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January 2019

Thawing Frozen Pipes Without a Plumber

Thawing Frozen Pipes Without a Plumber
By Greg Mauro

After a hard long day, isn't it nice to wind down with a nice hot bath or shower? What happens in the winter though, when you go to turn on that water, only to find out that your pipes are frozen? Below are some tips on how to thaw those pipes and some tips on how to prevent them from freezing, without having to call a plumber.

Your first concern should whether or not pipes have or will crack or burst. As water freezes it expands, which could mean trouble for your pipes. Be sure to turn all faucets that are affected on. This will help to relieve pressure and also let you know as pipes become unfrozen. This may also help with the thawing process as moving water can help break up the ice - especially the hot water.

The next thing you need to do is locate that frozen pipe or pipes. Start by searching for any exposed piping, especially next to any uninsulated foundation walls or exterior walls. Also look under sink and vanity cabinets as they can be shut off from room heat. To limit potential damage (if the pipe has cracked), cut off the water supply to that pipe, either at a local valve or the main water supply.

Now to the act of thawing those pipes. Use of tools that require an electrical outlet can be used but exercise extreme caution - water and electricity is a dangerous combination. But such tools that can be employed are: hair dryers, heat lamps, electrical heat tapes and space heaters. What is most recommended is wrapping the pipes in towels soaked with hot water. Re-submerge the towels into hot water every few minutes or pour hot water over them every few minutes. Tools such as torches or heating guns are not recommended. They are a high fire hazard and can create an excess of steam in the pipe, causing it to burst.

To help prevent your pipes from freezing you can do a few things. You can go to your local hardware store and purchase electric-heating tape or insulation for your pipes. Also make sure all areas with exposed pipe are protected from freezing whether. This may entail sealing off any crawl spaces, making sure windows are not cracked or using a space heater in some areas which do not get good protection.

Greg Mauro is a staff author for Best Home Resource [] including Find a Plumber [] and it's conglomerate sites.

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Caring for Your Pet: Best Tips to Show You Love Animals

Caring for Your Pet: Best Tips to Show You Love Animals
By Sharon Jones

Taking care of your pet takes top priority. Just as with kids, any pet parent has many things to worry about. From bathing to clipping nails, the pet parent has to find the required time along with their daily schedules to make their pets happy.

Although you may feel as though you are all over the place if you have no idea on how to make your pet happy or keep them healthy, don't worry. This article will help you with that.

Here are some things every parent can do for their lovely pets:

Take Them Out

Just as you will get dull if all you do is spend time at home, the same stands true for your pet as well. Take your pet out for walks and keep them company. Try to play games with them while you are away. This will keep healthy and happy.

Exercise with them

Going out for a morning jog or run? Take your pet with you. Keep up with your pet and allow the pet to jump around a bit. This daily exercise routine will keep your pet happy and healthy. Moving around will keep the pet from gaining excess weight and will also help them to remain active.


Take nearest dog boutique and get them a haircut. Select days on which you need to take your dog for grooming appointments. Make sure you choose the correct place to take your designer pet accessories for grooming. Also, make monthly appointments. Get your pet shampooed, get their nails clipped or give them a haircut, and keep them healthy.

Feed your Pet

Another thing that you need to take care of your pet is to feed them properly. Make sure that your dog is fed sufficiently and is given proper nutrients. If you want, go out and purchase some breed-specific food options for your pet. Other than this, if you do not like store-bought food, give your dog something that you made.

Regular Check-Ups

Get your dog checked up often. Make routine appointments with the vet and get your dog checked. Dogs may contract allergies and other problems, which a doctor will easily get rid off in the initial stages.

Schedule your day and your pet's day

When it comes to keeping yourself and your pet healthy, a regular day schedule will work. Chalk out your day and your pet's day as well and stick to it. A routine helps your pet to stay healthy.

With many ways of showing love to your pets and animals, the best thing you can do for your pet is to take care of them. Be sure to maintain your schedule and make sure that you provide food with all nutrients for your pet. Take your pet out or give them an exciting new gift to keep them engaged. Caring is the best gift you can offer.

