How Foreign Language Enhances Your Leadership Skills

By | July 13, 2019

[July 13, 2019] The modern world needs individuals with well-developed intellectual abilities. These people need to know how to communicate with new people, how to organize others, and achieve their goals, taking into account the needs, interests, and desires of each team member. However, to become a leader, it is not necessary to attend training of personal growth and self-development. It is real to develop leadership qualities in everyday life, even when we ourselves do not notice it. In this article, we will describe how the study and practice of a foreign language contribute to the formation of leadership qualities.

Starting to Learn a New Language Means Showing Your Determination

How many times have you thought about starting to learn a new foreign language, but some internal factors kept you from acting here and now? We are sure that this has happened many times with every person who chooses the path of permanent self-development. So, make an unequivocal decision to start learning, and moreover, to transform the idea into action testifies to your determination. And determination is one of the key leadership qualities.

Foreign Language as a Way to Develop Dedication and Perseverance

Continuing the conversation about the development of the main personal qualities of a leader, it must be said about dedication and perseverance. It is not enough just to come up with a certain goal — is it necessary to accomplish this, otherwise why did you start it all?

This is true for learning a new language. Your task and your indicator of dedication and perseverance are to bring the level of proficiency in the new language, if not to perfection, then at least to a solid knowledge of basic vocabulary, the ability to speak on at least simple topics, correctly interpret the written text and perceive the speech by ear.  At the initial stage, you can ask for help from translators, for example, The Word Point, but gradually you will notice that your level of knowledge is growing, and with it, your leadership skills are doing the same.

Way to Make the Brain Think Creatively

Creativity is what modern leaders need to make unexpected, innovative but effective business decisions. Learning a completely new language is a way to develop your creative potential. For example, if you already know English and Spanish, start learning Chinese or Hebrew. These languages belong to completely different groups. Completely different linguistic constructions will blow up your brain and force those gears in your head that have already fallen down with dust to spin at full capacity.

More Than One Language Is a Chance to Make Your Way into an International Company

Of course, you can be successful in your homeland, you can be a leader who does not need knowledge of a foreign language both in everyday life and in order to conduct business processes effectively. But think, what chance do you lose yourself?

A foreign language, and even better, several languages, give you the opportunity to expand your horizons, reach a new level, get into a new environment for leadership development and learn from international experience.

Brief Conclusion

As we have already said, leadership qualities development is not about your character only. It is also about your actions and aspirations you are not afraid to realize. Learning a new language is a great way to test your determination and ability to achieve goals, and also the possibility of improved communication and understanding with different audiences.


Author: Barbara Elliott

Barbara Elliott is a writer and editor with an international company. She writes motivational articles on leadership and self-growing. Barbara learns Spanish, Chinese and Turkish to develop her brain.

10 thoughts on “How Foreign Language Enhances Your Leadership Skills

  1. Janna Faulkner

    Your reasoning is sound (as others have pointed out) but I might also add that learning a new language has additional spinoff benefits like learning about a new culture and new perspective on things.

    1. Greg Heyman

      Well said, Janna. Good to see you on Gen. Satterfield’s leadership blog.

    2. Barbara

      Of course, I agree with you. Maybe, it is one of the most important advantages of learning languages

  2. Roger Yellowmule

    I will argue that you are absolutely correct, Ms. Elliott. But, to add one more thing to ensure it’s useful, learn a common language like Chinese, Spanish, or English. If you don’t know one of these three, then learn one of them. You get more people to practice with and are more likely to need it some day.

  3. Georgie M.

    I agree totally with your reasoning for learning a new language. Thanks Barbara for your insights.

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      Yes and others will have greater respect for you. It shows you are not stupid but have the willingness to do something hard. I might also add that this “new” language would be different than your upbringing. Many people are already fluent in more than one language because of their community. Learn another language outside that community.

  4. Eric Coda

    Good article and I agree with you that learning at least one additional language is helpful for leaders.

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