Некоммерческое акционерное общество


Кафедра Иностранные языки




Деловое общение.

Методические указания для магистрантов

по специальностям:

6N0717 – Теплоэнергетика

6N0718 – Электроэнергетика

6N0719 – Радиотехника, электроника и телекоммуникации

6N0702  -  Автоматизация и управление






Алматы, 2009


СОСТАВИТЕЛЬ: Л.Я.Коробейникова. Английский язык. Деловое общение.

Методические указания для магистрантов по специальностям:

6N0717 – Теплоэнергетика, 6N0718 – Электроэнергетика, 6N0719 – Радиотехника, электроника и телекоммуникации, 6N0702  -  Автоматизация и управление.- Алматы, АИЭС, 2009.- 5    с.



Настоящие методические указания базируются на материале учебников Market Leader-Intermediate Business English Course BookMarket LeaderUpper-Intermediate Business English Course Book, и составлены для выполнения самостоятельной работы по переводу с английского языка на русский текстов делового характера.

Тематика текстов связана с профессиональной деятельностью магистрантов и направлена на развитие умений и навыков, необходимых будущим специалистам в ситуациях



Unit 1. Employment


“No matter how successful you are, your business and its future are in the hands of the people you hire”

                                                                                                       Akio Morita,

                                                                                     Japanese business executive


Do you know, which department recruits new employees, looks after customers’ problems and complaints, arranges courses for the staff?


Human Resources (HR), formerly known as Personnel deal with recruitment in conjunction with departmental managers, they administer payment systems in tandem with accounts, they are perhaps present at performance appraisal reviews when employees discuss with their managers how they are doing, they may be responsible for providing training, in industrial relations they are involved in complaints and disputes procedures, and they often have to break the news when people are dismissed.

Human Resources Management specialists may be involved in:

•   introducing more 'scientific’ selection procedures: for example the use of tests to see what people are really like and what they are good at, rather than how they come across in interviews.

•   implementing policies of empowerment, where employees and managers are given authority to make decisions previously made at higher levels.

•   employee training and, more recently, coaching: individual advice to employees on improving their career prospects, and mentoring: when senior managers help and advise more junior ones in their organisation.

•   actions to eliminate racial and sexual discrimination in hiring and promotion and to fight harassment in the workplace: bullying and sexual harassment.

•   incentive schemes to increase motivation through remuneration systems designed to reward performance.


Task 1. In your opinion, which factors below are important for getting a job? Choose the five most important. Is there anything missing from the list?


appearance                 hobbies                experience             sex

intelligence                marital status        personality            qualifications

references                  age                        astrological sign    handwriting

blood group               sickness record     family background

contacts and connections




Task 2. Express your opinion ( a) agreement; b) disagreement) on the following statements:  Write 2-4 sentences on each point .

1    At work appearance is more important than performance.

2    You should keep your private life totally separate from your work.

3    People don't change much during their working lives.

4    It is best to work for as few companies as possible.

5    Everybody should retire at 50.

Vocabulary:  The recruitment process

Task 3. Match the verbs 1 to 6 to the nouns a) to f) to make word partnerships.

1   to train                    a) a vacancy / post

2  to shortlist                b) an interview panel

3  to advertise              c) the candidates

4  to assemble             d) references

5  to make                   e) new staff

6  to check                   f) a job offer


Task 4. Complete the text using the following words or phrases:


curriculum vitae (CV) / resume            probationary period           interview

application form            psychometric test              covering letter


These days many applicants submit their........................1 speculatively to companies they would like to work for. In other words, they do not apply for an advertised job but hope the employer will be interested enough to keep their CV on the file and contact them when they have a vacancy. When replying to an advertisement, candidates often fill in a / an........................2 and write a / an........................3. The employer will then invite the best candidates to attend

 a/ an........................4. Sometimes candidates will take a / an........................5 before the interview to assess their mental ability and reasoning skills. These days it is normal for successful candidates to have to work a / an........................6 in a company. This is usually three or six months; after that they are offered a permanent post.


Task 5.  Which of these words would you use to describe yourself in a work or study situation? Which of the qualities do you think are the most important to be successful in a job?


 • motivated              • confident          • reliable            • proud

 • dedicated              •  loyal                • determined       • charismatic

 • honest                   • adaptable          • resourceful      • meticulous

Task 6. Complete the sentences with a suitable item from the box.


applicant                       a vacancy                                 interview

a covering letter            financial package                    resume

a headhunter                 a reference                              a shortlist

a probationary period


1 The starting salary of the successful….applicant…. will be decided on the basis of qualifications and experience.

2  The usual American English word for  CV is  '..............'.

3  Our company has..............for a graduate in economics.

4  Applicants will be called for..............between 10 and 16 April.

5  We ask all our new employees to work..............of between one and three months.

6  The interview panel will draw up..............of only five candidates.

7  Please send..............together with your CV.

8  It is usual to ask your previous employer for..............when you apply for a job.

9  For high performers, a good..............is not all that matters. They need a challenge as well.

10 They hired..............to attract some executives from a rival company.


Task 7. Suppose you would like to give a complementary reference to your former colleague.

Use:  be a hard working man  (woman); loyal  to his  (her), colleagues;    able    to    take    criticism;    have    high   professional  qualifications; have logical and creative mind; have experience  dealing with ...; have publications related to ...; have patents; be a leader; have new original ideas; be honest; be punctual; be reliable;  never let people down; keep one's promises; be interested in their job; be acquainted with one's duties; be intelligent; have a good reputation in the field of ...; be suitable; be responsible for ...; have self-control.

Mоde1: Dr N is a highly intelligent man.   He has excellent experience in dealing with...

Task 9.   Situation. You applied for a job and got it. How did it happen? Was it a piece of good luck, or did you behave cleverly?

Use: dress appropriately; arrive for the interview five to ten minutes early; have one's Social Security card; have several copies of resume; have the names, addresses and phone numbers of three people to be used as references; be polite; not to smoke or chew gum; listen attentively to the interviewer; speak audibly; not to mumble; answer the questions clearly and competently; wait to ask about benefits and vacations; thank the interviewer; write a thank-you note.

Model:   1. I applied for a job and got it.  -  My congratulations. How did you behave during the interview?  (Keep the conversation going.)

Task 10.  Situation. Your colleague applied for a new job but was turned down. Why did it happen?

Use:    produce    unfavourable    impression;    be  not  properly dressed; look untidy; badly shaven; dirty boots; long hair; wear too bright colours; wrinkled trousers; not a fresh shirt; have no professional look; seem light-minded and irresponsible; be late for the interview; keep the boss waiting; not punctual; not take one's career seriously; have no self-control; sound not confident enough; speak poor English;  behave inadequately;  hesitate in answering questions; not have enough experience; not competent; have poor professional skills.

