Succeed in America

Overcome Cultural and Linguistic Barriers. Improve Effectiveness 

Spelling for Clarification: How to Speak on the Phone – ESL

Phone technology is not perfect. When transmitted over the phone, our speech becomes less intelligible. Often, some letters and intended sounds may sound exactly like other letters and sounds when pronounced over the phone. For instance, often, it is difficult to distinguish “f” from “s”, or A (letter A) from numeral 8 (eight), sound n  sound m. (This is an excerpt from How to Talk [Read More...]

Essential Tips For Humor in the Workplace – Humor in the Workplace is a Serious Matter

We all know that humor is good for you. Lighthearted laughter will regulate one’s blood pressure, accelerate recovery from illness, and decrease stress in the workplace. In other words, laughter can be good medicine.  It’s true that all cultures enjoy humor and laughter, but how people perceive humor is culture specific. With increasing cultural diversity in [Read More...]

Gender Interaction in Business: Job Interview

In the business world, lack of information about etiquette and unspoken rules on gender interaction and norms can create misunderstandings crucial for an individual’s success. Consider the following job interview situation, adapted from the book How to Get a Job in the USA: Olga Petrovskaya did not understand why it took so long for her to [Read More...]

American Business Etiquette ESL: Small Talk in Meetings – When, What, and How (not to confuse with small talk at a job interview or a social event)

One of the most common questions I get from my seminar participants is “How do I begin a conversation at work?” In other words, “How do I start small talk?”  This is a great question because the importance of small talk is huge in business and you need to use it to your advantage.  And [Read More...]

Sexual Harassment or a Compliment? — Gender Interaction Across Cultures

Socially acceptable behavior varies across cultures—what holds right in one society may not be so in another. Consider this passage by Laura Klos-Sokol, cited in Riall W. Nolan’s book “Communicating and Adapting Across Cultures”:“Imagine a professional meeting beginning like this: a woman enters an office and introduces herself, extending her hand to shake only to have [Read More...]

Business English: Useful Phrases for Cell Phone Calls — ESL, ESL, ESOL

As Carrie Underwood once said, “My cell phone is my best friend. It’s my lifeline to the outside world.” I would add that it is becoming more and more common to make business-related phone calls over a cell phone. However, due to connection specifics, it may be challenging to sound professional especially if English is [Read More...]

Business English: 3 Vital Tips for Building Confidence in Business Meetings ESL ESOL

Should you improve your effectiveness in meetings? Good idea — how we handle ourselves in meetings is crucial for our careers, personal branding, and professional success. However, shining in meetings  can be very challenging. It can be challenging for anyone but more so when English is not your native language. The good news —  it [Read More...]

Got Business English?: When It Is OK and Not OK To Use OK

If you think that you know the meaning of the word OK, think again! Everybody knows what OK (also spelled as okay, Okey, Okay, or okey) means.  However, is it always used appropriately?  General usage: Often foreigners and non-native English speakers are not aware of the multiple uses of the word “okay,” instead assuming that it [Read More...]

Asking for and Getting a Raise

If you haven’t received a raise each year you have worked for a company, the value of your salary has gone down. Even a cost-of-living increase of 3 – 4 percent is not a raise. It just keeps your salary even with inflation. If your boss does not give you a raise, you need to ask [Read More...]

Small Talk (Informal Conversation) during a Job Interview

There are four stages to a job interview in the US: small talk (which means “polite informal conversation”,next, the interviewer will tell you about the company and briefly describe the position, after that the interviewer will ask you questions about you and pertaining to the position, and, finally, you will be given the opportunity to ask [Read More...]

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