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5 Business Languages You Should Know To Get Ahead In Your Career

5 Business Languages You Should Know To Get Ahead In Your Career

The future of business is global, and there’s no getting around learning top business languages to survive.

By 2025, 50% of the world’s biggest companies will be based in emerging markets. This is up by 10 folds from only 5% in 2000.

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    CareerBuilder.com’s hiring forecast showed that 39 percent of U.S. employers said, they plan to hire bilingual candidates, and half said that if they had two equally qualified candidates, they would be more inclined to hire the bilingual one.

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    What’s more, salary bonuses vary depending on which languages you’re able to speak. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few different secondary languages and their annual bonuses as reported by The Economist:

    • Spanish — 1.5 percent bonus
    • French — 2.3 percent bonus
    • German — 3.8 percent bonus
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      This means that you can make an additional $50,000 to $125,000 just for knowing how to speak a foreign language!

      5 Top Spoken Business Languages You Should Know To Get Ahead

      To arrive at our 5 top spoken business languages, we took a number of factors into account.

      The first one is the number of native speakers. While this shouldn’t be the only factor you take into account when choosing what business language you should learn, there is a noticeable correlation of how impactful it would be.

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        The second is comparing countries with the largest GDP’s in the past (2010) and where they will be in the future (2020). While there are smaller variables taken into account, these two factors can help us narrow down the 5 top spoken business languages you should know to get ahead in your career.

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          1. English (365 Million Native Speakers)

          English is the obvious first choice when it comes to the top business languages. With economic powerhouses like the U.S, the U.K, and Australia, there’s no getting around English. Even when you’re speaking with native speakers from other countries, it’s likely that they speak English as their second language. Since most of the readers here are already English speakers, we’ll keep this section short and concise.

          2. German (92 Million Native Speakers)

          German is a perfect example demonstrating that the best languages shouldn’t be based on the number of native speakers in the world. Not only is it Europe’s largest economic powerhouse, with a GDP of 2.4 trillion Euros, but it’s also the largest export market for British goods.

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          Anyone seeking a job in the U.K, Austria, Germany, or anywhere that’s doing business with the companies (nearly everyone) in Germany, understanding the differences between ‘danke’ and ‘Ihr willkommen’ is critical.

          3. Russian (160 Million Native Speakers)

          Germany may have the largest export market for the U.K, but Russia is the U.K’s fastest-growing major export market. While there are fruitful opportunities to work with companies in Russia, there aren’t as many fluent English speakers that live in Russia, and knowing how to speak Russian comes with a big advantage.

          4. Spanish (406 Million Native Speakers)

          Recognized as one of the most popular European languages, Spanish is a beloved language not only in terms of usefulness in business, but in many areas of society. It’s the leading language that fuels many of the fastest-growing Latin economies in South America, Central America, and North America (Mexico).

          Given that it’s the second most spoken language in the U.S, with over 20 countries around the world that uses Spanish as their official language, 37% of American employers prefer hiring people who know how to speak Spanish.

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          5. Mandarin (935 Million Native Speakers)

          With just under a billion native speakers around the world, Mandarin has more native speakers than English and Spanish combined. This makes it one of the most attractive places in the world for businesses to target and a great investment for any professional to make today.

          Bloomberg has also ranked Mandarin as the number one business language to know after English.

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          Sean Kim

          Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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          Last Updated on April 6, 2020

          10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

          10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

          Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

          Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

          Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

          So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

          1. Be Authentic

          To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

          Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

          Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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          2. Listen

          Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

          To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

          Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

          Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

          3. Become an Expert

          Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

          You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

          4. Lead with Story

          From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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          If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

          5. Lead by Example

          It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

          ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

          We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

          6. Catch People Doing Good

          A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

          Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

          7. Be Effusive with Praise

          It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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          Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

          8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

          I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

          The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

          If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

          9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

          The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

          The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

          If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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          10. Understand Your Lane

          If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

          Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

          You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

          Final Thoughts

          Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

          It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

          More Tips About Making Influence

          Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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