Better at Work

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  • Lectures 17
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Expert Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 3/2015 English

Course Description

In just 1 hour you will improve yourself greatly.

Master learning, cross-cultural communication and winning negotiation strategies.

• Aquire skills faster than anyone else
• Become a great verbal, written and body language communicator across cultures
• Understand how different cultures experience time
• Win every negotiation

Improve upon the skills you use at work everyday and be ready to skyrocket your career!

MBA courses all use this exact information. If you want to be great at work you will need to learn how to improve yourself every day. Further, you need to be an effective communicator across cultures and know how to win important negotiations. This course will teach you just that.

Content and overview
This course contains 13 high paced, information packed videos. It is suitable for everyone who is willing to study the theory and is looking for a promotion at work.

You will master the theory behind acquiring new skills. At the end of the course you will find that improving your skill set is much easier.

Furthermore, you will acquire excellent communication skills across cultures. In today's globalised workplace it is essential that you know how to communicate effectively written, verbal and that you use the right body language. Additionally, you will understand how different cultures experience time. Asian, Middle Eastern and Western companies will also be able to optimise their international business success with this information.

Moreover, you will get insight into winning negotiation strategies. You will have the theoretical knowledge to lead negotiations to your desired outcome. Upon completing the course you will receive a verifiable certificate of completion.


From my course "Master 5 Economic Concepts"
Thomas Markus
" Great course....This course had helped me a lot....the way Verstraten explains them is extremely clear and easy to understand....."

Mujahid Akram
"Simple, Clear and Concise.... Worthwhile of your time. Loved it."

Bonus: did you ever wonder why it seems that so many people in your company are incompetent? Watch the bonus video.

What are the requirements?

  • Nothing required but yourself

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand how learning new skills works
  • Learn new skills efficiently
  • Understand how improvement in skills happens
  • Avoid stress in business
  • Avoid the feeling of being stuck
  • Excellent cross cultural written communication
  • Excellent cross cultural verbal communication
  • Excellent understanding of body language across cultures
  • Understand different cultural perspectives of time
  • Be a successful international manager
  • Understand the sources of resistance during a negotiation
  • Win every negotiation
  • Insight into why your colleagues are incompetent

Who is the target audience?

  • People active in international business
  • If you admire a management position
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Asian, Middle Eastern and Western businesses
  • This course is not for people who do not want to study the theory

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Course outline and the skills you will aquire

This lecture will provide you with an overview of what you can expect to learn in this course

Section 2: Learn more efficient

There are 4 psychological stages of learning. With every new skill you learn you go through the process from incompetence to competence. This can be very challenging, but understanding the theory helps you to better accept uncomfortable situations. Moreover, you can use this theory to guide other people through the emotional ups and downs of learning.

The 4 stages are:

    1.Unconscious incompetence
    2.Conscious incompetence
    3.Conscious competence
    4.Unconscious competence

5 questions

Test your knowledge about the 4 stages of learning in this fun quiz


The inchworm concept makes it easier to understand how your skills improve over time. With this knowledge you will:

+ Be more efficient in improving your skills
+ Avoid common learning mistakes
+ Know how close you are to mastering your skill
+ Handle the emotional ups and downs of learning better

In every skill you have there is a range. Let’s take cold calling as an example. Rate, honestly, all the decisions you made last month while cold calling on a scale from -3 (worst) to +3 (best). You graph would look like this:

The right side represents your best decisions, the left side the worst.

As you acquire new skills your best will get better, the graph will stretch to the right (1). However, your worst is still equally bad. You will not perform at your best very often, and therefore the best way to improve your skill is to focus on your worst part. Improving your worst part makes the backside take a step forward (2) and as a result it is now easier to make your best better again (3).

Two common learning mistakes:

1. Only improving your best and avoiding improving your weaknesses.
2. Not keeping track of the fact that your current worse is better than your previous worst

5 questions

Test your knowledge about the inchworm concept


We all have these 3 zones. They apply to everything from sports to work and so on. This concept will help you too:

+ Understand why it can feel that you are not making any progress
+ Understand why you should push yourself
+ Understand what happens when you panic
+ Understanding what happens when your skills improve

Comfort zone: Our safe haven. We can’t make progress staying in the comfort zone since it consists of abilities we have already mastered.

Learning zone: Here we make progress. The challenge we face requires new skills, but not too difficult.

Panic zone: Learning is impossible. The task is too difficult and makes you anxious.

To improve our skills we have to be in the learning zone. As a result our comfort zone will grow.

Not making any improvement?
--> You are in the comfort zone. The task is too easy.
--> You are in the panic zone. The task is too difficult.

