Improving written and spoken business communication
English is part of the Philippine educational curriculum from preschool to university level. If you went to school in the Philippines, you should have been taught proper English usage and grammar. But many employers tell us that this is still an area for improvement for aspiring and new employees.
We asked our resource person, Vina Vidal Vicente, to enumerate some of the most common errors in both written and spoken English, and enlighten us on some ways we could improve.
Most common mistakes for English usage, whether written or spoken, include: the use of prepositions, specifically in, on, and at.
These are very visual words, and need a lot of practice to use. Another is the misuse of “filipinized” words such as “irregardless” or “for a while.”
Correct usage needs to be taught and drilled.
Still another frequent error is using object pronouns as subject pronouns, for example, “Me and Julie went shopping.”
As the pronoun is used as a subject in the sentence, it should be changed to “Julie and I went shopping.”
These are only a few of very common slip ups made every day.
Ways to remedy and improve are:
1. Practice, and continuous learning. Read books and other materials in English. Listen to music, watch movies in English. Most importantly, use and practice the language as often as you can.
2. Encourage your team members to speak their mind. This means providing support as they express their opinion on a project or an issue—even when it is not aligned with yours. This also encourages the use of English and enables them to practice and eventually, gain confidence.
3. Give them constructive feedback. Impart useful and practical tips in a positive tone. This will help your employees and team members recall your corrections, without feeling embarrassed.
I remember a story of an account executive who lacked confidence in writing emails to his clients.
He had to consult with his superior always before he sends an email which causes delay in terms of response time.
His superior was concerned and decided to send him to a writing course which may not made his grammar perfect, but at least made him gain more confidence in his writing.
The quicker response time made the client feel that the account executive is more on top of things, and then awarded him with more business.
Knowledge in communicating more effectively is important to our team, not to make us look good but will help them be more confident and productive.
Vicente will be facilitating a workshop titled “Essentials of Business Communication: Written and Oral Communication for Everyday Use” on Oct. 25, 2017 at the Inquirer Academy.
The Inquirer Academy is at 4168 Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Ponte St., Makati City.
For more information about the workshop or if you would like to add your input on the article, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (632) 834-1557 or 771-2715 and look for Jerald Miguel or Judy Bondoc, or visit the website at www.inquireracademy.com.
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