English is the global language of business and those who have not mastered it are at a distinct disadvantage. Going further, there is a sub-category of English even more vital to business, and that is Business English.
The Merriam-Webster definition of Business English is:
‘1: The study and practice of composition with emphasis on correctness, propriety, spelling, punctuation, and the forms of business correspondence.
2: English…that emphasize (s) its commercial rather than its cultural importance…normally designed to produce conversational fluency within a limited vocabulary.‘
Business English provides a strong foundation in terms of the vocabulary one requires in order to effectively communicate in that specific sphere. Business English language mastery ensures that one is able to express oneself clearly and quickly in order to save time and money for maximum productivity.
Business English is not poetic, flowery or beautiful. Instead, it is specifically designed to be functional and to maintain focus on the issue at hand. It is brief, to the point and designed to facilitate clarity of purpose in all forms of business communication. It is almost blunt, abrupt and clinical, so as to minimise misunderstanding, distractions and individual cross-cultural differences. It is practical, minimalistic and is focused on achieving results, rather than on eliciting an emotional response. Despite all that, it is never rude, impolite or overly emotional, as these are viewed as being unprofessional. Being perceived as unprofessional in business is to be avoided at all costs, as it suggests being ignorant, uneducated and / or inexperienced.
Business English instruction should always include the appropriate use of the Business English vocabulary for that specific business situation. It should consider the target audiences needs and seek to address them. For example, when requesting approval for a new project: a finance team would most often prefer financial numbers presented in spreadsheets, graphs and charts, whereas the HR team would prefer to be informed of how the project will impact staff members and their wellbeing.
Knowing your business audience and how to give them what they require will get you what you need quickly, so that you can be as productive and successful, as possible.
The ultimate sin in business is to waste time, money and productivity. Business English is the best way to avoid those pitfalls, so that you can achieve optimum success.
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