Routine Messages: It’s Never Too Late To Say Sorry…Correctly

Email Etiquette

Email Etiquette (2013)

In this tech world, face to face interaction has competition; and its email. While email may not be as medium rich as face to face interaction, it’s easy, quick and accessible through our computers, laptops, i pads, tablets, and mobile devices.

According to Mark Murphy (2015) in Email Can Hurt Your Career: Develop Better Communication Skills With These 5 Other Tools, “…for most leaders, email is how they largely interact with employees, peers and bosses” (p. 1).

Technology has changed the way individuals communicate but it hasn’t altered the need for communication.

Whether you’re a student, professor, CEO, accountant, lawyer, or secretary, it’s essential that you communicate with others. Joe Taylor Jr. (n.d.) in Routine Messages in Business Communication stated, “Routine messages in business communication serve to document the ‘who, what, where, why, and how’ of daily operations.” (p. 1).

There are routine messages that we send via email to accomplish tasks, notify others or express feelings / thoughts. Although we may take them for granted, it’s important to know how to form these routine messages to effectively achieve your goal (e.g., notify someone, make a request, or even apologize).

According to Cardon (2016) in Business Communication: Developing Leaders for a Networked World, “Most routine messages are simple. Yet, routine messages should not be treated as unimportant or inconsequential. They are the glue that holds together most coordinated business actions” (p. 251).

Therefore, this blog will discuss an important routine messages a brief standard format for all routine messages and how to write an apology; a type of routine message. Then, I will provide an example of a company that doesn’t effectively make an apology to show how important it is to know how to write this type of routine message.

What you need to know in order to develop routine messages: the components.

Routine message components.

According to Cardon (2016), the routine components of routine messages include:

  1. State the key message in ten words or less
  2. Provide details regarding the key message in 80 words or less
  3. Rephrase the key message more specifically
  4. Conveying good will (p. 253).

To sum this up briefly, when writing any type of routine message, make sure it’s brief and direct with the key message in the beginning. This is to ensure that readers understand the main point of the message with little difficulty. Instead of rambling in the beginning, get straight to the point. For example, “I am writing to request new computer software….”

According to Taylor Jr. (n.d.) “Authors Mary Ellen Guffey and Richard Almonte state that routine messages should “deliver the most important information first” (p. 1).

Additionally, make sure to provide important details that supplement your main message (e.g. why you need the computer software and by when?). Then, by restating your main point at the end of the message, it becomes reinforced by the reader. Lastly, having a professional yet kind tone is important. Can you imagine that way you would respond if someone sent a rude email to you?

Routine messages: making apologies

Whether we mean to or not, we all make mistakes that may require an apology. Although it may be uncomfortable or awkward for some, it’s important to improve / sustain relationships with managers, colleagues, peers, etc. (Cardon, 2016, p. 266). Yet, without these four elements, it’s very difficult to create an effective apology. An effective apology includes:

  1. Acknowledgment of the offense
  2. Expression of regret
  3. Acceptance of responsibility for offense
  4. Promise not to repeat the offense (Cardon, 2016, p. 268).

In order for an apology to be effective and accepted by others, it should actually address what you did wrong. Don’t hop around the issue because it’s uncomfortable or embarrassing. Additionally, may sure your audience knows that you are sorry. In other words, don’t say “I know I was said you’re an annoying person, but it’s true”. You may be acknowledging the offense but you don’t sound regretful.

Also, when apologizing, take responsibility for your actions (“it is my fault because….”). Don’t’ beat around the bush. Lastly, make sure you ensure that you’re not going to commit this offense again so that the apology is believable.

My personal thoughts.

For me, apologies are always hard because sometimes it’s uncomfortable for me to admit when I’m wrong. However, my best experiences were when I actually included all four components of an apology in my apology. Sometimes I struggle with “accepting responsibility for the offense” because I don’t want to acknowledge that it’s my fault and take the blame, but it’s necessary for personal growth and to maintain relationships…my ego will have to wait.

If you’ve apologized to someone recently and it wasn’t effectively, ask yourself if you included all four of these elements.

Case Study: An example of an ineffective apology.

Maurice E. Schweitzer, Alison Wood Brooks, Adam D. Galinsky (2015) in The Organizational Apology, used a real life example to demonstrate what an ineffective apology is.

“Facebook had allowed academic researchers to manipulate the news feeds of 689,000 users for one week. The experiment, in which half of the users saw fewer positive posts than usual and the other half saw fewer negative ones than usual, was designed to determine whether the changes would cause people to write more positive or negative posts themselves” (Schweitzer, Brooks and Galinksy, 2015 p. 1).

To react to the public’s anger, Facebook said that there were informed consents in its word user agreements that they could’ve communicated more about the study, that they were unprepared for the negative reaction and that they could’ve done things differently and of course the public didn’t take this apology week. (Schweitzer, Brooks and Galinksy, 2015 p. 1).

In this way, Facebook’s apology includes no direct acknowledgment of the actual offense, no acceptance of responsibility and no promise to repeat the offense; a small but insufficient amount of regret is expressed; hence, why the public didn’t initially accept their apology.

For your assistance, here’s a great YouTube video by My Business English that will guide you when writing an effective apology email by using important phrases.

Also, Katie Kiefer Lee (2012) in The Art Of The Corporate Apology provides some great real life examples of effective and ineffective apologies.

Take away:

Routine messages via email are important ways that individuals communicate to achieve goals and complete tasks. Many people make mistakes and will email an apology. Knowing how to correctly write an apology in terms of its components will most likely predetermine what the result will be: acceptance or resistance. It may be awkward and uncomfortable but apologize and apologize correctly when using routine messages via email to avoid the extra headache. It’s only too late to say sorry if it’s done incorrectly.


