If you work in English, manage teams in English, or do deals, meetings and presentations in English, then you’ll know that your level of English will influence your career.
It isn’t just that a good level of English helps you write emails or read industry publications. Great English helps you in other, invisible ways. Here are three 3 advantages of great English.
This is the easiest advantage to define. When your English is clear and accurate, you have more authority than someone whose English is inaccurate, difficult to understand, or limited.
With good English, people see you as a manager, leader and someone who inspires. But if your English is weak, everyone you have contact with (from the office cleaner to the CEO) will see that weakness – not your strengths and achievements.
This leads straight on from authority. If someone is doing a deal with you and your English is good, the person will feel confident that you understand the position or offer, and that you’ll be able to make the deal happen.
But if your English is limited, it will be more difficult for them to trust you with this deal. Will it go ahead, or will they need to find another business partner who can communicate better?
When we think that another person “speaks our language”, we feel sure that they understand us. This creates trust – which is the basis for good working relationships, deals – and promotions.
Here’s a personal story for you. Years ago, I worked for an international company in the Far East. My line manager was a great manager, but his English was his weak point. One day, he sent a memo around the office with such a huge English mistake in it that I felt embarrassed for him.
Often, mistakes don’t matter. (People might not even see or hear them.) But if mistakes are too frequent, or too public, it can affect respect. Most people want to feel pride in where they work, and in their companies and managers. One of the ways you can create this pride and respect is through your level of English.