Know More Detail:

Sharon Jones is a pet lover and is passionate towards writing articles related to puppy products. Through her writings, she tries to discover new puppy boutiques dog products and accessories. Follow her articles and get the new fashion products for your loving puppy.

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Business Plans are for Wimps!

Business Plans are for Wimps!

By: Dan Nichols

Business Planning is for Wimps!

After 20 years of self employment and the last 4 as a small business consultant and coach helping people to start or grow their businesses, I can say with no shame I used to feel that business plans were only for wimps. That was until I did one.

It is easy to knock something you've never tried. After many years of not only starting businesses but actually succeeding in them it would have been easy to think that business plans aren't necessary. Part of that lies in the fact most entrepreneurs are actually working a job not growing a business. That is certainly where my maturity as a self employed person was until I hit my mid 30's. Sure I had earned an income and eeked out a life in a business of my own but I really didn't see the business of the business. What I saw was that I got what I wanted which was to not have to work for someone else. Woo hoo... I was my own boss. Truth be told it was my lack of planning out the business that hindered my growth and financial prosperity. Thankfully I figured it out and now, my newest business is going places I never dreamt possible when I lacked a plan. Doing a plan, the very act of doing it, almost in its very nature is enough to take you to the next level as an entrepreneur.

You see, put simply, when you plan a business you begin to understand it as a business. When you don't plan a business but still go into business for yourself, you more than likely created a job. For example with lawn maintenance we think of the cutting of the lawn, not the structure of the organization, the future growth and direction of the business, the various marketing strategies etc.. There is a critical difference between having a business and the business of business and that requires another article of its own. So, if you ever want to get out of the grind and truly grow a business you need to plan to grow it. Plan every little bit of it and then re-visit this plan often and make changes as things evolve. We've all heard it before - "when you fail to plan you plan to fail". Only when we sit down to do a business plan do we see it is so much more than that. Not planning a business causes us to fulfill the role we "thought of" when we thought of that business and not see the things planning would have taught us.

Yes, most business planning is boring with a capital B and a really long "O" but that is because most planning mechanisms and information on the topic is intellectually based and they have you planning at a level of logic - business, marketing, operational procedure, organizational structure, customer service, accounting - when we plan these things we are mostly adult minded and leave the excitement, the passion out of it. So when it is done the traditional way, you're left with a stack of paper, a business plan that bores you and leaves you uninspired. That to me is a waste of time. Be sure to put the fun into planning a business. Have it appeal to you on an emotional level because that is what drives results and stop worrying what type of business planning procedures the academic world is trying to push. Fewer than 10% of businesses in the Fortune 500 ever borrowed start-up money from a formal institution. They got it from friends and family. So most likely a banker won't see your plan anyhow. Make the business plan appeal to you first and foremost. Happy planning.


Author Bio
Dan Nichols - America's Small Business Advocate is a business coach and consultant headquartered in Royal Oak, MI. He is the author of Lemonade Stand Simple - The only business plan system you'll ever need. He loves to help entrepreneurs - it's his passion. His website is at

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Barbell Floor Press Challenge Week 52




I had a good workout at the gym last week. Here are the results: 


Wednesday, January 23, 2019


machine iso-lateral high row


305 lb total (or 152.5 in each hand separately x5x5 right, 152.5 lb each hand x5x5 left)
310 lb total (or 155 lb each hand separately 1x10 right, 155 lb each hand x1x10 left)
farmer's walk
100 lb in each hand x1
machine overhead press
225 lb x 5x1
225 lb x 3x2
225 lb x4x1
225 lb x5x1
lateral pulldown (neutral grip)
140 lb x 10x1
160 lb x 6x4
I did a mini-circuit routine rotating between the machine iso-lateral high row and machine overhead press, then added the lateral pulldown; I only did one set of the farmer's walk because I was focused on the other exercises. The plate holders that are required to keep the plates secure were not available so I opted against the standing barbell overhead press and hold exercise; I decided to leave the t-bar row out of the routine this week because it would have taken from the other exercises.
I'm going heavy again the next time I get to the gym.
I'll keep you posted.
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear ; do not be frightened." 1 Peter 3:14
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I'm living fit, healthy and happy(SM). Are you?
"Barbell Floor Press Challenge Week 52" copyright © 2019 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.