Model:   1.  Your colleague applied for a new job, but was turned down. 2. Why?  What happened?   -   I'm afraid it was his own fault. To begin with, he was late for the interview and kept the boss waiting!  Besides...

Task 11.  Make your statements more emphatic.

Model:   a)  1.  We would like to deal with this project.   -     This (that, here) is the                      project we would like to deal with

               b)  1.  Our firm needs a man like David. – David is just the man our firm needs.

1. I'm very much interested in this job. 2. My colleague told me about this man. 3. I want you to get acquainted with this young man. 4. You can always rely upon the man like Charles 5. I'm quite satisfied with that salary. 6. We dreamed about having a modern computer and here it is. 7. I told you about this boy. 8. My boss wants to acquaint me with my new duties. 9. We would like to come to an agreement with this firm. 10. Your boss has to fill in his income tax form.


Reading:   Retaining good staff

Discuss these questions before you read the article.

1   The article talks about people who are high performers. What does this phrase mean? What sort of people are they?

2  What do you think motivates high performers to stay with the same company?


Task 7. Read the article and answer these questions.

1.    What qualities of high performers are mentioned in the article?

2.     What are the problems of losing high performers?

3.    Which motivating factors are mentioned in the article?


Text 1.   Motivating high-calibre staff

                                                                                  By Michael Douglas


An organisation's capacity to identify, attract and retain high-quality, high-performing people who can develop winning strategies has become decisive in ensuring competitive advantage. High performers are easier to define than to find. They are people with apparently limitless energy and enthusiasm, qualities that  shine through even on their bad days. They are full of ideas and get things done quickly and effectively. They inspire others not just by pep talks

but also through the sheer force of their example. Such people can push their organisations to greater and greater heights.

The problem is that people of this quality are very attractive to rival companies and are likely to be headhunted.   The financial impact of such people leaving is great and includes the costs of expensive training and lost productivity and inspiration.

However, not all high performers are stolen, some are lost. High performers generally   leave   because  organisations do not know how to keep them. Too many employers are blind or indifferent to the agenda of would be high performers, especially those who are young. Organisations  should consider how such people are likely to regard important motivating factors.

Money remains an important motivator but organisations should not imagine that it is the only one that matters. In practice, high performers tend to take for granted that they will get a good financial package. They seek motivation from other sources.

Empowerment is a particularly important motivating force for new talent. A high performer will seek to feel that he or she 'owns' a project in a creative sense. Wise employers offer this opportunity.

The challenge of the job is another essential motivator for high performers. Such people easily become demotivated  if they sense that their organisation has little or no real sense of where it is going.

A platform for self-development should be provided. High performers are very keen to develop their skills and their curriculum vitae. Offering time for regeneration is another crucial way for organisations to retain high performers. Work needs to be varied and time should be   available for creative thinking and mastering new skills. The  provision of a coach or mentor signals that organisation has commitment to fast-tracking   an   individual development.

Individuals do well in an environment where they can depend on good administrative      support. They will not want to feel that the success they are winning for the organisation is lost because of  the  inefficiency of  others or by weaknesses in support areas.

Above all, high performers - especially if they are young - want to feel that the organisation they work for regards them as special. If they find that it is not interested in them as people but only as high-performing commodities, it will hardly be surprising if their loyalty is minimal. On the other hand, if an organisation does invest in its people, it is much more likely to win loyalty from them and to create a community of talent and high performance that will

worry competitors.

                                                                             From the Financial Times


Task 8. Use these words or phrases from the article to answer the questions below:


pep talk                    mentor               CV

fast-tracking             headhunting       financial package


a)    Which word or phrase:

1   is British English for the American English resume7........................

2   refers to stealing employees from companies?.......................

3   do you often find in job advertisements referring to money and benefits?

4   refers to an older, more experienced person who helps you?

5   usually leads to quick promotion?.......................

6  means a short chat to motivate staff?.......................

b)    What are the advantages and disadvantages of:

1   headhunting?

2  having a mentor system?

3   fast-tracking certain employees?

4  frequent pep talks?

Grammar: Indirect questions and statements

Task 9. In which of these questions and statements is the word order correct?                              Rewrite the incorrect ones.

1   Could you tell me what your strengths are?

2   I'd like to know what would your colleagues say about you.

3   Could you tell me how have you changed in the last five years?

4   Do you happen to know what salary I will start on?

5   I am not sure where want I to be in five years' time.


Task 10. Put the words in the right order to form indirect questions or statements:


1   do know where you the room interview is?                        -

2   I ask you old are you how could?

3   I wonder you if could me tell what time is it?

4   I'd like why to know we you should hire.

5   do you mind I ask if your weaknesses are what?

6   could I you ask why left you your last job?

Task 11. Study these examples, then make the questions below indirect, using phrases from the box.

Direct questions                                            Indirect questions

How long did you work there?   Could I ask you how long you worked there?

Do you like working in a team?     Could you tell me if you like working in a team?

Could I ask you...?                            Could you tell me...?

I'd like to know...                              Do you mind telling me...?


1   Are you satisfied with your present salary?

2   Does your partner work?

3   How do you react when people criticise you?

4   How much do you earn in your present job?

5  What are your weaknesses?

6  What kind of situations do you find difficult?

7  Why do you think you are the right person for this job?

8  Is there anything you dislike in your present job?


Task 12. You are interviewing someone for a job. How would you politely find out the following information?

1   Their age                                  3 Their reasons for leaving their last job

2   Their current salary                 4 Their weaknesses



Possible areas to cover include:

• strengths              • interests

• experience           • weaknesses

• achievements      • skills

Task 13. Situation. You want to apply for a job. Below are the questions your new employer may ask you. Use indirect questions. Begin your questions with:

can you tell me; would you please tell me; could you possibly tell me (more polite); do you know; do you by any chance know; do you happen to know; have you any idea; I wonder; I want to know; I would like to know.

Mind the word order. Try to answer these questions.

Model:   1. Why have you decided to change your job?      -     I expected to get a promotion.  But the laboratory failed to get any new grants and so my promotion failed too. (Keep the conversation going.)

