I have this strange idea that life would be better for many of us if we were able to communicate more effectively. Indeed, much of my work as a Business English trainer goes far beyond the normal boundaries of a language course and enters the precarious territory of communication, and why not? After all, the language is just the medium used for verbal and written communication and even people who share the same native language can be heard asking ‘What do you mean?’, or saying, ‘I don’t understand.’ So, is it a hopeless cause? Am I wasting my time? I don’t believe so.

I’ve just read an article posted in the Harvard Business Review about communication between departments in a company where the same words can mean different things to different people (https://hbr.org/2018/07/what-to-do-when-each-department-uses-different-words-to-describe-the-same-thing). I imagine that the writer was mainly thinking of the interdepartmental communication problems in a company whose departments are all based in the same country. So, imagine an international group of companies with people of different nationalities, based in different countries all over the world. The need for a common, corporate vocabulary is very important in order to make sure that we are all talking about the same thing, and often that vocabulary is in English.

Communication with international clients is very important, of course, but so is communication with colleagues, whether international or not.

 

 

 

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