Speaking the same language doesn’t mean what you think!
Recently, my staff and I went through the process of analyzing how we could streamline processes, crush inefficiencies, and all around be a superpower team. We deal with clients from many diverse socio-economic backgrounds, educational levels and countries, not all speaking the same language. There are different international standards starting from the simple birth date convention of listing “month/day/year” in the US to indicating a date of birth in much of the rest of the world as “day/month/year”. I cannot tell you how many passports from around the world I’ve reviewed over my 21 years of practicing immigration law, but the number has to be in the thousands if you count principle beneficiaries and dependents.
However, speaking the same language from a systems perspective means that my staff and I must all be on the same page with naming conventions. Does one open a new file by listing the surname before the first name or vice versa? As a small office, these things can be taken for granted that everyone knows how it is done. Yet, this is not the case.
Sometimes it takes a deep breath and step back to figure out general standard operating procedures so that staff are all speaking the same “language,” whether it be in a procedures handbook, checklist, or merely written on a piece of paper. If we cannot rely on a universal standard for streamlining the office, it will only be that much more difficult to understand our clients whose main language is not English, may not be familiar with the American way of doing things, and our culture.
Additionally, foreign nationals are often interfacing with an attorney for the first time in their lives, regardless of country. Having a cordial, friendly, cohesive staff treating clients with respect, dignity and clarity makes the entire client interfacing experience smoother. We are ready on standby to help with any immigration needs you or your company may have, please call at +630-262-1435 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.