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Ann Marie Lei
Portland, Oregon USA
Consultant, teacher, facilitator, and interculturalist
Recent Activity
Ann Marie's Blog is moving! I would love to keep you as a follower, so if you are still interested in what I have to say, please visit: and subscribe. Thanks! Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2013 at Ann Marie's Blog
Are you, like me, overwhelmed by all the information and cool resources at your fingertips on the web? Do you waste valuable time looking for reading materials that you know you downloaded, maybe even printed, to read later? There's no single perfect solution to information overload, but I am loving... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2012 at Ann Marie's Blog
More than once during this graduation weekend at Whitman College, my parents commented that "this place was tailor-made for our Katie." This campus, these trees, this amazing rock-climbing gym, and this rigorous, casual learning environment, where professors and students alike come to class (and Commencement!) in Birkenstock and Chaco sandals.... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2012 at Ann Marie's Blog
Short, sweet, direct + to the point? Warm and friendly, opening with a nice greeting and closing with a cheery good-bye? Or long, detailed, and packed full of data, facts and other useful information? Chances are that the way you typically write and like to receive e-mails is closely related... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2012 at Ann Marie's Blog
...and Intercultural Communication is Marketing. As Intercultural Professionals, my colleagues and I often think of marketing as something outside of our scope of expertise, not to mention our comfort zones. Marketing can seem bit mysterious, difficult, expensive, time-consuming, or even "dirty" or beneath us in some way. Much of our... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2012 at Ann Marie's Blog
Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed today, clicking through links to watch Martin Luther King Jr.'s "last speech," and read his 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail, I was inspired once again, not only by his eloquent words but by the words of my friends and colleagues. Sharing some of their favorite... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2012 at Ann Marie's Blog
Looking back over the blog posts I've written in the past twelve months, more than a few things surprise me: First, and maybe most surprising, is that I actually kept my commitment to write and post something on this blog once a week. Some posts were very brief and personal,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2012 at Ann Marie's Blog
Most people expect it to be difficult to adjust to living in a foreign country, so they prepare themselves and expect to experience some degree of culture shock. But most of us expect returning home to our own culture to be relatively easy. After all, we're coming back to a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
This small plastic pail showed up in our driveway several weeks ago, along with a helpful step-by-step brochure titled "Include the Food: Your guide to successful food scrap collection." The new Portland Composts! program had apparently worked well in the small neighborhood test markets, and our local recycler was ready... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
Ann Marie Lei is now following David Sibbet
Nov 23, 2011
The first time we ran out of milk on a Sunday while living in The Netherlands, our reaction was less than positive. All the stores were closed, as usual, and we were frustrated by the inconvenience. With a 3-year old at home, we didn't want to wait until Monday so... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
A few years ago I asked the graduate business students in my Intercultural Competence and Communication class to bring a copy or description of one of their favorite resources to share with their classmates: a book, article, film or website that had been particularly helpful to them as they studied... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
One of the nicest things our landlords gave us when we leased their home in Holland for a few years was a two page list of their favorite local places to eat and shop, along with the names and phone numbers of various English-speaking service/repair people who were already familiar... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
I was in Minnesota for a few days last week with some of my SIETAR-USA colleagues, scouting the location for our 2012 national conference and strategizing about the future of our professional organization. There's something about the culture of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul that feels really grounding and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
Today we woke up to the first really dark, wet, gray, cool morning in Portland in a while. Days like this don't stop me and my friends from exercising outside. We're native Oregonians and we know how to layer our fleece and waterproof shells to stay warm and dry, even... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
I love interactive training exercises and am constantly looking for new, engaging ways to bring concepts to life in the classroom and get students up and moving and learning from each other. I've been fortunate to have opportunities to learn from some of the best, like the great training game... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
A few weeks ago I wrote about the way that many new employees are greeted in U.S. workplaces, with a friendly "welcome," a brief tour of their new workspace, and a request from their boss or colleague to "let me know if you need anything else." I asked for stories... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
...of school, or work, or life in a new home, a new city, a new country. Excitement, anticipation, confidence, anxiety, happiness or dread. A jumble of emotions and a head full of questions. "Will my teachers (or boss or new colleagues or classmates) be nice?" "Will my classes or work... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
For years I've used Powerpoint and other visual presentation tools to explain complex concepts and connect emotionally with my students and workshop participants. I've used VisualsSpeak facilitation tools to help people in work teams learn more about each other, resolve conflicts and create strategies togethers. I've come to rely on... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
"You Americans, you have no idea how easy you have it! You get to use your native language at work every day." This comment took me by surprise, coming from a Scandinavian co-worker with, to my ears, excellent English-language skills. I tried to argue, and he argued right back, explaining... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
"...and your phone, and computer, and a list of phone numbers and e-mail addresses for people you'll be working with. Let me know if you need anything else." If, like many of my clients and former colleagues, you transferred to a U.S. office of your company from a different country,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 15, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
I used to love watching the television show, Cheers. The writing was brilliant, the characters distinctive, and they always made me laugh out loud. My favorite part was whenever Norm walked into the bar and everyone looked up and shouted, "Norm!" Before he reached "his" barstool, a frosty mug of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
Sitting in the early evening sunshine in our friends' backyard, I reached across the table, picked up an open bottle of wine, and poured myself a glass. My daughter, Katie, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "can you do that here?" "Do what?" "Pour your own wine?" "I don't... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
"Do you have any tips for me?" I was asked this question yesterday by a friend's daughter, a lovely 20-year-old young women whom I've known since she was a toddler. She's going to France for a 4-week study-abroad program this summer, and we were chatting in the kitchen during her... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog
When I return to the Notre Dame campus, like I did this past weekend for a college reunion, it's easy for me to reconnect with the spirit of the place. Simply taking a walk around one of the lakes, staring up at the iconic Golden Dome, or lighting a candle... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2011 at Ann Marie's Blog