sábado, 4 de agosto de 2007

3 Reasons to learn languages for Business Success

While reading the must read blog of Tim Ferris I stumbled over a Wittgenstein quote: “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” Being German, living in Guatemala and thinking major parts of my wake time in English I really want to add on this.Words have always been a diferentiator. Social classes in every country speak different, little villages with few miles distance differentiate each other for minor dialect changes, priests used to preach in Latin and the current pope revives this - who cares that the "sheep" don't understand Latin. (Some more on my last side comment here)Coming to language in business.
English is the common business language. Even though you speak Spanish, German or whatever other mother tongue, consultants coming to your business will talk about: Balanced Scorecard, Lean Manufacturing, Reengineering, Key Success Factors, etc. Everybody uses more English in Business than people actually recognize. Especially Germans just take over the English vocabulary in their common German like they did with French in past centuries.

Therefore, the number one reason for language skills in Business is: You have to speak Business English. Even native speakers have to learn to speak Business English, pretty much like everybody else. You don't? You are easily recognized as not experienced, limited capacity or just off topic. For great training just check International Business Academy

Number two reason: Communication is key. The commonly trained communication principle "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" is some of the most complicated skills ever. Active Listening, interpretation and reiteration if understood cost discipline and self-control. By knowing several languages and cultural difference you make your life much easier. There are key words in every language which send you the message about the feelings and the objectives of the other speaker. Some key words Guatemalans use are "Fijase que" and "pena" - I will explain these words in a later blog, but by hearing these words in Guatemala you know that there is a problem, not a solution. If an american business person uses the word "bottomline" than you know that now is the moment to really understand what he wants to say. I believe great communication skills are a major asset of successful people. You can work on your communication skills by actively listening and writing, less by talking. In future blogs more on this one, too.

Last by not least: A portfolio of options is better than a single investment. Simply, if you have more words to use in whatever language you have a better probability of success. Let me put it like this: If you are a call center operator in Guatemala and speak only spanish your salary will be about 300$/month. If you speak English you will easily make 500$ and more. If you apply for a job in Germany, you are highly qualified but the other applicants speaks English...he gets the job. And in whatever difficult situation of communication, conflict or business you will always have more bullets to shoot back. By learning another language you will always advance all your skills on the same time.

If there are any language learners out there reading this while struggeling with advancing their individual skills, I hope these reasons give you some more motivation. My bottomline is that whatever language you learn and how hard it might be, for sure, you are not loosing your time - you always advance as a person. This will always help to be successful in your life.

1 comentario:

Anónimo dijo...

Thanks for the support! I am learning a language online with Livemocha.com. It is free to sign up and different from other ways I've tried. You can speak with tutors, native speakers, other learners and friends. The lessons are great but the chatting really helps with fluency!