of your existence but they have yet to be wowed by you or given sufficient evidence of your greatness. Where is the Hustle opportunity? If you’re confident in your abilities it is time to spend a little of your hard earned money and take proactive marketing meaures and reach out. Sending one of your information-based products as a gift with a clever note achieves many things – Robert Cialdini’s law of reciprocity means you have created a small psychological obligation. Philip Kotler’s marketing formula suggests that you are engineering another “touch” and Gary M. Reynolds’ Engagement theory says that you are creating trust as you qualify your prospect either IN to your philosophy or OUT of contention. Posting a book, a disc or a memory stick can be an amazing leveraged step to forming a potentially high-value relationship.
  3. Proper networking – there are endless posts telling you that you must give first in order to get later. For me the greatest thing you can do is to be a network facilitator. The best fluid movers in a room listen to your story and actively connect you, “A”, with, “B”, someone you can help or who can help you. It is this seemingly selfless act that marks you out as a sophisticated player and somebody to be taken seriously. Your noble act can pay back many times over in the course of your relationship with both “A” and “B”.
  4. Peer to peer – in the new sharing and collaborative economy it seems sensible to explore the Hustle opportunity between equals. My favourite Hustle, when I spot a rising star, is to offer them a little of my time coaching, indulging in a divergent thought session or exploring opportunities for cooperation and exchange. It is a pleasant way to spend the time. The other party seems to have fun and how there is ALWAYS something to trade.
  5. Journalists and editors – this strange breed require special handling. Interacting and commenting constructively after reading articles by adding your thoughts and comments after publication goes down well. Remember most people or in the 89%. It always surprises me when speaking to journalists to hear how rarely they are called up or engaged in conversation by their readers. There is the perception that they sit in an ivory tower and are, somehow, unapproachable. In fact the opposite is true. A journalist contact, an editor or a PR friend are an incredible resource. The turbo version of this is to become an accredited subject matter expert – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Being known as a cooperative source who will say something intelligent, witty and apposite will have journalists coming back for more. Everybody wins. They meet their deadline and get the job done easily. You win because your name is in print, again.

    VIP - Very important person - gold 3D render on the wall background with soft shadow.

    Are you ready with your clever question?

89:10:1 – if you stay in the 89% you will do nothing, you will not hustle anybody and nothing special will help build your business. If you are in the 10% you will like and share this piece – it’s a start (And Thank You 😉 ) If you are in the 1%, your heart will be racing, your hands sweaty and you will have already worked out how to apply at least 3 of the 10 ideas above and be well on your way to Hustling for your next rich, rewarding and exciting opportunity.

So. Which are you? The 89%, 10% or 1%?

Register for the Consultative Selling and Networking Webinar from the Intercultural Training Channel, Tuesday, 17th May 2016, 12 noon London time, 1PM, Amsterdam and Paris Time. – A lunch and learn session for the intercultural entrepreneur.  Follow the link to register for the who with Gotowebinar; https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4557222083732664323 

Author – Matthew Hill is a freelance trainer and executive coach working in multiple European countries with some of the largest transnational corporations in the world. He has worked for 3 Governments, written 3 books and regularly speaks on the subject of Consultative Selling for Independent Trainers who wish to up their game.

 

Interviewing and evaluating candidates across cultures – by Consumer Insights expert and interculturalist, Felicia Schwartz.

I was recently asked to conduct a workshop for the HR members of an Energy company departing to China to hire new staff. The Chinese expats were to be integrated into teams in the UK, some as managers overseeing British team members. The training brought to light some of the major challenges when interviewing across cultures.

Shanghai skyline panorama, China

Shanghai skyline, China

Difficulties in interviewing across cultures

Cross-cultural interviews can be quite stressful situations. The interviewer must assess a candidate that falls outside the norms they are used to. Looking at their C.V., no familiar benchmarks come up; schools, maybe even former companies might draw a blank. The person in front of them does not sound, act or react the way candidates do in their local remit.

From the candidate’s point of view, they are often struggling in a non-native language and have their own cultural assumptions as to what the interviewer wants to hear and how the interview will unfold. These assumptions are of course mostly wrong! Thus we have a ripe terrain for misunderstanding and miscommunication …

Felicia Schwartz Felicia Schwartz – Consumer Insights Expert

What is the place of cross-cultural intelligence in the interview and assessment process? Why do assessors even need cultural intelligence? Surely the interviewee is the one that should demonstrate their “fit” with the culture they are applying to work in?

In reality, while the candidate will certainly benefit from going into the interview culturally prepared to face their interviewers, the latter also have a responsibility to prepare culturally if they want to have a good chance at “reading“ the candidate correctly. Even if they do not have the time for a lengthy specific cultural training, a first, useful step is simply gaining self-awareness and moving onto a more neutral terrain. That means maintaining an open attitude, and proactively looking for solutions when the conversation gets “stuck”.

The “how-to’s” of the cross- cultural interview

There are several levels to communication, and each of them needs to be considered through a cross-cultural lens. For example body language, and how it differs across cultures; what does it mean when a Chinese candidate keeps averting her gaze? (answer – in Asia, it is impolite to fix someone’s gaze for a length of time.)

Or language; how does one render one’s English more comprehensible to a non-native speaker? (a clue; observing English natives who have spent a long time overseas; their English tends to be neutral, devoid of colloquialisms, their pace measured, and elocution clear.)

Beyond gestures and words, meaning is conveyed and received through cultural prisms; interviewers will have to adapt if, for example, they are low context communicators operating in a high context culture like China.

What does “fit” mean in a cross-cultural context ?

International candidates will often have a different professional trajectory vs. English counterparts, and we can assume, even without deep country expertise, that management practices in China will be different to those in the U.K. How does one assess for compatibility then?

Assessing cross-culturally will dictate a focus on adaptability and transferable skills rather than a like for like fit. Emotional intelligence will be key as well in fitting in with culturally different teams.

Also, the motivation and readiness for an expatriate assignment are key. Why has the candidate chosen the country of destination? What do they know about it? How will their family fit in?

Interview techniques; while interview formats vary across sectors, some pointers will specifically help in the context of cross-cultural interviews:

As intimated above, the interview structure should be culturally adapted to produce results. For Chinese candidates, given their relationship-based culture, it is beneficial to ease in candidates by starting out with introductions and personal questions, before delving into specifics and a competency based evaluation.

We have also recommended introducing case scenarios that would permit observing candidates trouble-shooting in real time, going beyond language and its potential pitfalls. Finally, we have looked at the interview panel set-up and a pre-agreed evaluation grid which would help rate candidates on multiple criteria such as rapport/ communication, language, motivation, adaptation capacity and technical skills.

Author – Felicia Schwartz has spent 13 years in China and is the founder of China Insight www.hitangandccc.com/china-insight a consultancy that connects business to Consumer Insight and culture across China and Europe.