If you can speak a foreign language, let it be known!

Estimated reading time: 1 mins

This is a really simple thing but it is often neglected. Most organizations, particularly nowadays in the global economy, need foreign language speakers. And not just because of diversity targets!

Having this skill is an opportunity to involve yourself in other areas of your business. For example:

* Interpreting letters from customers and suppliers in foreign languages, especially complaints
* Interpreting your organization’s website or literature into foreign languages, or helping to make changes to it
* Negotiations with foreign suppliers
* Being ‘on-call’ for ad-hoc interpreting
* Enrollment or training of secondees from overseas or overseas workers
* Coaching and mentorship of non-native speaking colleagues

For colleagues where your organization’s primary language isn’t their own, it can be daunting to enter your company. Your language skills could be a lifeline to them!

Interpreting services can be expensive and also time-consuming, so you could save your company money by being available for ad-hoc work. You’re also familiar with your organization and it’s context, so your opinion and interpretation will be more valuable.

If you possess this skill, then use it. It could open avenues into other areas of your business, and you’ll almost certainly raise your profile and gain confidence in the process.


About the author /

Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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