You use English at work and understand exactly what’s going on in meetings that are held in English.
But there’s a problem that comes up every time – whether it’s a face-to-face meeting with customers or colleagues, or a video conference.
you don’t have the confidence to contribute your own ideas, and would rather type in the chat box, or wait until someone else says the thing you’ve had buzzing around in your head for what feels like ages.
This means you end up playing a more passive role and undersell yourself, not showing your expertise or sharing your ideas. This can be even easier in online meetings – you just hide, keep quiet, and hope nobody asks you a direct question.
As a result, the whole group misses out on your suggestions, others take the credit for your ideas, colleagues don’t see you as an expert in your field, and ultimately you’re not top of mind when it comes to the next promotion.
You’re not alone!
I’ve been in German meetings where I had plenty to say, but didn’t open my mouth once. It’s frustrating, especially when I knew I could have saved everyone a lot of time and energy. I had things to say, but spent too much time worrying if I’d make perfect sentences, and then the moment was gone.
Things are better for me now – partly because my job means I don’t go to really big meetings in German any more, and in smaller groups things are always easier – but also because I took the time to get more comfortable with speaking German.
It didn’t happen overnight. There are no miracle fix-everything-in-one day solutions. It takes time and commitment, but you see much faster progress when your efforts are focusing on the right things.
I know it’s not only me that has this problem, because it comes up time and time again when I’m talking to my customers or even friends who use another language at work.
So I started wondering what I could do to help and I came up with this idea.
In May I’ll be opening up 8 free 30-minute problem-solving sessions in which I’ll help people choose the right strategies for them to move forward and become more confident about contributing ideas in English.
The sessions are online, so you can take part from your phone or laptop. I can’t do the work for you, but I can help to point you in the right direction.
In the session we will:
- Identify 3 things that hold you back from speaking in meetings.
- Pinpoint 2 implementable strategies for helping you to prepare, or overcome some of the difficulties that you have mentioned.
- Identify one resource that will help you on this journey, or an ally who could make your life easier.
There are plenty of free webinars right now, but I have decided to offer individual conversations because people have very different needs, questions, and I want you to go away from the sessions with tips that are relevant and implementable.
Generally the conversations are held in English, but if you want to use German to explain something or you feel a bit nervous about speaking English with me, we can have part of the conversation in German as well.
How to sign up
If you are interested in applying for one of the 30-minute problem-solving sessions, please fill in your details and I will get back to you. One session per participant. Subject to availability.
There is always some element of investment when you want to commit to change. This could be investing time in developing your language skills, investing energy as you change your mindset around speaking another language, or investing in a language course. Whatever it means for you, you will only start to see results if you decide to change something. Are you ready for that?