Apologies (2014)



[My Business English]. (2013, Sept. 25). Email Writing: Apologising Phrases. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Cardon, P.W. (2016). Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Dana. (2014, Jun. 17). Apologies Make Life Lighter. The Tao of Dana. Retrieved from

Giang, Vivian. (2013, Oct. 7). 7 Email Etiquette Rules Every Professional Should Know. Business Insider. Retrieved from

Jr. J.T. (n.d.). Routine Messages in Business Communication. Small Business Chron. Retrieved from

Lee, K.K. (2012, Oct. 4). The Art Of The Corporate Apology. Forbes. Retrieved from

Maurice E. Schweitzer, M.E., Brooks, A.W. and Galinksy, D.A. (2015, Sept.) The Organizational Apology. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from

Murphy, M. (2015, Jun. 20). Email Can Hurt Your Career: Develop Better Communication Skills With These 5 Other Tools. Forbes. Retrieved from





How to Overcome Your Fear of Presenting in Public

Public Speaking (2013)

Your palms are sweaty, your heart is beating fast and there are butterflies in your stomach. You attempt to go over what you plan to say and suddenly you have amnesia. These are some of things that individuals who fear presenting in public experience. Don’t worry, join the club; this fear is pretty common.

According to Peter Cardon (2016) in Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World, “Many polls show that adults fear public speaking more than death” (453).

Whether it’s a group project, a business proposal, or a new policy at work, you’ll probably have to (if you haven’t already) present in public. However, fear can impair your ability to communicate a message effectively (Cardon, 2016, p. 453). Hence, it is important to discuss the ways that individuals (such as yourself) can overcome the fear of presenting in public. Overcoming this fear can help you become a more effective communicator and presenter.

In this way, this blog post will provide ways that you can overcome your fear of presenting in public. Additionally, this blog will include real life example using a CEO who had a fear of presenting in public but overcame this fear using a variety of techniques.

Recommendations for overcoming your fear of presenting in public.

According to Cardon (2016), here are five ways you can overcome your fear of presenting in public:

  1. Use relaxation techniques
  2. Be mindful of your breathing
  3. Envision yourself in a positive way
  4. Monitor your food / beverage intake
  5. Acquaint yourself with the audience before the presentation (p. 454).

Use relaxation techniques 

Relaxation is always a great way to overcome anxiety. There are a plethora of techniques that you can use to relax. These techniques include:

  • Stretching
  • Meditating
  • Hiking or exercising
  • Listening to music
  • Watching a movie
  • Watching the sunset
  • Contemplating on things you are grateful for (Cardon, 2016, p. 454).

Try making a list of healthy activities that calm you down. Then, do these activities a few days before or a few hours before your next important presentation (if possible).

Be mindful of your breathing

Similar to meditation, taking deep breaths can also help you reduce your anxiety and relax. Not to mention, it aids with the tone of your voice (Cardon, 2016, p. 454).

According to Nick Morgan (2015) in How Can You Deal With The Fear Of Public Speaking, “…take a deep breath before you speak, then swallow, then begin. The breath helps you build some resonance in your voice, keeping it from being squeaky or shaky” (p. 1).

Try taking ten deep breaths from your diaphragm a few minutes before your next presentation.

Envision yourself in a positive way

Similar to relaxation, positive visualization allows you to focus on the positive by picturing (envisioning) yourself accomplishing your goals (Cardon, 2016, p. 454).

Jacquelyn Smith (2014) in  10 Things You Should Do In The 15 Minutes Before A Big Presentation stated, “‘Harnessing the power of the mind-body connection means that you can learn to use your thoughts to positively influence your body’s physical responses,’ Price says. As a result, you can decrease stress and increase a sense of wellbeing and control, just by holding positive thoughts and images in your mind” (p. 1).

Try to envision yourself achieving your presentation goals (ex. engaging your audience, memorizing your speech, etc.) before your next presentation.

Monitor your food / beverage intake

While some foods may help you present, others may not. Caffeine may cause you to have jitters and dairy creates mucous that can affect how smoothly you speak (Cardon, 2016, p. 454).

Larry Kim (n.d.) in 15 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation noted, “Dry mouth is a common result of anxiety. Prevent cottonmouth blues by staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water before your talk (just don’t forget to hit the bathroom before starting)” (p. 1).

On the night before and day of your presentation, try to avoid eating foods or drinking beverages that may negatively (in regard to your presentation) affect the way you speak or feel.

Acquaint yourself with the audience before the presentation

Try breaking the ice with audience members (to get rid your nervousness) before you actually present. Walk around the room where audience members are, introduce yourself and briefly converse with them. This can help you warm up to your audience and allow your audience to warm up to you (Cardon, 2016, p. 1).

Likewise, Kim (n.d.) stated, “Do your best to chat with people before your presentation. Talking with audiences makes you seem more likeable and approachable. Ask event attendees questions and take in their responses. They may even give you some inspiration to weave into your talk” (p. 1).

A real life example

Now, we will use Ted Karkus, the CEO of ProPhase Labs, the makers of Cold-EEZE lozenges, as an example of someone who feared presenting publicly and overcame this fear using different techniques.

According to Rebecca Knight (2014) in How to Give a Stellar Presentation, Karkus was notified a week in advance that he would be speaking at an investor conference and he was terrified. In order to overcome his fear and be prepared for his presentation, he practiced, and focused on the positive (his capabilities to speak passionately about the company) (Knight, 2014, p. 1).

By practicing, Ted was able to boost his confidence so that he could present well, despite his fears. Additionally, by focusing less on his fears and more on his competencies such speaking passionately, Ted was able to relax before presenting (Knight, 2014, p. 1).

He also used an acting coach to help with his memorization of the presentation and naturalness when presenting to overcome his fear of presenting poorly (Knight, 2014, p. 1).

Of course, all of these factors allowed Karkus to overcome his fears and present so well that individuals approached him with business ideas after his presentation ended (Knight, 2014, p.1).

