Business communication still needs improvement
Although English is part of the Philippine educational curriculum from preschool to university level, 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 the 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.
Remember that when our employees gain confidence in their communication skills, the rewards could go beyond savings in time and effort.
One of my former students told me that he used to consult with his superior every time he wrote an email reply to his clients. This resulted in long delays in response time.
After taking a business writing course however, he gained enough confidence to craft replies himself and he sends them right away, thus impressing a client with his quick answers. The client then rewarded him with more sales. A win-win outcome for all involved.
Vicente will conduct another run of “Essentials of Business Communication: Written and Oral Communication for Everyday Use” on Sept. 13 at the Inquirer Academy. The course has a strong focus on writing effective email and other business documents ensuring your messages are communicated concisely and clearly. This course also reinforces the importance of assessing and engaging an audience, developing well-structured material, and delivering presentations in a clear and effective manner.
For those who want to focus on improving their presentation skills, Vicente will also facilitate a course on “Speaking with Confidence: Overcoming Anxiety in Public Speaking” on Oct. 4.
These courses can also be facilitated exclusive to your company and be customized to address the specific needs of your organization.
The Inquirer Academy is at 4168 Don Chino Roces Ave. corner Ponte St., Makati City.
For more information about the courses or if you would like to add your input on the article, you may email [email protected], call (632) 834-1557 or 771-2715 and look for Jerald Miguel or Karl Paz, or visit www.facebook.com/InquirerAcademy.
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