5 questions

Test your knowledge about the comfort, learning and panic zone

1 page

A personal SWOT analysis will help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses while discovering opportunities and threats for your career.

5 pages

Summary of all the lectures in Section 2: Learn more efficient

Section 3: Effective intercultural communication

The Dutch psychologist Geert Hofstede created a framework for effective cross-cultural communication. Each of us has his or her own personality, but culture impacts they way in which tendencies, assumptions and reflexes shape a person. These differences are country specific. This will help you to:

+ Effective cross-cultural communication
+ Adapt your product for international markets
+ Become a successful international manager

Power distance
Is the attitude towards hierarchy, how much does a culture values and respects authority?

Individualism vs. Collectivism
Individualists have the tendency to look after themselves while collectivists look after the group.

Masculinity vs. Femininity
Masculinity is materialism, achievement, assertiveness and heroism. Femininity is concern for harmony, relationships and the quality of life.

Uncertainty avoidance
How much people feel threatened by ambiguous situations.

Please note:
·There is no way to be right or wrong on the scale
·Each of us has his or her own personality. Therefore an individual can have different tendencies apart from their own culture.

5 questions

Test your knowledge about cultural differences


Cultures have different communication styles and meaning of words. Understanding this helps you to communicate effectively in a pleasant way with other culture groups.

      ·Important objects in a culture have many words
      ·Greetings are affected by culture. They are more about the behavior than the literal meaning
      ·Language can change over time.

Communication styles

Polite style:

    ·May be misinterpreted as a lack of engagement

Animated style:

    ·May be misinterpreted as a lack of seriousness

Understated style:

    ·Maybe misinterpreted as a lack of enthusiasm

Communicating about problems

Low context cultures:

    ·Use objective facts to describe the problem
    ·Say no

High context cultures:

    ·Specific problem may not be referred to
    ·Avoid loss of face
    ·Saying no is more difficult

The impact of power distance


    ·More formal style
    ·More efficient


    ·More informal style
    ·Less efficient

Tips for intercultural verbal communication

    ·Pause more frequently
    ·Repeat important points
    ·Hand out written summaries
    ·Check for understanding by asking to repeat the concept back to you

5 questions

Test your knowledge about verbal communication


American and European based companies rely heavily on written communication. Effective communication is a primary concern.

Order of a letter

Use structured arguments

    1.State purpose
    2.Present arguments: reason 1,2,3 with details
    3.Short summary

Mindful of the relationship

    1.Respectful greeting
    2.Demonstration of competence: because of reasons 1,2,3
    3.Request for thought and response


    ·Follow the recipients rules
    ·Use correct spelling
    ·Use a formal style. Only informal after the relationship has been established
    ·Use headings
    ·Be specific with currencies
    ·Write dates in full: 12th of February 2015
    ·Use an interpreter. For very important documents use back translation to double-check


    ·Use slang
    ·Use abbreviations (even for e-mails and texts)
    ·Use metaphors

5 questions

Test your knowledge about written communication across cultures


Non-verbal messages make up for 70 to 93% of the communication. Additionally, non-verbal cues are assumed to be more truthful than verbal messages.


Gestures have a different meaning across cultures. E.g. in America a headshake means no and a nod means yes. In Greece it is the exact opposite.

Eye contact

Is very important in all cultures. In France it is normal to gaze at people on the street. In America this is considered rude.


    ·Moderate is friendly
    · Lack of not interested
    · Excessive is rude


·It shows anger

Northern Europe:

·Low levels of eye contact


    ·Invasion of privacy
    ·Gaze at the Adam’s apple


Low touch cultures:

    ·Northern Europe
    ·Northern America

High touch cultures:

    ·Latin America
    ·Middle East
    ·Southern Europe


Individualistic cultures:

    ·Private space is highly valued
    ·Privacy is important
    ·Standing to far away feels like the person does not want to engage with you
    ·Standing too close can be seen as aggressive

Collectivist cultures:

    ·The need for private space can be seen as selfish
    ·People mentally close of from their neighbors
    ·People tend to stand closer to each other

5 questions

Test your non-verbal communication knowledge accross cultyres


International business requires some synchronization of schedules. However, the most efficient use of time and the manner in which the time is spent vary greatly. This will help your to understand and adjust working across global cultures.