This conveys that it is possible to overcome your fear of presenting publicly and that some of the techniques that I listed earlier such as focusing on the positive really do help! Focusing on the positive helped Mr. Karkus!

To assist you even further, here’s a link to a video by Harvard Extension School that describes other ways you can overcome your phobia of presenting in public.

Take away

Presenting in public can be very nerve racking but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. These techniques along with many others can help you overcome this fear so that you can be an effective and skilled presenter. Are you ready to try? Get out there, present and have fun!

Advice, 2014


Cardon, P.W. (2016). Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Kim, Larry. (n.d.). 15 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before a Big Presentation. Inc. Retrieved from

Knight, Rebecca, (2014). How to Give a Stellar Presentation. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from  

Marinigh, Lauren. (2014). Advice To A Sheridan College Advertising Student. Lauren Marinigh. Retrieved from

Morgan, Nick, (2015). How Can You Deal With The Fear Of Public Speaking? Forbes. Retrieved from

Schwertly, Scott. (2013). Public Speaking: Fear vs. Anxiety. Linked In. Retrieved from

Smith, Jacquelyn. (2014). 10 Things You Should Do In The 15 Minutes Before A Big Presentation. Business Insider. Retrieved from



Five Ways to Improve Readability with a Document’s Design



Readability, 2011

Whether writing a business memorandum for a client, structuring a personal blog, or putting the finishing touches on college paper, it is almost always important that a document is considered readable by its audience.

Not many clients will look forward to reading a business memorandum that is written with long paragraph and lacks bullet points which highlight key findings. Similarly, many blog viewers may find that blogs without headlines to organize content are unappealing. Likewise, professors may take off points from a paper or report that is cluttered without headlines.

While it is important for one’s content within a document to be clear and concise, the way in which is it presented (the document design) is important as well because this allows the audience to navigate through the document easily. It also helps make one’s message easy to understand; hence, why this blog post is being written and this topic is so important.

According to Peter Cardon (2016) in Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World, people tend to be overwhelmed with messages. When the information is presented in a readable and organized way, the audience is more likely to understand the author’s intended message by reading more carefully (p. 157).

In this way, this blog post will list and elaborate on five ways that one can improve readability (of a document) with a document’s design. This blog post will also include a real case that demonstrates the benefits of doing so.

There are five ways to improve readability with a document’s design.

Here are five ways an individual can improve readability with a document’s design:

  1. Use headings
  2. Highlight key words and phrases (expressions)
  3. Use bullet points and numbers for lists
  4. Use white space wisely
  5. Use simple formatting (Cardon, 2016, p. 170-173).


Featured Image: 7 Ways to Improve Website Readability and Boost Conversions

Improve Readability, n.d.

Use headings.

Headings are a useful way to help organize content that is very compact or difficult to read. In this way, headings help readers identify key points. Additionally, it allows the reader to navigate the document for specific information because of the organization of content (Cardon, 2016 p. 171).

A business resource from Gonzaga University noted, “Use section and paragraph headings in your document to separate topics and enhance readability. Busy readers can scan headings to get an overview of your document and quickly find information they are interested in reading” (p. 1).

For example, a blogger wrote an article about twenty foods that cause cancer. The blog has headings that organize the article by the types of foods that cause cancer (such as meats, desserts, dairy, and grains).

Readers that are only interested in certain types of meats that cause cancer can easily navigate the blog to find this information because it has headings.

However, when using headings, it is important to note that one should use the same text format (font) for headings to lessen confusion. Additionally, the headings should match with the content that is being discussed below the headings (Cardon, 2016, p. 171).

If the heading says five vegetables that cause cancer but discusses meats instead, the reader will be confused and won’t understand the message of the blog post.

Highlight key words and phrases (expressions).

Highlighting can be used as a way to emphasize words, phrases or ideas (Cardon, 2016, p. 171). When I say highlight words or phrases, I don’t mean literally but instead by using the bold, underline or italics tools.

For example, if an individual wants to emphasize the heading, Five Vegetables That Cause Cancer in a blog post, he / she may bold it so that it would read Five Vegetables That Cause Cancer. The bolding of the headline notifies the audience that this heading is important.

Additionally, when using the bold, underline or italics formatting tools, it is most effective when used as necessary and when each tool is used once at a time. If an individual uses the bold, underline and italics formatting tools too often, it becomes hard for the audience to distinguish what is and what is not important (Cardon, 2016, p. 171).

For example, if an individual who wants to empathize the amount of sales a company generated writes “The third quarter sales amount for 2015 was $325,000, which is an increase from last month’s sales,” instead of “The third quarter sales amount for 2015 was $325,000, which is an increase from last month’s sales,” then the reader will assume all of the information in the sentence is important since it was italicized.

However, in actuality, the sales amount information was the only important part.

Additionally, assume an individual that writes a business memo uses headings to outline the memorandum objectives. He / she could use one formatting tool to highlight “Objectives” or use two formatting tools to highlight “Objectives”. 

The use of bold instead of bold and italics together is more effective because two formatting tools can seem overbearing to the audience (Cardon, 2016, p. 171).

Use bullet points and numbers for lists.

Bullet points and numbered lists also help the author to better communicate because it allows the reader to organize, understand and remember information (Cardon, 2016, p. 172).

An article by Carolyn O’Hara (2014) entitled How to Improve Your Business Writing, included a quote by Kara Blackburn, a senior managerial communications lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management in which she stated, “‘You can have all the great ideas in the world and if you can’t communicate, nobody will hear them’” (p. 1).

Similarly, Gonzaga University noted, “Bulleted and numbered lists greatly enhance readability due to their conciseness and the additional white space that results from their use” (p. 1).

If an individual writing a summary on key findings from an experiment uses a paragraph format instead of bullets or a numbered list, the audience may find the information confusing or hard to understand.

