Author: Bob Dignen

Is there such a thing as virtual competence?

In the last in the current series of Business English posts from Bob Dignen, Bob considers the five key skills that comprise ‘virtual competence’. The world of work is becoming increasingly virtual. International teams are dispersed across the globe and forced to interact remotely via the media of email and teleconference. Consequently, interest is increasing… Read more »

Five reasons why feedback may be the most important skill


Giving effective feedback is a vital part of communication, whether inside or outside the boardroom or classroom. Bob Dignen explains why. Different aspects of communication lay claim to being the most important: listening effectively or building trust, for example. Though these are important, the critical skill for me is feedback, both giving and getting. Effective… Read more »

The art of facilitation – connecting others

Bob Dignen looks at the art of facilitation – a skill as important in the classroom as it is the boardroom. Much of professional life today is spent making decisions in meetings. Many of these meetings seem frustratingly inefficient – discussions go round (and round) in circles; there’s uneven participation among quieter and noisier individuals,… Read more »

Top tips for communicating internationally: part two

Bob Dignen gives five more tips on communicating across borders; if you missed the first five, you can read them here. #6 Invest in dialogue I once asked a Swedish CEO about how he communicated internationally. He answered that he used what he called an ‘interactive style’, always finishing what he said, which he kept… Read more »

Top tips for communicating internationally: part one

The business world of today is populated by global organisations looking to globalise yet still further. Professionals inside these organisations commonly experience international communication as challenging and frustratingly inefficient. A major German client of mine calculated that poor international email communication alone was costing the company in the region of €11m annually. Very often everyone… Read more »