Talking Loud and Clear
Language – ‘a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation.’
It’s often said that the UK and the US are two countries divided by a common language, and often it’s found to be true.
Some say men and women are equally divided, but that’s probably for another debate! How often are agencies and clients divided by a common language as well?
This isn’t about the use of jargon or technical phrases in the place of common language (a pet hate we’ve dealt with before) but about the use of words and phrases which have alternative meanings dependent on the circumstance. That circumstance is driven by the environment – and if you’re in a client servicing situation that most often means the client’s environment.
Businesses, like people, collaborate best when they understand each other, when there is not only clarity of purpose and vision but when there is clarity in communication.
How often do we forget common courtesies when we ‘go to work’? When we go to another country we are deemed arrogant if we only communicate in our mother tongue, with no regard for the language of the country we are in – why is it any different when we are in a ‘work’ situation?
And it’s not just language either, working patterns, behaviour, cultural fit – they all come into play.
This poses certain challenges – or opportunities depending on how you look at it – when business collaborate.
We have all experienced the benefits of working with ‘like-minded’ individuals and businesses, as well as the challenges of working with culturally and structurally differing organisations.
But with the understanding that working patterns and methods are different is there a way to get the most out of both situations?
We think so.
Understanding and accommodating clients – individually, organisationally and culturally can be a powerful tool, will make you far more valuable in their eyes and can be achieved if you remain agile in your approach.
Presenting information in a way that clients are used to seeing it and can easily take forward, talking their language, aligning your work with their processes and understanding and valuing their culture will make it easy for them to work with you, save time and reduce the potential for misunderstanding and conflict.
Stay true to your business but realise that you have the flexibility that they don’t which is an opportunity for you to make a difference to them. That’s not about bending yourself double to accommodate but about building trust and delivering on your promises.
Play to your strengths – you are there to help so why not make it easy for them and yourself?
It is as valuable to clients as it is to you.