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Language matters. It’s important to communicate effectively with your team. It’s not just what you say but also how you say it. Language has a physiological effect. Using the right word and right tone can make or break the effectiveness of your team.
Good language skills lead to great results and a happy team. Leaders need to realize whether they are using labeling language or enabling language. Labeling language creates limiting beliefs in the team while enabling language motivates team players to more productivity.
Leaders always take language as a business strategy. The use of English for leaders that helps them communicate better in the global context, manage teams better and help them perform effectively. The leader’s learning a new language helps him change his own thinking patterns when leading the team. For example, the leadership can move from Tell-Do Pattern of Leadership to Ask-Perform Pattern of Leadership. In Tell-Do Style, leaders might be using a language that commands the teams and that creates more resistance in the company. Leaders can take Ask-Perform Approach where they can engage their employees.
Let’s take a simple example of a leader dealing with an employee who almost always messes up with his projects and performance, instead of saying “I want the work to be completed by 10 am tomorrow”, the leaders in Ask-Perform style can say, “Can you help me understand on how you can complete this work by 10 am tomorrow?” and then lead from that point to the whole process of completing the project. Leadership language will move leaders from, This is what I want” to “Here’s something to think about” and from “It will never work” to “What do you think will work out?” so leadership language creates a whole new range of possibilities at work.
Leadership language is not command such as “Just do as I say”, it is a question such as, “How can I help do this?’
The shift in using a new language automatically shifts the thinking patterns that improve communication skills leading to productive results and better performance.
Implementing language strategy
Companies that cannot devise a language strategy are limiting their growth opportunities to the markets where their language is spoken putting themselves at a disadvantage to competitors that have adopted English-only policies.
Change is always resisted and difficult to be implemented. There are Four Types of Employee Response when implementing the English Language in the organization. Ideally, employees are excited about the move and confident that they can make the shift. They’re optimistic and likely to embrace the challenge.
But undoubtedly, some employees will feel “oppressed.” Those people don’t think the change is a good idea, and they don’t think they’ll cut it.
Frustrated employees say, “My company and I would benefit it I learned English but I don’t think I can do it”, Inspired Employee says: “I am capable of learning English and it would be good for me and my company if I did”, Oppressed Employee says, “I don’t think I am learning English and I don’t see the benefit to me or my company to learn it” and Indifferent Employee: “I can learn English but I don’t see the benefit for me or my company”.
Language differences can cause trouble when geographically dispersed employees have to work together to meet corporate goals. An employee from Pakistan may need input from an enterprise in UK or Greece. Without common ground, communication will suffer. Better language comprehension gives employees more firsthand information, which is vital to good decision making.
Language as a solution
Leaders and managers can help employees move from one state to another more easily than you might expect. There are fairly simple strategies that aid the shift, typically involving some combination of a strong psychological boost and practical training. To shift employees from “frustrated” to “inspired,” for instance, managers must offer constant encouragement and an array of language-development opportunities. To shift employees from “indifferent” to “inspired,” managers must work on improving buy-in—once these employees feel invested in the change, their skills will follow.
Encouragement from managers and executives—simple statements like “You can do it” or “I believe in you”—make all the difference.
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Over the past years, I have coached and trained thousands of students to become confident and proficient language users.
Sir. Naeem is the language coach, trainer, and writer of NeoEnglish, IELTS Training and NeoLinguistics. He’s an MA English with PGD-Linguistics. As a decoder of Learning, he’s a Business English Expert specialized in ESP for students, teachers, doctors, managers, and leaders. DOWNLOAD ENGLISH E-BOOKS FREE