I remember after attending one of Emily’s sessions, when I said ‘Emily’s session helped me know who I am,’ many people who attended it laughed. And a group approached me later to ask why I said that. This means a lot to me. Actually, before meeting Emily Braucher, I had already worked with people from different countries and cultures. The people I have worked with have always appreciated my work, but I always felt something is missing. After I attended Emily’s training series I felt more mature professionally. I understood that to be able to perform well and reach a high level of satisfaction in every task, a human being needs to know others: who they are, where they are from, why they act differently sometimes, and how to work and interact with them. I have to confess that it is only after some of Emily’s sessions that I finally understand what type of person I am. What my strengths are–but also my weaknesses and how I can work on improving them. This has helped me a lot in my current job. My job consists of taking care of the safety and security of more than 200 foreigners who live and work in my country, Senegal. This is quite difficult. One question that usually comes from the volunteers is why I never panic and have answers to all the questions they come to me with. I usually answer I don’t think I have the answers to all the questions but I am lucky enough to have met a person who has helped me never panic when facing issues and ready to address issues just because I have been taught to know and understand others; but also know myself, my strengths and weaknesses. That person is Emily Braucher.

-Mbouille Diallo, Chief Safety and Security Office, Peace Corps (Senegal)

When taking the leap to start an international NGO it is reassuring to know that I can rely on ReFresh to guide me toward understanding the right way to conduct intercultural business. I found the first training I attended incredibly helpful in understanding the cultural complexities of communicating with not only the people I am working with in Nepal, but also with my American co-workers who have different communication styles than I. I am looking forward to learning more from ReFresh, and hoping they can help me to minimize misunderstandings as I continue on my global journey to do good.”

– Anya Cherneff, Executive Director of Empower Generation (Nepal)

While developing a social enterprise in Cambodia, I struggled with addressing the cross cultural communications needs of my organization. The complexities were broad, and I approached Emily of ReFresh after attending her enlightening one-day workshop on workplace communications and conflict resolution in Phnom Penh. I felt that my team could benefit significantly from an in-depth exercise of cross cultural communications work, and that Emily’s approach was clear and accessible – exactly what we needed. After speaking with Emily about my team, our dynamic and the organization, she put together a curriculum specific to the needs that we discussed, which incorporated activities and workshops that I could lead on the ground in Battambang, Cambodia, while having coaching sessions with Emily to run through the material, and ensure that I was comfortable doing so. Emily was dynamic and skillful in helping me approach the material in a constructive way for my team. I found the coaching skype calls were excellent for framing the lessons and clarifying particular needs of my group. The activities Emily created fit into the local context nicely, and incorporated real life scenarios for my team, so that they were immediately practical as well. The feedback from my team echoes the praise I am giving. The local managers I worked with felt that the capacity-building in communications styles, leadership, and workshop facilitation that they were able to gain through the workshops was invaluable, and enhanced the management skills they had. The shared language created through the workshops extended into our workplace, and gave our young managers confidence and pathways to conflict resolution. I can say with certainty that the workshops with ReFresh renewed the teams’ energy in creative problem solving and people management, and enhanced the teams existing capacities and skill sets. We were thrilled to work with Emily and there is no doubt that the value of the workshops will continue on as the organization grows.

-Katherine Halleran, Co-Manager of Kinyei (Cambodia)

Having lived in Cambodia for the past seven years and having worked in facilitation for the past fifteen, communication and culture play key roles in both my personal and professional life. After experiencing Emily Braucher’s workshop entitled “Intercultural Communication and Conflict Styles,” I walked away with a wealth of practical information and techniques which have proven very effective in my day-to-day work and experience. Emily helped broaden my awareness about my personal communication preferences and equipped me with concrete tools on how to better relate with others, especially when expressing opposing values or ideas. Her engaging presentation style, assortment of experiential activities and well-documented, pertinent handouts, made her session not only informative and thought-provoking but practical and deeply relevant as well.