Polarized Training for Cycling and Mountain Biking

Polarized Training for Cycling and Mountain Biking
By Tom Bell

What is polarized training in relation to cycling?

A polarized model for cycling training concerns spending most of the time spent training at low intensities and less, but still significant time spent training at higher intensities. Low intensity here is defined as anything below the cyclist's lactate threshold, and high intensity is any endurance training performed above the lactate threshold.

It's distinct from what's been called a "Threshold model" where considerable time is spent training at or around the lactate threshold, middle intensity range. The polarized training model has come to light in recent years after the work of Stephen Seiler and colleagues.

Why train using a polarized model?

It's still unclear exactly why the polarised model seems to be the chosen intensity distribution for top performers in many endurance sports, but there have been several theories put forward as well as anecdotal evidence.

Many coaches who have had success using this model agree that training at the lactate threshold excessively induces too much stress on the athlete for the amount of fitness benefit they can reasonably expect to gain. It has been referred to as the "blackhole" of training, where the training is too hard to promote recovery and not hard enough to induce large favourable adaptions.

This intensity distribution may play into the psychology of the athlete. When only having to "dig deep" and train very intensively about 1 in ever 5 training sessions, the athlete is likely to feel that the training is more manageable and that they can mentally refresh before having to suffer through a painful session again. By being mentally and physically recovered by the time of their next high intensity workout, athletes arguably get the most from these sessions and may be less likely to suffer from overtraining syndrome or burnout.

Practical considerations

As an endurance athlete, it may be wise to adopt some or all of the characteristics of the polarized model into your own endurance training. Here are some practical ways that a cyclist could action some of the recommendations:

  • Increase overall training time by vastly increasing time spent training at low intensities (far below lactate threshold, <2Mml lactate, Zone 1, 2 and 3 heart rate and power)
  • Train conservatively at the lactate threshold intensities at appropriate times in the season
  • Spend more training time towards the VO2Max level of intensity, using interval repetitions of ~5-8 minutes.
  • Include very easy days for rest and recuperation.
  • Learn how to train with a power meter in order to closely monitor training intensities using a time-in-zone method.

Learn more about polarized training in cycling and get in touch about coaching or bespoke training plans at:

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Grilled Salmon Recipes You Absolutely Must Try

Grilled Salmon Recipes You Absolutely Must Try
By Adrian T. Cheng

Fish is just as fulfilling as meat but less the calories. Their meat is extremely versatile as well - they will taste good whether you season them simply with salt and pepper or go all out with a flavorful marinade. One of the most popular fish for grilling is salmon mainly because its meat is firm and hearty. It also has a strong, distinct flavor that is made even better from the smokiness of the grill.

Here are some grilled salmon recipes that you should try cooking for your next barbecue:

Smoky Salmon and Dill

What you need:

  • 1/4 kg. salmon fillet with skin
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. chopped dill
  • 2 tsps. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 pinches brown sugar

Combine mayonnaise, dill, mustard and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside. Brush salmon fillets with vegetable oil then cook skin-side down on a pre-heated grill over medium heat for 3 minutes per side. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on top of the fillets and cook for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through or when meat is easily flaked with a fork.

Grilled Salmon Linguine

What you need:

  • 3 salmon fillets
  • 1 cup linguine
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 6 tbsps milk
  • 2 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps. butter
  • 1 tbsp. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Brush salmon fillets with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper then cook on a pre-heated grill over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Allow to rest for a few minutes before flaking with a fork into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in onions and yellow bell peppers, cook for about 6-8 minutes or until tender. Add in cream cheese, milk and salmon flakes. Stir occasionally and cook for about 3 minutes. Set aside. Cook linguine as directed in the packaging. Transfer in a serving bowl when ready then pour salmon sauce over it. Toss to coat pasta. Serve warm topped with lemon slices and dill.

