I am running a leadership course for The Office of Scientific & Technological Industry of National Defence in Sichuan Province. The focus is on the differences in British and Chinese business leadership models and I also have to provide communication strategies to help enhance trade opportunities. The group has little English (and I have no Chinese) but the translator is brilliant and we are able to explore all topics are thoroughly. I discover that a side aim of everyone is to improve their English so I set them overnight tasks of saying hello to everyone they see in the hotel and making lots of small requests to the staff. Everyone does their homework diligently and tell me that they also stopped several people to ask for directions to the Chinese restaurant they were eating dinner at. I am delighted. We spend the last hour of day two with them practicing questions to ask in English at their upcoming visit to the National Science Institute. Having learnt that Chengdu is famous for both Giant Pandas and Shu Brocade I am glad at the end of the course to be presented with an exquisitely embroidered panel of the latter, much easier to get home on the train.
Am pleased to tell BBC’s Head of Ethical Sourcing not one single text sent during the sessions. Thanks to my friends at Aspire Leadership for inviting me to lead the course for them.