Discover the secret to effective international communication

Picture of Bob Dignen

Bob Dignen

Bob has worked in the field of business and specialist English and international communication training for over twenty-five years.

Despite the steady globalisation of trade and business over the past 50 years, recent geopolitical, financial and supply chain crises make clear that our world order remains very fragile.

And it’s becoming increasingly clear in the fog of rising global uncertainty that two skills – the ability to communicate effectively internationally and to build powerful relationships in the workplace – are 21st-century competences that we all urgently need to cultivate.

What are the challenges of communicating internationally in the workplace?

When asked to speak about international communication, very few people mention the most significant challenge, namely, themselves, by which I mean what happens in their heads when faced with the challenge of working with strangers in an uncertain and unfamiliar context. I’m talking here about the ever-present influence of a powerful and dangerous judgementalism- a lack of patience- we have when interacting with people we don’t know very well.

The nature of this blind spot is perhaps not surprising considering that psychologically, it’s much better for us to see external factors as the reasons for our challenges rather than ourselves. Who wants to be the cause of their own problems? That’s why it is so much easier to say, “I don’t have time” rather than “I don’t make time”.

But to be fair to ourselves, if the problems we face are down to the limits of our own competence, it will be difficult to see the personal gaps. Put more simply, we won’t see what we don’t know.

If the main challenge is inside our own heads, then what can we do about it?

Highly effective international communicators devote significant time to the most important mental discipline known to humankind — namely, thinking. They think about what they think, why they think it and how that thinking impacts their actions.

In other words, highly effective international communicators commit to introspection- the effort to communicate in ways a little less unnatural, less habit and personality-driven, but more controlled and conscious, more skilled, which impacts others in a way which delivers better results. 

Thinking beyond language

It is very important for non-native speakers, who often worry about their English to note that international communication skills are way beyond English. We don’t get better at self-awareness and self-control simply by learning a foreign language. In fact, to be a little direct, by learning to speak English better without developing reflective capacity, we might simply develop the ability to be impatient and ineffective in two languages rather than one. That is a provocative way of putting things, but an important truth is that learning a foreign language is insufficient to be a highly effective international communicator. Whether a native or non-native speaker, we need things beyond language. And that is where CORE24 comes into play.

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Introducing Core24 — a suite of essential international people skills

Core24 is a unique synthesis of insights gained from over 20 years of experience in helping people become highly effective communicators in the international workplace. It is an international communication training framework which comprises a curriculum of 24 essential international people skills creating a blueprint for individuals, teams and organisations who want to develop the competencies to drive success.

Core24 is divided into four areas: Maximise Personal Strengths, Develop Powerful Relationships, Increase Your Impact and Drive Performance. Each area has 6 sub-skills, which gives us the twenty-four of Core24.

Maximise Personal Strengths

effective international communication

Use your strengths

effective international communication

Manage emotions at work

effective international communication

Get more creative

effective international communication

Define your personal brand

effective international communication

Increase resilience

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Deliver career success

For many people, developing better personal insight means coming to terms with difficult realities — their own impatience, an intolerance for others who don’t meet their standards, for example. It will mean for many the painful recognition that analytical excellence is not enough for business success, that stronger emotional and creative excellence is also incredibly significant.

The starting point of any personal development, as we have discussed, is a deep understanding of one’s own emotional and behavioural patterns. This involves slowing down to reflect, to see yourself for who you really are.

The modules within Maximise Personal Strengths will help people to build a proper vision for themselves connected to their deeper motivations, their “why”. Confidence with one’s own strengths is the foundation of effective communication, enabling us to speak at work with clear focus and a true sense of purpose.

Develop Powerful Relationships

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Unlock motivation

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Build a high-performing team

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Grow an effective international network

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Increase your intercultural intelligence

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Deal with difficult situations

Core24 turns next to relationship management. At the end of the day, reality teaches us that we achieve few things alone. We achieve much more with other people.

Key topics like trust building, influencing, team building and networking are the essential sub-skills within the second Core24 domain, Develop Powerful Relationships.

One of the most fundamental of these is examined in the module Accelerate Trust. Trust is an elusive concept that many people struggle to define easily. We know when it’s there and when it’s missing. We also know that it’s a predictor of high performance. But it’s difficult to plan how to develop it.

Core24 demystifies trust and other related concepts like networking and influencing, detailing practical tools and techniques which promote professional collaboration.

Smart English becomes essential at this point — using words and phrases that avoid misunderstanding and clearly come across as open, respectful and polite.

Increasing your impact … in English

effective international communication

Power up your influencing

effective international communication

Pitch, present and inspire

effective international communication

Negotiate effectively internationally

effective international communication

Use business storytelling to convince

effective international communication

Manage change successfully

effective international communication

Handle politics in your organisation

The modules in the Increase Your Impact domain provide, further essential tips and tools on how to craft messages that are clear and persuasive when working with international teams. They cover presentation and negotiation skills, business storytelling, ideas for communication during change management, and strategies for handling those really challenging situations at work, the “politics” of the organisation.

One of the most important effects of speaking a language that is not your mother tongue is that you lose rhetorical impact. When people over-focus on the accuracy of their grammar and vocabulary, they tend to focus too little on what they are saying and how best to say it.

Curiously, native speakers in international conversations, free from worries of accuracy, tends to communicate too freely, too quickly and in too complex a manner. They often lose impact and influence as international communicators for the simple reason that few fully understand what they are actually saying.

Smart English becomes a key tool for both first and second language speakers of English, and a key element of the feedback we provide to everyone.

Drive Performance

effective international communication

Give and get feedback

effective international communication

Delegate to achieve more

effective international communication

Coach and mentor to empower others

effective international communication

Develop your international leadership

effective international communication

Manage conflict successfully

effective international communication

Make hybrid work

The fourth dimension of Core24 is international leadership, and how to achieve sustainable performance from teams. Giving and getting feedback with international colleagues is a key focus point, as is effective delegation. Coaching and mentoring are also integrated; developing others is, after all, perhaps the most essential act of leadership. 

Importantly, the Drive Performance suite of sub-skills is essential not just for those in formal leadership roles. It is a general set of competences needed by everyone to establish clear and motivating roles, and a culture in the team that unlocks high performance.

Develop Your International Communication Skills with Core24

At the heart of Core24 is a simple message that business results depends on the relationships we have with other people.

In other words, to do great business, we need to be great with people. We need to build powerful international relationships that deliver sustainable results. Core24 is a unique bundle of international people skills which allows you to do just that.

Core24 is delivered in a range of flexible formats, including online training to in-company groups worldwide and personal coaching for those in leadership roles.

Additionally, we integrate Core24 into our professional English language training in our Effective International Communication course. We also give it exclusive focus in our NEW Global Collaboration Skills course.

Would you like to secure your spot on this course? Contact us today!

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