The use of bullets or numbered lists summarizes the information for an audience so that they can easily comprehend and retain the information from the document.

“Read your writing through critical eyes, and make sure that each word works toward your larger point. Cut every unnecessary word or sentence” (Carolyn, 2014, p. 1).

According to Roger C. Parker (2012) in 7 Readability Tips for Designing Engaging Content, “Long lines of type (i.e., lines of type that extend from the left-hand to right-hand margins of a page) can be fatiguing to read because the reader’s eyes have to make multiple jumps from word group to word group across the page” (p. 1).

In this way, bullet points and numbered lists are ways to cut down on unnecessary and long sentences.

Use white space wisely.

Believe it or not, an audience may make assumptions about a document based on the amount of white space it has around the content. While documents with limited white space around the text appear to be clutter and jumbled, texts with too much white space appear to be incomplete (Cardon, 2016, p. 173).

“Empty space on a page is called white space. Good writers use headings, bulleted and numbered lists, and shorter paragraphs to increase white space and readability of their documents” (Gonzaga Univrsity, n.d., p. 1).

Also, Parker (2012) stated, “Pay particular attention to line spacing. Provide enough inter-line spacing, or leading, to make it easy for your readers to recognize the distinctive shapes created by the letters in each line” (p. 1).

In this way, it is important that one has the appropriate amount of white space around content so that the document appears to be organized, appealing and of importance

Use simple formatting.

One of the best ways to help improve readability with a document’s design is by making the visual format simple (Cardon, 2016, p. 173). Try to avoid any type of confusing or distracting formats.

Everything from short sentences, bullet points and numbered lists, italics, bold, and underline formatting tools as well headings, sub headings and appropriate white space, makes a document’s design simple and easy for an audience to navigate around.

The importance of readability with a document’s design can be applied to a real life example.

O’Hara (2014) discusses a case that demonstrates the importance of improving readability with a document’s design using David McCombie, CEO of McCombie Group (a private equity firm).

McCombie was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and realized that the writing style he learned at Harvard Law School wasn’t useful for communication at a business executive level. McCombie was told that he had difficulty expressing his key points effectively within business communications (O’Hara, 2014, p. 1).

In order to be more effective, McCombie asked some of his colleagues for their past presentations and reports to learn the important elements of format and style. This helped McCombie to improve his writing and the readability of his documents which has allowed him to become an influential individual within business.

Based on the communication skills McCombie acquired, he was able to write a book on his private equity firm entitled The Family Office Practitioner’s Guide to Direct Investments (O’Hara, 2014, p. 1).

In this way, McCombie learned how to better communicate to his audience by improving the readability of his documents. McCombie accomplished this by requesting to see the past presentations and reports of his colleague to study its format and style.

In doing so, he improved the format and style which allowed his audience to better understand the intended messages embedded in documents.

To really help bring the importance of improving readability with document design home, here’s a YouTube link from Barnett Educational Services that discuss ways to improve readability for standard operating procedure and other procedural documents using format and style.

Take away: It is important to improve readability with a document’s design.

Anyone who writes any type of document, whether it’s a report, memo, email, or blog, wants its audience to understand the intended message. Aside, from the actual content, the way in which it’s presented determines the extent to which an audience will understand the author’s intended message.

Therefore, writers must ensure that the document is readable because of its organized and appealing design. In other words, the document has to look “good” in order to read well.




—Cardon, P.W. (2016). Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Gutpa, A. (n.d.). 7 Proven Ways to Improve Website Readability and Boost Conversions. VWO. Retrieved from

[Kathy Barnett]. (2015, May 18). Improving Readability of SOPs and Other Procedural Documents Trailer[Video File]. Retrieved from

N.d. Improving Document Readability. Gonzaga University. Retrieved from

O’Hara C. (2014, November, 20). How To Improve Your Business Writing. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from

Parker, R.C. (2012, October 8). 7 Readability Tips for Designing Engaging Content. Content Marketing Institute. Retrieved from

(2011, November 8). 5 Firefox Add Ons To Increase Webpage Readability. Zoomzum. Retrieved from


The Importance of Developing One’s Cultural Intelligence (CQ)

Different Cultures Together, n.d.

America is a beautiful melting plot filled with different cultures; especially from a business perspective. Let’s take New York City for example…Chinatown, Little Italy and Koreatown are three areas in New York City that are embedded with different cultures (Chinese, Italian and Korean). Furthermore, each area has difference types of food, clothing and merchandise sold that aligns with the cultures previously listed.

More than that, executives of businesses are witnessing the increased amount of diversity within America both in and outside the workplace and the need to accept and understand other cultures in order to be successful. Differently stated, cultural intelligence is an important tool that managers need to be successful in a diverse society. According to Peter Cardon (2016) in Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World, cultural intelligence is “—the measure of your ability to work with and adapt to members of other cultures” (p. 99).

Developing cultural intelligence is important because of the presence of diversity in businesses / workplaces and interactions among people from different cultures that occur. In order to effectively manage employees or a business, managers must be understand, interact and work with members of different cultures. In this link, a contributor from the IESE Business School (2015) in Why You Need Cultural Intelligence (And How To Develop It) stated, “As globalization has rendered the business environment more complex, dynamic, and competitive, the ability to function effectively in different cultural contexts, called Cultural Intelligence (CQ), has never been more important for organizations” (p.1).

Therefore, this blog post will explain ways to develop cultural intelligence, discuss its importance and provide a real life example discussing a company’s success based on the presence or lack of culturally intelligent managers.


How to develop cultural intelligence? 

Fortunately, cultural intelligence is not a skill that you must be born with in order to have. Robert Mitchell (2014) in “Cultural intelligence: Everybody needs it, stated that cultural intelligence can be learned through experiences, knowledge and training (p. 1).

