Giuseppe felt he needed to improve his language to be better at chairing meetings – we helped him to discover a more democratic approach through simulation and discussion.
During his needs analysis, Giuseppe told us that his main reason for learning English was to chair meetings. He just wanted to learn the language of meetings as he felt he had developed sufficient skill in this area. When we ran a meeting simulation, with him as chairman, we asked the other participants to give their feedback on his management. (As trainers we give the language feedback, but we often call on the professional expertise of other participants to give feedback on the management skills). They had all found that he was too autocratic, and felt that he had not consulted them enough or involved them in the discussion. He was surprised, and this led to a further discussion on expectations when chairing meetings in an international context.
Communication style can be a reflection not only of national culture, but of company culture as well as individual personality. Again, Giuseppe found this practical peer-feedback one of the most valuable aspects of his course.