Communication is never easy, and I do all of mine in my second language. In addition, I employ several people who don’t have English as their mother tongue.
No wonder it can be a challenge sometimes.
There are many studies showing how different cultures communicate, and how that pattern change under pressure. One of my favourites showed a dramatic difference between Finnish and Italians who were told to give verbal instructions to a partner. The partner was instructed to “not understand”, at the same time as the time to complete the task was reduced to increase stress on the communicator.
The Finnish group made sentences shorter, and included silence. The Italian group increased both volume and words, coupled with hand gestures.
Twitter forces me to really think about what I want to say, and how to make it as succinctly as I can. It isn’t as easy for me to find the emotionally loaded words in English as it is in Swedish, so it makes for a great education.
I have discovered that the extra thinking that goes into that makes me better as a leader. I communicate clearer to my team. Perhaps Twitter forces that extra thinking time that we all need to be really good at what we do.
However….I am not suggesting we all become Finnish. The result of the study was that while there was a big difference in the method, the outcomes were largely the same between all groups.