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Do You Speak My Language?

by Adam Zack — July 12, 2017

Adam Zack

“What are you crazy?”

The majority of American business leaders in the past have spoken one language – English. The ability to be bi-lingual, or better yet multi-lingual, was held by very few company leaders. If they needed to speak another language they could bring in a translator, right? But in today’s business climate the need to be multi-lingual is more important than ever. An effective leader has to communicate concisely with everyone in the organization – from the front line to the CFO. But damn, how the hell am I going to learn another language? I work 60 hours a week and don’t have time to take classes, not even the Rosetta Stone courses. And that’s just to learn one more language! You’re talking multi, which is out of the question. What are you, crazy?! Relax hombre, I’m not talking about you mastering Spanish or getting down on your French. Calmez vous! I’m talking about effectively communicating to all of the different levels of employees in your store. Of course it’s all in English, but do you think the same memo that goes to middle managers and courtesy clerks is as effective with both? More than ever leaders need to focus on the level of employees that they are trying to communicate with. The goals are the same, but if the message is not delivered in the way that is most relevant to that level of employees (and keep in mind that they will discuss it amongst themselves: “You know what the CEO was talking about when he discussed Sales Comps and ROI?” “Nope.”) Communication has to be disseminated across the ranks, and if the thought process doesn’t consider that you might as well be talking German to the Frenchies.

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