The most common English challenges my clients, determined managers at global pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies, have:
They don’t feel confident using English to communicate with their colleagues and clients.
They don’t express themselves clearly.
They feel frustrated and uncertain if their colleagues and clients really understand the message they’re trying so hard to communicate.
They feel they’re not getting their desired results out of meetings, interviews, negotiations, or presentations.
What scares them the most is that they know if they don’t improve their Business English communication skills, they feel they won’t be able to advance their careers.
They fear they won’t be able to effectively communicate their message to their team or clients.
They then fear they won’t be able to best support their team, company, or grow themselves to the next level as they know they can.
They know they’re losing precious career opportunities.
Is this you?
Perceived vs Real Challenge:
It’s important to understand the difference between your perceived challenges and your actual challenges. This is where most people start off wrong, and ultimately never reach their goals and desired results:
Perceived Challenge: They think they just need to improve their English language – vocabulary, pronunciation, listening, speaking. Thus, they invest all of their time and efforts into just improving their English language.
Actual Challenge: English language improvement is one part of the puzzle, but in order to communicate successfully with your colleagues and clients, you need to improve your overall English communication skills, not just language and vocabulary.
You need to focus on improving your vocabulary-language foundation, tone, and storytelling skills.
Additionally, you need a systematic approach to target all these important areas in an effective manner.
Only by doing this, whether with a coach or on your own, can you successfully use English to communicate with your colleagues and clients.
Think of the following analogy:
Let’s say you have a house and want to expand it with an additional, nice room. How would you go about doing this?
Would you just start “working on the new room” without any prior thought? No.
You could not just work on the new room. You would need to follow a systematic approach:
- 1) Assess the house, identify structural improvements needed for expansion, and create a foundation plan.
- 2) Develop the fundamental structure to get ready for the expansion.
- 3) Build and craft the additional room and complete the expansion.
The 3 Keys to Mastering Business English Communication Skills
The exact same principle used in the analogy applies to mastering your Business English communication skills: you need a focused, systematic approach.
- 1) Assess your Business English communication skills level and create your language-learning plan in order to build your fluency and confidence: Before solving any problems, you need to first assess your current language level and gauge how much you currently are able to understand and can speak in real-life situations. Also ask yourself: What are my specific challenges and goals? Write all of this down. After assessing your current level, you need to create a system specific to your needs that allows you to constantly learn, grow, and retain new vocabulary. Creating your foundational language plan and growing vocabulary are fundamental steps to better understand what is being said by colleagues and clients as well as to help you grow and improve your language-speaking skills.
- 2) Develop your communication effectiveness with tone in order to build rapport that helps you to build real trust and persuade your audience: In addition to vocabulary, if you want to deliver your message, you need to develop your tone and not let it just passively sit around doing nothing. As an advanced English speaker, you can no longer just focus on WHAT you say but on HOW you express yourself. Vocabulary alone will not help you connect with your audience in a meaningful, persuasive way; this is where tone comes into play. Tone is what can help you deliver your message in a clear, positive, professional, and proactive manner that connects and attracts your listeners. This is why so many famous speakers are known for speaking with a “charismatic” tone rather than a “monotone” one. You need to learn how to use tone as the powerful tool that it is in order to help you clearly deliver your message to your listeners.
- 3) Craft your storytelling skills in order to show your audience you understand, build trust, and convince them you can help: Along with constantly crafting your vocabulary and tone, you need to learn and confidently apply storytelling skills. This doesn’t mean lying. The art of storytelling is how we utilize our communication skills to share our message in a clear and easy-to-understand manner that makes sense, aligns with our audience’s values, and motivates them to take the desired action. It combines both human elements of logic and emotion into one captivating story. Storytelling turns boring, bland data into relevant, meaningful, and essential information that causes the audience to feel they need and want to understand. This is a crucial final piece of the puzzle if you want to be able to succeed in meetings, presentations, interviews, sales, marketing, negotiations, and other communications.
Whether with a coach or on your own, in order to improve your Business English communication skills with your colleagues and clients, you need to have a systemized, focused approach that targets and implements these important areas: language-vocabulary, tone, and storytelling.
Does this make sense?
These are all things I help my own clients with in my English communication skills digital course, The Career Accelerator for Life Science Managers. If you want to learn more, click here.