Yes, but…

Here you can read my answers to your possible concerns:

  • “Convincing someone… Is that positive or negative? Is it for your own gain or for the sake of both?”

    In the course of your work, you are probably trying to convince your colleagues, managers, buyers or suppliers to see and understand your point, to hear your opinion so that your expertise is fully utilized. So you try to convince why you guys should choose X instead of Y or why you need certain information to do what they ask of you. Or to convince them to test more often or to reuse a component.

    This online training is about being heard, being taken seriously, being understood, understanding Americans, understanding what they are receptive to and finding solutions that are right for both of you. Convincing depends on the culture. A German, Chinese, Indian needs different details and arguments than an American to be convinced. We think we understand each other because we all speak English, but there are so many signals that pass you by, causing misunderstandings and frustrations.

    This training is about becoming aware, becoming a seer, a facilitator and culturally intelligent. It’s about making Americans receptive to you and convincing them with respect for them and for yourself. In a few minutes. You learn to be accurate, quick and positive.

  • “It is not their culture. It is that particular person with whom I have an issue.”

    I sometimes hear: “It is not their culture with which I have a problem. I have no issues with them. Well, they are hierarchical. One of them has made a good impression with MY input. They constantly show how important they are. They are territorial, very defensive and sensitive. Not all of them, some of them. I miss structure in the meetings. But I have 10 years of experience in dealing with them, it is ok. The real problem is that particular person. I told him not to make a good impression with my input. I told him that he shares nothing. He keeps everything to himself. We are colleagues. I just told him! Someone had to confront him. He has to learn and adapt, as we all do. He has to be open to my criticism and take it.”


    This person was in pain and wanted to tell the ‘truth’… Maybe the intentions were good. She wanted to make sure that her American colleague would understand her irritation so that they could talk about it together, solve it and have less friction in the future. If it had been said to a Dutch person, he or she could have reacted: ‘okay, that hurts, calm down, I see your point’, but this was said to an American who is not used to this way.

    The woman who openly discussed this, has only made it worse to be (openly) critical in this way. She just became a threat to her American colleague and doesn’t see that she is part of the problematic relationship. For both of them it is a nasty situation. You don’t want to be in that place, because you need to continue working together. It would be nice to be able to discuss things in a more constructive way and know how to give feedback, so that you can still discuss what you need to discuss without offending Americans and without making things worse for yourself and the other person. In the training you will learn how.

  • “The training is too expensive. We have to safe money now.”

    You have lifelong access to this training.

    Let’s say that you are 55 years old and that you will be working regularly with your American colleagues, partners, suppliers and customers for another 12 years. If you buy the training in 2021, your one-time investment will be 2,300 euros. That is 16 euros per month. Approximately 0.53 euro cents per day. Almost nothing when you are in your twenties or thirties.

    If you decide not to buy it, you will get what you got. What will it cost you and your company if you continue the way you are doing now? What business opportunities are you missing?

  • “O no, not about social and communication skills…!”

    ? Does that drive you nuts?

    Don’t worry. This course addresses your complex work situation. How do you convince an American to share information, to re-use, to use building block A instead of B, to run (more) tests, to buy? How do you get them interested? Why didn’t he react to your email in the first place? How do you deal with their resistance? You will learn about their values and how you can temporary adapt to their style. (No, you don’t need to crawl!) You won’t lose your own values or personality. Instead you will be visible and clear. You will learn how to convince them and how to work together in a pleasant way, without turning home feeling empty and frustrated.

    This training is not rocket science. You can learn this and help yourself to improve. You need to get theory, steps, examples, assignments and practice so you can get started today with becoming top of mind.

  • “Culture?! That is nonsense!”

