Our client’s company was recently purchased by a major media conglomerate operating out of Ireland. Overnight, the language requirements for employees and managers changed, as English became the dominant language in the office.
While the day-to-day operations would continue as they had been, middle and upper-managers would now need to provide daily / weekly / monthly / quarterly updates in English, both in formal written reports and memos, as well as in conference calls.
Our client had a lot of work to do in very little time to ensure that he made a good impression to the new leadership. He needed to review his language for formality, and for clarity regarding deadlines, progress made, and to explain what obstacles might keep these projects from being met in a timely manner.
We began by reviewing grammar tenses as they are related to time, and gave him some helpful phrases that illustrated exactly where he was in the work plan:
Before work begins:
“We intend to start with….” = this is the plan
“We expect to begin on….” = this is based on our capabilities and progress in previous tasks
“We hope to implement these changes by…” = this is if everything goes well
“So far, we have completed XYZ”
“Thus far, we have created XYZ”
“As of this moment, we have fulfilled the following targets, XYZ”
Addressing the deadline:
“We will finish by next week”
“We should have this done by the end of day”
“This project will be completed by the end of the quarter”
“Unfortunately, we require XYZ before we can move forward”
”Can you provide clarification on this task?”
”There has been a delay, due to XYZ”
“We are ahead of schedule” = we will finish early
”We are on schedule” = we will finish on time
“We are behind schedule” = we will finish later than expected
Our client was able to establish a full understanding of the inner-workings of his office, and was able to provide updates without delay and without uncertainty. The use of these phrases and a better understanding of time in the English language has provided him with more confidence in speaking with his new owners, and has allowed him to further demonstrate his value to the company.