I specialize in counseling individuals with their communication skills. Be it in English or in German, be it for speaking or for writing, be it with yourself, with one other person, with two or more people, in front of a group.
Quite often communication skills are not up to par, although people are under the impression that they are. These discrepancies tend to lead to misunderstandings on what it is we actually want, how we see things, how things should be – or how they should not be. Problems resulting thereof would not arise if only we could communicate clearly.
In asking simple, head-on questions, I can help you gain new insights into familiar yet difficult situations, and with these new perspectives you can immediately start communicating clearly. Learn to improve your intercultural communication skills for any kind of exchange. Learn to communicate clearly and get your messages across just as the crow flies.
Kimberly Crow, PdD
I was born in New York and raised in the United States and Germany and was educated bilingually in English and German. After completing my university degrees in sociology, psychology, and social psychology, I worked as a social scientist and earned my PhD in political science. My extensive understanding of the American and German societal, political, and economic systems and vast knowledge of the corporate and academic worlds, make me an expert in understanding and uncovering the “hidden” barriers expats are confronted with. My goal is to help you improve your intercultural communication skills, find solutions to better adjust to working and living in Germany and to open doors, so that you can enjoy all Germany has to offer.
The business of German business:
What makes their boat float?
The properties Germans expect in their business partners are different. Knowing what it is they value will make your business dealings not only smoother but also far more efficient.
Thinking through processes thoroughly is an esteemed approach by Germans whereas the American way of setting things in motion is often deemed reckless and negligent.
We look forward to meeting with you and to highlighting the most fundamental differences to ensure that you are on the right track with your German business partners.
Close but no Cigar: Understanding the pitfalls of English for non-native speakers
Despite the fact that many Germans took English classes in school and can communicate fairly well in English, there often remain subtle and not so subtle pitfalls. The not so subtle ones pose little potential for actual misunderstandings, since they tend to become obvious quickly and thus, can be resolved. It is the subtle ones that can really hurt. The tone of voice, the choice of words, to name just two.
Take the word “provision”: In English it is closely connected to the idea of providing something, be it supplies, a rule or the like. The German word “Provision”, however, stands for “commission”. Then there are grammar mistakes typically made by Germans that distort the intended meaning and might not sit so well with you.
With Dr. Crow Consulting’s help, you can develop an awareness for those near invincible pitfalls, avoid unnecessary and unintended miscommunication and instead, focus on the business at hand.
As opposed to traditional interpreting, where being true to every word is paramount, during executive summaries we concentrate on the main messages when translating from one language to the other. This type of
bilingual communication lends itself especially well for panel discussions or author readings.
Monitoring for language and culture
Monitoring for language and culture works like a relay station checking for consistency when speaking with non-native speakers. A phrase like "We'll keep you posted" translated literally confuses the non-native listener. So, to ensure that what the speaker says reaches the listener correctly, we are there to intervene and relay the intended meaning, should that be necessary.
Monitoring for language and culture closes gaps owed to language and cultural differences, be it during negotiations, while giving a presentation or reading to an audience. Concentrate on what you want to say and know that you’re always right on target.
Knowing the ropes in Germany
The goal of “Knowing the Ropes” is to provide an understanding of how everyday life in Germany functions, to impart a basic knowledge of the German language and to give a general overview of what to find where in Hamburg. This “German” foundation is an excellent starting point for non-Germans to communicate effectively and adjust more quickly and easily to the German way of life. Participants will be asked to practice their new-found skills in real-life situations when we go out on the town, visiting various locations throughout the city. Topic related guided tours of Hamburg – be they of cultural, business or recreational nature – are offered to suit your needs.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
We offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that is especially geared to native English speakers living in Germany and dealing with personal and professional problems. Especially in times of uncertainty and distress it is essential to be able to truly communicate in your native tongue. However, for expats this often is not a given and matters are often further complicated by uncertainties resulting from having to deal with the multi-facetted aspects of intercultural differences.
Owed to my own personal and professional background I have an immediate understanding of what expats are up against and how to best connect loose ends. Born in New York and raised in the United States and Germany, I was educated bilingual in English and German as my mother tongues and hold university degrees in sociology, psychology, social psychology, and political science. My extensive understanding of the American and German societal, political, and economic systems and my vast knowledge of the corporate and academic worlds make me an expert in understanding and uncovering the “hidden” barriers expats are confronted with.
My goal is to help finding solutions for expats so that they can better adjust to life in Germany and to open doors for enjoying all Germany has to offer. Should further support be necessary, I can assist you in finding additional resources such as English speaking counselors and therapists in the greater Hamburg area.
Writing an academic text in English is quite different from writing one in German. Not that the approach to science itself was any different, but the way papers are set up. A mere translation of German words into English words and into English grammar, as one might be inclined to believe, misses the target in more than one way. In our workshops on Academic Writing in English we point out the crucial differences that lie far beyond vocabulary and grammar and show our participants how to construct authentic English sentences, paragraphs, and papers.
For more information, please go to: www.english-academic-writing.de
Consul for Public Affairs, American Consulate General Hamburg, Germany
The advanced student of German who is striving to make himself understood at a professional level will find in Kimberly Crow the ideal tutor. Over two years, I've reviewed speeches and presentations with her and she has educated me in many of the nuances and distinctive concepts found in the German language. I particularly value her ability as a native speaker of both German and English to point out both connections and disconnects in the ways that Germans and Americans think and express themselves about topics of contemporary interest. I've gained many valuable insights enabling me to communicate more effectively.
bp British Petroleum
I found my lessons with Kimberly over the course of my year in Germany extremely beneficial. With my simple level of German, I quickly built on my knowledge through a mixture of lessons with Kimberly. My lessons focussed on developing my speaking skills and I was soon able to hold a conversation on many subject areas. Her style helped me gain a much more rounded knowledge in comparison to previous lessons I had attended in the UK.
Kimberly was always flexible with the subject matter of the lessons, and some of the most beneficial work we did together was focussing on my work situations, specifically preparing for an interview in German and my first presentation to a German speaking group of people.
By concentrating on communication and getting my message across I quickly built in confidence (which was the biggest step) and after 6-9 months was able to communicate effectively in any situation.
Overall my lessons with Kimberly enhanced my entire experience in Germany.
FOC Consutling, Hamburg
I had travelled to Germany for a number of years, both for work and leisure, before moving here from London at the behest of my Hamburgerin wife, so I had become used to the fact that most of the Germans I met spoke English fluently and naturally.
However it was only when I started working day to day at a German company that I really started noticing some distinct cultural differences between the locals and the 'islanders' as the Germans lovingly refer to the British. For example, I would lead conference calls in English with partners in the US along with several of my company's board, yet somehow whilst I would be on the same wavelength as our American counterparts, my team often had a different take on the preceedings.
So on deciding to set up a business in Germany, it was a delight to find someone like Kimberly - a specialist expert in her field - to not only confirm my suspicions, but to go several steps further. In our discussions I've generated useful insights and have developed methods to account for and utilise these differences in a positive manner that has benefitted both my business and social interactions. I would thoroughly recommend speaking with Kimberly if you're intending to do business in Germany for any period of time.
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Dr. Kimberly A. Crow, Hamburg
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