A recent article on ‘Business Communication Headline News’ caught my attention.
More than ever before, we are more likely to work with non-native English speakers. Many of them have heavy accents, tainted with foreign inflections. It is becoming difficult to understand all the ‘versions’ of English that are making their way into the workplace.
The article suggests that one way to reduce the problem is to introduce ‘accent-reduction’ training in the workplace. Is this a good idea?
Here’s my take on it. I believe that non-native English speakers have a personal responsibility to assimilate into the business community by learning to speak English the way it is spoken.
It is upon them to eliminate barriers of communication. It is to their advantage to market themselves successfully to employers and potential clients and to project themselves as assets to the organization.
Therefore when accent-reduction training is offered at work, I think it is a good idea for non-native English speakers to take advantage of these programs. However it is incumbent upon the organization to ensure that programs are introduced, implemented and managed in a fair and useful manner for the benefit of all parties.
Business communication is important enough to justify some kind of uniformity in language and tone in order for processes to be carried out efficiently and without misunderstanding.
I’d like to hear what “ya’ll” think about accents in the workplace.