Orange Glazed Grill Salmon

What you need:

  • 1/2 kg. boneless and skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pcs.
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsps. white vinegar
  • 2 tsps. soy sauce
  • 2 tsps. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. grated ginger root

In a medium bowl, mix together marmalade, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, oil and ginger. Set aside. Brush salmon with oil and cook on a pre-heated grill over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes per side. Brush salmon pieces with marmalade mixture then cook for another 2 minutes per side until fish is cooked through.

Prepare these easy and mouth-watering grilled salmon recipes the next time you bring out your grill for a healthier, lighter barbecue dish!

Adrian T. Cheng is a food blogger and a BBQ expert. Through years of grilling experience, reviewing various top quality grill accessories [] and trying delicious and unique recipes, he is sharing his knowledge with everyone through his blog. For more grilling secrets, tips, recipes and more, head over to Adrian's page [].

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Build a Beach-worthy Body in the Dead of Winter


Build a Beach-worthy Body in the Dead of Winter by by Sandra Prior

Despite all of your gravy soaked gluttony, you'll probably gain only half a kilogram between autumn and spring. Unfortunately, research shows that most guys never lose their winter weight.

Indeed, between the ages of 35 and 45, the majority of us pack on the equivalent of a pork roast. It's a bleak prospect, especially if you consider the traditional fix; hours spent slogging away on a treadmill.

Allow us to offer a more palatable alternative, albeit with a hard to swallow name; cardio circuit training. By splitting your indoor cardio session between several different exercises, you'll burn more kilojoules. You'll also prevent your muscles from adapting to one movement, and the less they adapt, the faster they'll grow. And if you add intervals (alternating short bursts of all out effort with active recovery) to your training, you'll torch 90% more fat than training at a consistent pace.

Run through the following 45 minute routine twice a week. Warm up with five minutes of each exercise at a "conversational" pace, then complete a six minute circuit in which you alternate four times between 30 seconds of intense effort and one minute of active rest. You'll be rewarded with a flatter stomach in record time, without feeling like a hamster on a wheel.

Stair Climber

Face away from the console. We're not designed to walk backwards and to do so you need to engage many more muscles and work harder to keep your body upright. Mix up the depth and pace of your stepping to prevent your muscles from adapting. If you normally take shallow steps, for example, do deep, slow steps for two of the 30 second interval.

Spin Bike

After your warm up, increase the resistance as if you were climbing a hill, and stand up and sprint for 30 seconds. Not only will you use a different set of muscles, but you'll break the monotony.

Rowing Machine

Form is everything. Initiate the drive with your legs, then pull the handle into your sternum. On the recovery, keep your legs flat as the handle travels away from your body, then allow your torso to pivot over your hips as you bend your knees to return to the starting position.


After you warm up, increase the angle of the incline to one percent. Researchers found that this angle most closely approximates running outside, causing you to burn just as many kilojoules. Your indoor time might suffer, but you'll shed kilograms faster.

Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at

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What You Should Know About Sewer Line Repairs

What You Should Know About Sewer Line Repairs
By Juanita Swindell

Problems with drains in the home or sudden stains appearing on and around the foundation can all be signs of potential sewer line repairs in the offing. These can quickly turn into an expensive undertaking and unless something is done as soon as possible, it has the potential for seriously undermining the ability of the home to function. Whether there is an existing septic system or whether the home is hooked up to the municipal sewer system, reporting signs of trouble to professional plumbers can avert a major home repair disaster in the future.

What Causes Sewer Line Damage?

Most sewer line repairs will have their root cause in blockage of the lines themselves. The first instinct of homeowners when they come across a slow moving drain is to pour a lot of harsh chemicals into the lines to open up or remove the clog. While that might be a temporary fix, at the same time they could be causing more damage with the chemicals themselves. In older homes especially, older pipes made of clay or porous materials can be eaten away by the chemicals within drain cleaners and cause the pipes to break down.

