During the COVID-19 pandemic, government and healthcare officials are strongly encouraging people to social distance and stay at home to reduce the risks of spreading the coronavirus. This self-isolation period, though, can be lonely and stressful, as well as putting a strain on a business. We are reaching out to colleagues and clients through phone and video chats more than ever before and if you find yourself wondering what topics to discuss during those conversations, you’re not alone. Even with your friends, it can be tough to find common ground. We have put together a few ideas designed to help you maintain a sense of connection during self-isolation.
Communication is key in any working environment and as the majority of us are now working remotely, it has become vital to the businesses.
Even though video chats help us remain connected, they come with extra stressors (The reason Zoom calls drain your energy). And as our conversations tend to focus on the seriousness of the current situation, we do less small talk, even though we need it more than ever before. So instead of using the language just to share facts, what if we used it more to connect and build trust?
Learning a second language, even just a few phrases, relevant to the person and location in question, equips you with the necessary knowledge that is needed to make an impact and will make the person on the other side feel more relaxed and comfortable and the conversation more productive. It is a natural human instinct for people to respect and trust individuals who speak their language over someone who does not.
Conversation For Business Calls
At Language Advantage, we are focusing on developing proficiency through progressively more challenging can-do goals throughout the course of the client’s language training program. Can-do goals, based on realistic real-world scenarios, are important because they keep you focused on learning what is relevant to your actual needs.
Below are examples of topics and specific phrases we teach to use as you talk on business calls with clients or colleagues who speak a different language.
Greetings. As you speak with clients in international markets, simply saying “Hello, how are you?” in their native language can be a great way to connect. Showing you know even the most basic phrases will help them see that you are trying to maintain a relationship, which you hope will continue after the pandemic ends.
Family. While you are in separate countries, you likely share feelings of anxiousness and boredom at home. Ask them how their family is saying by learning how to ask, “Is your family well?” in the second language.
This troubling time in the world is one that makes many people appreciate their families more than ever. Your client is sure to appreciate your asking them.
Pets. Many people have pets and consider them part of the family. They are spending more time now with their dog, cat, or another animal while in self-isolation, and you might be doing the same.
Trade stories about what Fido did lately that made you smile or a funny incident that occurred. An example of a phrase to use is, “Today, my dog and I…” or “How is your cat doing today?”
The light-hearted conversation can take both of your minds off the stress of COVID-19.
Safety. Show you care by saying, “stay safe” at the end of the conversation. These two words are ones said around the world a lot right now to show care for the health and safety of someone else.
Final Words on Staying Connected through Language
Whether you are speaking your first or second language to the person on the other side of the conversation, the most important thing is having a chat to connect with others. Maintain personal and professional relationships to get through the self-isolation period in good mental health and to prepare your business after COVID-19.