    Well, it’s not math, physics, chemistry or electronics. There are no formulas. I can imagine that you can identify more with that. However, culture does influence the interpretation, the conclusions, the decisions and follow-up actions in your work situation. You will need to delve into their culture and persuasion techniques. What appeals to Americans? How can you respond to that? I am not going to bother you with extensive theories about American culture, but I am offering you the essentials for making them receptive and convincing them. So I have already done the groundwork. The two checklists are not formulas but need to be executed and applied with the same precision.

  • “Judge people as individuals, not as cultural products.”

    I partly agree. We are human and unique, in that sense we have individual differences. At the same time we have so much in common. Seeing each other as human beings instead of only Italian or American, gives us the chance to understand each other. To look beyond nationality. Maybe we don’t understand a certain reaction in a certain situation (Why does he raise his voice? How unprofessional!), but we can understand and acknowledge the behavior (sometimes I raise my voice, but not at work). You might want to take personality traits as a starting point and get to know someone from there.

    But if you ignore the fact that there are cultural differences, you will have a hard time understanding the other person unbiasedly. You will look at him/her through your own cultural and coloured glasses, of which you may not be aware that you are wearing them. You risk misinterpretation. (She is weird, isn’t she?! Why doesn’t she just…)

    Your norms and values and the values of Americans are based on long long history. It has its beauty to see that your ancestors were dealing with certain situations, found solutions and that still today it has impact. For instance ancestors who were concerned with fighting incoming water or sailed to distant places (In the Netherlands) or dealing with changing leaders (in Belgium) and that these aspects still influences the way you were raised, think and act.

    Let’s see each other as human beings and let’s try to decode the cultural differences and respect each other. By understanding the Americans, their message, their way of acting, their values, you will able to understand what they mean and interpret it well. You understand what kind of message or ‘package’ they need in order to understand you well. Cultural knowledge and skills are essential to meet your objectives.

  • “America is big. There are many regional differences. How can you say anything meaningful about the American culture?”

    Have you ever lived abroad or worked abroad for a short period of time? Then you may have the same experience as I have. I come from a small village near Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands. I studied and lived in Amsterdam and for a short period in the USA. I also lived in France for a few years. My husband comes from the north of the Netherlands, a region we visit often. These Dutch regions are different and so are the people. In some Dutch regions the people are, let’s say very very direct, in some more withdrawn or even stern and in some Burgundian and indirect. However, after living abroad I see a clear, visible national Dutch culture, compared for example to the French and American culture. We Dutch people tend to deal with things in a specific way. We can be very direct, even rude (not all of us) and are egalitarian. The French, the Americans, etc. have their specific way of dealing with situations. Reseachers agree on this.

    There is a clear visible American culture and mentality, based on their history: first come, first served. Still today you will see: if it works, do it, before anyone else does. Very practical and full of action. They are service minded, very optimistic and think that time is money. This mentality has impact on the way they work, they test, run their projects, sell their services, etc. This can be very different than your approach. So how to deal with that? How to reach them?

  • “I am who I am. I’m not going to change. Americans need to adapt.”

    If you do what you did, you’ll get what you got.
    You want more impact, right? Impact on decisions, on your project, on your product or service, on the business, on how you feel about your work relationship. Knowledge about Americans and how to convince them gives you a head start and a grip on the situation. It helps you and them. They will quickly recognize your proposal as a proposal and not just as an ‘information package’. Moreover, they will see that it is a good proposal. This new approach dissolves your frustration. You will work together more pleasantly and quickly. Americans will respond positively and adapt to your new approach.

  • “When I adapt to the Americans, I am fake and superficial.”

    Many Americans use words as ‘great’, ‘excellent’ and ‘I am absolutely thrilled to be here’. That might be exaggerated and even demeaning to you, because yes, not everything in life is great. You will learn why they do this and how to interpret this the right way, so that you will be able to filter it (and feel less irritated). Their way is not yours, but it suits them. That’s fine. This training helps you to change your perception of Americans. You will understand them better, which is good for your cooperation.

