November 30, 2023

Tips and Tricks for using Corporate Language ft Communication Expert

Picture this: You’ve just stepped into the bustling corporate world, armed with enthusiasm and determination.

As you navigate through the maze of business lingo, you encounter a linguistic rollercoaster like no other.

The ride takes you from lofty 18th-century reverences to the mean streets of modern-day slang.

It’s like playing language hopscotch!

Are you a newcomer to Canada, ready to embark on a successful professional journey?

Welcome to the fascinating world of corporate language, where the right words can unlock doors to opportunities, but the wrong ones might leave you stranded in a sea of miscommunication! 😅

In this edition of our newsletter, we have joined forces with the one and only Communication Expert, Anna Garleff.

🚀 Meet Anna Garleff — Your Communication Companion! 🚀

With 20+ years of international experience as an organizational psychologist and executive coach, Anna has a proven track record of solving workforce challenges, including attracting, retaining, and developing people — and of motivating high-performing teams to pursue excellence.

But that’s not all! Anna has also been an incredible mentor to numerous newcomers, helping them understand organizational corporate culture, secure their dream jobs, and skillfully navigate the complexities of multiculturalism in the Canadian workplace.

Let’s dive deep into Anna’s treasure trove of knowledge and practical insights.!

P.S. as Anna Garleff said we’re barely scratching the surface of the iceberg called “communication”.

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🎯 Nick: What are some of the diverse and contrasting communication styles you’ve encountered as an Ambassador when receiving requests for networking, coaching, and job opportunities?

Anna Garleff: As an Ambassador, I’ve received requests along these lines:

“To the most esteemed and illustrious Madam of the Council of Lords,

With fervent humility and the deepest obeisance, I take pen in hand to beseech your noble assembly’s esteemed attention and graciously bespeak your magnanimous ears. The tide of time, like a capricious river, has borne us hitherto upon its current, and it is in this auspicious epoch that my quill doth proffer its thoughts before your august conclave.”

… and I’ve received requests along these lines:

“Yo, what crackin’, homie?

Just droppin’ this text to all my crew out there, keepin’ it real on the mean streets. Ain’t no doubt, we livin’ that gangsta life, hustlin’, grindin’, and survivin’ in these concrete jungles.”

I’m not kidding. Both were from newcomers, both trying to make contact with me in order to network, get coaching, and find jobs.

Luckily, I ain’t no spring chicken. I’ve lived in countries that were former colonies where there are still vestiges of that 1700s languaging in their speech and written correspondence. I’ve also listened to Eazy-E, so hey – I know what’s goin’ down.

🎯 Nick: What is the key to finding the right style and tone in communication that fosters a genuine connection? It has been observed that many newcomers try to copy the nuances of the Gen Z while moving away from the traditional professional tone.

Anna Garleff: Somewhere between these two extremes lies the right style and tone to actually connect with somebody, intrigue them enough that they actually read your stuff, and then next level … they actually reply. So what’s a newcomer to do? It’s not enough to be multilingual – now you have to do things “Canadian-style”?!

Why yes, yes you do.

First of all, it matters who you’re addressing, and why. In business, it never hurts to be formal, polite, and write in complete sentences. I don’t want to see: Ya, sure, uh huhor anything else that signals to me that you’re trying (really hard) to be cool.

You’re not.

You just sound disrespectful.

Equally, the effluvious, overblown language of the 1700s has got no place here, either. It tells me you’re out of touch, fresh off the boat, and that you’re going to have a hard time fitting in – especially when we’re working in diverse teams comprised primarily of non-native English speakers from around the world.

👉You need to speak plain, polite, complete, correct English, and write the same.

Do not make the mistake of talking like a machine gun in order to hide your mistakes. I still hear them. And I can’t understand you.

👉Don’t waste my time.

You might think we’re a match made in heaven, I’ve got a job hiding up my sleeve, or that I’m giving away free coaching sessions on the daily.

👉Don’t assume anything.

Avoid assumptions when using slang; clear and effective communication is key to impressing potential employers.

👉Don’t be pushy – it’s not a good look in Canada.

We are really friendly in a superfluous way, but it takes sustained relationship building to create trust.

That’s difficult, because as a newcomer, you’re trying to build a network – fast – with someone who HAS an established network. You have very little real estate to catch their attention and provide something of value that’s going to entice them to respond.

🎯Nick: Why does the context of your communication hold such significance, from cover letters to LinkedIn posts and everything in between?

Anna Garleff: It matters whether you are writing a cover letter, a LinkedIn post, an email, a DM or some other form of correspondence. It matters if it’s the first time or the third time you’re corresponding with them. It matters whether it’s a start-up in the creative industry, or correspondence to the regulatory body of an accredited profession.

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🎯 Nick: Anna, can you please provide some general tips and tricks that a newcomer needs to know?

Anna Garleff: Drawing from my own experience, here are some invaluable tips to kickstart your communication journey in Canada.


  • Be Professional: Maintain a professional tone and demeanor in all written and verbal communications.

