14 Oct 2013

Do you work in another language? Many of my colleagues work in English and I notice some differences. Stephan can work all day, make puns and relax over a beer. Taniguchi appears to go to sleep but listens intently, until asked his opinion. Joseph appears to flick between French and English without blinking.

Personally I’ve always tried to speak more clearly and slowly when speaking to multilingual audiences at conferences. And to try to say a few words in any native language of a country where I’m presenting.

But latterly I’ve been stretched into speaking, listening, presenting and writing in French all day. Well… a lot of the day.

About dum de dum years ago I was pretty competent, but since then the memory chip filled up, the plastic brain got stretched in other directions, so it’s come as a bit of a shock.

The spoken and written language is coming back. But what is so hard is to listen. I’ve made a living out of listening carefully, above and between the lines. And now I can’t. It’s so different.

So I enter a new phase of respect for my colleagues who can not only work all day, socialise all day, but also get right what we English speakers we’re rattling on about all day.

Which brings me nicely to next week and a harsh trip to Melbourne to share learnings with said colleagues at our 20th (or is it 21st?) LimeBridge global gathering and to meet friends, old and new at  the 19th Aussie Chief Customer Officer Forum. Someone’s got to do it 🙂

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