Language and communication at work

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PICCADILLY LINE — I went to see my MP today. I had never done that in the UK before. I was a Special Assistant to a Cabinet Minister in the Canadian Government many years ago. But I have never had a reason to connected with Parliament in the UK.

He seems like a nice guy. 110% British. Very much the Englishman of American stereotypes. And yet he apparently speaks 6 or 7 European languages. Including Czech.

I only know that because it says so somewhere on his website. I didn’t test him.

But I find it very interesting in modern Britain to meet someone like that. We don’t seem to put enough emphasis on language in business in this country. And for multinational companies, and organisations working with new Britons, it is even more important.

At Able and How we like to think that we give language some prominence. We speak a bunch. But even in working in English we try to think about how people might see it if they spoke it as a second language. Or simply spoke at a different level.

That’s what business is all about. Making sure you’re understood.

It’s surprising how little attention is paid to that still.

/df



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