Native English speakers are some of the worst communicators in the world — but there are steps we can take to improve!
At Payscout, one of our strengths lies in guiding entrepreneurs through the process of taking their business cross-border through our “Go Global Now” technology platform. A key component in that process is the concept of cultural empathy, which is the ability to accept another cultural point of view and interact accordingly.
We were reminded of the importance of cultural empathy when we saw this headline from the BBC:
The article covers a pattern of behavior that occurs when native English speakers are interacting with non-native English speakers – and it turns out a lot is being lost in the absence of translation.
“A lot of native speakers are happy that English has become the world’s global language. They feel they don’t have to spend time learning another language,” says Chong. “But… often you have a boardroom full of people from different countries communicating in English and all understanding each other and then suddenly the American or Brit walks into the room and nobody can understand them.”
As a global payment processing provider, it is essential to take time to think about clear and effective communication – especially when speaking with non-native English speakers.
There are several key takeaways in the article and we have highlighted several below.
When communicating with non-native English speakers:
- Speak purposefully and carefully
- Be short, direct, and clear
- Enunciate and be aware of how fast you are talking
- Avoid making jokes and using sarcasm, slang, or abbreviations
- Listen and give others a chance to speak
- Ask for confirmation when making important points or decisions
Ultimately, clear and effective communication is about being thoughtful. At Payscout, we’re not only a global company: We strive to become the thought-leading global payment processing provider in the world, and being empathetic when communicating with non-native English speakers is a simple and essential way that we demonstrate our thought leadership.