    Can you adapt your message to the American way without losing yourself? Without feeling ‘fake and superficial’? Without feeling that you are buttering up the other person? I and many others have experienced that this is possible.
    You don’t have to change your personality if you convey your message and proposal differently. You stay true to the content of your message. You don’t change the core of your proposal: only the order, length, arguments, ‘packaging’ and the way you tell them. You formulate it differently and better. You will use arguments that are relevant to them and obviously correct. You don’t use arguments that you would be sensitive to, but to which they aren’t sensitive.

    Basically, by adapting the ‘packaging’ you won’t lose yourself. The only risk you run is that you will be heard sooner.

  • “Americans are full of themselves, sure of their solutions and think their way of working is the best. They cannot be convinced otherwise.”

    It can be difficult. Americans are generally proud. They don’t have a lot of time, decide quickly and change their minds. They like to act consistent with their previous opinions and actions. Some Americans (not all!) may assume that their norms are the only correct ones. So they may not be very interested in yours. Inhale and exhale. Relax!

    Americans can definitely be convinced if you have the right knowledge and skills. So if you delve into the other person and come up with the right arguments, then they are willing to do what is best for the continuity and turnover of the company. But what is best for the company, your project or product? You regularly have discussions with them or need to have a conversation. The assignments help you to find the right arguments that will appeal to them. It helps you to formulate your thoughts powerfully. They will understand you better. You will ‘command’ respect.

  • “Does this course work?”

    You will gain the maximum benefit if you carefully study the checklists, theory and complete the assignments. I have tried to do everything to guide you in this as optimally as possible. Because of this training you will be able to express your proposal concisely, powerfully and positively in the near future. This method will save you time, frustration and energy. You’ll become a lot more successful and attractive for them to listen to. It is up to you. I am happy to help you with this training and in the online community.

  • “I don’t have time for this.”

    You have a busy schedule. I get it. You get life-long access.

    Doing the same thing you are doing now takes a lot of time and does not give you the right result. You make a one-time investment. You apply it and enjoy the results for life. The checklists and assignments are clear and easy to apply. If you have a question, ask it in the community so that you can move forward quickly. This course is unique. It teaches you to really convince Americans.

    If you do not follow the course, it will remain difficult to convince Americans of quality or to use solution X instead of Y. If you are not aiming for enough quality in a market that requires it from the outset, then you are not meeting customer requirements. If you don’t fully convince Americans, you run the risk that products will be put on the market too soon. Potential risks might be quick and dirty fixes, delay for other products, potential field returns, fines, claims, belt stops and sales stops. It costs a lot more money and time than your investment in this course.

    Besides, you will have more time and energy for what really matters in your job, your actual work. Wouldn’t it be nice to have easy-going and constructive discussions with them? To be able to reach compliancy and results quickly?

  • “How long does this course take?”

    I assume you are doing this next to your job. So about 2 weeks, 1.5 hours per day. You can also do it faster or slower, depending on how you plan it. You decide for yourself. You will have life-long access.

    You can listen to the resume in your car or during exercise via the audio (Module 1: 18 minutes. Module 2: 1 hour and 10 minutes). The workbook for module 1 has 10 assignments. The workbook for module 2 has 13 assignments. It helps you to go from ‘knowing how to do it’ to ‘actually doing it the right way’. Completing the assignments in order to be able to formulate your proposal properly, takes up most of your time. You will reap the greatest achievements if you give it your full attention.

    You can start convincing Americans quickly and improve over time.

  • “I am just an ’ordinary‘ engineer, technician, manager, … Can I do this?”

    The checklists and assignments are clear and easy to apply. You will see that you can do it by yourself. You can always approach the online community with any question. I will be happy to help you further.

  • “Can I justify following this training to my American colleagues?”

    You become clearer and faster in your communication. They will understand you better. I think they will appreciate that.

