I'm based at International House, London where I am Director of Cultural Training and Director of the Business Cultural Trainer’s Certificate.

I’m also Visiting Lecturer in Intercultural Communication at the University of Westminster. I’ve worked for the ODA (Overseas Development Administration) in West Africa, for International House in Algeria and Paris, and for the BBC World Service in London, where I was Editor of BBC English by Radio and Television. I’ve trained in 61 countries so far.

The most interesting project I’ve worked on is the European Intercultural Workplace EU Leonardo project, where I acted as part of the University of Westminster team. This project examined the issues faced by migrant workers integrating in host companies in ten European countries and six core industries. You can read about it at www.eiworkplace.net.

I’m also acting as consultant on the ‘INTERACT’ project, exploring the needs for cross-cultural training for European managers. 

My interests
My key interests are in international management training and in learning about world cultures. I am the co-author of Cultural Awareness (OUP) and of ‘The World’s Business Cultures and How to Unlock Them’ (Thorogood 2007). You can find more information here: www.worldbusinesscultures.com. I’ve also written monographs on France, Germany and Spain.

Spare time? What spare time? I’m lucky I’ve got a fantastic job I’m really passionate about. But I do like watching movies – a carry-over from my BBC days, especially, looking out for cultural insights they contain.

Your comments and questions

During the month of October 2008 I will be the Guest Contributor. You can add comments or questions about this biography by clicking on Add new comment below. I will be regularly visiting the site, reading your comments and answering questions on my blog about my articles, and getting involved in discussions on the polls and forums.



I'm a trainer in NonViolent Communication (NVC) and I wrote recently to the British Council to see if there's energy for collaboration between your network and NVC trainers throughut the world. So I'm absolutely delighted to see that Barry Tomalin has already introduced a discussion about NVC!

Neli, using your example of how language affects motivation, at the point where the first student says to the other :

" hey, you, are you going to start or say something ? "

if the other student has learnt about NVC, their reply might sound something like this:

"are you feeling frustrated? because you need co-operation and to find sense in how you're using your time? "

But of course if the other student hasn't learnt that way of communicating and doesn't realise that in every moment, human beings are trying to express their feelings and needs in the best way they know how, they probably won't hear the feelings and needs. So they'll probably hear it as criticism which creates a lot of suffering.

So if they hear the other person's thoughts as being real, my guess would be the second person will need empathy (self-empathy or empathy from the person who created the suffering or from someone else), which might sound something like this:

" are you upset? because you need recognition for the effort you're making and perhaps need appreciation that you're doing your best? "

If that's how it went, both students would probably sense some relief and an openness to work together.

Having learnt how to hear and speak about feelings and needs, to see what's really alive in me and others, there's been a radical shift in how I relate to others. It's impossible to want to hurt someone else because I can see their humanity, sharing the same needs as I have, no matter how different we might be in terms of education, culture, ethnic groups... So I'm pretty sure it will come as no surprise to you that Marshall Rosenberg was invited to work in many war zones and that many certified trainers in the NVC network carry on that tradition of supporting people in finding peaceful solutions in places like Korea, Sri Lanka, India, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Colombia, Brazil, Rwanda, Burundi...

I hope the above explains why I'm motivated to share what I've learnt about NVC with English teachers all other the world! (and other languages too of course, but that will be my colleagues unless it's French!)

Neli I'm curious to hear if some of the above is useful?

or inspiring for someone else to read? (especially if you might be the person who would love to introduce me to someone at the British Council who would just love an opportunity to work together to get this simple four-step process out there where it's so needed!)


Louise Romain, France



Hi louise, Hi Neli

Thanks for your contributions and Neli for your exampleof the stronger and weaker student. I don't need to respond as I think Louise has covered the ground expertly. The only thing I did find that the restraint involved in working through observations, feelings and needs actually provoked quite violent verbal reactions as people found it really hard to distinguish between 'observational comments' and 'judgemental comments'. See my 'active listening' comments in BLOG 13 as anothe rapproach.

Louise, can you send me your personal email at barry,tomalin@ihlondon.co.uk and I can give you a couple of useful contacts in London and Paris?




Hi  Louis ,Barry    and Eagle !

Thank you for your comments . I find your comments extremely useful and  it will be easier  to monitor students if we take usage  of non- violent language into consideration. I thnk this topic should be included in the training courses for teachers . It would help teachers to control their emotions trying not to hurt students and students not to hurt the teachers and their peers.

I agree with you Louise  empathy  is very important and should be nurtured .So, affective domain  seems at times even more important than cognitive or you never know which one is more important  

                          Neli Kukhaleishvili


Add new comment

Log in or register to post comments