Tree roots are attracted to sources of water and when trees are planted too close to a home's foundation, they can find their way into the sewer pipes. The roots grow into the pipes and ball up, completely blocking the pipe. In these cases, the pipes will have to be removed and replaced. At other times, the cause of sewer line problems may be that the ground itself has shifted around the pipes and have bent them at an angle that does not promote drainage and the water begins to collect within the pipes and potentially leak out into the foundation.

What to Do When You Notice Signs of Problems

The first thing that any homeowner should do when problems with drains or seepage occurs is to not run immediately for the drain cleaner but instead call on the professionals to come out and inspect the pipes for cleaning and repair. A plumber can quickly determine where the problem is and take measures to get it repaired, usually within the same day. When they are installed in a home, sewer pipes usually have clean out plugs that can be immediately checked for clogs, without having to dig up the ground around a home.

Alternatively, if it is determined that pipes will have to be replaced due to a faulty septic system, it may entail more digging and reconstruction that could have been prevented if it had been better maintained in the past.

Types of Repairs

For minor repairs to pipes, as is the case for a pipe that has cracked due to shifting or pressure, a plumber can make the repair quickly by simply recoating the interior of the pipe with epoxy, as long as the crack is not beyond repair. Replacement of short lengths of pipes can be done efficiently by expert plumbers and should not take more than a day to complete. For simple clogs and blockage, power rodders could be used to remove the foreign material blocking the pipe.

When it comes to sewer line repairs involving septic tanks, it may be a more intensive repair situation than normal. Most septic tanks are buried in backyards, so the yard may have to be dug up from the point where the pipe enters the home, to where it connects with the septic tank.

On the brighter side, having it all in one place will make it easier to perform the repairs, in spite of all the mess made by the digging. This may take a few days but it will be worth it in the long run, especially if you arrange to have regular maintenance done on it in the future, on a regular basis to prevent more problems.

Want to know more about sewer line repairs, and how you can avoid them in the future? The professionals at Liberty Plumbing and Septic have years of experience in dealing with just this type of problem, so call them today for an immediate inspection. Also check our our new page on Sewer Line Repairs.

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Raising a Puppy? 4 Tips for Healthy, Happy Dogs

Raising a Puppy? 4 Tips for Healthy, Happy Dogs
By Joe Harwell

In addition to being amazing additions to the family, dogs are also a lot of work. They need everything from leash training, to healthy diets, to daily walks. For example, did you know that many dogs kept as pets suffer from malnutrition and obesity? Also, behavior problems like aggression, barking, and chewing on or tearing up furniture are related to not getting enough exercise.

These problems go on to affect your pet's quality of life, their behavior, energy levels, and even longevity. If you want to ensure that your new family member is as healthy and happy as possible, you'll have to take extra steps to care for your dog.

Building good habits, socializing your dog, and being mindful about his or her diet will help you care for a healthy dog who is comfortable well into old age. We've compiled 4 keys to raising a puppy that all dog owners should be mindful of.

4 necessities for raising a puppy

Make Regular Visits to the Vet

No matter what breed or age your dog is, regular vet checkups can be life-saving. You probably already know that your dog has to go regularly, but how often depends on their age, medical history, and size.

Here's a general schedule based on age:

0-4 Months - Every 3 Weeks. Your puppy will get important vaccines for rabies, distemper, and parvo, alongside prevention for Lyme disease, kennel cough, and other health problems.

4-12 Months - Every 2-3 months. Here, your vet will ensure that your puppy is growing well and shows no signs of health problems. If it's recommended for your area, your vet will start a heartworm and flea prevention schedule, and your puppy will likely be spayed or neutered.

1-7 Years - At 1 year, most dog breeds are considered adult. If you have a large dog breed, you may have to wait 6-12 months longer to reach this stage. Your dog should go to the vet for a yearly checkup, even when not sick. They should get distemper-parvo and rabies booster shots during the first yearly checkup, and then every 1-3 years depending on your local laws. Your vet will also recommend changes to diet, additional checkups, and a heartworm and deworming schedule based on your dog and your area.

