In this video I’m speaking to you from South America, where I’m about to deliver a talk to an audience of non English speakers. They speak Portuguese; I speak southern English. But we have an interpreter, so things should be fine.
What the experience made me think of is that while language barriers have solutions (like interpreters), oftentimes it’s when people speak the same language that they run into communication barriers.
Poor communication within a company erodes your ability to execute at the highest levels, disrupts the power that teamwork can bring, and causes divisions among your people.
When is the last time you paid attention to how effectively people in your company are communicating? If you haven’t in a while, maybe you should.
Good morning! I’m coming to you today from South America.
One of the differences here is they don’t speak English; they speak Portuguese. We’re going to have people translating for us. We have a booth back in there. Those people speak English and Portuguese. So the folks are going to have headsets on. While I’m talking, those folks in the booth back there are going to be translating my southern English into Portuguese. When they ask me questions, I’ll put the headset on, and they’ll translate the Portuguese questions to me in English.
Now, speaking of questions, I have one for you. Are you speaking the same language in your company? I see a lot of companies that have a lot of miscommunication, “Nobody told me; I wasn’t informed; I didn’t understand that; I didn’t know you wanted it then; I didn’t know I was supposed to do it,” and the list goes on and on. When there’s poor communication in a company, it affects your ability to execute at the highest and fastest levels. It disrupts the power that teamwork can bring when people are communicating clearly, and it causes divisions within a company.
Let me encourage you to think about your language in your company. One of the things I’ve said for many years is that the language also forms the culture. #1, are people communicating clearly and effectively? #2, what language are they using to do that? Do you have a common language or people believing in and adhering to the right values and principles in your company? It’s that level of communication that’s going to impact your effectiveness and eventually the people in the organization and then ultimately, the profitability of that business.
So think about that because I hope you don’t have to have a booth like this in your company one day.