Language is not a barrier if you know the "thing/subject" and "art of communicating"

v9991

Trusted Information Resource
#1
Language is key enabler, but it is not to be equaled to high-vocabulary-alone!!! real when it comes to a work place, can it be compensated by other skills ?

we stumbled upon this topic during our coffee break....and could not conclude... So here's the deal.
1. quite a few examples of leaders who do not have communication skills, but have grown solely based on their technical skills. (no complaints)
2. equal examples,where people can talk their way out. ( most of times, making use of the ideas flying around....and some times even without having any real solutions(even skillfull of later breed can also talk(make up), only what is expected to be heard.!!! ))
!!!

but anyways, does/should vocabulary play a irreplaceable role in communication at workplace.
 
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somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
Re: language is not a barrier if you know the "thing/subject" and "art of communicati

Language is key enabler, but it is not to be equaled to high-vocabulary-alone!!! real when it comes to a work place, can it be compensated by other skills ?

we stumbled upon this topic during our coffee break....and could not conclude... So here's the deal.
1. quite a few examples of leaders who do not have communication skills, but have grown solely based on their technical skills. (no complaints)
2. equal examples,where people can talk their way out. ( most of times, making use of the ideas flying around....and some times even without having any real solutions(even skillfull of later breed can also talk(make up), only what is expected to be heard.!!! ))
!!!

but anyways, does/should vocabulary play a irreplaceable role in communication at workplace.
Communication is just not about talking, but also about listening.
You need to say three or four times more than you think you need to so that each person is more likely to get the message.
Getting a simple message across a large department accurately is in truth quite difficult. People hear usually what they want to hear.
Anything must be said in words of few syllables, which even a child could understand.
If you can master the art of conveying information to other employees successfully, you are ahead of the game. Beating round the bush will beat you down in the long run.
 
Last edited:

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Re: language is not a barrier if you know the "thing/subject" and "art of communicati

I agree with somashekar to this extent - "communication" is a two-way activity. Without the interaction between parties to confirm reception and understanding of the topic, the speaker never really knows whether his words have the intended effect.

I'm not sure I believe a top leader can achieve his place without communication skills, regardless of technical expertise. "Communication" (in the sense of two-way interaction) does not depend upon smooth delivery of a polished speaker with perfect pronunciation, vocabulary usage, and grammar if the audience isn't on the same page with the speaker.

Some effective communicators in my experience were laughed at by elitist grammarians for their vocabulary and grammar errors, but the elitists were NOT the target audience - the folks who were the target audience understood the speaker's intent and acted according to that intent.

Think of it this way:
If a slightly tipsy person approaches the bouncer at a night club, is he more likely to trundle off when the bouncer says in a genteel voice, "Sir, I will not approve your entrance."
OR,
when the bouncer, with a menacing look, snarls, "Beat it, drunk!"

Folks such as I sometimes get hired to write nice scripts for "rough and ready" speakers to use when confronting sophisticated audiences of investors and regulators. Usually, I just tell them to work from an outline and use the outline to tell their stories in their own words, letting the passion and sincerity overcome minor glitches of vocabulary and grammar. Mostly, I try to steer them away from using the language and vocabulary I, myself, use because it is painfully obvious those words are not natural for them and thus detracts from the sincerity of their message.
 
L

lk2012

#4
Re: Language is not a barrier if you know the "thing/subject" and "art of communicati

Agreed with everyone above.

The key thing is: if people don't want to hear what you're trying to say, there's no way you'll get your message across no matter how much they understand your language. :frust:

Speaking from daily experience, unfortunately
 

v9991

Trusted Information Resource
#5
Re: Language is not a barrier if you know the "thing/subject" and "art of communicati

Agreed with everyone above.

The key thing is: if people don't want to hear what you're trying to say, there's no way you'll get your message across no matter how much they understand your language. :frust:

Speaking from daily experience, unfortunately
i guess, my realization is to let-down(adjust, alter, modify, fit etc ) the personal preferences/traits to suit the listener OR identify 'that thing' can establish the connection to the listener.

first part is difficult i guess!!!!...some times, 'that thing' could be time or timing, even-voice, simple (any my)manner completely unrelated to the topic/time we are dealing with. etc.,

but then there are exceptions, who will yield only to the power....directives from top...etc.,
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#7
Re: Language is not a barrier if you know the "thing/subject" and "art of communicati

For our honeymoon, my wife and I backpacked through Europe for a month.
During that time, we figured out how to communicate in French, German, Swiss-German, Swiss-French (never knew they were different!), Italian, Austrian, Czech...

I only speak American English, and sometimes poorly at that.

It really distilled for me that "communication" is the transfer of ideas, desires and needs...regardless of the mechanism.
A whole lot of the communication during that time was hand motions and facial expressions...and a lot of shared laughter.
It also distilled for me that vocabulary is really a very minor point of communication.

Vocabulary can ease communication, but I find that it also can be one of the biggest barriers to communication as well, especially in a technical field.
The most respected members of a technical staff tend to be those who can explain the technology to a layman. Not in the vocabulary, but in the sharing of concepts in any way that creates understanding.
 

kgott

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
Re: Language is not a barrier if you know the "thing/subject" and "art of communicati

IMO choice of words is very important. By using the right or wrong one can snuff out any chances of a deal. (The wrong way of saying it can aslo do the same thing.)

Therefore, the right words can keep two people dancing and talking. For so long that continues a relationship grows, things are going right. Some times it takes many dances to get to where you both you want to get to.

Watch and listen to diplomats and learn about and analyse advertising and you will learn the art of communication.

listening to politicians are also good sources of learning the art of communication, not the message but how they sell the message.
 
P

pldey42

#9
Re: Language is not a barrier if you know the "thing/subject" and "art of communicati

I think we must command language to the degree necessary.

"Beer und bratwurst please" works pretty much anywhere in the world. I know, I've had the pleasure of testing it all over the place.

When I lived in Florida I e-mailed a party invitation. The subject line read, "Beer and bangers, tonight, my place." Not understanding that "bangers" is an English slang term for sausages, many of my American friends deleted the e-mail unread, thinking it was pornographic - and missed a perfectly civilized barbecue! I wonder what they'd have thought had I mentioned toad in the hole!

In Germany I had to debug some software. Every hour I took cost thousands of Deutschemarks. The manager was anxious, but kindly left me alone while I worked. Eventually he could contain his angst no longer and asked me what was going on. I was very concerned, for this had not happened before and my usually-strong bug detection methods were failing dismally.

"I don't know," I said, "Something funny's going on."

"Funny?" he exploded. "You think this is funny?"

We took time out over dinner to discuss English slang and restore mutual confidence. I take comfort in the fact that Kennedy had made a similar mistake, announcing in a visit to West Berlin that he was a Berliner: he had actually called himself a donut.

In Canada I once lost a whole afternoon trying to locate some aluminium. After much bemused chatter, someone said, "Oh, you mean aloominum! And when an English colleague suggested an electronics experiment in the lab by saying "Let's go knock one up," there was astonished uproar.

The now-defunct SF TV series "Firefly" involves a future where the Chinese become a power to reckon with. The characters speak American English - but cuss in authentic Chinese, with crystal clarity.

And of course music conveys emotion across cultures with extraordinary power, which is why repressive governments try to control it.

So I think the command of language required depends upon what one is trying to convey. I once saw a leader in despair at the chaos which suddenly surrounded him when his first reports, me included, dropped the ball. He just stood in the middle of the mess with "What happened?" written all over his face. Not a word was said. We all started scurrying around fixing it while he found comfort in a cup of tea - which he made himself.

Pat
 
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