Imagine you are a newcomer engaging in a job interview, where your interviewer assesses not just your skills but also the way you carry yourself and interact. In this scenario, projecting confidence, respect, and clear articulation would leave a lasting positive impression. Remember, your communication style plays a pivotal role in shaping perceptions and opening doors to opportunities.

  • Use Clear Language: Avoid jargon and acronyms that may not be universally understood. Be clear and concise in your messages.

For instance, if asked about your previous role at a tech startup, explain your responsibilities without overwhelming them with tech-specific acronyms, ensuring your valuable experiences are effectively conveyed and appreciated.

  • Be Respectful: Use polite language and show respect to colleagues, clients, and superiors.

Always address your managers with a warm greeting, maintain eye contact, and express gratitude for the opportunity to be considered for the position.

  • Be Mindful of Tone: Be positive and constructive in your language, even when discussing challenges or issues.

If asked about a challenging experience, focus on how you navigated through it and the valuable lessons learned, rather than dwelling on the negative aspects

  • Stay Focused on Goals: Align your language with the company’s mission and objectives, emphasizing productivity and success.

When discussing your previous work experiences, highlight how you proactively contributed to achieving milestones that directly correlated with the company’s long-term vision.

  • Proofread: Check your written communications for grammar and spelling errors before sending them out.

You’d always want to make a lasting impression by presenting flawlessly crafted emails or cover letters that showcase your attention to detail and dedication to excellence.

  • Listen Actively: Practice active listening when engaging in meetings or discussions to understand and respond appropriately.

Picture yourself asking thoughtful follow-up questions, demonstrating your genuine interest and understanding of their needs. This display of active listening not only leaves a lasting impression but also paves the way for an impactful conversation

  • Acknowledge Achievements: Use affirming language to recognize and praise team members’ accomplishments.

It’s essential to demonstrate your ability to acknowledge achievements, using affirming language to recognize and wholeheartedly praise your potential future team members’ accomplishments.

  • Use Data and Facts: Support your arguments and decisions with data and facts to enhance credibility.

Imagine you’re discussing your past achievements, and you confidently share how you improved customer satisfaction in your previous role by 30% within just six months, thanks to a well-structured data-driven strategy.

  • Seek Feedback: Encourage open feedback and be receptive to constructive criticism to foster a culture of growth.

Don’t hesitate to seek feedback on your performance and communication style. You could inquire about ways to improve your responses in future interviews.

🎯 Nick: Could you kindly share some essential ‘Don’ts’ guidelines that newcomers should steer clear of at all costs?

Anna Garleff: Sure, here are a few pointers that one needs to keep in their mind:


🚫 Avoid Slang: Refrain from using informal language, slang, or offensive terms in a professional setting.

🚫 Don’t Oversell: Be truthful and avoid exaggerated claims or promises that may not be achievable.

🚫 Don’t Gossip: Avoid spreading rumors or engaging in office gossip, as it can harm professional relationships.

🚫 Don’t Interrupt: Allow others to speak without interrupting and maintain respectful dialogue.

🚫 Avoid Aggressive Language: Refrain from using aggressive or confrontational language, even when disagreements arise.

🚫 Don’t Overuse Buzzwords: While some jargon is acceptable, don’t overuse buzzwords or corporate clichés.

🚫 Don’t Micromanage Language: Avoid being overly controlling about language preferences, as long as it aligns with company guidelines.

🚫 Don’t Use Excessive Abbreviations: Limit the use of abbreviations to those widely understood within your industry.

🚫 Avoid Overusing Formalities: Strike a balance between formality and approachability in your language.

🚫 Don’t Make Assumptions: Be cautious not to make assumptions about others based on their language or communication style.

🚫 Don’t Bombard With Messages or Disappear: Show some sensitivity for the other person’s time.

Anna Garleff: Moreover, here are some common phrases that you can utilize on a daily basis:

  • “Let’s touch base later to discuss the next steps.”
  • “I’ll follow up with an email outlining the action items.”
  • “I’ll get back to you once I hear from them.”
  • “We need to streamline our processes for better efficiency.”
  • “Our team is committed to delivering exceptional results.”
  • “We appreciate your collaboration and dedication to the project.”
  • “The quarterly report indicates steady growth in key areas.”
  • “We’ll need to brainstorm some innovative solutions to this challenge.”
  • “Moving forward, we should focus on optimizing our resources.”
  • “I’ll send you a calendar invite for the upcoming meeting.”
  • “Please keep me in the loop regarding any updates or changes.”

Last, don’t tell me how to follow-up with you. That’s my call.

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We’ve shared a few questions in this newsletter to get the ball rolling. If you’re interested in joining our exclusive community and staying informed with the latest knowledge, here’s how you can get started:

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We, as a community of immigrants dedicated to supporting fellow newcomers, prioritize creating a secure environment where professionals can come together and interact. Join us by signing up at and gaining access to our exclusive WhatsApp group, where you can arrange personalized one-on-one sessions with our Ambassadors for mock interviews, LinkedIn profile reviews, and so much more. Please be aware that this group is exclusively for users with Canadian cell phone numbers.

So, what are you waiting for?

Spread the word about this newsletter and share your valuable feedback with us.

Networking to get working! 💪

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