Yasunori Takasaki, Senior Consultant, Commercial Services
Q: What were the most important learnings and realizations from the last coaching session sprint?
A: What I found most important was having agile SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals. By changing the structure of my presentation to match my current English ability and the time I had to prepare for the presentation, and by focusing on ease of delivery and clarity rather than fluency, I was able to set goals that were not unreasonable. As a result, the scope of my practice became clear, and I was able to focus on my goals and practice every day.
Q: How could you help me improve my English communication skills?
A: I gained confidence in my presentation by attending daily sessions and repeatedly shadowing the teacher's recordings.
Q: What kind of practice did you do between sessions?
A: Corrected sentences and pronunciation models were uploaded to OnePage, so I read, listened to, and shadowed them repeatedly to prepare for my presentation.
Q: Did the OnePage features enhance your learning?
A: In addition to the automatically generated MP3s and PDFs, listening to the audio created by OnePage helped me improve my speaking speed, fluency, intonation, and pronunciation.
Q: Has your attitude toward using English changed?
A: His coaching has changed the way I think about English and it has reduced my stress.
Q: Why is it important to have SMART goals?
A: The moderate pressure to present well in English with my peers, clear deadlines, and reasonable goals motivated me to practice daily sessions and in between.
Q: Did you improve your grammar and increase your vocabulary in the process?
A: Yes. My presentation delivery has improved, but so has my vocabulary and grammar awareness.
Senior Consultant, Commercial Services, Veeva Japan
Masamichi Yoshitake, Chief Executive Officer
"Since my school days, I did well on the English tests, but I was very bad at speaking. I didn't study abroad but instead entered the workforce, and when I was over 30 years old, I started a business that was deeply involved in foreign countries. I tried a number of English language schools, but I was too busy with my daily life to stay with them for long. With Aspire Coaching, it's all about clarity of purpose. By focusing on the English you need, rather than trying to become a native speaker, you can learn English that you can use in situations where you really need it the most. In my case, presentations to foreign investors and negotiating business deals with foreign clients were situations where English was needed, so I was able to prepare and rehearse during the daily sessions to prepare for the day. Also, they set up a personalized schedule so that I could make sure I was exposed to English at least once a day even during my busy schedule. In my case, I've been able to combine four short sessions a week with one long session a week to meet my objectives. After a few months, I could feel that my English skills had grown significantly. Aspire coaching is also mentoring. Specially licensed coaches can give you a lot of insight into not only your English but also your business and how you live. My English is still developing, but it will continue to grow with Aspire Coaching."
Chief Executive Officer, IMCF
Rob Wilson, General Manager
"One of the greatest challenges I had when starting our branch office in Japan was finding and hiring the right talent. Having experienced people who thrive in the chaos of a start-up, who are not risk-averse, and who know the customers and partners in our eco-system is essential, but requiring English fluency leaves you with nearly zero candidates to choose from.
Aspire allows me to loosen our English proficiency requirements and gives me the confidence in hiring candidates with mediocre abilities. The program quickly improves their confidence in communicating with our overseas offices by drawing on their own work materials for study. This not only has them studying and practicing the content they need for their daily work, but it also creates a reinforcement loop that increases their motivation to study and to actively communicate more, something textbook-based learning can't do. The coaching gives them an opportunity to work through problems and come up with better approaches to explain their needs. This is making them better, more direct communicators as a whole, even in Japanese."
General Manager, Aktana International LLC