1.Where have you worked before? 2. Why have you decided to change your job? 3. Why are you interested in this sort of job? 4. How long have you been working in this field?  .5. Do you have any computer skills? 6. Have you had any publications related to the proposed project within the last two years? 7. You have brought your resume and application form, haven't you? 8. How much experience do you have in this field? 9. What salary do you expect to get? 10. Do you have any recommendation from your previous work? 11. Do you find problems dealing with people? 11. How do you accept criticism? 9. How do you behave in difficult situations? 10. Can you make the right decision? 11. Have you got experience of working in a firm as big as ours? 12. What about your own initiatives and ideas: do you always do just what told? 13. Have you got any experience in marketing? 14. When could you start to work?

Responding to job applications     

(Useful language )

Polite requests

I should be grateful if you could confirm in writing that...

We would be most grateful for your prompt answer.

Your prompt answer would be appreciated.

Your assistance would be welcomed.

Accepting an offer

I am delighted to have been selected...

I would like to confirm that I wish to accept the post.

Enclosing documents

I enclose a copy of...

Please find enclosed...

As requested, I am enclosing...

Offering assistance

If you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact me.

Should you require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you should require additional details, please write to me.


Task 14. Complete the letter with an appropriate passive form of the verbs from the box


appoint            issue            pay                 set out


Mr Andrew Harris

77 Dunham Road


Lancashire BL3 2FK

14 March


Dear Mr Harris,

Re: Assistant Project Manager, Kazakhstan

Further to your application for the above post, I am pleased to confirm that the Selection Board which met on 11 March recommended that you.............................................to the above post, subject to medical clearance.

Your salary.................................................2 at the rate of £25,000 per annum.

Other benefits.................................................3 in the particulars of post attached.


I should be grateful if you could confirm in writing by Wednesday 20 March that you wish to take up the post.


The proposed start date is on 8 April and your contract, which is for a period of one year, .......................................4 after we receive written confirmation of your acceptance.


If you have any queries on the terms and conditions of service of the appointment in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me on the above number.


I look forward to hearing from you shortly.


Yours sincerely,

Karen Poulson

Recruitment Officer

Task 15. Write Andrew Harris's reply to Karen Poulson.


Task 16. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each person given below.  Try to guess who seems to be the best candidate for the post of a General Manager in SLIM GYMS which owns a chain of Health and Leisure Clubs  in Manhattan.

The clubs appeal mainly to people aged 20-40. All the clubs have a gymnasium, with the latest equipment, an aerobics studio, a swimming pool, a café and a bar. Three of the bars are located in areas where large numbers of Spanish, Chinese and Italian live.

In recent months Slim Gyms’ profits have fallen sharply. Slim Gyms advertised for a General Manager. His/Her main task is to boost sales at the clubs and increase profits.


1.    Name: Guido Passerelli    Age: 32

Marital status: Married, with three children

Education: Bronx High School

Experience: Former American football player. Ran a small business for several years finding locations for film companies. Recently organized stunts* for a major film company.

Outstanding achievement: “I was 5th in the New York marathon when I was aged 34.”

Skills: Fluent Italian and Spanish. Speaks English fairly well, but with an Italian accent and is sometimes hesitant.

Personality/appearance: Tall, handsome, tanned. Very self-confident. Wore a designer jacket and expensive designer tie at the interview.

Comments: Many interesting ideas for improving Slim Gym's profits. For example, thinks members should get a 50% discount off their subscription fee if they introduce a friend. Wants Slim Gyms to aim at all age groups. Believes his organising ability is his best quality. Expressed his points of view forcefully, sometimes arguing heatedly with the interviewer.


* actions in a film that are dangerous. They are usually performed by a stunt man or woman instead of by an actor.


2.     Name: Gloria Daniels   Age: 36

Marital status: Married, with two children

Education: Diploma in Sports Management (Massey University, New Zealand)

Experience: Worked for three years for a chain of fitness centres. Joined Johnson Associates, an organisation promoting top sports personalities. Has travelled all over the world for the last ten years negotiating contracts with sportspeople.

Outstanding achievement: “I negotiated a successful deal with Hank Robbins, the famous baseball player. We promote him exclusively”

Skills: Has an elementary knowledge of Spanish and Italian. Was good at all sports when younger.  Considered becoming a professional tennis player.

Personality/appearance: Wore a very expensive dress at the interview. Film star looks. Charismatic, over-confident (?) 'l like to win at everything I do, and usually I succeed. That's why I'm so good at my present job.'

Comments: Thinks Slim Gyms should raise more money by offering shares to wealthy individuals. In her opinion, Slim Gyms should immediately hire a firm of management consultants to review all its activities. In the interview, she seemed to be very competitive. Would she be a good team player?

3.     Name: David Chen       Age: 40

Marital status: Single

Education: Master's degree in Business Administration (Hong Kong University); Diploma in Physical Education (New University of Hawaii)

Experience: Several jobs in various companies before joining a large university as Sports Administrator. Has organised many sports events for the university.

Outstanding achievement: 'I have a black belt in karate.'

Skills: Numerate, extensive knowledge of computer programs. Fluent Chinese and English, some Italian.

Personality/appearance: Dressed in a formal dark suit but looked relaxed. Quiet, determined, polite and diplomatic. Asked many questions during the interview. Was rather shy if he didn't know the answer to a question.

Comments: Believes Slim Gyms should increase its services, for example, offer classes in salsa dancing, open a small boutique at each club selling sports equipment, etc. It should immediately cut costs by 10% in all areas of its business. Thinks his honesty is his best asset. Has an interest in all Eastern contact sports: judo, karate, aikido, etc.


4.     Name: Martine Lemaire     Age: 32

Marital status: Divorced, with two children

Education: Degree in biology (Sorbonne, France); Master's degree in Dietetics (Yale University, US)

Experience: Worked for five years as a dietician in a hospital. Had a year off work when her health broke down because of stress. Joined a company selling health and skin-care products. For the last three years has been Assistant Sales Manager.

Outstanding achievement: 'I am proud of raising a family successfully while working full-time.'

Skills: Fluent French, good Spanish. Speaks and writes English fluently.

Personality/appearance: Well-dressed in fashionable clothes. Dynamic and ambitious. Sometimes assertive during the interview: 'Nothing will stop me achieving my goals.'

Comments: Her main idea for increasing profits: spend a lot of money on multi-media advertising and offer big discounts to new members. Believes her strongest quality is her creativity. In her leisure time, she runs a weekly aerobics class and also manages a local baseball team at the weekend.


1.Write a letter offering employment to the successful candidate.

2. Write your own CV.


Unit 2.  Job satisfaction


The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines satisfaction  as  a feeling of  happiness  or pleasure because you have achieved something and motivation as eagerness or willingness to do something without needing to be told or forced to do so.

Task 1. Which of the following would motivate you to work harder?

              Choose your top five and rank them in order of priority.

