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Humor is a tricky thing. 

You have to be very careful when you use it, especially when you work in international environments.

People from different countries or cultures may not react the same way to a joke. What is funny for some people may not be funny for some others. Worst case, it could even be offending!

However, when used correctly, humor is one of the greatest things that can help to build and improve relationships as well as help you better communicate with people around the world. 

What I have noticed is that you have to be very mindful and very genuine when you use humor in order not to hurt people’s feelings.

When dealing with other cultures or nationalities:

✅  Make sure that  you have had a first professional contact and that people have an idea of who you are. 

You only have one chance to make a first impression. 

The last thing you want is to start with a bad joke.

✅  If you want to use humor, start making fun of yourself. 

You can then make fun of things from other countries or cultures 

But at the same time, show understanding and do not make jokes that can be hurtful.

✅ Finally every country or language have some specific expressions. 

If you want to be able to make a joke using an expression, make sure you know the right one. 

Do not translate literally as otherwise the joke may be on you!

#vlvcoach #communication 

This post was originally posted on and Linkedin.