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Professional Communication in English

Professional communication in English

Professional Communication in English

In all probability, your English is excellent. So why do you get tongue-tied at meetings with native English speakers? Anyone who has learnt English will tell you that the language starts out deceptively easy and ends up seemingly impossible to conquer. Professional communication in English requires a linguistic skillset you are unlikely to acquire overnight. Yet, with a little know-how and expert advice from experienced teachers, you can master professional English communication.

You are not alone if you lack confidence, jumble up words and phrases, or if your mind goes blank at a crucial moment although your official English level is C1.

The fail-safe tools in this article alongside dedication, consistency, and daily practice can elevate your English communication beyond your native-English counterparts.

Better Communication – Better Outcomes, Whatever Your Industry

Complex tasks require the intrinsics of clear and intelligent communication. Industry-specific vocabulary and general English business phrases boost your ability to excel when working in English. However professional communication in English must go beyond memorizing words and phrases. Professionals must boost comprehension and reach a point where they will grasp the finer details taking in body language, tone, intonation, and emotion. They must combine excellent soft skills with outstanding verbal ability to progress on their career path in international business, politics, academia, NGOs, and beyond.

Apart from delivering advice on perfecting your professional communication in English, let’s explore why anyone with a pinch of career ambition must prioritize it.

Perfect English – Your Key to Success

The importance of excellent English language skills has been the subject of a significant body of research. According to the British Council, excellent verbal, written, and aural abilities scale employability which emerged as the number-one motivator for language course attendance. The BC conducted a study across South America to determine the importance of learning English. The research found most employers make excellent English language skills a prerequisite, especially among high-level staff. 90 per cent of participants said CEOs and top-level staff must possess outstanding English skills, with 80 per cent of survey participants expressing a similar opinion on general management.

Globalisation has created thousands upon thousands of new career opportunities most of which require outstanding communication in English. Professionals working in non-English speaking countries partnering with other non-English speaking business partners today communicate in English. Rather than negotiating in one party’s native tongue, English conversations trump almost everywhere.

English Language Mastery Cornerstones

Let’s examine the four core aspects of language mastery, speaking, reading, listening, and writing. Initially, language learners may prioritize one area over another if their career demands it. However, at some point, all professionals must train in all aspects until they excel.

Getting to grips with writing or reading tasks is generally easily achievable thanks to the array of grammar, spell-check, and translation tools. Although the tools are very convenient indeed, they often allow non-native speakers to conceal their language skill gaps only to become blatantly obvious during face-to-face communication. Using any tool or even one of the AI chatbots, you can compose a professional email, sales mail, report, and more within seconds. The trouble is that you will likely have to convey the information and process responses when speaking to international partners without tool support.

Equally, no app or AI will rescue you when speaking to your counterparts. As a result, you must level up your listening comprehension to ensure you grasp all the details your business associates impart to eliminate miscommunication.

For now, it is essential to consider the hurdles non-native speakers must crush when communicating and collaborating in English.

Common Barriers to Professional Communication in English

Teachers will tell you that many English learners who have reached B2 or even C1 struggle when handling professional communication. They revert to translation software or use AI to compose written English despite high-level skills. During direct contact in the workplace, they find themselves lacking the fluency they should and do possess but are unable to employ. So why the struggle?

Lack of Confidence

Having to present complex professional concepts in English is daunting for any non-native speaker. Most invest hours preparing for presentations or negotiations, and rightly so. Only experience will alleviate fears and eliminate insecurities.

Lack of Speaking Practice

Many professionals needing English skills in the workplace have achieved a sufficiently high level to use it day-to-day. They possess a broad vocabulary and the industry-specific vocabulary they require. But when it comes to live communication, they freeze because they rarely speak English apart from when they are on holiday.

Failure to translate soft skills into English

When you learn a language you do not automatically translate the soft skills. Key capabilities you demonstrate daily in your native tongue like problem-solving, critical thinking, adaptability, teamwork, creativity, emotional intelligence, and leadership are unlikely to flow naturally without investing time, thought, and energy. Only by examining and experiencing the adaptation of each skill can you truly master and use them in English.

