“Being Nice Isn’t Enough!” gets invited to the UNWG


Being Nice Isn’t Enough!

How to cut the niceties and get to real collaboration!

It’s official. It’s been announced!

I have been invited to do a keynote on why “Being Nice Isn’t Enough” (my new in the “sending-to-publishers-phase” book) when wanting to cultivate real cross-cultural competence, conversation and collaboration at…
wait for it…
the United Nations Women’s Group in Vienna, on the 21st of September 2016!

That’s BIG and (even if I say so myself) awesomely EXCITING!

OK, I must also admit that I am having a whole lot of fun today! Fun Friday!

I have been in the process of uncluttering my website and putting in the key message of all messages. The Being Nice Isn’t Enough! book/keynote/seminar/coaching message.
I have also been having fun with rewording my “about” page and found the words “rebel” and “sparkplug” and I want to “SALT” sparkplug everywhere to describe myself and what I do. A sparkly sparkplug!

More about my current work and writing…
“Being Nice Is Not Enough – How to cut through the niceties and get to real collaboration.” is aimed at the business reader who is working with culturally diverse teams or across borders “Being Nice Is Not Enough!” is going to change the way you communicate and connect with people – simply by mirroring and undoing some of your habits, bias’, patterns and language that no longer serves you! The unconscious internal glitches – that contribute to conflict rather than collaboration – that should get dumped in the ditches. (Thank you to my coach and mentor Kate Emmerson)

“Being Nice Isn’t Enough – How to cut through the niceties and get to real collaboration”, an international personal/leadership skills and (non-generic) business communication book is also written for non-academic readers including non-native English speakers involved in international interactions. Without “dumb-ing” it down too much “Being Nice Isn’t Enough – How to cut through the niceties and get to real collaboration” is written in a narrative and witty tongue-in-cheek style. It is a merging of my real-time “put-my-foot-in-it” trip-ups and intercultural feaux pas’ over the past 25+ years (yes I’m that experienced) of personal and international business experiences with my later studies and research on the fascinating albeit, at times, painfully embarrassing topic. The fact that I (and my son) were born into a post-apartheid culturally and politically changing South Africa also provides me with an experientially packed classroom! A wanderlust and attraction for the unknown fuelled by opportunities to work and live in foreign countries fill the chapters of “Being Nice Isn’t Enough!” This book provides humanly erring insights, reflections and practical answers to some of your cross-cultural questions – by undoing unhelpful habits and replacing them with good old guiding principles. An absolute must read when it hits the shelves!
I host “no-buts-kick-butt” authentically sparkplug keynote talks, seminars, team workshops and personal coaching on “Being Nice Isn’t Enough – How to cut through the niceties and get to real collaboration.” Get me, get us!

SALT logo_n


C#3 – Cross-cultural consciousness


consciousness vs. disregard

Consciousness vs. disregard describes one person who is aware and mindful that others from different backgrounds share the same values and have different ways of doing things, and disregard describes another person who demonstrates disinterest and detachment in their dealings or interactions with others from different countries.

This “disregard” only gives others the perception that you are (maybe) inconsiderate, biased and narrow minded when, in fact, you are not? Or are you? Is that how you want others to “see” you?

Or, do you get others? “Getting” others – is the ability to demonstrate a conscious “listening for” (not to), a consciously empathetic understanding for and good basic knowledge of other cultures. Can you?

Talking at, telling, instructing and using imperatives does not invite anyone into dialogue and shows a disregard for their involvement, worth and values. Are you doing this?

Are you showing consciousness? If yes, fantastic – you are a born cross-cultural collaborator! If not, don’t go into hiding!

Get me to help you become a cross-cultural collaborator with consciousness, courage and curiosity!


C#2 – Cross-cultural courage!


courage vs. arrogance

Are you courageous enough to encourage collaboration? Can some of your actions be percieved as arrogant?

Unconscious “us” vs “them” talk – be it due to fear of not knowing something or embarrassment that goes with (possibly) looking stupid, cultivates a biased arrogance – “my way is the best way” – normally expressed with generalisations – “they’re all the same”. This language certainly doesn’t promote collaboration.

Getting cross-cultural collaboration up and running in a new international team or project not only requires curiosity (C#1), but also a healthy dose of courage (C#2). Knowing what you don’t know, being able to acknowledge imperfections and that that you don’t have all the answers involves personal risk taking. It also makes you more human. Your sincerely curious and courageous approach to establishing collaboration will foster a quick and committed bonding between team members – no matter who, no matter where.

Courage means taking risks. Be courageous. Stay Curious. Create collaboration. Because (sometimes) Being Nice (simply) Isn’t enough! It’s such a valuable ingredient to your cross-cultural success mix.

PS: CQ = Cultural Intelligence


C#1 – Curiosity never killed any cat!


curiosity vs. indifference

Cats whiskers are very sensitive! They are like fine radars – or sensors you have in cars that warn the cat when it’s getting into a tight spot! So forget the old wives tales of cats getting killed because they were curious – that was just an attempt to get you to stop asking questions. What the old wives really should have told you is to develop some cross-cultural curiosity – to be curious, not indifferent.

As children we are protected from all sorts of harm by our well-meaning parents – and in some cases causing more unnecessary harm. Asking too many question got us silenced, we were warned about “talking to strangers”, and overheard our close circles of reference talking (negatively) about others – us (inclusive) vs. them (exclusive). This “killed” our curiosity and limited our cross-cultural and interpersonal potential.


Because it could percieved as indifference. Like you don’t care. A given cold-ness.  Look at all the fear  or scaremongering going on in the world and ask yourself where that comes from?

Be Curious. Be open for new things. Be spontaneous. A good dose of cross-cultural curiosity will certainly add fun and success to your intercultural activities like cross-cultural collaboration, and cross-cultural communication. Different ideas and experiences are the doors to new “worlds” and opportunities which enable you (or your team/organisation) to grow. And remember, “Being Nice (most of the time, simply) Isn’t Enough!”.

Develop that curiosity – it never killed any cat!

There’s more on what you can do to cultivate cross-cultural collaboration through conversation following shortly!

An idea from Hester and her book “Being Nice Isn’t Enough!”