              Which ones have you experienced?


bonus                   more responsibility                  working for a successful company

bigger salary      threat of redundancy             a better working environment

commission        hard-working boss                promotion opportunities

praise                 good colleagues                     perks or fringe benefits


Discuss these questions:

1.     For what reasons might you change jobs? How often would you expect to do so in your lifetime?

2.     What fringe benefits do you think companies should provide for their workers?

3.     In the following list of benefits provided by companies. choose unusual ones.

Childcare,      company holidays,      cosmetic surgery,     counseling,   dance classes,   guitar lessons,     haircuts,     masseurs,        sushi,      tennis lessons



Text 1. Staff satisfaction survey


Helen Tucker is Human Resources Director at Procter and Gamble. Each year, the company conducts a survey throughout their organisation to find out how satisfied their staff  are in their jobs. Write down five questions that you think will appear in the survey.


Task 3. Read the first part of the interview. Which of your questions does Helen Tucker mention?

(I = Interviewer, HT = Helen Tucker)

    A recent survey rated Procter and Gamble as one of the best workplaces in the UK. How does the company create job satisfaction among its staff?

HT  First of all we listen to our employees. We run a survey annually across our whole corporation, that's globally and we take it very seriously, we ask a number of questions looking at people's pride in the company, their work/life balance, how

they're learning and developing themselves. How their manager is managing them and developing them, and if they understand how their work fits in? We also ask if they have a trusted counsellor and mentor in the company to give them guidance and if they understand about all their benefits and compensation and if they feel they're getting adequately rewarded for the work that they do? So, you can see it's a very comprehensive survey and you get a lot of data back from that and we take it seriously and look at what are the action steps that we then take from that survey in order to make this a wonderful place to work.


Task 4. Read the second part of the interview and answer these questions:

1  What do you find satisfying and frustrating about your work or studies?

2  Who or what inspires you at work?

3   How true do you think the following statements are?

a)  There is no such thing as company loyalty these days.

b)  True fulfillment can only come with a job you love.

c)  You should work to live not live to work.


(I = Interviewer, HT = Helen Tucker)

I      In your experience have job priorities among employees changed much over the last ten years?

HT  Yes, they certainly have changed in the last ten years. We've seen a huge move in terms of how people want to get their work done, some want to work on a reduced work schedule, that's something very new. Others want to work from home as opposed to having the commuting time coming to the office. Other people want to work exceptionally hard but they still want energy left at the end of the day and time left at the end of the day and end of the week in order to give something back to the communities that they live and work in, in order to have a social life outside work whilst still making a significant contribution to their business. One of the areas here that's important is flexible work arrangements. As an employer you can really help generate a very positive working environment and one where individuals are very satisfied by offering a range of different options. So, for example, looking at part-time work, not just for mums coming back from maternity leave, but for, not just for jun, junior managers, but also for senior managers potentially working four days a week; one of our board in finance, he works four days a week spending the fifth day with his children. And we look at parents' ability to manage child care, what happens if your child is sick so that you can have an emergency cover for your children, so you can then get back to focussing on your work knowing that your child is being very well taken care of even if they're too sick to go to their nursery or day care place. We look at what happens if someone has to travel on an emergency basis and perhaps they're looking after an older relative at home, or have young children, or even pets that they need to take care of and how do we help them with that provision. And the other area that people are very interested in terms of job priorities is understanding the environmental impact of where they're working. So some people will be choosing their workplace based on the ethical standards and the principles and values of their employer and I think that's more than you ever saw even ten years ago. There's a lot of emphasis on sustainability, meaning from a manufacturing point of view are they using raw materials from renewable sources, for example, or in an office environment is there significant recycling of waste materials happening. We've recently introduced a car share scheme here at the office so that we're not having as much emissions and as much traffic for the local area because it's very busy here and it impacts everybody coming to the office because the traffic is so bad in the mornings.

Task 5. In most of the lines there is one extra word which does not fit. Some lines, however, are correct. If a line is correct, put a tick on the appropriate line. If there is an extra word in the line, write that word in the space provided.

Job satisfaction

According to a recent survey, most employees enjoy their work. Why then do so many become sick of their jobs? The answer, according to the same survey, is that a poor  management often erodes in one or all of the three underlying factors that underpin job satisfaction: achievement, fair of treatment and social acceptance among workmates.

Such apparently simple needs are not easy to fulfil. Too many managers have a tendency to wreck under the natural enthusiasm of employees for their work. Most  people  enter  in  a  new organisation and job with enthusiasm, eager to contribute, to feel  proud of their work and their organisation. But perversely, many managers then appear  to do their best to demotivate employees.

 In order to enjoy in a sense of achievement,  an employee not only needs many meaningful and challenging work and pride in the  company, but also recognition for a job they well done. A simple “thank you” can  influence no perceptions that the work is valued. However, only half of employees  claim to have sufficient feedback, and then if much of it tends to be negative.                        Constructive feedback is all too rare, probably because giving effective feedback on an employee’s performance is one of the tasks that managers find most difficult.

Task 6. Express your opinion on the following statements:

  Discuss these statements.


1   Companies should be fully involved in the lives of their employees.

2  'Sick days' are a perk.

3  A pay rise is better than a job in a caring company.


Task 6. Before you read the text tell the group what kind of perks you would like to have when joining a new company.  Find the lines in the text in which these ideas are mentioned.

1   money is a less important motivator than a caring company

2  giving employees more choice how they organise their time away from work

3  the disadvantages of offering perks

4  creating an atmosphere and culture which employees feel they belong to

5   examples of up-market perks offered by technology companies

6  the increased benefits being offered to employees


Text 2. Perks that work

By Robert Burke


Keeping people happy is an increasingly tough trick. With unemployment at record lows, 'companies are trying just about  anything' to retain employees, says Jay Doherty of the New York-based human-resources consulting firm William M. Mercer Inc. Not only are employees being pampered, they're getting more money, better benefits and help with personal problems such as child care and financial planning. Bosses once shunned such intervention. Retention 'is no longer a human resource issue, it's a business issue,' Doherty says.

Because technology companies face the tightest labor markets, they have been the most aggressive in devising ways to keep workers. Herndon-based Net2000 Communications, for example, puts top performers behind the wheel of luxury cars like a BMW323i or Z3. MicroStrategy, a Vienna-based data miner, goes a step further and has hosted all of its employees on Caribbean cruises.

