With domestic workforces becoming more ethnically and linguistically diverse, and companies of all sizes increasingly tapping into foreign markets, today’s average business will typically list employees of mixed nationality and race. English may no longer be the dominant language, and personal values may range from compatible to conflicting. That these people get on and understand each other, both in the spoken word and in deeper beliefs, is paramount to the business’ success. Language training is essential to gain the most from business relationships and help teams cross the cultural divide.
Can Language Training Help Teams Cross the Cultural Divide?
The Perfect Time
Over the past few decades, ever-advancing technology and cheaper foreign travel have made the world progressively smaller. Even in times of recession it makes good business sense to exploit this heightened accessibility. Thus, penetrating emerging markets that are less affected by the crises currently crippling western economies. In fact there is almost no reason for a business not to expand into foreign territory. This has led to the now common practice of international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and offshoring. With this often comes relocation of staff for short or longer-term stints, the transfer of skills between countries, and in effect a workforce with huge potential for growth and success.
It would however be naïve to enter foreign waters ill equipped. There is no quicker way to widen the cultural divide than to march into a foreign business or culture and expect them to adopt your language and customs to the detriment of theirs. Successful partnerships, whether with a new or existing market, depend on relationship building. These relationships can only be formed with a degree of linguistic and cultural awareness.
Opening New Channels with Language Training
Language training is key to opening communication channels and to maintaining the free flow of information and ideas within a business environment. Study of any language also naturally embraces the culture or cultures associated with it; you may for example learn about a country’s food or art, government or geography.
Even basic etiquette such as greetings, socialising, time-keeping, dress and body language – each of which hold ample scope for faux pas – may be covered through linguistic development, as this often goes hand in hand with cultural sensitivities. Finally, the natural knock-on effect of improved verbal, written, reading and listening skills that come from learning another language will enhance team communication.
Language Training Tailor-made For You
It is advisable to tailor-make classes so they are geared towards the specific needs of your industry and target market. This in turn can cover cultural particularities at the same time. This will give staff the skills necessary to build sustainable long-term relationships, manage teams based around the world and reduce culture shock for the workforce.
The resulting pooling of talents under a common language can only serve to boost a company’s productivity and inner harmony. It is with this type of investment that language can go a long way towards bridging the cultural divide.
Language Training and the Cultural Divide
Are you looking to start some language training to help reduce the cultural divide? Do you want a course designed to your specific learning goals? Cactus offers a variety of great business classes tailored to your needs if our Business Spanish vocabulary list is not enough for you. Cactus also offers general language classes online, across the UK and immersive courses across the world.
Are you looking to develop your language skills or of your team members? Are you looking to determine the number of hours needed to reach proficiency? Cactus Guide to International Success – Levels and Progress Made Simple gives you the information you need to ensure your language training objectives are met. Download our free Guide to International Success.
Cactus Language Training Services
If you are interested in discussing your global language training strategy with the UK leading provider in language training, then get in touch to learn more about your language learning options. From face-to-face, online, blended learning and in company tuition Cactus Language Training will help you find the delivery and schedule that meets your needs. Cactus offer any language wherever you are and whenever you choose. Download our Free Corporate Brochure.
Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:
Online language courses: online classes for over 20 different languages
Evening language courses: evening language classes for over 20 languages across the UK, including London
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Junior language camps: immersion programmes for children and teens across the world
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world