Small Talk for Foreign-Born Professionals

25 Topics for Sparking Conversation and Building Relationships
While it may not be true in many cultures, it’s very common to strike up a conversation with complete strangers in the US. With colleagues and clients in the corporate world, that small talk is the spark that ignites good working relationships and connections that help individuals to grow and thrive in their careers, and teams to collaborate like well-oiled machines. If you struggle with making “small talk”, try using this list and simple process to kickstart your confidence and skills. Download here.

What’s your Cultural Profile? 

To understand complex cultural differences (cognitive, relational and behavioral), it’s important to be aware of areas with the most common cultural gaps. Self-awareness around how you operate, in relation to other cultures you work with, can mean the difference between success and fumbling through, learning the hard way.  Take this free Cultural Profile Assessment, created by Erin Meyer, author of The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business.


I’m an active member and a huge advocate! Most Toastmasters clubs meet weekly or twice-monthly for 1-2 hours and follow a pretty standard agenda including Prepared Speeches, Impromptu Speaking, and Speech Evaluations. Members become better public speakers, overcome public speaking fears, practice presentations for different audiences, and gain the confidence to lead. You’ll receive honest, supportive feedback in a fun, encouraging environment. It’s also a great place to improve your English vocabulary and clarify your accent. To locate a club near you click here.


The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business
By Erin Meyer

Global Dexterity: How to Adopt Your Behavior across Cultures without Losing Yourself in the Process
By Andy Molinsky

Leading with Cultural Intelligence: The Real Secret to Success
By David Livermore

Why Everybody Needs a Coach

Atul Gawande (surgeon, public health professor, and writer) presents his TED Talk on how a Coach can help improve your performance, even if you’re already really good at what you do. He explores how doctors can dramatically improve their practice using approaches as simple as a checklist – or coaching. (16:47 mins)