While many business executives understand that it is possible to know more about different cultures, they aren’t always sure how to learn more. Glenn Llopis (2011) in The Lack of Cultural Intelligence is Damaging Our Enterprises and Our Economy stated, “In today’s global marketplace, you must be culturally intelligent.  It’s a business imperative.  America’s corporations are becoming more aware of this need.  However, they still don’t know what to do and how to do it” (p. 1).

Here is a list of ways that students can develop their cultural intelligence:

  1. —Study abroad
  2. Learn a language
  3. —Becomes friends with international students on campus
  4. Pick a culture and learn as much as possible about it (Cardon, 2016, p. 100 & 101).

Studying abroad is a great way to learn about other cultures because you’re adapting to another culture. If a student from America decides to study abroad in India, the student will learn how members of the Indian culture communicate, interact, and behave. They will also learn about the norms, customs and values of that culture by residing and interacting the members of that culture.

Learning another language besides your native language is a great way to get inside the minds of others and learn how they conceptualize things. Not only does it help you to communicate with members of different cultures easily, but it allows you to understand how members of other cultures think based on their linguistics and thoughts.

Becoming friends with an international student on campus gives you insight to another’s culture as well. You are able to observe his/her social habits, understand his / her thought processes and gain insights about his / her way of life without having to leave the country!

Lastly, picking a culture and learning as much as possible about it also helps to develop one’s cultural intelligence. If any particular culture interests you, pick up a few books about it, do research using credible sources, watch documentaries and keep up with the news. This is another easy way to truly learn and understand another’s culture without having to leave the country.


Why is it important to develop one’s cultural intelligence?

For one, the world is becoming more diverse. These diverse individuals will be populating consumer markets and workplace settings. Therefore, managers need to understand different cultures to manage employees and /or relate to consumers in order to be successful.”The rapid rise of Asian, Hispanic and African-American populations in America is forcing companies to change their business models and their entire business approach” (Llopis, 2011, p. 1).

Here is a list of reasons why it is important for managers to have cultural intelligence. Business managers with high cultural intelligence are able to:

  1. —Work and succeed on joint projects
  2. Resolve differences
  3. Understand new markets and develop global plans for marketing
  4. —Educate peers about cultural differences
  5. —Foster innovation and creativity (IESE Business School Contributor, 2015, p. 1).
  6. —Help create a more productive work force
  7. —Help to improve job performance (Mitchell, 2014, p. 1)

If a manager is knowledgeable of another’s culture, he/she is able to work on projects with individuals of others cultures effectively because he/she understands how the other individual thinks and communicates as well as what the other individual values. Similarly, a manager is able to resolve differences between two employees who had an altercation because of cultural differences because this manager is aware of the thought processes and habits of various cultures. Also, culturally intelligent managers understand cultures enough to know what members of different cultures value. In this way, this manager is  able to provide new products or services to help satisfy the needs of those individuals.

Being able to educate peers about different cultures will help to reduce alterations between employees regarding cultural differences. Managers that have high cultural intelligence are able to do this effectively. As previously stated, having high cultural intelligence allows an individual to be creative with the development of new products and services in order to satisfy different markets because he /she knows the values and interests of individuals from other cultures. He/she has a broadened view of product development and market opportunities based on that.

Also, managers that are culturally intelligent can better interact with and motivate a diverse workforce that includes employees from different cultural backgrounds because mangers with cultural intelligence will understand these employees better. This can lead to high levels of satisfaction with can improve employee job performance and create a more productive workforce.

To further show how important cultural intelligence is, here is a video discussing ten things that offend people in other countries. Culturally intelligent people may be knowledgeable of these facts and be able to prevent miscommunication as a result of cultural differences.

Different Cultural Elements, n.d.

A real life example?

Does having cultural intelligence really make a difference? Let’s use the case of McDonald’s as an example to answer this question. In order to adapt to its consumer diversity, McDonald’s provides a variety food menu options for different cultures. Also, the company has a cultural training program for managers who will be living in other countries (for job assignments) in order to help them become culturally acclimated.

According to Cameron Bilger (2013) in Silicon Valley Secret to Success: Cultural Intelligence, “In addition to adapting its product offerings (lamb burgers in India, Miso soup in Japan, and wine as part of the menu in Europe), management has incorporated an extensive cultural training program for its employees both before and after they move to a new country. Once relocated, expatriate (“ex-pat”) managers are each assigned a cultural coach to help them acclimate effectively” (p. 1).

McDonald’s employees receive cultural training to improve their cultural intelligence by learning about the wants, needs, customs and cuisines of different cultures. By becoming more culturally intelligent, executives at McDonald’s are able to understand new markets, and develop products and services for these markets using innovation and creativity. This has helped McDonald’s to become successful globally. Executives at the company used their cultural intelligence to introduce cuisine that different cultures value and enjoy.

However, the implementation of cultural training was not as effective among corporate America managers. ” Only 30% of ex-pat managers receive some type of cultural sensitivity training before moving, and an even smaller percentage receive continued training once abroad” (Bilger, 2013, p. 1).

Unfortunately, this causes expatriate managers (managers who temporarily reside in another country) to be sent home because they aren’t performing optimally. This is partially due to the inability to understand, interact and work with members of different cultures because of a lack of cultural intelligence. “The consequence is a failure rate of up to 40% in developed countries and as high as 70% in developing countries which costs companies anywhere from $40,000 to $1 million dollars plus lost time and missed opportunities” (Bliger, 2013, p. 1). In this way, one can see how having cultural intelligence can be beneficial and how lacking cultural intelligence can be detrimental.  Having cultural intelligence does make a difference.

What’s the takeaway from all of this?

In a world filled with individuals from many different cultural backgrounds, managers need cultural intelligence in order to be successful.  It requires individuals to be open to learning about and understanding other cultures in order to interact and work with individuals effectively. Still not convinced? Here’s Ted Talk video with Nicole Brandes that discusses the importance of cultural intelligence.

