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November / December 2012 Talking Points Newsletter

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Verbal Communication Determines Business Outcomes

Historical forces are such that, for better or worse, English has become the lingua franca of today’s global economy. This poses certain challenges for corporate management as it assesses the future landscape of the talent pool. According to the SHL Talent Report1 (PDF, 1.5MB), "potential leaders of today" are employees that have strong transformational behaviors that can engage and influence others, organize and mobilize resources, quickly adapt to challenges and change, and communicate effectively to gain the support of others. "Potential leaders of tomorrow", on the other hand, are employees who have some of these key requisites but lack fully-rounded skill sets. It's estimated that 1 in 3 managers fall into the group of "potential leaders of tomorrow". Interestingly, the availability of these potential candidates is strongest among the emerging economies, including Brazil, Russia, China (Taiwan), Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Korea; countries where English is spoken as a second language.

25 percent of employees believe their companies have the leaders to succeed in the future

Strategic Advantage or Fatal Flaw

Verbal communication skills determine business outcomes. They impact talent acquisition, job performance, and leadership development. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • The top skill employers look for when recruiting university graduates is verbal communication
  • 86% of global employees blame ineffective communication or lack of collaboration for work-place failures
  • 70% of global employees are non-native English speakers, yet only 7% think they speak English well enough to do their jobs
  • 93% of multinational employees surveyed said English is required or important to receive a promotion

Accent Reduction: The Missing Link

How are corporations providing the kinds of English communication skills employees need to engage, influence, and lead others? Along with NATO and other multinational organizations, some Fortune 500 companies are turning to a communication enhancement program known as pronunciation training, or accent reduction. Unlike a typical English course, pronunciation training teaches people how to pronounce the sounds in English that do not exist in their first language. It's for people who want to take their English, and their career paths, to the next level. It's for corporations that want to make sure their multinational workforce has what it needs to move from "potential leaders" to "leaders of today".

Learn more about English pronunciation training and the "Communicating with Confidence" program (PDF, 592KB)

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