Why 2021 Has Skyrocketed The Importance of improving Your English Communication Skills
The undeniable benefits of improving your English communication skills
When should I consider improving my English communication skills?
Now's the time to boost your English for the workplace.
It's no secret that English is the most important language for business. According to SIL International, almost 1.3 billion people speak English as a first or second language. Over 130 nations worldwide officially designate English as a primary or secondary language.
In fact, the globalization of tasks and resources has pushed multinational companies from Airbus to Samsung to adopt English-only corporate policies.
Fields from customer service to engineering to science to health care have expanded worldwide. Career opportunities are growing in English-speaking countries such as Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia.
Plus, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the globalization of labor markets. English communication skills are crucial to connect partners, clients, and stakeholders across geographical boundaries.
So, it's no surprise that millions of people are improving their English for the workplace and enrolling in English courses for companies.
Today's jobs involve interacting with clients on Zoom, reporting to superiors at conference tables, leading colleagues in a lab, or pitching products to hundreds of audience members on a TED Talks-like stage.
Whether you're traveling by plane or commuting via internet connection, English for work is the medium through which millions present, persuade, and express themselves in a single common language. English communication skills help you speak up, bring about consensus, and get across your ideas.
Now's the time to get a leg up and a foot in the door. Recognize those two idioms? Idiomatic language abounds in the business world (more on that later.)
Let's take a deeper look at English for work in the boardroom, the networking shindig, and the office.
Why English? Since English is the most widely spoken language, career-minded professionals and university students are enrolling in English courses for companies.
From aspiring start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, employers seek workers with top-notch English communication skills. Employers prefer candidates with English communication skills.
From the employer's perspective, mastering English highlights your drive to excel beyond the minimum duties of the job. English communication skills not only enhance your resume and LinkedIn profile but also make a splash at a job interview, career fair, or networking event. You can cultivate professional relationships in order to access the hidden job market of industry contacts and informal connections.
Wait...the hidden job market?
Did you know that most people don't land a position through official job postings and formal career fairs? Rather, you're more likely to find work opportunities through the hidden job market, which consists of social networks, word-of-mouth buzz, social media, volunteering, internal hiring, relationships with colleagues, friends, and family, and other unofficial channels. English for work is the language connecting these lines of communication.
Fast forward to the future after you land your dream job. Let's face it: you can't always avoid office politics. You strive to bond with colleagues at the water cooler. And now the water cooler encompasses the whole world.
Cultural differences and miscommunications can create friction. Your challenges include navigating disagreements and resolving conflicts. You definitely want to get along well with everybody, no matter where they're from.
Interpersonal skills require more than just correct grammar and textbook English accuracy. English for work entails tactful idioms, attention to the nuances of word choice, and cultural knowledge. Such sophisticated English communication skills foster the relationships crucial to a rewarding career.
Employers don't want a lone wolf-they want a team player. Teams around the world use English for work to train, meet, and collaborate across geographical boundaries. Today's workers use English to break the ice with clients, video conference with partners, develop content for websites, create instruction manuals-and enjoy the best meetings ever.
Why now? As the global economy adapts to the coronavirus pandemic, companies must collaborate both in-person and online around the world. English for the workplace builds bridges across borders and time zones.
There may be no going back to before the pandemic. Even if you don't travel abroad, you'll use Zoom, Google Meets, or Microsoft Teams to conduct interviews, attend conferences, and collaborate with partners.
Whether pitching on the phone or connecting via email, English for the workplace has never been more important to survive today and thrive tomorrow. In 2021 and beyond, the globe will become more and interconnected both practically and virtually, from town halls to chat rooms.
Why you? If you want to climb the career ladder, English for the workplace connects every rung to the top.
This is especially true if you're interested in health care, customer service, or management.
Keep reading for more insights into English for work relevant to executives, medical professionals, and sales and support staff.
English for sales and customer services
You're super smart, competent, and motivated. You know exactly how to do your job in, say, tech support or sales. You're a total expert in the company's products and services.
Unfortunately, it's a fact that your expertise doesn't matter much unless you can communicate in English effectively. Saying the wrong thing with the wrong tone can turn a call into a catastrophe.
When you struggle communicating, the person on the other end of the line won't benefit from your expertise. Even worse, one bad customer service experience can damage a company and your career.
Credibility is key to instilling confidence in the customers, and your credibility may be undermined by awkward English phrases, vague statements, grammar confusion, and rushed pronunciation.
Their confidence in you comes first from your own confidence using English for work.
On top of that, your job is extremely important. Who do people call when their computer crashes? When the washing machine bursts with soapy suds? When the electric heater dies on cozy New England winter morning?
Customer service or technical support-that's where people turn for help. Alternatively, people may go to a physical store or contact a sales representative online on the phone to replace rather than repair an item. In every case from an emergency to an inconvenience, people depend on your excellent English communication skills to diagnose the issue and deliver a solution.
Whether you're a techie or a telemarketer, here's some advice about English for work in service, support, or sales.
It's a cliche to say "service with a smile." The first step is to literally smile not just in person but also on the phone. Your smile comes across the phone connection-the customer can hear the warmth and friendliness. And your smile comes to life when speaking English for work with care.
At the same time, your goal is avoid sounding overly eager or enthusiastic, which can be a turn-off. Speaking at a moderate, deliberate pace with a pleasant tone of voice, you make a positive first impression and establish trust.
Another common cliche is that "the customer is always right." Of course, this doesn't mean customers are perfect human beings.
What it means is that you treat them with respect, even if they act unreasonable or make mistakes. Staying relaxed, you devote your full attention and take your time. Don't rush. You listen carefully and respond diplomatically with the right phrases.
Your job is to make customers happy, even if they act rude. Dealing with customers who are frustrated, annoyed, and impatient can be a challenge in any language-let alone a second or third language. It's important for you to sound calm and reasonable at all times, even if the customer becomes angry or unreasonable.
Another expectation is that you sound professional but not overly formal. When you study English for companies, you learn the appropriate vocabulary, idioms, and speaking techniques to maintain this delicate balancing act.
All these English communication skills take practice. You can memorize lines but you must speak them naturally. Nobody wants to chat with someone who sounds like a robot reciting a script.
Besides speaking, you need to listen. Customers may speak quickly, even inaccurately. The phone connection may be garbled. On the phone you don't benefit from the visual cues of hand gestures, body language, or facial expressions to aid understanding.
Imagine your customer is a computer user who isn't tech savvy-they may struggle explaining their issues. They may be so confused by the gadget that they feel like they're the ones trying to speak a foreign language: technobabble.
Your job is to figure out what they're trying to say. After you diagnose the issue, your goal is to describe next steps and solutions in the simplest possible terms.
Can you explain your company's product to your grandparents so that they grasp the basics? One of the greatest challenges in any language is to explain complex concepts in an easy-to-understand way. It's easy to make things complicated but hard to keep it simple.
The value of English courses for companies stems from the fact that "practice makes perfect" (another common cliche.) Only in an English course for companies can you get the necessary feedback to improve your English for work. With support from instructors and peers, you not only acquire useful phrases but also gain confidence.
To help get you started on your own, here are examples of English for the workplace phrases useful for customer service and sales.
Notice all the subtle ways that the tone is softened by modals like might or could, positive words like absolutely, and diplomatic phrases like "I'm afraid that..."
Practice these in front of the mirror. Alter them to fit a familiar scenario. Try role plays with a friend on FaceTime.
- When greeting... Continue reading.