7+ Years - After 7 years, most dogs are seniors and will need extra care. You should take your dog to the vet at least twice yearly, and be extra conscious of any changes in behavior that may indicate health problems, such as a change in water consumption.

Prevention is better than a cure for both dogs and humans. Don't wait until your dog is sick to invest in preventive measures like vaccinations and deworming.

Tip: Ask your vet about natural treatments to prevent allergies and kennel cough while at the vet, and talk about nutritious treats and snacks to keep them healthy.

Invest in Behavioral Training

When you think of your dog's health, it's common to jump immediately to physical health. However, mental health is equally as important for your dog. A study from Animal Cognition showed that dogs can smell humans' emotions, and when exposed to sweat produced from a fearful human, dogs showed more signs of distress and sought out more comfort from their owners. Alternatively, when exposed to odor samples from happy humans, dogs were more willing to interact with strangers and were generally friendlier.

Training plays a large part in keeping your dog safe and social. A well-trained dog is typically more engaged and less bored with his or her surroundings. Training allows your dog to learn how to react in different situations and helps them stay calm and friendly despite any triggers such as a fearful human nearby.

A well-trained dog is also generally safer since you can tell him or her to sit instead of crossing the road, teach your dog not to go in dangerous areas, and build up good habits (like walking) that will benefit your dog's health for years to come.

Promote a Healthy Diet

Obesity and nutrient deficiency are among the most common health problems for domesticated dogs. These issues affect your dog's quality of life and longevity, but it's an easy fix. Combine quality food with portion control and the occasional snack, and you'll have a healthy dog.

Don't assume that cheap dog food provides the nutrition your dog needs. Most store-brand dog foods are primarily made up of flour and water with added nutrients and flavor. These can eventually lead to malnutrition, tooth decay, gastrointestinal problems, and obesity.

You don't have to choose all-organic or raw-meat based diets, as there isn't enough evidence to show that these are beneficial to your dog. Instead, you should invest in high-quality dog food with a high percentage of meat. For example, you can feed your dog a high-quality canned food supplemented by quality kibble, and have a healthy dog. Avoid human food, as many of the seasonings used aren't good for your dogs.

Don't leave food out all day. Puppies should be fed 3-4 times per day, but adult dogs only have to be fed twice per day. If you leave food out too long, some dogs tend to overeat, which will eventually lead to weight gain and obesity.

Tip: Be mindful about the snacks you give your dog. Most dog treats are about as healthy as human candy. Instead, opt for nutritious alternatives that your dogs will love just as much. For example, dogs 6 months and older can have raw honey for dogs, and not only do they love it, it's great for their overall health, digestion, and allergies.

Finally, clean water is an important part of a healthy diet. Clean your dog's water dish and replace his or her water daily, ensuring it's always full. To prevent bacteria and tooth decay, set your dog's water away from his or her food bowl.

Exercise (A Lot)

Dogs need a lot of exercise. No matter what the age or breed, your dog has a lot of energy. Most dogs, even small breeds, can benefit from approximately two hours of walking every day.

While it is crucial to pay attention to your environment (for example, no dog will benefit from being forced to run in the middle of the day in very hot weather), dogs need exercise. If you can plan four 30-minute walks each day, you are giving your dog the best chance of being healthy, happy, and well-adjusted to living inside a home.

Owning a dog is a lot of work, but after you and your dog build up good habits, it'll be much easier to live healthily for both of you. By taking small steps to keep your dog healthy, you will ensure that your new best friend lives as long and as well as possible.

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Minding Your Global Manners

Minding Your Global Manners

By: Lydia Ramsey

To say that today's business environment is becoming increasingly more global is to state the obvious. Meetings, phone calls and conferences are held all over the world and attendees can come from any point on the globe. On any given business day you can find yourself dealing face-to-face, over the phone, by e-mail and, on rare occasions, by postal letter with people whose customs and cultures differ your own. You may never have to leave home to interact on an international level.

