Learning to Communicate Abroad


One of the biggest fears professionals have in traveling for work is how to communicate with their colleagues, employees and prospective partners abroad.

In addition to teaching vocal and visual communication skills to employees on their way to international assignments, we at Berlitz|TMC also train them on how to persuade audiences, how get buy-in from management and how to approach potential partners – issues that depend on culture as much as they do on language.

For instance, when and how to use diplomatic language is a key point that is useful to some expatriates. This means understanding how one can politely disagree with their boss, or how to propose an alternative to what was suggested by a coworker. Depending on the interaction style preferences of the country they’re traveling to, some expatriates need to learn how to be more direct. They need to learn what being explicit sounds like, and how to find a balance between being clear and not sounding aggressive. These are all delicate situations in one’s own native language and culture, let alone foreign ones.

Through simulations of these situations followed by specific feedback from their trainers, participants at Berlitz|TMC-led trainings are able to internalize these communication strategies and, over time, become much more independent and successful in implementing them.

Berlitz|TMC trainers keep content on language and culture as relevant and realistic as possible in order to engage participants, as well as to provide them with the tools they can use to convey the messages they want to and arrive at their desired end. After all, communication, as many expats know, is as much about culture as it is about language.