Such perks are great for the employee, but do they make sense for the company? May be. Doherty says all companies - including technology firms - 'have to be careful they don't create a business model that's not profitable.' Don't throw money at workers who want to leave because pay raises don't always work. Perks and benefits can be effective, but they have to be custom-fit to the company and the business sector. Don't add new perks just because they seem like hot trends, he says. 'Too often there's a desperation sometimes to just try anything, and it's very expensive.' MicroStrategy, which reported lower earnings earlier this year, has been rethinking its cruises, for example.

Yet companies still face labor crunches that can really hurt. How do you keep workers? Start by making them feel they're part of a special place with a unique culture. 'We want to hire people that are totally aligned with our values,' says Tim Huval, general manager for South Dakota-based Gateway's 2,200-employee call center and manufacturing facility in Hampton. 'Honesty, efficiency, aggressiveness, respect, teamwork, caring, common sense and fun. Those are values that we live by.' Richmond-based Xperts also lives by the value system. Founder and CEO William Tyler pushes pairing quality of life with a sense of social responsibility.

Workers can designate which non-profit groups Xperts contributes to, for example. A strong culture makes it hard for people to leave, Tyler says. 'They don't have an urge to leave because they've found a home. They're happy.'

Notice this corporate culture stuff doesn't say much about shareholders or profit. It's a decidedly employee-centric approach. 'If you ask any of them, they're

all going to say, "Pay me more money." But that's not the truth,' Tyler says. 'What people are looking for is, "A place that's looking out for me.'"

What that means is helping employees cope with problems they face outside the office. 'That is where companies can build employee loyalty,' says Barbara Bailey of William M. Mercer's Richmond office. One popular tool is revamping leave policies to create 'flexible leave banks' that put all employee leave into a single category. Employees take time off when they need it and don't have to call it a sick day or vacation. 'Work-life issues are huge,' Bailey says. 'You make them feel as though they're not interested in looking elsewhere, because they're very happy with their life.'

                                                                              From Virginia Business

Task 7. Look in the article to complete these word partnerships.

            For example: personal problems

1   personal ……………..                     5   common.....................

2  financial.....................                     6  social.....................

3   top.....................                            7   corporate.....................

4  general.....................                       8  employee.....................


Task 8. Complete the sentences with words or phrases from the previous exercise


1   Most people like to have control over their work and therefore put ..........................near the top of their list of motivating factors.

2   Dealing with..........................is a very time-consuming, demotivating problem which affects large businesses and organisations.

3   Overwork can lead to..........................if not spotted early.

4  Many job satisfaction studies, perhaps surprisingly, have found that often ..........................is not the most motivating factor.

5   Offering..........................rather than a salary increase can be a way of retaining employees in traditionally high staff turnover industries.

6   He received a very generous..........................when he left the company.

7 One way for managers to monitor and develop staff and loyalty is by using ..........................interviews.


Text 3. Is there a place for time in corporate Utopia?

Employees of SAS Institute live in a workers' Utopia. On the company's wooded campus in North Carolina is everything a person could need: doctors, dentists, on-site childcare, masseurs...

SAS has just been chosen by Fortune magazine as one of the best companies to work for in the US. Like the other 99 companies singled out, SAS is not content to reward   employees   with a mere pay cheque. Instead, the company is dead set on making their lives easier.

Indeed, there is little these good employers will not do to take the load off

their work­ers' shoulders. Some provide subsidised housekeepers. Some deliver ready-cooked gourmet meals to employees' doors in the evening. Others offer haircuts, free Viagra, cut-price sushi, free ergonomic chairs. One com­pany even provides $10,000 (£6,070) towards the cost of adopting a child.

Not content with the above, some employers are helping their staff fill their leisure hours too. Many offer swimming pools and fitness centres, some arrange guitar lessons or provide garden allotments. Some even lay on company holidays, whisking workers and their partners off to luxury island locations.

And that is not all: some companies also set the standard for employees to follow in their private lives. At First Tennessee, employees get a $130 cash bonus if they are seen to be practising 10 specified healthy behaviour patterns.

For these forward-looking employers the vexed problem of   work / life  balance  - assumed to be one of the greatest workplace issues facing us - is magically eliminated. These companies are mounting a take-over bid for their employees' lives with the result that the issue of balance no longer arises.

And at these companies hardly anyone ever leaves.

Which might mean everyone is gloriously happy. Or it might mean the prospect of severing one's entire life from an employer is so daunting that  it seems easier to stay put.

Amid all this bounty there is just one thing that none of these companies offer. And that is time. If  employers  really want to show that they are helping employees balance their lives, the answer is not to do their shopping, fix their teeth and issue them with laptops so that they can work 'flexibly' right through the night. It is to ensure that people do not work too hard. To write it into the company's culture that no one will be expected to work more than, say, 40 hours a week on average. And for the Chief Executive to show the way.

Certainly this would not be easy, and probably not cheap either. But an employer that tackled the long-hours culture would be reaching the  parts that all the free hairdos, Viagra and guitar lessons in the world will never reach.


                                                                         From the Financial Times


Task 9. Answer these questions about the article.


1   How can employees at First Tennessee earn $130? What do you think they have to do to earn this money?

2  What is the problem of work /life balance?  How are companies in the article trying to solve the problem? Have they been successful?

3   What two reasons does the writer give for employees remaining with one of these companies? Which do you think is the more likely one? Why?

4  SAS is not content to reward employees with a mere pay cheque.' Does this mean SAS thinks workers should:

a) have more than a salary?    b) be happy with a salary?

5  Which benefits in the article are partly paid for by the companies? What expressions are used to describe them?

Vocabulary: Synonyms and word building

Task 10. Match the terms with similar meanings:

1.     Appraisal         -         a) assessment

2.     Autonomy        -         b) breakdown

3.     Burnout            -         c) fringe benefits

4.     Bureaucracy     -        d) human resources

5.     Homeworking   -       e) independence

Task 11. Sometimes you will need to use a negative form using a prefix

(un-, dis-, de-):

1   satisfy

a)  Women are more................with their jobs than men in many countries.

b)  Low pay and poor working conditions create................workers.

c)  Small European countries are at the top of job................league tables.

2  motivate

a)  What are the strongest................factors in people's lives?

b)  Workers become................if they work long hours for low pay.

c)  What was your................for becoming a salesperson?

3  fulfil

a)  Becoming Department Head was the................of a lifelong ambition.

b)  He................his role as manager very effectively.

c)   I feel................in my job because I am not given enough responsibility.


a)  Jack Welch was an................business leader who motivated employees.

b)  He has been an................to the new members of staff.

c)  After an................launch, the new model quickly failed.

5   frustrate

a)  You could see the................building up in the workforce.

b)  I find talking to him................because he never listens to anything I say.

c)   I felt so................with their attitude that I decided to resign.

