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Terry's Original Quote Keepers

A minute of silence can be more productive than an hour of debate.
~Terry Braverman

Arrest yourself when under the influence of a negative thought.
~Terry Braverman

Give me levity, or give me death!
~Terry Braverman

An intimate relationship is the ultimate training.
~Terry Braverman

Clarity of purpose is the ultimate decongestant.
~Terry Braverman

Faith keeps the voice of fear out of your ear.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Peace begins between your ears.
~Terry Braverman

Be patient, before you become a patient.
~Terry Braverman

Over-analysis causes paralysis.
~Terry Braverman

May the 'farce' be with you.
~Terry Braverman

Plan some time to be spontaneous.
~Terry Braverman

Laugh at yourself, and you will always be amused.
~Terry Braverman

Imagination sharpens the dull blade of routine.
~Terry Braverman

Inquisitiveness cures boredom; nothing cures inquisitiveness.
~Terry Braverman

Feed your soul, starve your worries.
~Terry Braverman

Avoid time in the Tower of Babble.
~Terry Braverman

Release any false sense of insecurity.
~Terry Braverman

Life is a fantasy, made real by our thoughts.
~Terry Braverman





QUESTION: “What is your most important reason for learning English?” 


MOST COMMON ANSWER: “To improve my career opportunities.”



Is this correct? Learning English is a vehicle to transport you on the highway of career advancement; this is absolutely true for most students who learn from me. You understand that English proficiency is an important component of professional development. However, it is only a beginning. 



In order to attain higher pinnacles of success and respect in your work, you must become a master of communication. What does this mean? It means that once you have good command of the English language, you must learn to adapt your style of communication for developing strong relationships with all personality types. And, the skills required to do this are not that difficult.



Knowing how to recognize different personality types and respond effectively to each one will establish you as a great communicator, someone who connects with both co-workers and superiors, and someone who should be considered for managerial or leadership positions. But wait…there is more.



Everyone has a primary modality for accessing and imparting information. Have you noticed that some people are ok with receiving important information by phone call? Or, what about the boss who insists on seeing you in person to discuss an important matter? This is probably because the boss has a primary modality that is visual, while ones who are satisfied with a phone call are primarily auditory


Does knowing this help you to understand communication preferences and develop a stronger relationship with your boss? You know it does!



Finally, you must know that conflict is inevitable in human relationships. Knowing how to manage conflict is essential to professional growth. Strategies for containing conflict will vary according to personality types. However,thereare simple responses in the face of conflict that will help defuse almost any situation.


You don’t even need to be accent-perfect to become a master of communication in English. Consider Arnold Schwarzenegger, who still has a noticeable accent yet became wildly successful in English speaking roles in movies and as governorof California. Why? Because he mastered the art of communication, the key to leveraging language for career development.

Learn more here






Quote for the week:



A few years ago, a computer-based glitch on the United Airlines website allowed passengers to book flights to Hong Kong — or other places in Asia connecting in Hong Kong — in exchange for a paltry four frequent flier miles, plus government taxes. The advertised actual price of the ticket was accurate; the technical slip-up occurred in the transaction process.   United eventually corrected the error and announced it wasn't honoring tickets already sold. People could get a refund without paying a penalty or have the proper amount of miles deducted. Anyone who had already started their trip would be allowed to complete their travel. Several people who booked tickets are complaining to the DOT, which is now investigating the matter.

A 62-year-old retired teacher from Aiken, S.C., is one of the people who bought a ticket. She knew it was a computer error but booked a trip anyway. "United just made a big mistake and needs to honor it," she said. "That was their mistake, wasn't it?" The most disturbing aspect of this mindless justification is that it comes from the mouth of someone who was educating our children for a living. If she were given too much change back from one of her students, would she keep it, rationalizing “that was their mistake”? How many other ethically vacuous educators sanction this behavior?  I would fire them immediately if the power was mine to do!

Let me be clear…I'm no fan of United Airlines. Customer service is atrocious and the temptation to rip them off is almost irresistible...but to take the ticket and run, knowing the advertised price and that the error was computer-generated in the billing is poor integrity, and a microcosm of what's askew in this world.


The Golden Rule never wears out its welcome: Treat others, as you want to be treated. Then you can live with minimal drama, a good night’s sleep, and a clear conscience. The seeds were planted as early as 2040 B.C in the ancient Egyptian story of the The Eloquent Peasant: “Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.” The Code of Hammurabi (1780 B.C.) in Babylon addressed ethical reciprocity in various ways. The Golden Rule existed among all the major philosophical schools of ancient China, including Taoism and Confucianism. Some examples:

“Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” - Confucius

“Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and their loss as your own loss.” - Lao Tzu

The student asked, “Is there one word that may serve as a rule of practice for all of one’s life?”

The teacher replied, “Is not reciprocity such a word?”



