Is there a relationship between Spanish and how to lead a team?

The Zest of Spain

Well there is and our client Debbie Garrick who teaches spanish to 2 to 4 years old has reminded me again why it is so important that we take the time to:

  1. Get the words right
  2. Understand the words we use
  3. Understand the words others use

I would like to invite you to think about the words you use most when communicating with the people who matter to your success.

How do you know that what you are saying is what they are hearing?

Imagine if you have a Spanish person in your team.

Would you take more time to clarify you had understood them?

Would you ask more questions to be sure that what you had heard was in context and accurate?

Debbie one of our Power Group members has some great stories to share about things she thought she was saying in Spanish that in fact meant something completely different when she was first working as a translator. At one of her very first seminars where she was working as a translator she said “she was hot” meaning she was hot, temperature hot, but the word she had used meant HOT as in sexy hot. It certainly broke the ice but it is a great example of a word meaning one thing and being interpreted as another.

What if I were to say that this happens all the time with people who are speaking the same language and it is their first language for both of them.

Is there anything else about Spanish and how to lead a team?

Many, many words particularly those used in business have various meaning. So what happens if you have a conversation with no additional questions to clarify.

I have a great example of this in a session this week. A client said they wanted things to improve, when I asked what kind of improve she said, “Well it is more of a consolidate, firm  up, settle and feel permanent rather than improve, improve implies get better. Everything is good and now what I want to do is maintain it for long enough,  to know it is a process that works. I want to know that this place of calm, and contentment is here for good, and that it is permanent.”

Now as a leader it would have been easy for me to ‘assume’ that improve meant more, or increase. The chances are that by consolidating, settling, firming up and feeling permanent that things will in fact improve but for now that is not where the attention is for this person.


For more information about the questions that bring you clarity of your own thinking and about our unique training and development programme that will show you how to ask these questions, please check out; Power Group Plus or leave your details below and join a community of leaders who are working together to explore what works and what doesn’t work. We will also send you two self coaching activities and information about the origin of the questions.


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If you would like to find out how your children learning Spanish will improve their confidence and communication in later life, please do check out Muchachos Singing Spanish. Debbie is also presenting at Scene 4 Women Networking event this evening, if you would like to meet her and find out more. ‘Muy Bien, Debbie’, I learned that by listening to the introduction video.

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