Don’t (just) Speak English….Communicate!
How often have you expressed an idea clearly to someone and they have completely misunderstood – and even taken offence – at what you’ve said? And if the person you’re talking to is from another country and another culture, this happens quite quickly, right? Now try this when both of you are speaking in a second language – English.
Communication is more than words. It’s what’s behind the words. It’s what’s around the words, what encapsulates the words.
How we speak about things is shaped by our culture. When we translate into our second language, our words can quickly become lost in translation. The problem is not the word; instead, it’s the idea that the word represents. An idea that we pick up from our native language; and sometimes also from our local and regional cultural habits.
In business, as in personal life, we work more and more in words. We email. We text.
But these methods are deficient because there’s so much more than just Google Translators and decent grammar. There’s the background of each participant.
At CIK (Communications Is Key) we specialise in coaching English usage through the broader study of cultural awareness. Using this approach, we reveal a simple but often overseen fact:
That the most potent methods of communicating are often less about language mastery and more about the cultural awareness of the parties involved.
You Say Potato. I say…….Let’s call the whole thing off
We communicate with our voices, within the context of cultures, and the language of our bodies. Some cultures need more words to express an idea, others just one or two. When these two cultures attempt to talk without being aware of each other’s background, then misunderstanding and with it frustration can arise.
Thereby producing mediocre results unless the parties agree to implement a method of working and communicating that takes them a step closer to the other’s norms.
English coaching combined with Intercultural Communication promotes true understanding
between parties speaking English as a common second language. Communication Is Key offers workshops, short courses and private coaching with this goal in mind: in your home, your office or online.