Excuse me, Anthony. Do you mind if we speak in French?”

It was a question I was used to hearing.

No, of course not. Please go ahead.

That was my typical response.

I was sitting in a conference room in Le Plessis-Robinson, a suburb just outside of Paris, and every other person in that room was French. At the time, 80% of my clients and colleagues were French and when meetings started to get particularly heated, the conversation often shifted from English to French.