Vocabulary and Grammar Gaps

Many non-native English speakers display a great deal of vocabulary and intuitive grammar knowledge. Both are available to them during professional communication in English. However, sooner or later gaps appear. Non-native speakers make grammar mistakes, mix up words, or lack vocabulary all of which combine to reduce fluency and clarity while hampering professional communication.

professional communication in English

Key Strategies to Improve Your Professional Communication in English

Excellent professional communication in English doesn’t fall from the sky. Here is some must-heed advice.

Prioritise Clarity

Rather than constructing lengthy and convoluted sentences, it’s best to prioritize clarity and conciseness. Choose short, clear sentences to get your point across, whatever the context. The appropriate vocabulary ensures you can tackle complex topics during negotiations, disputes, and collaboration in any field. Brevity should underpin all your communication, in writing and when speaking.

Build a DO ENGLISH DAILY Habit

Consistency goes a long way toward helping you to master professional communication in English. Habit proponents highlight that daily practice creates momentum to catapult you toward your goal, meaning a solid habit ensures you progress continually.

At the same time, daily practice helps to overcome the motivation slumps learners invariably face once in a while.

Look Up and Learn Industry-Specific Vocabulary

Industry or sector-specific vocabulary lies at the heart of your professional communication. Find resources to match or ask AI to help you compile a glossary of terminology and phrases. Partner organisations, businesses or competitors in the English-speaking world can also be a rich source of vocabulary relevant to your job.

Join an English Class

Joining a private or group English class will help to accelerate your progress. Teacher guidance and interaction with other learners alongside the routine of a multi-weekly class and homework translate into improving your English communication faster and more effectively.

Immerse Yourself in the English Language

The deeper you dive into English, the more rapid your language refinement. The limitless choice of resources, online and off, delivers materials to people of all interests and passions.

As you advance in fluency, you likely focus on aspects beyond words and phrases, including stress and intonation for meaning, emotional context, and soft skill application.

Sign Up for CLIL Class

Content and Language Integrated Learning allows students to learn a new skill or acquire fresh knowledge through a foreign language. The dual approach has proven highly effective, with students scaling their language capabilities significantly whilst boosting their skills and knowledge.

Learners can opt for a CLIL class close to personal interests leading to higher motivation and improved language learning results.

Become Aware of Cultural Differences

Cultural awareness is a cornerstone of outstanding professional communication in English. With professionals speaking to partners from all corners of the globe, developing cultural sensitivity and familiarising yourself with customs, rules of engagement, and manners is a must. In-depth research and conversations with experienced colleagues will ensure you will interact and communicate in a culturally fitting way.

Find a Conversation Group or Speaking Partner

Conversation groups or speaking partnerships provide you with the opportunity to use and improve your communication skills. Check your locality for existing groups, set up your own, or find a native English speaker for a weekly swap.

Practice, Practice, Practice – Study, Study, Study

With plenty of practice and daily study, you can master professional English communication. Conquering a language to a level where you can excel professionally through it requires time, commitment, and dedication. New words, phrases, and even grammar points must be learned, understood, memorized, and mastered – none of which happens without determination and energy.

Career Benefits

Regardless of your career specifics, perfecting your professional communication in English will level up your prospects. Here are some core benefits

  • Confidence Boost: Exceptional communication skills bolster your confidence, key to career progression.
  • Access to Top-Level Positions: Only candidates with stellar English skills can secure the highest and best-paid positions
  • Outstanding Communication: Regardless of your sector, first-class communication will ensure your success during negotiations, when securing new clients, providing support, or collaborating in any field and context.
  • Networking: Widening your network becomes much easier when you can communicate with ease and fluency. You can then reap the networking rewards including new career opportunities, valuable partnerships, and a more solid profile and global standing.

The Long and Short of It

Going the extra mile when conquering a language may take time and effort but the rewards make them worthwhile. Many professionals stall and stop after reaching upper intermediate ignoring the many squandered career opportunities. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Prioritise your language skills and the professional world will be at your feet.