Advice on business communications

Market Leader Upper Intermediate Unit 1

Pick one of the situations below and ask your partners’ advice (explaining your problem in more detail and with fuller sentences).

– An American boss who keeps telling you to relax

– Suddenly finding out that the gesture you have been using for the number two is rude to all your British colleagues

– A boss who only has an Elementary level in your shared languages

– Working in a French company and never knowing how to pronounce or spell people’s names

– Your boss receiving complaints about your telephone manner

– Being asked to give a presentation on communication skills to this year’s new recruits

– Always mixing up 15 and 50, 16 and 60 etc when people dictate numbers to you

– Being asked by your American boss “What are you looking so guilty about?” when you are not feeling guilty at all

– Rivals for promotion who are much more articulate than you

– Long and rambling emails from your boss

– Everyone saying that you are too direct or even rude, even though you followed the new company policy on succinct memos

– Your colleagues being too susceptible to persuasive salesmen and so often choosing the wrong suppliers

– Being naturally reserved but getting a new role that involves lots of networking

– Not understanding your Australian colleagues’ jokes

– Latin colleagues who are happy digressing from the agenda of the meeting, which drives you nuts

– Someone on a technical support helpline who uses loads of technical jargon

– A colleague who uses abbreviations and emoticons you don’t understand

– Leaving meetings without really getting what the main point was

– Being blamed for a breakdown in communication that resulted in lost business


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