Taking Stock – Parlez vous Franglais in the boardroom.

Communication is everything in business and speaking the right language is key. Take John Mellows, senior partner at Mazars Neville Russell. Now a member of the firm’s group executive board, Mellows has to meet members of the firm’s French umbrella organisation, including chairman Patrick de Cambourg. However, a quick look down the list of members reveals everyone is French, except poor old Mellows. How does he manage? Does he have the language skills? Fortunately the French men at Mazars are a generous bunch and quickly adapted holding their board meetings in English. Taking Stock understands Mellows can pick his way through French language documents, but struggles when it comes to expressing himself vocally. Embarrassed by his lack of bilingualism, the Mazars man has heroically refused to struggle with his French in the way Eurotrash star Antoine de Caunes struggles with English. But far from resigning himself to isolation Mellows is reacting fast. TS knows any visitor to his Bury Street office will quickly notice a French audio kit sitting on the side board with which he is hoping to transform pigeon French into boardroom French. TS would like to be a fly on the wall when Mellows does his first board meeting in French, it should be quite a performance. To that end TS says bonne chance et ‘casse-toi une jambe’, comme on dit chez nous. Follow that!

Related reading