Text 4. Motivating factors

Andrew Oswald is Professor of Economics at Warwick University, UK, and specialises in research into job satisfaction. Which groups of workers below do you think he will say are most satisfied and which are least satisfied?

women                                                    those without job security

the highly paid                                        those who commute long distances

those with promotion opportunities        the Swiss

the self-employed                                   Americans

those who work long hours                    Eastern Europeans

 those in large workplaces                      the Japanese

Task 12. Read the interview and check the predictions you made:

(I = Interviewer, АО = Andrew Oswald)

       Professor Oswald, you've carried out a lot of research into what makes people happy at work. Which groups of workers have you found to be the most satisfied and why?

АО    Women are quite a lot more satisfied with their jobs than men in most of the western countries. Just as you would expect, a high level of pay goes with a large amount of satisfaction with your work. People seem to enjoy promotion opportunities a lot, in other words, they need a hierarchy that they feel they can move up through their life. They don't like working long hours. They don't like large workplaces. A good example of that is that among the most satisfied people in countries like Britain or the rest of Europe, are the self-employed. They enjoy the independence of running their own business. And finally, a very large effect comes from insecurity at work. If you think you're about to lose your job, then you, in our kinds of surveys, report much lower job satisfaction.

I       And who were the least satisfied, and were there particular nations that showed up in your surveys? 

AO    A typically very dissatisfied worker would be a man, on low pay. in a large office or factory, who has to, for example, commute a long way to work, and who fears that he is close to being sacked, close to losing his job. If we look across nations, we find that small European countries tend to be at the top of the job satisfaction league table, so Denmark and Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, for example, they do very well. American workers also have high levels of job satisfaction. And down the bottom we have particularly Eastern Europe, Poland, the old parts of the Soviet Union and so on, Japan and France too, are relatively low down the job satisfaction league table.

I        And what are the strongest motivating factors in people's working lives?

АО    If you take large random samples of people, so we look across say hundreds of thousands of individuals in the major industrial countries, you see things that make a lot of sense. High pay. that motivates people. Job security and insecurity, that matters a lot to human beings, and promotion opportunities, the chance of moving up, of becoming a boss -that certainly seems to motivate people.


I        And how do you see the changing patterns of work affecting people's satisfaction in the future?

АО    It is often thought that job insecurity is rising, that the notion of a job for life has somehow disappeared. That's not true. When you look at the data, the common journalist's idea appears to be wrong. The average length of a job is very little different from what it was 10 or 20 years ago, so in that sense, insecurity doesn't seem to have worsened. Commuting times are going up all the time in the western

countries, and that's a big blow to many workers, that pulls down their satisfaction with work.


Task 13. Which three factors does he say are the most motivating at work?

Which of the statements are true and which are false, according to Andrew?                      


1   Job insecurity is rising.

2  The average length of a job is similar to what it was a decade or two ago.

3   Commuting time has a significant impact on job satisfaction.

Discussion: What’s in a title

Discuss these questions:

1   To what extent do you judge someone by their job title?

2   Which would motivate you more: a pay rise or a better job title? Why?

3   Why might job titles cause problems among staff?

4   What do you think people with the following job titles do at work?

a)  Digital Data Executive                           c) Reprographic Engineer

b)  Data Storage Specialist                          d) Office Logistics Co-ordinator


Task 14. Read the article. Compare your answers with what the writer says.

                Does any of the article surprise you?


Text 5. Job satisfaction is all in a name

By Tim Reid

Bosses who are cash-strapped but want decent typists without having to give them a pay rise 5 would do well to call them 'Digital Data Executives".

A report published yesterday revealed that office workers have become so "snobby' about job titles that they would be willing to forgo an increase in salary for a more 'professional"-sounding position.

According to the study by Office Angels, the sec­retarial recruitment consultancy. job-title snob­bery creates such envy that 90 per cent of employers and 70 per cent of employees said that it caused staff division.

Filing clerks long to be known as 'Data Storage Specialists', photocopy­ing clerks as 'Reprographics Engineers", secretaries as 'Executaries' and post-room workers as 'Office Logistics Co-ordinators'. The report found that 70 per cent of office workers   questioned replied that they might give up a bigger pay cheque for a more 'motivational or professional' job title to make their job role seem more dynamic and inspirational. It also found that 70 per cent of staff believed the people they meet outside work instantly judged them by their job title.


                                                                                  From The Times

Task 15. In the final part of the same article the writer mentions other job titles.

Match the jobs on the left with their more professional-sounding job titles on the right. Then try to make up some job titles of your own.


1   Cleaner                                         a)  Chief Imagination Officer

2  Telephonist                                   b)  Voice Data Executive

3   Tea Lady                                     c)   Environment Technician

4  Creative Assistant                         d)  Catering Assistant

Grammar: Passives

Task 16. Complete the extract below with passive forms of the verbs in brackets:

Several surveys................  ........................  ....................x (conduct) recently concerning the relationship between work and play. According to psychologists, activities are more likely to....................   ....................2 (perceive) as play - and therefore attractive - rather than work - and therefore  unattractive - if they..................    ......................3 (enter) into voluntarily. In one

experiment, for example, volunteers....................   ....................4 (give) a problem-solving game to perform: some..................   ......................5 (pay) to perform the game and some were not. Those who....................   ....................6(pay) spent less free time performing than those for whom the only motivation was the pleasure of the game. Thus, motivation to play springs from within

and the readiness to perform activities...................   ....................7 (reduce) by external rewards.


Task 17. Complete the sentences with the correct passive form of the verbs in brackets:

Model:   Future success ...will be driven by developing a workforce capable of

              challenging the status quo. (drive)

1.      Over 6oo people........................redundant last year. {make)

2.       Our sister company's leave policy.............  ..................  .................recently(revise)

3.       An agreement........................currently.........................(negotiate)

4.       Tom........................only........................a pay rise once before September 2005. (give)

5.       Some people argue that during an emergency, a tough style of leadership should......................... (use)


Task 18. Write questions about the sentences in exercise 17 using the verbs in brackets:

1   How.... will future success be driven?.....       (drive)

2  How many............................................         (make)

3  Whose..................................................          (revise)

4  What sort of................................................          (negotiate)

5   How many times........................................          (give)

6  When..........................................................          (use)


Task 19. Look at the list of preparations that have been done or still need to be done for a staff training seminar and use the correct form:

1   design seminar programme

2  send out seminar programmes

3   book conference room

4  order folders and note-pads

5   check PowerPoint equipment

6  book a room for trainer

7   inform local media

8  plan social evening

·       (last Tuesday) 

·       (tomorrow afternoon)

·       (earlier this morning)

·       (last week)

·       (next Monday)

·       (by the end of the week)

·       (earlier this month)

·       (at our last meeting)



Unit 3. Management Styles


Task 1. Read the text and comment on some statements about different management styles found in companies:


A   My manager never lets me know if I'm doing well. I have no idea what he thinks of me. I don't get any feedback, positive or negative.

