How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Part 9 Listening

active listening personal branding career development

Listening is something that many of us take for granted.  We confuse listening with hearing when the two are widely different.  Being able to truly listen to your co-workers, colleagues, and managers takes more than just hearing what they’ve said,  it takes real listening skills.  In the following video Julian Treasure talks about five ways to listen better.

Julian Treasure’s Three Listening Positions:

Active/Passive Listening

Active listening is a communication technique which requires the listener to feed back what they hear to the speaker, by way of re-stating or paraphrasing what they have heard in their own words, to confirm what they have heard and moreover, to confirm the understanding of both parties.

Passive listening is when you focus on what you’re listening to, but aren’t doing anything apart from listening. Thus, it is much more active and requires time of a different quality than background listening.

Continue reading


How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Part 3 Communication

international team communication

…Make it safe for people—especially those with less power—to speak openly about what’s on their mind….

Communication can go two ways; good or bad.  When speaking to another person it is always best if you DON’T follow the hilarious suggestions provided in the following video…and you’re welcome.

No, seriously communication is important.  Without it nothing would get accomplished in a timely, professional, and thorough manner which pleases, satisfies, and/or satiates the company overlords.  If my job is dependent on some small function of your job then we have to be able to properly function and communicate wants, needs, timing, directions, instructions, etc.

Continue reading

Tips for Job Interview Success | Personal Branding

Biggest Job Interview Mistakes

Acing your Job Interview

Way too often many of us get nervous about job interviews.  Its totally natural and avoidable.  Eric Barker of Time Magazine lists the following proven job interview success tips:

  • Be similar to the interviewer
  • Timing matters – Research shows interviews go better when: They’re earlier in the day and when the weather is good.
  • Optimize your first impression
  • Feel powerful
  • Have a strong handshake
  • Know the right questions to ask
  • Know how to negotiate salary

How does one Interview like a winner?  Its simple really, and thank you for asking.  Here’s a quick tip to help you break the ice and set the mood.

Q: Interviewer: Thank you for coming in today.  How are you?

A: Goal oriented, thank you for asking.

No seriously,  if the interviewer smiles then you can relax a bit and feel more comfortable speaking with this stranger.  In addition to that, if you’re a character – like my grampa use to call me – then right away you’re demonstrating your brand and personality.  Interviewers want to know what its going to be like to work with you, so show them.

Continue reading

How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Part 5 Mediation


No matter where you work, there will be some form of conflict among your team or co-workers.  If you’re working in an international team then you can pretty much guarantee that the company has a Mediation department to handle any issues.  However,  knowing the basics can save the day when minor conflicts occur.  Conflict in the workplace, groups, and teams is to be expected and accepted.  However,  when a minor conflict begins to grow and escalate its in everyone’s best interest to take proper notice before there’s a full-blown meltdown.  When negative conflict happens its handy to have someone on the team who can reign in on the madness without having to involve management or the HR department, and the skills to know when its time to call them in.


Allowing a neutral third party to intervene between people in a dispute in order to bring about an agreement or reconciliation.

Continue reading

How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Part 4 Decision Making


There are many different types of decision-making styles and processes for one to choose from.  To have the ability to make proper decisions one needs to understanding their own natural tendencies and the processes involved in the choices made while having the knowledge of other decision-making tools better which may be better suited to the situation at hand.

The rational decision maker follows these procedural steps:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Generate multiple possible solutions for the problem
  3. Select the solution deemed most likely to solve the problem
  4. Implement the solution and evaluate its effectiveness

Continue reading

How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Career Development


As I continue to study, read, and assimilate the vast knowledge of “businessy things” available I inevitably create links and make lists as to what skills and traits are needed for individuals to flourish as team members and to function at their highest level.   As I tend to focus on the more serious topics of management, leadership and winning, I also try to make it entertaining and short to keep your attention.

On that note, this post is an amalgamation of  topics which when combined create a powerful understanding of how to be indispensable to international teams.  This 20-something guide was inspired by many of my fellow students who are or have just graduated.  Going into the world of international business isn’t going to be difficult for some of the international students, but for the others who stumble upon great opportunities, this guide is for them and for you.

Consider this your 20-something, 101 guide to working in or with international teams.

The series includes the following:


Do You Have an Executive Presence | Personal Branding

Forbes defines executive presence as:

The ability to project gravitas–confidence, poise under pressure and decisiveness—seems to be its core characteristic, according to more than two-thirds of the executives surveyed. Furthermore, communication—including speaking skills, assertiveness and the ability to read an audience or situation—and appearance contribute to a person’s perceived executive presence.

In this article by ForbesMuriel Maignan Wilkins, coauthor of Own the Room, breaks executive presence into three essential parts.

Continue reading

How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Pt. 1 Creative Problem Solving

CreativeCritical thinking

The ability to use logical judgement in addition to creative and critical thinking skills are some of the most useful and transferable skills that one can posses.  Many of these skills are ingrained in us, but many can be learned.  The goal is to learn and assimilate new ways of processing information in a way that makes sense to you.  This will allow you to be the agent of change as opposed to the guy who’s stuck thinking inside the box.

When facing a problem or an issue, making the right decision is a fundamental task. Critical thinking helps us to understand the pros and cons of every possible outcome and to value them according to the goal we want to achieve. Improving its utilization in all aspects of your life can results in better decisions, fewer mistakes and in a significant improvement in the collaboration and success between people.

Continue reading

Top 10 Career Mistakes Twentysomethings Should Avoid | GEN Y GIRL

top 10 career mistakes twentysomethings should avoid

  • Believing that once you’ve got a job, you’re done learning.
  • Thinking there’s nothing you can learn from someone who can be your grandpa.
  • Turning down networking opportunities to go drinking with your friends.
  • Thinking that the tasks asked of you at work are somehow beneath you.
  • Engaging in negative office gossip.
  • Staying at a job you hate way too long without actively looking for other opportunities.
  • Not being honest with yourself about your likes and dislikes when it comes to your career.
  • Not taking the time to fully understand your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Making enemies at work for stupid reasons.
  • Compromising your morals and beliefs because you feel pressured to be liked.