How was your holiday?
I hope you are rested up and full of energy to make Big Things Happen. And I’m here to help you make that happen in English! I’m excited about new projects, events and clients for 2019, and I know it will be a year to remember already!
A client told me about an embarrassing situation he experienced recently. He meant well but made a small mistake in English which threw him into the shame spiral pretty quickly. That’s a horrible place to be in. I wanted to share his story with you, in the hope that you can learn from it (and make good first impressions and stay out of the shame spiral forever!).
You’ve been working hard preparing to welcome your new British colleague. Your office is spotless, the mood is set, and he’s finally arrived! You start out by asking him ‘Do you like coffee?’ He looks a bit puzzled, then says ‘Um…I guess so..?’ and then you dash off to get him a fresh cup of coffee. You bring it to him with a big smile, and then he looks a bit puzzled. He says, gently, ‘Oh, thanks…but I don’t really want any coffee right now. Would you happen to have some tea instead?’
You feel like an idiot. What did you do wrong?
You want to make a good first impression, and you only get one shot. However, you only know you’ve made a mistake when it’s too late. So what went wrong here? In English, there’s a big difference between ‘Would you like’ and ‘Do you like’. When you want to offer something to someone, or extend an invitation, a polite way to do that is to ask ‘Would you like…?’. For example ‘Would you like some coffee?’ ‘Would you like some assistance with that?’ ‘Would you like to join us for lunch?’
This is what he should have said. But he didn’t. He used ‘Do you like…?’ instead. In English we use this for talking about what we like or don’t like. Perhaps his new colleague likes coffee, beer, or chocolate, but it doesn’t mean that he wants any of that at that moment.
It might be just a small mistake but it had a big impact on my client. He felt ashamed and very stupid. As the first contact and the manager of the company, he really wanted to make a great first impression and he felt he didn’t.
If you’d like my professional tips and tricks on how to sail through meetings, networking, and negotiation sessions in English, I’ve got the perfect masterclass for you! In my Taking Care of Business Event we will be working hard and having fun, making your English go from functional to professional. I’ll share all the English insights I’ve been working on with my private CEO clients. We will work on all the subtleties and nuances of grammar, vocabulary and writing skills to raise the bar on your professional communication in English. This event is not for beginners (That’s why I designed my Confidence Boo(s)tcamp!) but for people who are already comfortable in English but know they can do better.
My Early Bird Discount on my Taking Care of Business event ends on February 10. Space is limited, so grab your spot!
It’s time to invest in yourself and your career. Let’s make it happen in 2019!
Sending you love (and a big cup of coffee!), Buffi
Don’t be this guy. Shame sucks.
This will help you feel awesome in English!