Being Understood: It’s EVERYTHING!!
When people can’t understand you, they can’t buy what you’re selling, understand your requests, offer you a job, or promote you to a better position. The inability of professional, managerial, and sales staff to communicate clearly or intelligibly present complex ideas in English can also cost the employer new clients and have significant negative impact on keeping existing clients and on the credibility of the manager’s, professional’s, or salesperson’s expertise.
Have you ever ended a business, professional, or customer service conversation in anger and frustration because of the inability to understand or be understood? Does poor speech or writing ability have impact on your confidence in the service provider or professional? How confident do professionals feel when constantly asked to repeat what they say?
Many metrics exist in business to track “business lost” but nothing exists to track business ungained. Consider this real-life scenario described to me a few years ago by a business acquaintance who happened to share an elevator with two attorneys in her Manhattan accounting firm. The lawyers had just finished interviewing a forensic accounting associate for the purpose of bringing him into a matter they were handling. “Well, we certainly can’t use this firm, ” one attorney was overheard in comment to the other. “I didn’t understand a word he said.” Business ungained. No one will ever know why the firm did not get the business and no one will ever tell the associate that it was because of his heavy accent, which made his expertise unintelligible and questionable.
Could this scenario happen in your business?
Fortunately, improving pronunciation and/or writing are very teachable skills. Business owners and decision-makers are now realizing that it makes economic sense to provide language and culture-related support to their skilled and loyal employees. Professional and non-professional employees can be helped to overcome language challenges. This firm began providing accent reduction coaching to its talented foreign-born financial professionals who would be client-facing and giving oral presentations.
Language Directions can help you to help your valuable accent-challenged employees. Quickly, Efficiently, and Confidentially.