In this page, you'll find three of Simma's articles, intended for your personal
development and to demonstrate Simma's work.
- Ten PC Tips for Communicating with a Diverse Audience
- Ten Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt and Fear
- How to Create and Maintain the Culture of Your Organization
as You Grow
Ten PC Tips for Communicating with a Diverse Audience
by Simma Lieberman
By learning to speak to a diverse audience, you can broaden your client base transfer
the learning to more people. We need to be more "PC". We're not talking "political
correctness", were talking "Positively Conscious", of who is in our audience and
understanding how to make people feel included. The more people feel included, the
more they will listen to you, use your information and come back for more. If you
offend people they will shut down and you will lose them.
- Use words that include rather than exclude. While some women don't mind
being called ladies, in a professional setting the word women is more
appropriate. Be "positively conscious" of pronouns when discussing
hypothetical cases. I have been inn workshops where the facilitator spoke as
though all managers were "he" and all administrative support were "she".
Metaphors are very effective. Remember to mix them. Don't use only sports
metaphors. Have a balance. In Europe when they think of football they think
of soccer. Be aware that people have different abilities. Instead of telling
everyone to stand, you might say everyone who is able please stand, and
have a way for others to participate in the exercise.
- Learn the demographics of the audience before your presentation, and
- Do not assume everyone shares your religious beliefs.
- Look at everyone in the audience and smile at them. Speakers can have a
tendency to visually relate to people who look more like them. Assume
everyone wants to be valued.
- Do not use humor that puts down any particular group. If you are not sure,
get feedback from others.
- Examine your assumptions about people who are different than you. Be open
to letting go of those assumptions.
- Do not be afraid to ask for the correct pronunciation of someone's name.
- If someone has an accent and you can't understand them, ask them to repeat
what they said slowly, because what they are saying is important to you.
- Use methodology in your presentations to accommodate different learning
styles. Visual Auditory Kinesthetic
- Be comfortable with silence. In some cultures that can mean respect and
attention. Be comfortable with direct interaction. In some cultures that can
mean respect and attention. Be comfortable with saying, "I don't know."
Ten Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt & Fear
by Simma Lieberman
If your self-doubts and fears stop you from getting things done, here are some
techniques and processes that can help you break through them:
- Make a list of your fears. Only by admitting that they exist can you
- Write down how these fears affect your life.
- Become aware of the voices in your head and write down those
- Start building a support system of friends and eliminate people from
your life who foster feelings of negativity.
- Join a support group of people who have similar issues.
- Change each negative message to one that is affirming and
- Read books that help you feel better about yourself.
- Be aware of your past, and be willing to let go of it.
- List your goals and the actions you need to achieve them.
- Take one of those actions every day. Each time you do something that
brings you closer to achieving your goals you will feel better about
When fears and self-doubts come back, and they still do, I break through them by
using the tools and skills I've learned and now teach. They work.
How to Create and Maintain the Culture of Your Organization as You Grow
by Simma Lieberman
Many organizations start out with exciting ideas and concepts, but as they grow they
lose the culture that made them successful. Other businesses manage to continue
growing and keep the culture they created. What separates one type of organization
from the other?
One of the key factors to keep business culture is to define the culture you want to
create from the beginning, and integrate it into how you hire people, how you treat
employees, the type of customer service you provide, and the general environment
of your organization.
As you grow it is important to integrate old employees who understand your values,
concepts, and culture with the newer employees who will learn to implement them
and bring some of their own culture.
Brian Gavin is a managing partner of Roy's Restaurants, which has 19 properties in
Hawaii, Tokyo, New York, California, Colorado and Washington and serves Euro-
Asian cuisine. When they open new restaurants they have old employees train new
ones. He said,
"We have long range retention in our organization because we hire and grow from
within. We define our culture as serving creative bold flavors from Asia cooked in a
European style. We develop a sense of family, and have what we call Aloha customer
service; professional and technically correct, but very friendly. Ever since Roy
Yamaguchi opened the first restaurant in Hawaii, we have made a conscious effort to
maintain our culture." By growing from within, many employees have gotten to
experience working in different positions, and have helped to create the culture at
Roy's. As they move up and to different properties they bring those values and ways
of working with them. Roy's has a strong training culture.
To ensure a culture that lasts through growth and change, organizations in all
industries should take the following steps:
- Define the culture and how it is different from other concepts.
- Develop a strategic plan for implementing that culture.
- Senior management must implement that culture in all they do including:
hiring, compensation, rewards and incentives, creating the environment, and
- Make sure employees at all levels know what the culture is and that they buy
- Have seasoned employees train new employees and develop a system where
new employees learn the written and unwritten parameters of the culture.
- Constantly evaluate progress and success as you grow.
- Be open to change and inform employees and customers of any changes and
how they will benefit.
Typical Complaints Women Have About Men
- Addressing women as "girls," "gals," "honey," "baby" "young lady," "darlin'"
- A lot of women don't want to be called "ladies" at work
- Making women into objects... "I have a car, a boat, a dog, and a wife."
- Using expressions that only use sports, violence or sexual connotations... "We
murdered the competition." "More bang for the buck"
- Making decisions about work with each other and not including women. Then
telling women, "Last night we got together and decided..."
Typical Complaints Men Have About Women
- Not getting down to business soon enough
- Taking things too seriously
- Trying to be "one of the boys" (Using profanity, telling sexist jokes, etc.)
Gender Communication Tip Sheet
Share experiences to show commonality
Focus on statistics
Build off of each others' discussion points
Relate by sharing stories to "one up" each other
Strategy: Women, get to bottom line quickly and succinctly. Men, understand that when
women tell a story, they are building common ground with you.
Want to talk about the problem and solve it collaboratively
Move to solutions and problem solving right away
Emphasis on feelings and communications
Value placed on ability to achieve resultss
Processing is a way to include others and build relationships.
|Strategy: Women, don't try to get men to talk if they're not ready. Observe and listen
rather than process out loud. Men, understand that processing is a way for women to
include others and build relationships.
Offer help and advice as a sign of caring
To ask for help reflects an inability to achieve on one's own merit.
|Strategy: Women, understand that offering help may be inferred as a lack of trust in
another's ability. Don't be so quick to offer advice. Men, ask what you can do to help. It
may be an opportunity to show support and caring.