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Your accent: Shrinking the elephant in the room

Your accent: Shrinking the elephant in the room

Accent. Everyone pretends it doesn’t matter. But after interviewing both employers and internationally trained professionals, it was the one topic that was consistent on both sides of the equation. Immigrants say accent stops them from getting hired. Employers say...

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The quick guide to increasing cultural comfort in the workplace

The quick guide to increasing cultural comfort in the workplace

Increasingly organizations are looking to hire for "fit." They've become more conscious of the culture that they are trying to create within their company and look for people who have the "right" attitudes, energy, and predilections to meld well with what is already...

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Integrating international employees to your workplace

Integrating international employees to your workplace

Imagine you have just landed in a country where you will be working and living for the first time... Everything is new and strange. People don’t respond the way you expect them to and the environment, food and even the smells around you are completely unfamiliar. When...

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Courageous conversations you wish you’d had

Courageous conversations you wish you’d had

Have you ever found yourself wishing you would have had a conversation that could have made a difference for you and for the other person? Maybe you wish you had told that wonderful colleague you appreciated her but were afraid it might be taken the wrong way or “go...

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On fasting, culture and family

On fasting, culture and family

You may or may not know that I am a Baha’i. One thing that Baha’is do as part of their spiritual practice is to participate in a month of fasting every March from the 1st to the 19th, then celebrate the Baha’i New Year on the first day of the spring equinox. So what...

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Getting through to your boss

Getting through to your boss

Have you experienced any of these issues with your boss? Your boss tells you to do something that is completely the opposite, or in contradiction to what he/she told you to do earlier Your boss forgets what he/she asks, and repeats things you already know, or doesn’t...

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How to use your voice more effectively: 4 Critical strategies

How to use your voice more effectively: 4 Critical strategies

To get a job or start a business you probably spend a lot of time perfecting your resume, personal description of strengths, your handshake and your pitch. You likely had a professional head shot taken for your website, or put effort into creating one that would make...

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7 Barriers to communication and a lesson from YouTube

7 Barriers to communication and a lesson from YouTube

Ask employees in any workplace what the company’s biggest internal problem is and the majority  will say without hesitation, “communication,” (insert eye rolling and groans here). Why is it that although we are social beings and enjoy being around other humans, we...

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Reflections on high school reunions and cultural awareness

Reflections on high school reunions and cultural awareness

I had a crazy moment of cultural awareness/flashback/shock at my 40th high school reunion event a couple of weekends ago. Like many people I know, if you are still in touch with even a couple of people from your high school days 10 years afterwards, you are in the...

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8 Social assumptions and what to do about them

8 Social assumptions and what to do about them

Have you noticed yourself or others making any of these kinds of statements? “Why do we need _________? I would never use it.” “Back in the day when we only had two TV channels…”  “What barriers? I didn’t have any issues.” “It’s because people have no (insert virtue...

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Biology and business: genes and employee performance

Biology and business: genes and employee performance

Biology, employee performance, and business systems have more in common than you may think. According to the book “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins (first published in 1978 and widely accepted as the most significant communication about the basics of inheritance...

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Me biased? 3 strategies to find out

Me biased? 3 strategies to find out

It is pretty easy to tell other people what they should do, how they should fix a work issue and how to fix their personality foibles. We can quickly see when someone else is so much in favour of a person or a project they can’t see the forest for the trees. We can...

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Supervisory Basics 2: Setting Clear Expectations

Supervisory Basics 2: Setting Clear Expectations

When you are an employee, you expect your team leader to let you know what your job is and to teach you how to get that job done. Many supervisors make the mistake of assuming their team already knows what to do and they get upset when team members don’t do what...

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Evaluating the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts

Evaluating the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts

They say, “what you measure grows.” But before measuring begins, when you start paying attention to something, it’s importance in your thinking increases. Let’s say you want to buy a car for example. Suddenly you notice things about cars you never noticed before and...

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The advantages of not listening: Surprising research

The advantages of not listening: Surprising research

Are you listening? Your phone is flashing posts and tweets, background noise is competing with your speaker’s conversation thread and you are distracted by the argument you had recently with a friend. Researchers have referred to the state of your brain at that point...

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