Many people internalize the notion that how well you can speak a language in a work environment will affect how people see your intelligence and competence.

If you’re a professional that works in your second or third language, you know that it doesn’t matter whether you’re closing a deal with a major foreign client or messaging an international colleague on Slack. Those little traces of what I call ‘’language anxiety’’ can appear at any moment and make your work that much more stressful.

As a native English speaker who works in Spanish about 95% of the time, I’ve definitely experienced language anxiety. For my colleagues whose second language is English, that anxiety is noticeably worse, as Europe has an unspoken competitiveness between countries about who can speak the best English. And make no mistake, this competition is high stakes. The loser of ‘’Euro-work-English’’ gets branded with stereotypes of being lazy, uneducated, and out of touch with the current global business climate. …

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