Native English speakers are the world’s worst communicators

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The world’s best leaders will tell you that effective communication is the key to being the best at what you do. Good leaders have to be good communicators. And for any form of verbal or written communication, the language has to to be clear, credible and authentic and the message has to be crisp.

We can all agree that being fluent does not equate with being an effective communicator. It has been observed in several incidents of the corporate sector, certain events of misunderstanding a message have been traced back to a native speaker.

If you are a native speaker, you are happy to not indulge time in learning any other language – since English is the global language.

But being monolingual has its cons too.

Studies suggest that native speakers might not be as great when it comes to communicating their ideas to others, and it is perhaps because they aren’t able to express themselves in a way that would be understood by non native speakers, simply because of their inability to understand other languages.

Many non-native speakers have a purpose driven way of communicating the message in English, whereas an anglophone often talks too fat or, uses unfamiliar abbreviations in his speech.

So, what can you do to make communication more effective? We will take a look at few of the tips below to help you ensure that you get the word across, each time.

Audience is important

In a room full of foreigners, a native speaker is likely to have trouble understanding the heavily accented variations of the audience. Non-native speakers use simple language, without references or colloquial terms, taking every word at its face value. You would have to understand if they have got the meaning that you intended to, or if the nuances in different languages have led to different interpretations.

However, that isn’t the only worry. Conversely, a native speaker might talk too fast for their liking, or use a decorated language and abbreviations.

The abbreviations of American and British English have stark differences which puzzles non-native speakers, so does the subtle touches, which come across as unfamiliar to the foreigner.

For a native therefore, it is important to fine tune their way of communication in such a setting.

Being Receptive

A major drawback of being monolingual is the inability to tune into language variation. A native speaker is likely to dominate a conversation with people having different levels of fluency in English. It is also important to adapt and understand the heavily accented language that you might hear.

Filling conversation gaps doesn’t help because a non-native speaker might be trying to formulate a sentence. Slowing down your “normal” pace with the native friends might also be handy in having a communication where both the parties interact.

In non-responsive situations, it is best to try and make the point in simple language while asking for acknowledgement.

Simplification and interaction are really the keys to being an effective communicator, no matter what the language is.

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South Coast Herald

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