    Americans will realize that what you are proposing is good for this market with these demanding customers. They get a clear and positive impression of you. They get access to your expertise. They notice that you contribute ideas. They feel helped by you. They get the feeling that they can trust you and that you solve problems. They can leave more to you.

    Making good proposals is in the interests of yourself, the Americans, your company, project, future and your pleasure in the job.
    Even if your colleague might be a little upset, feel and explain that you have the right intentions. He or she will soon experience the difference as you will manage to bridge gaps. By learning more about the American culture, you will learn more about yours, your past reactions, your new ones, etc. You will become better and better.

    (Some Americans might consider us ‘weepers’ now, very negative, opinionated or extremely vague at times. “What exactly do they want to say? What do they want to achieve? They are slow. They put our chance to win and our profit at risk.” You want to prevent that image because it is based on labels and misunderstanding and will damage your cooperation.)

  • “How can I as an employee, convince my American manager that I should do this course?”

    To make it easier for you and for your American manager, I’ve added a pdf you can send and discuss with him or her. It is especially for American managers.

    Some parts of the pdf may surprise you. Your American manager or his or her group members might experience different issues in the working relationship with you, than you do. Or they might want to prevent these kind of issues. For instance, they might think you talk too much about problems, disadvantages and details. They might think that at times you are too direct, even rude or the opposite; vague and ambiguous, depending your cultural background. They might not understand why you don’t act in line with their feedback. They might think you react too slow when things change. I write ‘might be’, because it might not be so ‘bad’ or it might be only one of these issues.

    I need to address their pain and issues (in pdf, left upper box) in order to show I understand their possible view. The training will improve the connection and interactions between both of you, via you. (in pdf: results of training, right upper box). This training helps Americans to understand you better, because you will start to communicate in a way they understand. A lack of mutual understanding is to blame. That is exactly what we are going to solve.

    When you give/send the pdf, you might want to add that you would like to communicate more clear with them and that you would like to build a trustful relationship with them. That you would like to share your inputs, knowledge and expertise in a way they would recognize and appreciate and would suit you. Explain that with your cultural background you are accustomed to a different communication style than theirs, which can generate misunderstanding. Explain that you would like to understand Americans better and be better understood by them. Explain that you would love to be innovative together and make money together.

    Don’t state in a negative way that you don’t feel heard or feel misunderstood by him or her or by your American colleagues even if you do. You might think: “Of course I won’t!”. Depending your culture, you might think: “Why can’t I just say that? It is the truth. We should be honest and open towards each other in order to work well together”. In one culture you can, in the other it is insulting. We will get into that in the training.

    Keep your email or explanation short :). The pdf will help you. Your email title could be: ‘best method to ….’ or ‘fastest way to…’ or ‘how I can improve…’.

    Good luck!

  • “How can I as an employee, convince my non-American manager, that I should do this course?”

    To make it easier for you, I’ve added a pdf that you can send and discuss with your non-American manager.

    In the pdf you will find examples of issues that you and your manager may recognize (left upper box), the results of the training that you like to achieve (right upper box) and details about this training (left and right lower box).

    Please refer to this website for more information on: How the method works, the advantages, answers to possible concerns and how to sign up.

  • “Why would I, as an American, recommend this training?!”

    I see what you mean. You’re probably listening and seriously considering their proposals. Or maybe you have never heard any proposal from them or not a good one. Wouldn’t it be great if you would get a short and positive proposal? Wouldn’t it be great if you would be better understood? If you would understand them better? Wouldn’t it be great if you could trust them more? If you could cooperate in a fast and pleasant way? To have access to their expertise? It would save you time and money.

  • “Do I get a certificate for following this training?”

    No certificate, no reward, no accreditation.

    You will get:

    • Americans who listen to you
    • Americans who are convinced by your ideas and proposals and act in line
    • more prestige and appreciation
    • a trustful relationship with Americans
    • more time
    • more energy
    • more pleasure

    You will feel rewarded by your accomplishments. You will be more culturally sensitive and culturally intelligent, which will make you even more capable of doing your job succesfully. That will probably pay off.

