Last month we delivered a training program for a British company whose employees wanted to improve their communication when working and communicating in English with Indian professionals of an IT Services Consultancy in Bangalore, India.
Why? Well only 15-17% of the world´s population who use English for business are native speakers. While the average english level of the 83-85% of non native speakers is upper-intermediate. This gap naturally causes communication problems and when added to cultural differences, even more.
What were their problems?
- How to check understanding and how to clarify key points
- Cultural issues to keep in mind when writing emails
- Cultural issues to keep in mind when telephoning
- How to run effective international meetings (conference calls and web based meetings).
- How to ensure the message is received
- How to write in simple and clear English.
- How to prepare sales documents that are clear for all nationalities
- How to deal with people whose English you can’t understand.
- How to be polite when communicating by telephone
- How to simplify technical language
- Teleconference techniques to ensure understanding
- Understanding which communication styles are preferred by different nationalities
- Email styles
- How to socialise with people from different cultures
- How to do networking at international events
We designed a customised program that focused on 5 key business skills which also included language points and intercultural skills for these 5 business skills; telephone, meeting, presentation , negotiation and email business skills.
Other useful points for the native speaker from the training program were:
- Empathise: Try to imagine how hard it is to learn and work in another language.
- Communication styles: How does your style differ from other people and between different countries/cultures
- Idioms: Explain them
- Avoid jokes
- Initials and Acronyms: always explain or spell them the first two or threes times and check they understand
- Open your mouth: project your voice and don´t swallow words
- CSC: keep spoken and written explanations CSC (clear, simple and concise)
- Noise: reduce background if you need to make a telephone call or teleconference. For e.g go into a quiet room.
- Last option: if you don´t understand ask them to send you an email
Read more about our training programs Intercultural Skills for Business.