Quote for the week: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, it goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela

Isn’t it true that we feel happy and energized when there is a good natural flow of communication that results in clear understanding? Conversely, when we are stuck in unresolved communication calamity it tends to deplete us, like pulling the stopper from a bathtub drain.

Know that even though we may all be speaking English and have positive intent, there are differences in communication styles that can lead to misunderstandings and mistakes. Having a strategy to adapt our communication style to another’s style can provide a positive outlet to avoid and defuse conflict.

In the 1970s a new paradigm for creating rapport via adaptation of communication style was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. It was called Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP. This model has been revised and refined over time by some, including myself. I don’t call it NLP anymore because it sounds too much like brain surgery or psychological warfare. My term is “Primary Modalities of Language,” or PML.

Essentially there are three primary modalities by which we impart and receive communication…

Visual: via images, pictures, mental visions

Auditory: via sounds, voices

Kinesthetic: via physical sensations

And with each modality comes a specific vocabulary…

“I see,” “It looks like,” “It appears to be…”

“I hear you,” “It sounds like,” “It rings a bell…”

“I feel that”, “It touches on,” “It taps into…”

These are the basics I am alluding to, but when you apply this formula to different people it gets you through the first door to their primary communication orientation, i.e., entering their world. If you’re in a foreign country it is advisable to use some of the local language for rapport. Likewise in this case, use some of the primary language when relating to people who are more visual, auditory or kinesthetic than you.

Besides vocabulary, how can you determine a person’s primary modality? Oftentimes, their profession is a strong clue. For example, if it’s a musician, chances are excellent that it’s going to be auditory; an artist who paints landscapes is primarily visual; a massage therapist, kinesthetic. There are also physiological cues that I will elaborate on in the next edition.


Going to Brazil for the first time, I had purchased a pocket language dictionary to learn words and basic conversation in Portuguese. On the plane, I was focused on finding words to use in certain situations that would serve as a portal to further interaction. So if someone sneezed, for example, I could say the equivalent of “Gezundheit,” or “God bless you,” in Portuguese. The word is “saude.”

In a pocket dictionary where the letters are very small, it’s easy to do a misalignment on the English to Portuguese translation. So, one day as I was having lunch at an outdoor café in Rio, there were three beautiful young Brazilian women at a table next to mine. When one of them sneezed, instead of saying “saude,”I said, “Sou daudi-o,” which means, “I miss you.” Shock registered on her face, as she threw up her hands while looking at her friends as if to say, “I don’t know this man!”

My first time in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, I walked into a stall at a large outdoor market. There was a fascinating Buddha statue perched on the front counter. Always one who strives to engage and impress by using the local language, I asked the owner a question about the statue. His reply in English: “But, what are you going to do with a live pig?”





QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” - George Bernard Shaw  


Continuing the ongoing theme from last week of how to sustain our energy levels, we move from the emotional/spiritual component (connecting to purpose) and the physiological (deep breathing) to the mental/interactive: communication.


It’s estimated that 80% of all mistakes, miscues, malfunctions in the workplace, call them what you want, are due to sloppy communication. When this issue goes unaddressed and is allowed to fester in the form of unresolved conflict, most everyone’s energy level sags and productivity starts to plummet. Withheld communication, whether in the form of suppressed opinions or feelings, become a concrete albatross to the goals and objectives shared within an organization.


Withholds need to be shown in the bright light of safe scrutiny with the intent to resolve. Establishing a culture where this process is given high level support staffed with highly skilled communicators is essential. When people know that issues like miscommunication or personality friction are going to be dealt with fairly and effectively, a sense of trust and confidence pervades. Good communication interventions are a crucial component of sustaining high energy levels in the workplace.          


In addition to competent communication intervention, employees in all departments should have training in state of the art communication skills. Some executives will dismiss the notion with a “we can’t afford it” objection. They need to realize how much it costs the company when miscommunications lead to enormous reparations. Strategies such as how to recognize different personality types and deal with them when they are under stress will save the company lots of money in the long run. Learning how to adapt one’s communication style to understand others is a flexibility skill, paying dividends in warding off misunderstandings that snowball into stormy fiascos.          




These are the all-time nominees for the Chevrolet Nova Award. This is given in honor of the General Motors snafu in the ‘70s, trying to market this car in Latin America. "No va" means, "No go," in Spanish.


1. The Dairy Association's huge success with the campaign "Got Milk?" prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention the Spanish translation meant, "Are you lactating?"


2. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market that promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I Saw the Potato" (la papa).


3. Pepsi's "Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back from the Grave" in Chinese.


4. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Kekoukela," meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect.  Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "kokou kole", meaning "happiness in the mouth."


5. Frank Perdue's chicken slogan, "It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."


6. When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in the Mexican market, it translated its "Fly in Leather" campaign literally, which meant "Fly Naked" (vuela en cuero) in Spanish!




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