So… take a language class in Mandarin, grab a plane ticket to Brazil, start learning about Russian culture through documentaries and become friends with a Japanese international student! The time to become culturally intelligent is now!


Cultural Differences, 2013


—[Alltime 10’s]. (2012, June 6). 10 Surprising Ways To Offend People In Other Countries. [Video File]. Retrieved from

—Bilger, C. (2013, November 12). Silicon Valley Secret to Success: Cultural Intelligence. Examiner. Retrieved from

—Cardon, P.W. (2016). Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Hardie, J. (2013, March 31). Understanding Cultural Differences. Jennifer Hardie. Retrieved from

—IESE Business School Contributor. (2014, March 25). Why You Need Cultural Intelligence (And How To Develop It). Forbes. Retrieved from

—Llopis, G. (2011, May 3). The Lack of Cultural Intelligence is Damaging Our Enterprises and Our Economy. Forbes. Retrieved from—

Mitchell, R. (2014, November 3). Cultural intelligence: Everybody needs it. Harvard Gazette.  Retrieved from

N.d. American Culture. Trendpak. Retrieved from

N.d. Different Cultures Together. Galleryhip. Retrieved from

[Tedx Talks]. (2015, November 4).Why we need to develop cultural intelligence | Nicole Brandes | TEDxKoeln. [Video File]. Retrieved from

Emotional Intelligence (EQ): What Is It? Why Do Managers Need It?


Emotional Intelligence, 2015


What characteristics / attributes are needed to create effective managers? Are enthusiasm, organization, charisma, active listening, and critical thinking included? How much do we weigh the importance of one’s emotional intelligence / emotional quotient (EQ) in this equation? I hope a lot because emotional intelligence has actually been proven to be a very important ingredient in the managerial recipe for success. According to Peter W. Cardon (2016) in Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World, “Emotional intelligence involves understanding emotions, managing emotions to serve goals, empathizing with others and effectively handling relationships with others” (30). In this article by Travis Bradberry (2014) entitled Emotional Intelligence- EQ, he stated that emotional intelligence “…affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results” (p. 1). Additionally, Cardon (2016) explained, “Business managers with high emotional intelligence are more effective at influencing others, overcoming conflict, showing leadership, collaborating in teams and managing change” (30).  In this way, emotional intelligence is a very valuable concept for managers and prospective managers to grasp in order to truly excel, hence; why it is being discussed in this blog post. Therefore, this post will explain the different components of emotional intelligence, the benefits of emotional intelligence for managers and also provide a realistic example that conveys the benefits of emotional intelligence in the workplace.

What are the different components of emotional intelligence? 

Self awareness, self management, empathy and relationship management are the four components of emotional intelligence. Self awareness involves a person correctly being aware of his / her emotions as situations occur and understanding how these emotions affect him / her (Cardon, 2016, p. 31). Self management involves using awareness of your emotions to manage them effectively (Cardon, 2016, p. 31). Self awareness and self management are closely aligned because individuals can’t manage their emotions if they aren’t aware of their emotions and how these emotions affect them.

For example, if a manager is very stressed because his highest performing salesman lost a big client and this manager has high self awareness, he will be aware that he has become angry. If this same manager has high self management, he will use this awareness and better be able to manager his emotions and behaviors so that they align with job and organizational goals, such as discussing ways to solve the problem of losing the client, instead of lashing out at the salesman in an aggressive and barbaric way (emotional hijacking- letting one’s emotions take the wheel and control one’s behavior) (Cardon, 2016, p. 31).

Similar to self awareness and self management, empathy and relationship management are closely aligned as well. Empathy involves correctly understanding the emotions of others (Cardon, 2016, p. 35). Relationship management involves using your awareness of others’ emotions to manage interactions (Cardon, 2016, p. 48).

For example, a manager who has a lot of empathy may have observed that this same high performing salesman was frowning before his shift began, and understands that this salesman is very sad. Then, after losing a big client, the manager notices that this same salesperson is even sadder than before he started his shift. With knowledge of this, the manager can effectively manage interactions with the salesperson to help solve the problem (instead of simply yelling at him), show concern and care for the employee and motivate him to continue to work to his fullest potential.

What are the benefits of having emotional intelligence?

There are many benefits to having emotional intelligence, but there are a few that I wanted to specifically discuss. Here’s a great link in which Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network discusses why emotional intelligence is valuable as well.

One benefit of emotional intelligence includes the ability to communicate clearly. Those that are emotionally intelligent usually can manage their emotions and how these emotions affect behavior, while others may let their emotions control their behavior and end up saying something they don’t mean (Cardon, 2016, p. 31). Going back to the same example with the salesperson who lost the client, an emotionally intelligent manager who is upset by this, will be less likely to lash out at the employee and call him a “stupid idiot” because he is able to manage his emotions and how they influence his behavior (a manager who lacks emotional intelligence may do this though).

Another benefit of having emotional intelligence is that it allows managers to think and reason effectively (Cardon, 2016, p. 30). When managers are able to understand their emotions, manage their emotions and understand the emotions of their employees, they can reason what decisions are best in specific situations. For example, if a manager is aware that employees feel angry when they receive performance evaluations from managers solely, that manager can implement self and co-worker evaluations as well to satisfy employees while also meeting the needs of the organization.

Likewise, emotional intelligence allows managers to effectively motivate employees to reach goals (Cardon, 2016 p. 30). For example, if a manager is aware that her employees express negative emotions regarding the recent change in an organization structure of the company (such as company expansion) because employees are so much more distant at work and are unmotivated and unsatisfied as a result, this manager could implement events where all employees get to network as long as employees complete their tasks in a timely manner based off of performance expectations. In this way, this would motivate employees while also satisfying them and eliminating the negative emotions that occurred from organizational expansion.

