3 July 2017 by Rachel Paling
Clever companies are starting to cotton on! The global phenomena is not going away! The world is continuously getting smaller and businesses are increasingly breaking out beyond borders; even the smallest of provincial companies now understand the importance of speaking languages. But it does not stop there: LANGUAGES mean much, much more than that. Language Excellence signifies embracing cultural differences, diversity and inclusion par excellence and a deeper, more meaningful degree of communication and comprehension among employees and management.
And the truth is that global companies start to realize the need for their employees to be linguistically equipped and understand that having linguistically efficient staff will also have a positive impact on their business, improving world image, possibly even cinching more deals and definitely ensuring client service standards so that client loyalty increases. About 18 months ago, I had a shocking experience when I called an airline HQ in Europe and speaking in English asked to speak to my contact partner. Can you believe that the telephonist retorted to me in Italian saying “non parlo inglese, deve parlare in italiano…….” – I was absolutely shocked! Luckily, I DO speak Italian and then asked to speak to him in Italian. I could not help think what a bad image that brought to this international Airline!
But clever companies now know that there are 5 essential benefits stemming from Language Excellence :
1. REAFFIRMS GLOBAL PRESENCE AND POTENTIALLY INCREASES BUSINESS
Global presence signifies multi-lingual knowledge and companies that recognize and encourage language skills and provide the right language training to hone language skills greatly benefit from the knock-on effect of expansion and increasing worldwide business. Companies now are understanding the importance of the right approach to language learning: language should be coached beyond language into cultural comprehension and impacting communication. From neuroscience, companies now understand that each brain is unique; each brain is different and pushing people into large learning groups and paying “dumping prices” are no longer acceptably efficient ways of language training. In addition, global HR now recognize that linguistically competent employees should reflect and consider the best suited language services for their company and not process driven administrative staff who have no clue about learning languages and no experience of speaking languages themselves! Ulimately, companies just drain money away on ineffective learning. Clever companies appreciate that they are accustomed to paying thousands for business consultants and therefore are prepared to pay higher prices for “language consultants”, “language trouble shooters” and “language coaches”. Brain-friendly neurolanguage coaching® (trademark in the name of RM Paling) is often used as an approach that embraces how the brain potentially learns best; how the learning can be extremely focused and how language goes beyond simply understanding words, but into that deeper comprehension of cultural and communicative aspects that ensure doing business worldwide with certainty and greater sensitivity.
2. IMPROVES CORPORATE IMAGE
Companies that demonstrate daily through their executives and staff a rich variety of spoken languages constantly prove themselves as international players, who can PLAY anywhere worldwide and can consistently prove to their clients that “the client matters”. We all know how it feels when we are in a foreign country with a problem and suddenly someone speaks our language! That cultural sensitivity and respect is something that makes some companies stand out from others and makes them one cut above the rest
3. DEMONSTRATES SUPERIOR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION CULTURE
Companies that also demonstrate Linguistic Excellence through diversity and a strong inclusion culture foster respect for all nationalities, as well as recognition and appreciation for diverse customs, beliefs and cultural behaviours. Certain companies lay great emphasis on their internationality and embrace the positive aspects of this dimension to actually promote the company, brand and products to the maximum. And the more global that we all become, the more we, the clients, “like” this depth of comprehension and ultimately compassion.
4. INCREASES COMPANY CREATIVITY THROUGH VARIED CULTURAL CONTRIBUTIONS
Some companies have embraced their diversity and internationality by recognizing the cultural skills of the different nationalities. For example, Italian flair and design with German engineering and technology. Clever companies know how to tap into the particular skills that each culture excels in and take this one step beyond by combining and implementing those strengths to create excellent products, processes and services. Frequent cross-cultural brainstorming takes place to ensure creativity flow and innovation, so that global players stay one step ahead at all times.
5. PROMOTES CLOSER STAFF APPRECIATION AND RESPECT
Ultimately, companies that foster diversity, internationality and inclusion culture understand that executives and employees from different cultures need to understand and appreciate each other. These companies frequently invest in team building which focuses on cultural discovery and implementation of policies that reflect respect and promote team strengths. Translanguaging becomes habit among the employees and hearing and speaking many languages are just daily business. Multi-language conversations are encouraged. These companies also understand the neuroscience of culture and how social and emotional pain can affect employee relations and they are aware that constant imparting of knowledge regarding the brain and how the brain reacts is an absolute “must” to enable and facilitate better relations and deeper appreciation at all times to ensure greater cooperation and generate greater compassion among all. And compassion in the sense of going beyond empathy: the neuroscience of compassion demonstrates how the brain goes beyond empathy, which is when our mirror neurons and vagus nerve ”react” to others´ feelings or behaviours. Compassion goes beyond “reacting”; it means we sense and we “act” to actually help others and extend our hand to pull each other out into solutions and actions.
More and more of the global players and even those companies who now wish to, little by little become international and potentially springboard into global, follow the above consistently, ever reflecting their Language Excellence!
If you are a company in need of a Language Excellence Policy, contact me and I will be happy to carry out a “Language, Culture and Communication Diagnostics”.
Rachel Marie Paling – Creator of Neurolanguage Coaching – the new approach to promote Corporate Language Excellence.