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Accent Softening saved her career

Recently I helped save a client’s career after she had accent softening. Ultimately my client had the power to change her situation, but I am delighted I was able to support her to make radical changes to save her career!

My client was a highly intelligent executive who was working at a senior level within the financial sector. Whilst the quality of her work was respected, people did not engage with her; listen to what she wanted to contribute or have a conversation with her. In fact her colleagues and team would try to avoid having conversations with her. She spoke English as a second language, and whilst she was fluent, she had a very strong accent, which made it very difficult for others to understand her.

The situation was rapidly becoming a significant problem for her. And then she had her annual review, which included 360 degree feedback. This was a wake up call to her. The observations included:

  • “When I see her in the building I avoid her because I can’t understand what’s she’s saying.”

  • ” I don’t want to have a conversation with her because it is embarrassing when I can’t understand her”.

  • “It is so embarrassing when you see everyone’s reactions when she is speaking in meetings”.

  • “When she appears in the office, everyone suddenly looks busy so they don’t have to speak to her”.

  • “Being in her team is challenging: we all struggle to understand what she’s saying then when we misunderstand she gets frustrated. We also try not to giggle when she mis-pronounces some words”.

This was devastating for my client to read and was a jolt to do something. It was clear that there was a barrier created between herself and her colleagues/team members, who were unable to understand what she was saying in conversations.

I was engaged to work with this client, to ensure her communication skills improved. The work included:

  • Specific work on pronunciation of words/sounds to make her speech clearer.

  • Identifying situations where her speech becomes less clear (e.g. when she was stressed).

  • Non-verbal communication to engage her audience (e.g. body language).

  • Specific mannerisms that her audience might mis-interpret as arrogant/not interested, when in fact this isn’t the case.

  • Developing active listening skills to ensure her audience believe she is interested in what they are saying.

My client contacted me to say “You saved my career. I had no idea that my accent and use of English was having such a negative impact on my personal branding and ability to communicate. THANK YOU!!”

We have many brilliant people who work in this country, who speak English well, but speak it as a second language. It takes confidence and courage to work in this environment, and personally I hugely respect them. However, there are occasions when this can be a barrier to career success – as demonstrated above. I offer Accent Calming for Business.

Do discuss your requirements by calling 08000938464 or contact us