Having a firm handle on the English language is crucial for business professionals in our global economy today. It’s more important than ever for managers and executives to not only have a foundation of the English language, but to also understand the subtleties of how to communicate in the most effective way possible.
There are international professionals who can speak English well, but when they come to the U.S. on a business trip, they have a difficult time understanding their co-workers’ accent or jargon. They attend important meetings and speak English as they would in their native language. However, they experience less success than they had originally hoped for since they lack the language and cultural skills needed to connect with their colleagues effectively. An example of this would be the use of the word “no.” Some foreigners are accustomed to using this word more directly in their native language, and can therefore be too blunt when they say “no” in English. Americans like to hear the word “no” in a softer way, and could be offended if a colleague says “no” to them in such a direct manner. There are many uncomfortable situations like these that can be avoided with simply a better understanding of the subtleties of the English language.