Still not convinced? Here’s another video by the Harvard Business Review that demonstrates the importance / benefits of emotionally intelligence in regard to leadership.

A real life example?

Does emotional intelligence really benefit managers? Aside from what textbooks say, are there any real examples proving this? Yes! Here’s a useful link that discusses the effects of emotional intelligence for managers in regard to performance in the Amadori Case.

Not only is Amadori a leading poultry supplier to McDonalds locations in Europe, but a dominant force in the Italian agro-food industry; quite known for its meat processing. In order to remain successful as a company, Amadori is constantly improving its business through innovation (Fariselli, Lorenzo, Freedman, Joshua,  Ghini, Massimiliano, Barnabè, Fabio  & Paci, Erika , 2013, para. 5).

In 2008, after careful evaluation by the Human Resources team, they determined that emotional intelligence should be a component of leadership within the organization and decided to create “The Amadori Academy” to implement this training. One important goal that the leadership team set was for managers to direct and assist employees with their development (Fariselli et al., 2013, para. 7 & 8).

Then, Amadori collaborated with Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network, in 2009 in order to help managers become more emotionally intelligent so that managers would be prepared to lead the new organizational structure being implemented (Fariselli et al., 2013, para. 9).

Similar to what recently we discussed, the Amadori used the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Assessment (SEI) to test for emotional intelligence. The assessment included self awareness which means being aware of one’s emotions, self management which means being able to manage emotions, and self direction which included empathy (Fariselli et al., 2013, para. 10).

Results from training demonstrated that emotional intelligence positively affects managerial performance.

“The managers in the top 25% of EQ scored higher on the company’s performance management system” (Fariselli et al., 2013, p. 1).

Performance Management Chart, 2013


A linear regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between emotional intelligence and performance (Fariselli et al., 2013, p. 1).  “EQ scores predict 47% of the variation in managers’ performance results” (Fariselli et al., 2013, p. 1)


EQ and Results Chart, 2013


Similarly, Talent Smart, a product and service provider that tests for emotional intelligence, found a positive relationship between emotional intelligence and performance.  “TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills, and found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs” (Bradberry, 2014, p. 1).

The bottom line is that emotional intelligence is an integral part of a manager’s success. Managers need to understand their emotions, others emotions and also be able to manage one’s emotions to excel. Not only does emotional intelligence improve one’s communication skills, but it also improves one’s ability to motivate employees, think strategically and perform well. Many companies should adopt similar practices to Amadori by making emotional intelligence a priority in order to establish or maintain a competitive advantage.


Bradberry T. (2014, January 9). Emotional Intelligence – EQ. Forbes. Retrieved from

Cardon, P.W. (2016). Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Emotional Intelligence – What Is It and Why It Matters: Podcast. [online image]. (2015). Retrieved from

Fariselli, L., Freedman, J.,  Ghini, M., Barnabè, F.  & Paci, E. (2013, April 3). The Amadori Case: Supplying McDonalds – Organizational Engagement, Emotional Intelligence and Performance. Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network. Retrieved from

[Harvard Business Review]. (2008, August 11). Social Intelligence and Leadership. [Video File]. Retrieved from

[Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network]. (2014, May 23). What is the Value of Emotional Intelligence in Business? [Video File]. Retrieved from



Can We Have Our Cake And Eat It Too? Social Media and Professionalism

(Social Media- WeAreTheCity, 2016)

Social media is the internet club that isn’t exclusive to weekends and has no cover charge…everyone’s on it and it’s free (for the most part).

I believe that the topic of social media and professionalism is very important to discuss considering almost all business college students have some type of social media platform and almost all business college students want to get hired by a firm at some point in their lives. However, it can be difficult to balance a personal social media platform yet establish a professional presence online without experiencing the consequences.

Now more than ever, bosses and human resources managers emphasize the importance of professionalism online because they will be looking to see how we represent ourselves and interact. Even business textbooks such as Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World by Peter W. Cardon dedicates a whole chapter to social media and business communication. Hopefully, this post will help guide business students on how to manage their personal and professional social media platforms effectively and realistically.

There’s no denying that social media as deeply impacted our society over the last few years. The social media boom created an innovative way for people to network, communicate and interact.

As you may know, it’s been adopted for computer and mobile devices. In this day and age, individuals can always remain in touch with the world through social media where information about news, ideas, opinion, events, music, art, clothing, food, business, video games, sports, movies, shows, politics, and so much more exists!

Not to mention, everyone has a platform where they can personalize themselves in the way in which they desire others to perceive them. This entails profile pictures from the best angle with a nice outfit on, humorous or serious statuses and even pictures with friends, family, or celebrities.

Great. What’s the problem?

Social media became bigger than life and is now used for purposes beyond personal networking…business networking. Majority of the successful businesses we know have a Facebook, if not an Instagram account as well. Businesses use social media as a way to display its company’s personalities (branding and marketing). Of course it’s an advertising tool and a means of updating consumers on the newest trends in the organization but it does allow consumers to interact with businesses more directly and assess its personalities (what kind of things do they post or talk about besides their products or services; what’s their take on this or that issue?).

According to an article posted by Emily Wright (2014) entitled Small business tips: how to use social media to boost business, “Social media is transforming the way business is carried out. A recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK found that nearly 80% of consumers would be more inclined to buy more often in the future because of a brand’s presence on social media” (para. 1). Even better, social media is another way businesses can conduct research about consumer preferences and attitudes for free (most of the time)!

Perfect! So what’s the problem again? It’s hard to mix business with pleasure.

Soon-to-be business professionals and young business professionals are struggling with this concept. Although the textbooks have warned business students about it, for some, it may be too late. Think about the amount of business students who were turned down because of content on their social media or the amount of MBA students who didn’t receive a job because of a picture on Instagram? Social media has become an integral component of our lives because it provides us with the freedom to do as we please… right?

Not exactly.

