The art of communication is the language of leadership

James Humes

The art of communication is the language of leadership

James Humes

Do you work in a diverse team and sometimes wish communication would run a bit smoother? Do you try hard to convey your message to your colleagues with a different cultural background, but you find that the result sometimes falls short of your expectations?

Good news! You are not the only one who has trouble navigating the cultural maze of a diverse team. More than a simple inconvenience, miscommunications and misunderstandings cost a lot of time and energy. This may ultimately affect your organization’s bottom line.

So instead of muddling through ‘business as usual’, why not call on someone who is well-versed in working with people with different cultural backgrounds and get to the root of the problem!

My name is Marlies van Exter and I am here to help you improve your intercultural communication.

Through training and coaching, we will work together to achieve a smooth, respectful, effective and inclusive communication for your organization.

Work with me

Training

Do you want to learn how to recognize and understand the cultural differences and similarities between you and your colleagues? Would you like to increase the effectiveness of your multicultural team? I’m here to help you.

Coaching

Coaching is an effective way to continue to develop your “intercultural intelligence”. An essential skill in today’s globalized world. And whereas cultural knowledge can be learned, intercultural intelligence requires practice.

Storytelling

Storytelling. How often have you heard this word lately? Everyone seems to be talking about it, but you – honestly – have no idea what it is exactly. Well, the answer is quite simple: storytelling is the telling of stories. “Really? That’s all it is?”, I can hear you think.

“Marlies is a friendly consultant who listens very well to all parties involved. She asks the right questions, looks for the different perspectives and underlying motives and is persistent. If she is unsure of anything, she will pause at the right time and clarify. An approachable, friendly person and wonderful to work with.”

Sue van der Giessen, Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture & Built Environment

 

“I learned from Marlies that there is more than one way to get the job done. But, if I had to choose one skill that truly stands out it would be her ability to keep cool, calm and collected under pressure.”

Lucille Holtel, Real Alliance

 

“I know Marlies as an excellent and open-minded interculturalist. She considers cross cultural communication as an important way to cooperate with diverse people and she is able to understand the complex relationships between cultures. Not only in their habits and customs, but also in business interactions.”

Kirilka Peeva-Müller, Budapest Metropolitan University

 

“Marlies is a very loyal and energetic person, and she makes sure she get the job done. She has extensive experience with many cultures and has great insight into the human mind.”

Suzette Jansen, Windtown

 

“Marlies is a born communication professional. In addition, she is authentic, creative, driven and a very pleasant counterpart.”

Bas Kuiper, CBR

 

“I worked with Marlies during the SIETAR EUROPA 2019 CONGRESS, where she was leading a group of event assistants. She did an incredible job in briefing, assigning roles and supervising all while being an active member of the Congress itself. One could always see Marlies communicating and working all over the place with everyone, all while emitting incredible energy and keeping a beautiful smile on her face. It was honestly a great pleasure being part of a team lead by this extraordinary strong woman.”

Amina Onsy, SIETAR

 

 

 

Blog

Want to work on inclusion? Changing your language could be a starting point

Want to work on inclusion? Changing your language could be a starting point

‘Where you from?’ sounds like an innocent question, right? However, not for Andrea. She was born and raised in the city of Leiden in the Netherlands. But her interrogators, mostly strangers, rarely seem to be satisfied with that response. “No, I mean, where are you really from?”, they subsequently ask. And although Andrea has come across it repeatedly, she gets downhearted every time again. “Don’t these people realise that the word ‘really’ sounds like I could never really be from the Netherlands?,” she sighs “As if there’s an unwritten rule that people of colour could never truly be Dutch. It gives me the feeling of not belonging to my very own country.”

Andrea has known it for a long time, and many people have known it with her: language is an extremely powerful tool.

read more
Exploring the mind: traveling during coronatimes

Exploring the mind: traveling during coronatimes

Some of the most useful lessons I’ve ever learned were taught to me by a dead man. He had passed away some years already before he came into my life, but goodness, did he come into my life. I still vividly remember the pain I went through during my time as his apprentice. The terribly lengthy boredom. The frustration. The silence… I thought I would never, ever want him as my mentor again, but to tell you the truth… I might be ready for another round!

So, who is this man?

His name is Satya Narayan Goenka. A Burmese-Indian teacher of Vipassana meditation. Vipassana means “seeing things as they really are” and the goal is to purify the mind and eliminate negativities that make us miserable.

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Surinamese adventures: are you experienced?

Surinamese adventures: are you experienced?

(for Dutch please scroll down)
Suriname was one of the first countries that entered my travel bucket list and there were a few reasons for that. First, there was Orlando, my friend’s father, who was born and raised in Suriname. He used to tell us these fantastic childhood memories, that triggered my imagination.

I started to read about Suriname. Books such as ‘The Queen of Paramaribo’, about Maxi Linder, the most famous prostitute of Suriname. Back in her days, she financially took care of the underprivileged. Sadly enough she died as a lonely spinster, in a dirty backroom. I also read all the historical novels of Cynthia McLeod, about the history of Suriname. Dutch colonisation, life at the plantations, slavery.

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By completing this contact form you give me permission to process your data as described in my privacy statement.