Have you ever wondered if you are the only woman in tech…?
… to be frustrated and time robbed by typing, deleting, retyping, worrying about the word order and many more of these editing quandary’s? Do you look up hoping that nobody can see how ridiculously long it is taking you to send this fundamentally short and simple English language email?
Women tend to be far better at paying attention to the details and wanting to get it just right and I think that is a trait that we should certainly keep and gain from professionally, but I want to help you do this faster. If you were to have more confidence and more competence, the whole process would be a lot faster, not to mention that it would be far less frustrating.
“Are you going to continue putting yourself through this frustration time and time again as you gain more and more responsibility or are you going to find a (secret) workaround?”
Well, if English is not your first language, no matter how many years of English you have had at school, writing will always take more time and you know what? It isn’t about the amount of hours you have sat in a classroom that ‘should’ make this easier. School English is just that, the English you need for school. It got you through the exams and that’s that. It was a great foundation, a starting block but nothing more. If you want to make your English more professional, there is only one solution – relevant practice.
In school there wasn’t enough time to practice because there were 25-30, perhaps even more students for the teacher to get round. Just not enough time. There was group work of course but you know what, I don’t know about you but I always felt like it was the blind leading the blind. As for professional relevance? Zero, how could it be?
So the way to do it is to squeeze in a little practice time every day, it doesn’t need to take more than 10-15 minutes but it will take some self discipline. Just grab yourself a big glass of water, (much more learning indusive than caffeine) take a piece of paper and a pen, use a Frixion pen from Pilot if you prefer to be able to rub it out afterwards and remodel grammatically correct sentences. You can find those structures in emails from native speakers, on the web, in correspondence from clients etc. Just replace one word at a time, it should look like this…
Thanks for your email about the testing phase and what is required on our part, unfortunately since we agreed those testing dates, we have started a software rollout in house that is behind schedule and putting pressure on staff availability due to training. Is the testing phase absolutely necessary?
So your job now is to rewrite, not type, please write to start with – both sentences.
Now delete and replace as follows…
* Thanks for your call about the testing phase….
* Thanks for your voicemail message about the testing phase…
* Thanks for your note about the testing phase….
* and what is needed on our part
* and what is expected on our part
* unfortunately since we agreed those testing dates
* unfortunately since we agreed those testing paramaters
* unfortunately since we allocated staff to that testing phase
* unfortunately since we ….
and so on
Like I say, it might seem repetititive and dull, but repetition is key to getting a language structure to become natural in your brain or automatic and repeating a structure is exactly what we need for the writing process to become less frustrating and more efficient.
In an online environment there is obviously a bit more banter about how typical these situations are and how it has affected us in the past and what it would be tempting to say even though of course to be professional you never would say. But you know what, it really doesn’t matter, the fact of the matter is that we are using the right language structures to fix it in our brains and make it easier next time around. At the same time of course we have the opportunity to exchange ideas about managing such situations and hence networking constructively at the same time. The discussion that follows is a critical second part of the learning process, not everybody contributes as much every week, after all we all have work based demands and family commitments but most of us manage to sneak in to catch up and add something at some point.
We come together at strangers, learn as peers.
The virtual version in the Byte Sized English Club gives us a deadline to work towards which is the key difference between learning independently and checking in, but we also get exposure to a range of different language structures from other women working in a different part of the technology industry. We focus purely on authentic examples, typically previous emails or other non confidential correspondence and after that we turn that language around to get a really thorough introduction to questioning, a critical management skill, whether we are talking to clients or the teams – first we look at the word order, then the tone of the question and finally we discuss any new grammar or vocabulary.
The byte sized english approach is a logical, step by step approach that is thankfully more sociable than looking for inspiration over a coffee at work and it does cost €29,99 per month but it is free to join today.
That’s right just today, so share if you care.
If you miss the special October offer, no worries, if you join later, say in November or December, it won’t be free, you pay €29,99 but you get a free paperback novel for free to lubricate your language, called Cyber Terror, it is a tech based science fiction novel that is easy to read and reading it will be a great way to activate your English.