В    I was asked to review customers' attitudes towards our delivery service but I wasn't told how to do it, or how big the study should be. I was given no guidelines, no parameters.

С    My boss lets me work on my own initiative too much. I don't meet the other team members enough, so I can't share my ideas with them. I never get any direction.

D    I have no idea of the project team's objectives. No one has ever told me anything. I'm completely in the dark.

 E    I'm really enjoying working on this project. I'm given a lot of responsibility and am able to organise my time any way I want. I think I'm getting good results and making a real contribution to the company. My manager thinks so too.


F     There's not enough preparation and thinking before important decisions are made. When we produced a set of guidelines for customer care, they were criticised by everyone. So my boss and a few of his colleagues got together at the weekend. Hey presto! They produced a completely new set of guidelines. They were no better than the other ones.

G    Let's say I have to analyse telephone response times at our subsidiaries. My manager doesn't tell me how I should present the findings. If I do a report, he wants a memo, and if I do a memo, he'll ask for a report. I never know where I am with him.

H    She doesn't like delegating work to me. If she does, it's some Mickey Mouse task which a child of five could do. She never gives me anything challenging where I have to use my brain, my analytical skills. Maybe it's because I'm a woman. The men seem to like her.

I       Our manager wanted to amend the billing system which head office had agreed to. He had innumerable meetings and consulted everyone. The result? We still haven't got everyone's support yet and the deadline for introducing the system has passed. I wonder what head office will say about that. It's typical of the way people manage around here.

J      He never encourages me when I do something right. I never feel that I am performing to a high enough standard.

К    I never get enough resources to complete a task. For example, I had to hold meetings with the managers of all the factories and distribution depots. But I wasn't given enough time to do the task and I had no assistant to deal with my workload while I was away from the office.


Management  qualities


Task 2. Complete column 2 of the table with opposite meanings. Use the prefixes in-, ir -, un-, il- or dis-. Then complete column 3 with the noun forms:


1. Adjective

2. Opposite adjective

   3. Noun form














































Task 3. Choose the four best qualities of a manager from the list above and rank them in order of importance. Then choose the four worst qualities and rank them (1 = worst).Be ready to discuss your answers. What other management qualities or weaknesses can you add? Which management styles have you experienced? Which do you prefer?


Task 4. Match these pairs of contrasting management styles:



                               a) collaborative



                               b) controlling



                               c) delegating



                               d) democratic


hands on

                               e) people-orientated



                               f) laissez-faire



Before you read discuss these questions.

1   Which would you prefer to work for?

a)  a male boss

b)  a female boss

c)  either - you don't have a preference


Task 5. Read the text about women as managers and say which ideas you agree                       



Text 1. Who would you rather work for?


Women are more efficient and trustworthy, have a better understanding of their workforce and are more generous with their praise. In short they make the best managers, and if men are to keep up they will have to start learning from their female counter­parts, a report claims today.

The survey of 1,000 male and female middle and senior managers from across the UK is an indict­ment of the ability of men to function as leaders in the modern workplace.

A majority of those ques­tioned believed women had a more modern outlook on their profession and were more open minded and considerate. By way of con­trast, a similar number believe male managers are egocentric and more likely to steal credit for work done by others.

Management Today  magazine, which conducted the research, said that after years of having to adopt a masculine identity and hide their emotions and natural behavior in the workplace, women have become role models for managers.

The findings tally with a survey of female bosses carried out in the US. A five-year  study  of 2,500  managers from 450 firms found  that  many male bosses were rated by their staff of both sexes to be self-obsessed and  autocratic. Women on the other hand leave men in the start­ing blocks when it comes to teamwork and communicat­ing with staff.

In Britain more than 61% of those surveyed said men did not make better bosses than women. Female man­agers use time more effectively, with many of those surveyed commenting that juggling commitments is a familiar practice for women with a home and a family.

Female managers also appear to make good finan­cial sense for penny-pinching companies: most people, of either sex, would rather ask for a rise from a man. ‘If  men want to be successful at work they must behave more like women,' said the magazine's editor,  Rufus Olins. 'Businesses need to wake up to the fact that so-called feminine skills are vital for attract­ing and keeping the right people. In the past women who aspired to manage­ment were encouraged to be more manly. It looks now as if the boot is on the other foot.'


From The Guardian


Task 6.   Read the first paragraph of the article.

               What is the main point made by the writer ?


Task 7. Summarise each paragraph in a single sentence of no more than 15 words.                     Then write a summary of the whole article .


Task 8. What do you think are the key qualities for a successful manager today.  Read  the first part of an interview with Niall Foster, an expert on management  styles, and answer the following questions:

1   What does Niall say a successful manager must do?

2  What does Niall do before he makes contact with people in other countries?



Successful  managers

(I = Interviewer, NT = Nail Foster)

I      What are the three qualities for a successful manager today compared with the past?

NF   Today a key manager must listen. A key manager must ask questions. So, for example in terms of cultural style before I go into any contact I ask my local personnel or a local friend or contact in a country to give me ideas as to what I should and indeed should not do in any meeting situation, or over dinner or travelling in a car. What are the things I should do, should I shake somebody’s hand, should I wait for them to give me their hand first? So to answer you, ask, listen. The days of telling are over.

Task 9. Read the second part of the interview and note down  Niall's five key points on ways managers can get the best out of people:

(I = Interviewer, NT = Nail Foster)

I        Which management style do you think gets the best out of its team or its people?

NF    The first style, the first point in that style is to really show recognition, compliment staff or any others, publicly or in face-to-face situations as often as they can. Basically the more you compliment the less you need to have to criticise. Second point is then is to communicate very clearly your decisions. Management have decided. I have decided. And this is always important because managers are there to actually deliver, they have that responsibility.

Then the third point is then to give very specific reasons why a decision has been taken and in any organisation it is very important that the senior management team agree together what reasons they are going to give right across the organisation. This we find stops rumours.

Fourth point should be then to explain the benefit of this decision to the individual, to the organisation, to its customers. We find that that really gives clarity and you know, very clear understanding  as to why decisions are made and this is very important.

The fifth point is then often to ask for people's commitment to working with management to realise the goal and we find that when you ask for somebody's commitment, 'Can I count on you working with me on this?' ninety nine people say yes. The role of the employee is now enhanced and their motivation is improved and enhanced by the manager now asking 'what are you going to do to help me realise this?'


