We’ve just spent a team-building long weekend in the French Alps, enjoying the snow and the chat.
This is the conversation I overheard at the bottom of the ski slopes – where a colleague was buying a lift pass:
French ticket booth attendant: “Oui?”
Steve: “I would like a 3-day ski-lift pass to the Grand Massif area AVEC insurance s’il vous plait.”
And the transaction was completed without a hitch.
Now, you might argue that that is a typical example of an Englishman abroad, but from where I was standing, that was a good start. Not bilingual, I grant you, but making some (small) steps in the right direction. Maybe next year he’ll have the courage to use a whole French sentence.
It occurred to me, that sometimes, even if we don’t totally understand one another, just by making some moves to bridge the gap, whether that is language, cultural or perception , then goals can be achieved far faster and more effectively.
With this in mind, just take a few moments to find out if the communication within your organisation, or indeed, the messages you are trying to convey outside your organisation, are being understood in the way you think. We are so keen to get our requirements across, we sometimes lose sight of how they might be heard.