While the old adage "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" still holds true, business clients and colleagues who are visiting this country should be treated with sensitivity and with an awareness of their unique culture. Not to do your homework and put your best international foot forward can cost you relationships and future business. One small misstep such as using first names inappropriately, not observing the rules of timing or sending the wrong color flower in the welcome bouquet can be costly.

There is no one set of rules that applies to all international visitors so do the research for each country that your clients represent. That may sound like a daunting task, but taken in small steps, it is manageable and the rewards are worth the effort. Keeping in mind that there are as many ways to do business as there are countries to do business with, here are a few tips for minding your global P's and Q's.

Building relationships: Few other people are as eager to get down to business as we Americans. So take time to get to know your international clients and build rapport before you rush to the bottom line. Business relationships are built on trust that is developed over time, especially with people from Asia and Latin America.

Dressing conservatively: Americans like to dress for fashion and comfort, but people from other parts of the world are generally more conservative. Your choice of business attire is a signal of your respect for the other person or organization. Leave your trendy clothes in the closet on the days that you meet with your foreign guests.

Observe the hierarchy: It is not always a simple matter to know who is the highest-ranking member when you are dealing with a group. To avoid embarrassment, err on the side of age and masculine gender, only if you are unable to discover the protocol with research. If you are interacting with the Japanese, it is important to understand that they make decisions by consensus, starting with the younger members of the group. By contrast, Latin people have a clear hierarchy that defers to age.

Understanding the handshake: With a few exceptions, business people around the world use the handshake for meeting and greeting. However, the American style handshake with a firm grip, two quick pumps, eye contact and a smile is not universal. Variations in handshakes are based on cultural differences, not on personality or values. The Japanese give a light handshake. Germans offer a firm shake with one pump, and the French grip is light with a quick pump. Middle Eastern people will continue shaking your hand throughout the greeting. Don't be surprised if you are occasionally met with a kiss, a hug, or a bow somewhere along the way.

Using titles and correct forms of address: We are very informal in the United States and are quick to call people by their first name. Approach first names with caution when dealing with people from other cultures. Use titles and last names until you have been invited to use the person's first name. In some cases, this may never occur. Use of first names is reserved for family and close friends in some cultures.

Titles are given more significance around the world than in the United States and are another important aspect of addressing business people. Earned academic degrees are acknowledged. For example, a German engineer is addressed as "Herr Ingenieur" and a professor as "Herr Professor". Listen carefully when you are introduced to someone and pay attention to business cards when you receive them.

Exchanging business cards: The key to giving out business cards in any culture is to show respect for the other person. Present your card so that the other person does not have to turn it over to read your information. Use both hands to present your card to visitors from Japan, China, Singapore, or Hong Kong. When you receive someone else's business card, always look at it and acknowledge it. When you put it away, place it carefully in your card case or with your business documents. Sticking it haphazardly in your pocket is demeaning to the giver. In most cases, wait until you have been introduced to give someone your card.

Valuing time. Not everyone in the world is as time conscious as Americans. Don't take it personally if someone from a more relaxed culture keeps you waiting or spends more of that commodity than you normally would in meetings or over meals. Stick to the rules of punctuality, but be understanding when your contact from another country seems unconcerned.

Honoring space issues: Americans have a particular value for their own physical space and are uncomfortable when other people get in their realm. If the international visitor seems to want to be close, accept it. Backing away can send the wrong message. So can touching. You shouldn't risk violating someone else's space by touching them in any way other than with a handshake.

Whether the world comes to you or you go out to it, the greatest compliment you can pay your international clients is to learn about their country and their customs. Understand differences in behavior and honor them with your actions. Don't take offense when visitors behave according to their norms. People from other cultures will appreciate your efforts to accommodate them and you will find yourself building your international clientele.


Author Bio
Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author of MANNERS THAT SELL - ADDING THE POLISH THAT BUILDS PROFITS. She has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, Investors' Business Daily, Entrepreneur, Inc., Real Simple and Woman's Day. For more information about her programs, products and services, e-mail her at or visit her web site

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