Andrew’s Ax English – The Cutting Edge for Global Thinkers

S-l-o-w D-o-w-n

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Andrew's ax English | Comments Off on S-l-o-w D-o-w-n

S-l-o-w D-o-w-n

Way back in 1994, I took a series of sessions offered by a Qigong/Taichi master in Nakano, fairly close to where I lived back then, right near my first Japan office.  Part of what he taught was a type of standing meditation.  On the second or third evening, we were practicing this meditation after he had done some “healing” for me and two others. This “healing qigong” seemed like some “hocus-pocus,” waving his hands above our bodies. Even without so much as a touch, the result was a feeling similar to one you...

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Networking at the ACCJ

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Andrew's ax English | Comments Off on Networking at the ACCJ

Networking at the ACCJ

Advocacy and the sharing of information are two foundational pillars of the ACCJ. Both are crucial. But the most popular reason people join the ACCJ is our third pillar: networking. And rightly so. The ACCJ holds over 500 events each year and all of them present networking opportunities. Networking is not about collecting meishi, it is about creating and strengthening relationships and building your personal brand. So this month, let’s review some tips for doing just that. How often do you attend ACCJ events with a networking-related purpose...

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CAN YOU READ THE AIR?

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Andrew's ax English | Comments Off on CAN YOU READ THE AIR?

CAN YOU READ THE AIR?

“It’s not what he said, it’s how he said it that I really can’t stand.” In the past couple weeks, I’ve heard several people described as “tone deaf,” and none of them were in a karaoke bar.One referred to a person giving a presentation, another to someone in an e-mail exchange, and the third to a candidate in a job interview.All three were perceived as tone deaf due to their apparent lack of ability to either “read the air,” empathize with their audience, or simply know when enough is enough. Real tone deafness (the...

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New Beginnings!

Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Andrew's ax English | Comments Off on New Beginnings!

New Beginnings!

In Japan, April marks the start of the new school year, and for most kaisha (companies) it’s the start of the fiscal year as well.  New recruits, shinyushain, often spend the next three months in training, acclimating to their firms.  After four years in university, and perhaps two or three more in graduate school, this truly marks a “new beginning.” For most of these twenty-somethings, it’s their first taste of full-time, career-oriented employment. The ACCJ is advocating a more flexible hiring standard, and at some point Japanese...

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THINKING ABOUT THINKING- Mind your thoughts for fewer misunderstandings

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Andrew's ax English | Comments Off on THINKING ABOUT THINKING- Mind your thoughts for fewer misunderstandings

THINKING ABOUT THINKING- Mind your thoughts for fewer misunderstandings

So I’ve been thinking. You may ask, “About what?”  About thinking. Given that my first professional writing effort was about writing, and clients now pay me to speak about speaking, this is clearly the next step: to think about thinking. I’ve invested over 25,000 hours inside the communication triangle described in Rudolf Flesch’s How to Write, Speak and Think More Effectively. (Flesch said: “Writing is speaking on paper, speaking is thinking out loud, and thinking is silent speech.”) I make my living inside this triangle. But...

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Changing the View of You

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Andrew's ax English | Comments Off on Changing the View of You

Changing the View of You

A reader asked, “What can be done to change perceived perceptions?” The short answer? “Nothing.”  Unless you’re a master of misdirection, what others see depends on them, not on you.  But taking a closer look at this important question, we’ll discover that a better answer is, “It depends.”  (Coincidentally “it depends” was also the correct answer to several final exam questions on an MBA course I took 25 years ago.)  And we will find that there is always “something” you can do, even if it’s not so obvious. What...

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Rockin’ the Teleconference

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Andrew's ax English | Comments Off on Rockin’ the Teleconference

Rockin’ the Teleconference

Think back to your last teleconference.  How did it go?  If you’re like most executives in Japan, you have more than one regular teleconference, and you have more than one challenge with them.  Whether it’s differences in time zones (often Tokyo’s asked to call in at 10 PM local time), cultures (your head office complains about the lack of local “contribution”), languages, accents or something else, for most of us, teleconferences don’t make our weekly highlight reels. This month, here are 4 quick-and-easy tips and 4 tools for...

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Who Needs a Coach?

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 in Andrew's ax English | Comments Off on Who Needs a Coach?

Who Needs a Coach?

What experience have you had with coaches or coaching? Not only in business, where coaching has become de rigueur across many fields. If you play a sport, or sing, or act, you’ve probably had several coaches – some good, some not so. My earliest experiences with coaching were definitely a mixed bag. I remember my first Little League manager screaming at poor Don Kern, physically yanking him off the field in the middle of an inning after Don dropped a fly ball. [Don later played in the NFL for the Denver Broncos, so that incident didn’t...

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Take the Stage -Are you a RockStar?

Posted by on Jun 4, 2013 in Andrew's ax English | Comments Off on Take the Stage -Are you a RockStar?

Take the Stage -Are you a RockStar?

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” – B.B. King Over the past 20+ years, I’ve run seminars and workshops on so-called “soft-skills” for corporations, mostly here in Japan but also throughout Asia and the occasional work in the US and Spain. This summer we’ll add Zurich. And a few years back, I started a discussion with an old friend, recruiter Gary Bremermann, about what separates average performers from those who consistently rise to the “top of the charts” – the outliers who...

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Diagnosing and Treating the Uh-pidemic

Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Andrew's ax English | Comments Off on Diagnosing and Treating the Uh-pidemic

Diagnosing and Treating the Uh-pidemic

Flipping through Toastmaster magazine the other day – as you do – I came across an article that set me off: “The Myth of Non-verbal Communication”.  A contributor had written of her experiences in a workshop about the importance of nonverbal communication, and either wittingly or unwittingly had completely misunderstood some of the seminal findings on the subject, work by psychology professor Dr. Albert Merhabian. Dr. Merhabian is best known for his “7%-38%-55% rule”, which posits that in communicating our feelings and...

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