Are individuals really free to post what they want, especially when we are told that what we posts never goes away? Social media is human resources’ playground as a means to truly assess a potential candidate’s personality and lifestyle. According to Heather R. Huhman (2013) in 6 Reasons Social Media Got People Fired,

“Before even beginning his new job, this next guy lost it because of a tweet. After interviewing at Cisco Systems, a man wrote:

‘Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.’

A channel partner advocate for Cisco Alert found the tweet and replied:

‘Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web'” (para. 9-12).

What about a politically driven post that offends a human resources representative? What happens then? Wait, it gets worse….social media actually helps you network with businesses and employers too so it’s necessary to have.

Social media: You can’t live with it and you can’t live without it.

Business students and professionals need social media to network and establish an online professional presence but must be careful in the way in which they present themselves. Social media may seem personal but consider it public all the time.

How do you manage a personal connection with people but also establish a professional presence online? Let’s take the case of the individual who was fired from Cisco for his tweet and explain what he could’ve done to balance his personal and professional online profile in order to avoid termination.

Here’s what the Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World by Peter W. Cardon (curriculum) says:

There are four types of profiles that an individual can establish themselves online with which include a personal and private profile, a professional and private profile, a personal and public profile and a professional and public profile.

Based on the personal and private profile, which can be for family and friends, an individual can create a personal blog in which the individual relays messages about his / her ability to care, be competent (in regard to taking care of or helping someone), and be attentive to one’s feelings as well as have good character. The intent would be to gain a reputation for being a kind, reliable, caring, trustworthy, considerate, and loving person.

For a personal and private profile for colleagues such as a corporate blog, an individual also wants to send a message that conveys his / her competency and care but in regard to his / her job performance and organizational commitment. This should help provide the individual with a reputation for being competent, team oriented, dependable, skilled, ethical and caring in the workplace.

Social media websites such as a Facebook help for personal and public profiles for the society at large. The desired message for the individual to relay is his / her degree of competency and care in regard to his / her abilities, experiences, beliefs and social values. From this, an individual will most likely gain the reputation for being a caring, moral, understanding, open, skilled, and capable person.

Lastly, a professional and public profile for professional peers would be a site like LinkedIn. Similar to the others, an individual wants to display his /her degree of competency and care in regard to his / her profession. Additionally, he / she aspires to gain the reputation for being a professional, disciplined, competent, collaborative, and kind person (Cardon, 2016, p. 238).

In a sense, individuals have to balance their professional and personal presence online and may even have to choose one over the other.

Here’s what I say:

Social media and business don’t mix and you do have to essentially choose professional over personal if you value getting and keeping a job. I don’t personally think that social media sites should be a diary about all of one’s thoughts, feelings and experiences. However, it’s intended to be a platform where people can be themselves, have free expression and share various aspects about their lives with others.

While many business textbooks talk about the importance of social media as a personal branding tool for employment opportunities as well as the risks of gaining a bad reputation based on one’s posts or pictures, most textbooks don’t necessarily explain how to balance the two types of profiles: personal and professional.

Why? Because it doesn’t really exist…everything is public anyway so people always have to be on their best behavior.

We may want to believe that privacy settings will be enough to hide unwanted people from our social media sites, but this is usually not the case. Anything that a person puts on the internet is somehow public. In other words, an individual may want to be Sienna on their personal site but have to be Ms. Jeffries on their professional social media platform. It’s very hard to balance the two without being contradicting.

I argue that this only works but for so long until a situation happens when something on one’s private profile gets back to their employer and he / she is displeased (remember out guy at Cisco). But remember,  you don’t want to be a dried prune lacking personality at work either. Individuals must learn how to display their vibrant personalities while being professional too.

Business students and young professionals do have to prioritize which type of profile is important to them. They also need to personalize their personal platforms in a more appealing way. For example, the picture of that individual smoking a hookah at a bar on a Friday night or grinding on some random guy / girl may be need to be changed to a picture of that person going out with friends in an attractive but appropriate outfit.

Yes, it seems deceiving but really it’s not. We have to shape our personal and professional images without actually being deceptive or untruthful. We have different personalities that come out at different times in different environments, but the true essence of our being always shines. For example, if you’re a good person, that will be clear in any environment you’re in.

To sum it up, The Cisco employee who had a personal yet public profile needed to relay messages that allowed him to appear caring, moral, skilled and competent, instead of money-hungry and ungrateful for a job opportunity. In other words, he needed to portray himself in a more positive way online, especially if his tweets were public, by prioritizing his professional presence before his personal one (which got him fired).

Social media is a tricky topic because a tool once used for personal reasons expanded its used for professional purposes as well. When trying to find or maintain a position at an organization, it’s important that people maintain a consistent image of themselves on and offline. The easiest way to do this is by de-personalizing one’s personal profile with inappropriate information and sprucing up one’s professional profile with appealing information to avoid any conflicts. Leave the hookah and grinding pictures for a mental image rather than an Instagram and Facebook post.

Here’s a great video from a YouTube link in which an academic coach from the Russell Conwell Learning Center at Temple University talks about the do’s and don’ts of social media as a professional.

Can you have your cake and eat it too? Sort of, but you can’t eat the entire thing in one bite.


(Woman Eating Chocolate Cake, 2013)


Cardon, P.W. (2016). Business Communication: Developing Leaders For a Networked World. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Huhman, H.R. (2013, June 20.) 6 Reasons Social Media Got People Fired. Business Insider. Retrieved from

[Russell Conwell Learning Center]. (2014, January 6.). Professional and Social Media NEW. [Video File]. Retrieved from

Social Media- WeAreTheCity. [online image]. (2016). Retrieved from

 Women Eating Chocoloate Cake. [online image]. (2013). Retrieved from

Wright, E. (2014, June 23). Small business tips: how to use social media to boost business. The Guardian. Retrieved from