1. Sequential & Synchronic

Sequential (e.g. US & Germany)

    ·Time is a limited resource
    ·Things are done in order
    ·Interruption is not polite

Synchronic (e.g. Middle East & Hong Kong)

    ·Interruption is allowed

    Figure 1: A sequential time example:

    2. Polychronic & Monochronic

    Polychronic (Spain & France)

      ·Not a lot of pre-set schedules

      ·Appointments are often broken

      ·More flexible

    Monochronic (e.g. US & Scandinavia)

      ·Pre-set schedule

      ·Punctuality is important

      ·Not very flexible

      Figure 2: A Polychronic approach to time. The plan does not become reality:

      3. Future and present orientation

      Future (e.g. US & Germany)

      ·By planning everything they try to make the future happen

      Present (e.g. Indonesia & Spain)

      ·The future can’t be planned so live in the moment

      Figure 3: An American view of time

      4. Long-term & Short-term orientation

      Long-term (e.g. China)

        ·Develop lifelong networks
        ·Stress is on the future

      Short-term (e.g. US)

        ·Loyalty can vary on the needs of business
        ·Stress is on having success now

        Figure 4: From an Asian perspective they want to take time to discover all the options. Business is a long-term game. This can frustrate Americans:

5 questions

Test your knowledge about cultural differences in time

8 pages

Summary of all the lectures in Section 3: Effective intercultural communication

Section 4: How to win negotiations

Whether you are having an argument with your family, your boss or your colleagues there are 5 sources of resistance to overcome.

    1.Your opponent’s emotion. Your opponent might see it as a win or lose situation and out of fear to lose use dirty tactics.

    2.Your opponent’s habits. Your opponent knows no other way to negotiate than to set-up a fight.

    3.Your opponent’s skepticism. Your opponent sees no benefit in reaching an agreement.

    4.Your opponent’s perceived power. You opponent sees no reasons to have a problem solving negotiation since he views himself as more powerful.

    5.Your reaction. Control your own behavior. Reacting immediately to a negative comment will only provoke him even more.

5 questions

Test your knowledge about the 5 sources of resistance to overcome for winning every negotiation


There are 5 barriers to overcome before you can get your much-wanted yes. The strategies feel counterintuitive. However, resistance creates more resistance. Rather than telling the solution let him figure it out himself.

And remember: always keep your best interest in mind

1. Do not react.

    ·Striking back creates more resistance.
    ·Giving in shows weakness.
    ·Breaking off is often the most expensive solution.
    ·If you feel the pressure to react, walk away and take a short break.
    ·Always have an alternative in mind in case the negotiations do not work out.

2. Disarm your opponent.

    ·Do the opposite of what your opponent expects you to do.
    ·If he attacks you agree wherever you can.
    ·If he stonewalls you do not apply pressure.
    ·Listen actively.
    ·Recognise your opponent’s point of view.

3. Re-frame.

    ·Ask problem-solving questions.
    ·Ask: “What would you do in my situation?”
    ·Answers that come form your opponent himself will convince him more.
    ·Use what your opponent says and direct it against the problem.

4. Make it easy to agree.

    ·Start working towards a yes from your opponent’s point of view.
    ·Start building a golden bridge.
    ·Help him save face by letting him claim the agreement you want as a victory.

5. Make it hard to disagree.

    ·Let your opponent educate himself by asking what happens if you do not get to an agreement.
    ·“What are the costs of not getting an agreement?”
    ·Show what you will do if you not reach an agreement. State it as a warning not a threat.
    ·Do not push him towards a solution.
    ·Leave the door open for future negotiations.

5 questions

Test your knowledge about winning negotiation strategies.

2 pages

Summary of all the lectures in Section 4: How to win negotiations

Section 5: Bonus: Why all your colleagues are incompetent

In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.

  • The skills required to get a promotion job have nothing to do with what is required to do the job itself
  • Both great and terrible employees tend to get fired because they disturb the hierarchy

Does an employee accomplish useful work?

  • Yes: they have not reached their level of incompetence
  • No: they have reached their level of incompetence
Section 6: Final words

This lecture will help you making most of all the new information you just learned

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Instructor Biography

Jan-Willem Verstraten, Master of International Business |Entrepreneur

During the past years I started many businesses, mainly online, ranging from football affiliate websites to discovering upcoming food trends and product development. I did this all whilst travelling extensively to 5 different continents, working as an online instructor and as a teacher volunteer in Fiji.

In 2013 I completed a Masters of International Business in Australia. After graduating I returned home to the Netherlands to work on a start-up. I than got the opportunity to move to London where I now work in a great international environment.

As an entrepreneur, traveller, student and an enthusiastic reader of business and self development books I always find myself searching for great content. Finding new information that makes me grow as a person is what I thrive on. Hence the reason to join Udemy: to share my expertise and give students that same feeling while connecting with people from all over the world.

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