Are You Speaking English or American?

Early in my training career, I was sent to the London office to give a management skills seminar.The British were pleasant and receptive. At one point I told them that "These are skills you can use back on the job." All of sudden I heard a burst of laughter. I knew it couldn't have been my humor. Was the transfer of skills really that funny? I soon realized that "on the job" was the British equivalent of turning a trick. Uh oh. How was I to know? Nothing prepared me for that.

It was announced today that Mayor Bloomberg of New York City and Boris Johnson signed a two year deal to promote cross-Atlantic visits between London and New York.

So,if you speak in London, avoid putting your foot in your mouth. Here are some common terms to know:

trainspotter-a dork
it went off like a bomb-it was a success

Before you speak internationally talk to a cross cultural expert,read a book, and talk to the locals. And be careful when you say "on the job."