-Michelle Morin, Director, World of Possibilities Consulting (Cambodia)

Emily Braucher is an amazing facilitator and is adept at challenging people to think more profoundly in order to be more compassionate and to create smoother working and personal relationships. She has shown herself to be truly dedicated to the emerging field of intercultural communication. [After taking her workshop, then working in Rwanda]…I remember thinking that she had not only brought awareness to our differences, she had also normalized them and made them less personal and more cultural. Truly, this changed not only how I worked with my team that summer, but also how I approached everyone that I met in Rwanda from that day forward. That workshop also changed the perspective of my Rwandan team member, and gave us something to reference when we experienced conflict throughout the course of the summer.“‘

-Liz Connor, Course Instructor, Where There Be Dragons (Rwanda)

 

Emily’s diversity and intercultural communication workshops were the two most valuable workshops of our organization’s entire ten-day orientation. I learned concrete communication tools for dealing with race, gender and ethnicity issues among my students. Emily’s intercultural communication workshop gave me the vocabulary, the experience and the knowledge to facilitate more positive intercultural experiences for my students and myself. Not only was her workshop professionally valuable in multiple job settings, it struck a deep chord within me and helped me to more deeply understand how to be a better communicator in my personal life. Emily was a composed, conscientious speaker/facilitator. Her depth and breadth of knowledge are dovetailed by her wonderfully calm and friendly demeanor in front of a group. I give her work the highest recommendation.

– Courtney Zenner, Program Coordinator, Emory University Tibetan Studies Program (India)

 

 

 

Emily always gave interesting, informative, and fun workshops. She has a special gift for making the mundane both appealing and applicable. Emily’s workshops [at the Where There Be Dragons staff trainings] have taught me how to manage a group of students while still maintaining a fun and safe environment. She is the type of person that is not only blessed with a rare combination of talents, but also with the drive for continual self-growth and the capacity to inspire growth in others. Through her workshops, I have gained a lot of confidence on how to deal with a variety of learning and working styles. There is a very wide range of students that come to take a course with us at WTBD and I feel that Emily’s workshops have given me insight for how to interact and provide a good lesson for each of the variety of learners we receive. I have also attended one of Emily’s workshops on conflict resolution. I have personally used several of the techniques I learned from her workshops to resolve conflict within the student group as well as to deal with interpersonal conflicts of my co-workers on my instructor team.

– Regina Kruglyak, Course Instructor, Where There Be Dragons Instructor (Bolivia & Peru)

If you work with different cultures, this workshop will help you to understand the different issues you will encounter. The workshop provided us with new tools to manage differences and helped us to think outside the box. My opinion is that we cannot and we must not avoid conflict; conflicts are essential to progress and to moving forward. However, we do have to find the best way to sort through conflict in a manner that is respectful to everyone. This workshop helped me become more skillful at doing just that. Now, when I feel like something is going wrong in my professional relationships, I try to understand what is standing in the way and work on it as Emily explained to us. Emily helped us understand and be more attentive to our body as a part of our intercultural toolbox. Patient and attentive, she really loves her work and is skilled at passing on her knowledge and experience.

-Julie de Buire, Psychologist at the Lake Clinic (Cambodia)

From the time I landed at the airport in Kigali, Rwanda, for my first extensive overseas assignment, I used the intercultural communications training provided by Emily Braucher. Because of the training, I was able to present myself more effectively, work within the existing system, and appreciate and manage different perspectives, including my own. As I sit here now, I think the greatest benefit that I received from Emily’s training is that I acquired the ability to stop and question my own conclusions in intercultural situations; in other words, when I see or experience a situation that doesn’t seem familiar, I’m able to refrain from judgment (or repent of it quickly), ask questions, and interpret it through the cultural lens of the local people.”

– Melissa Sturgis, USAID (Rwanda)

Several years ago I participated in a training of Emily’s which focused on intercultural conflict styles. In the years since, I have frequently brought to mind the activities and examples used during this workshop. Particularly during the time I have spent working and studying in the Middle East, I have found the concept to be invaluable to helping me be more adept at working with Egyptians, Moroccans, Jordanians, and Omanis. Emily’s ability to really engage trainees with this topic helped me better conceptualize how some people prefer conflict styles which differ from the one that I feel most at home with. Without having participated in Emily’s engaging training, I believe I would struggle with aspects of my work in education abroad; work which requires knowledge of and ability to work with styles that vary across cultures.

– Cara Lane-Toomey, Senior Program Officer, AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs in the Arab World (USA)