  • “I live in the EU. My cultural background is different from those in the EU. Can I follow this training? Is it suitable for me?”

    As long as you recognize (some of) the issues written on this website, the training is suitable for you. Than it doesn’t matter if you are originally from China, India, South America, Canada, Israel, Greece, Turkey, etc. The checklists and workbooks with assignments will be very useful to you.

    In the second resume I discuss American values (like time is money, launching products very quickly, being very opportunistic about deadlines and results and prices, talking about rosy pictured results, being very proud, a winning mentality, being service minded, etc). Some of these American values can ‘clash’ with your values or objectives such as cost-efficiency and re-use, deliver quality, openness & sharing information (instead of not sharing requirements), win-win mentality (instead of win-lose), thoughtfulness and a structured way of working. I explain how to deal with these.

    Not all values or goals may be important to you, depending your culture. Only use the ones that apply to you. If you experience situations that have not been described here, you can share them via the online community. I will react. If it is something that more people experience and if it fits within the scope of the training, I can include this in the training. You can acces the online community when you have purchased this training.

    Living in the EU is only important for tax reasons. Because of the tax system it is relatively easy for 4c Unity to do taxes for digital services for private persons in the EU (without a VAT ID number) and companies based in the EU (with a VAT ID number), but not possible to do this for persons and companies based outside the EU. It is unfortunately too complex.

  • “I live outside the EU (or my company is based outside the EU). Why can’t I follow this training? I also would like to improve my relationship with Americans.”

    Sorry. Only private persons or companies based in the EU can buy this training.

    Because of the tax system it is relatively easy for 4c Unity to do taxes for digital services for private persons in the EU (without a VAT ID number) and companies based in the EU (with a VAT ID number), but not possible to do this for persons and companies based outside the EU. It is unfortunately too complex.

    The training is for engineers, technicians, technical managers, project leaders, program managers, resource managers, quality managers, personal assistants of all cultural backgrounds worldwide, but based in the European Union, working in technical companies (electronics, chemistry, biology, energy, research, etc).

  • “Can I buy this training for another person or for several persons? How do we get the access codes?”

    Yes, you can. When a manager who is based in the EU buys this training for another person or for several persons, those persons have to send me an email to explain that:

    • the invoice is paid (wait for the confirmation of your internal payment department or external paying agency).
    • you have bought the training for them. So, they should add your email and name.
    • they give me their permission to email them their access code.

    In this way we act in line with the General Data Protection Regulation. By sending this email, I can give them quick access.

  • “What kind of details do you need from me or my company when I buy this training?” (for taxes)

    It depends whether you buy this training as a private person or as a company (based in EU).

    Private person

    Short answer: Please fill in your billing address in the form on the Sign up page.

    Long answer: The tax office asks 4c Unity (and any other supplier of digital services) to collect and hand over two non-contradictory means of evidence to determine the residence of a private person in the EU (without a VAT ID number) who buys this online training, like the billing address, bank details or ip address. So I need to prove that you live in the EU and in which country. So I can bill the right amount of taxes to you and pay the right amount to the tax office in your country. (Every EU country has its own tax amount). You will find ‘billing address’ in the form on the Sign up page. I would like to have the complete details. Please fill it in. The other two details you don’t have to fill in there. I will get those automatically when you pay the invoice and when you access the training. This tax legislation is called the MOSS legislation.

    For tax reasons, companies based in the EU, need to fill in their VAT ID number, which 4c Unity should check first, before I can give you access to the training. Dutch companies don’t have to fill in their VAT ID number. They have to pay 21% taxes. In some countries the ‘reverse charge’ mechanism applies.

    I will respect your privacy. Please check the privacy statement.

  • If you have unanswered questions or any doubts about whether the training is suitable for you, please contact me.
    Together we will find out if this training course is the answer to your question.