France is Different
I always dreamed of living in France – for no logical reason whatsoever. In 1991, I finally had the opportunity to realize my dream. I am still here (in Paris, France).
When I arrived, I had no idea how difficult realizing my dream would be. During the honeymoon period, everything was fantastic. Then I discovered the flip side. I now know that the only way to truly realize your dream is to move through the negative side to finally arrive at a true place of balance. As I said, I’m still living in France, and I appreciate it more now than I did when I arrived. But, France is different. When you’re on the outside looking in, life can be tough. Once you learn how to adapt, you can reap the benefits of a lifestyle and culture that truly emphasize quality of life.
It was such a turning point for me that I became an intercultural specialist – to help others avoid making my mistakes! In France, people do things differently than at home, and they think differently too. Our challenge is to overcome the initial reaction of “They’re wrong!” and finally come to the point of appreciating and even admiring the differences. It’s a life’s work, and I do admit that I discover new things everyday, and I’m irritated everyday. That, for me, makes life interesting.
Even shopping is different in France! You really have to know where to go and, equally as important, how to act in the stores. So, I wrote a shopping guide, Best Buys and Bargains in Paris, which not only has great stores and shopping tips, but also explains about the “shopping etiquette” you need to get the best service.
Who I work with:
English speaking expatriates who need to integrate into France
French executives who work internationally
Executives of many different nationalities who need to work together
Tourists who want the best deals (!)
What I do:
Train and coach professional communication skills
Give presentations on intercultural communication and on shopping in Paris
Write and edit articles, newsletters and web content in English
Give private and group Best Buy Shopping Tours of Paris
Seminars I have developed and lead:
Intercultural Communication: know what culture is and how it works in order to diagnose and solve the problems that arise when you work internatinally
Oral Presentations: plan and deliver effective presentations
Leading and Participating in Meetings: practice leadership and persuation skills
Mastering Remote Technology: use communication technology such as phone conferences, email and websites to their best advantage