As a language training professional working with experts who aren’t native speakers, I am aware of the struggles they sometimes experience facing meetings with accents from Cork to Leitrim, interviewing clients on complex requirements, making sense of a funny story while trying to bond with the team over lunch. It can be embarrassing and even distressing, despite having the necessary language credentials for the job.

A typical issue is trying to keep up with the locals when they’re going at full speed! (I moved to Cork 30 years ago and still have to occasionally ask some friends to slow down.)

If you work with multicultural teams, you’ve probably seen the problem where a native speaker’s natural speech is too fast or complex for some team members who are second language speakers. Here I address one of the ways to ‘listen differently’ in order to improve understanding.

Check out this video on one useful strategy to improve your understanding of native speakers.