In my business career I have taken many meetings and phone-calls and exchanged many eMails with people for whom English is not their first language. I’ve worked in the large corporate arena with clients such as Pfizer or Roche. I’ve also worked in the smaller entrepreneurial world speaking to people in many different countries. I have hosted teleconferences involving multiple countries at the same time. The one thing all of this communication has in common? It has all been done in one language, English.
English, both written and spoken, is the language of international business. With businesses spanning a number of different global locations English is usually the shared language.
Understanding the Business English language used in these situations is vital to ensure clarity for everyone involved. Small mistakes in understanding or presentation can lead to unwanted consequences. These can cause unintended results or wasted time and money.
There are a number of situations where a greater understanding and confidence in Business English is desirable and beneficial.
Continuing Professional Development
Much of business literature is written in English. Magazines, training materials and personal development educational matter are often English. Whilst some of these materials may be translated to your first language, often they are not or there is a long wait.
This can result in a loss of competitive advantage either personally or for your business. Understanding Business English helps ensure that you keep ahead of the competition.
People have different learning styles. For some, reading and writing can be more intimidating than speaking and listening.
Business eMails for example. Particularly if you are writing or reading and responding to eMails from your senior within the company.
Communicating with clarity and intent is essential. This enables you to present both a professional appearance and gain the intended result desired from the communication.
Whether you’re writing a presentation or being presented to, a clear understanding of what is communicated is important. Ensuring the presentation you give is clear and unambiguous will enhance the probability of a successful outcome. Likewise a clear understanding of the presentation being given ensures you have a complete understanding of what is being offered.
I recently bought some tools for my hobby and communicated with a manufacturer in a different country. The manufacturer had a member of customer facing staff who spoke good English and the whole process was smooth and seamless.
I have also supplied a customers in other countries. Their understanding of Business English ensured they understood the purchasing process. They specified their requirements precisely and there were no nasty surprises for anyone in the process.
In summary, a good level of Business English makes you more employable and more promotable to a more senior position. Whether you make use of your Business English language skills now or in your next role, they ensure that you are giving yourself the best opportunity.
Good Business English will ensure that your communications in English are understood and achieve the desired outcome.