Task 10. Before you read the article answer one of these questions:

1   If you are a manager, what sort of style do you have?

2   If you were a manager, what sort of style do you think you would have?


Text 2. The Big Three Management Styles

By Paul B. Thornton

Management literature describes numerous management styles, including assertive, autocratic, coaching, country club, directing, delegating, laissez-faire, participatory, supportive, task-oriented and team-based. Are there really that many styles? I believe there are three basic styles - directing, discussing and delegating, the 3-Ds of Management Style.

Directing Style

Managers using this style tell people what to do, how to do it and when to have it completed. They assign roles and responsibilities, set standards and define expectations.

Communicating - The manager speaks, employees listen and react. Managers

provide detailed instructions so employees know exactly what to do. The ability to communicate in a clear, concise and complete fashion is critical. The only feedback managers ask for is, 'Do you understand what needs to be done?'

Goal-Setting - 'Your goal is to sell 15 cars per month.' The manager establishes short-term goals. When goals are specific and time bounded, employees are clear on what is expected of them. Goals and deadlines often motivate people.

Decision-Making - I want you to stop what you are currently doing and help Sue set up the room for the seminar.' The manager makes most if not all decisions. When problems arise the manager evaluates options, makes decisions and directs

employees as to what actions to take.

Monitoring Performance and Providing Feedback

Managers establish specific control points to monitor performance. 'Get back to me at 11:00 a.m. to brief me on what you have accomplished.' Managers provide frequent feedback including specific instructions on how to improve performance.

Discussing Style

Managers using this style take time to discuss relevant business issues. What happens in a good discussion? People present ideas, ask questions, listen, provide feedback, challenge certain assumptions and coach as needed. It's important to make sure ideas are fully discussed and debated. Managers often perform the role of facilitator, making sure the discussion stays on track and everyone has a chance to contribute.

Communicating - Two-way communication is the norm, let's go around the table and give everyone a chance to discuss their ideas.' Managers spend as much time asking questions and listening as they do talking and sharing their ideas.   The right question focuses the discussion and draws out people's ideas.

Goal-Setting - 'Ingrid, what do you think our sales target should   be   for   the   fourth  quarter?' After adequate discussion, goals are then established. Utilising a participatory style generally helps to increase employees' commitment to achieve their goals.

Decision-Making - 'We have a problem with the amount of inventory we're currently carrying. What action do you think we should take?' Decisions are made collaboratively. Both manager and employee play an active role in defining problems, evaluating options, and making decisions.

Monitoring Performance and Providing  Feedback – The manager and employee monitor so performance and discuss what actions need to be taken. This works best when both parties are open and make adjustments as needed.

Delegating Style

Managers using this style usually explain or get agreement on what has to be accomplished and when it must be completed. The how-to-do-it part of the equation is left up to the employee. Responsibility and authority are given to employees to get the job done. 

Communicating - Regarding what has to be accomplished, communications may be one­ way: 'I want you to deliver a 15-minute presentation on our new  compensation program at Tuesday's meeting.' In other situations it may be two-way: 'Let's discuss what needs to be accomplished in the marketing brochure you're designing.' Additional communication takes place to review what has been accomplished and obstacles preventing progress.                  

Goal-Setting - As stated above, specific goals may be established by the manager or may evolve after a discussion between manager and employee. Failures in delegation can often be traced back to a lack of understanding of the desired output or deliverable. 'I thought you only wanted recommendations, not an implementation plan.'

Decision-Making - Barbara, that's your decision to make.' Decisions as to how the task will be accomplished are left to the employee. Employees have the power to take appropriate actions to achieve the desired goals. Managers must avoid 'reverse delegation' when employees try to give back decisions that they should be making.

Monitoring Performance and Providing Feedback - I want a weekly    update    on    plan accomplishments.' Managers decide how much monitoring is necessary.   The   amount  of monitoring depends on the priority of the task and the person   doing   it.   Providing feedback is the responsibility of the  employee.   Keeping  the manager informed, especially when the plan is off track, is critical.


                                                                               From The CEO Refresher


Task 11. Read about management styles - Directing, Discussing or Delegating - and decide which of the following statements are true for your style:

1   It is up to employees to keep the manager up to date on progress.

2  Managers set strict time limits.

3   Managers encourage staff to put forward their ideas.

4  Managers and employees decide together what needs to be achieved.    -

5   Decisions are made by managers and their staff.

6  Employees get precise instructions.

7   Managers do not want employees to avoid making decisions which employees should make.

8  Managers have tight control of employees' movements and work schedules.

9  When employees are given tasks, they decide how to complete them.


Task 12. Which of the three management styles would you prefer to: a) use as a manager? b) experience as an employee?


Task 13. Read the first part of the interview with Stuart Crainer, who has written many books on business and management. What four qualities for an ideal manager does he talk about? What additional quality does he mention?


(I = Interviewer, SC = Stuart Crainer)

I         Is there such a person as an ideal manager, and if so what essential qualities should they have?

SC     I don't think there's such a thing as an ideal manager in the same way as there's no such thing as an ideal chair or an ideal piece of furniture. It's an impossible aim. The qualities managers need are increasingly complex and many in number. First of all they've got to be able to manage their time successfully, because they're inevitably juggling lots of activities and projects. Secondly, they need to be able to deal with complexity. Increasingly the management task is not about simple budgeting but is about far more complex issues. Thirdly, they have to be able to deal with uncertainty. In the past, management was about creating certainty. Now managers have to live with uncertainty. The uncertainty of not knowing what will happen in the future, how secure their jobs will be, what their organisation will look like in the future, what their organisation will do in the future. The fourth aspect of management is being able to deal with people. Managers, for all the training they've received, are notoriously poor at managing people and relating to people.

I          Added to that are other ingredients such as flexibility.

SC      Managers have to be able to change their styles to fit the circumstances and they have to be sensitive to these circumstances. They have to recognise when things are different and they have to behave in different ways. They have to change their styles to fit the moment. So, if you put all these  skills and competencies together then you would have an ideal manager. But in the real world, there aren't any ideal managers out there.


Task 14. Read the second part of the interview. What does Stuart say about management styles at the following companies?

1.     General Electric

2.     Virgin

3.     Body Shop

4.     IKEA

5.     Nokia

(I = Interviewer, SC = Stuart Crainer)

I        And which management styles have particularly impressed you and why?

SC     Well, there are an array of management styles, the trick is to be able to produce the right style at the right time. Perhaps the person who has done this best is Jack Welch the Chief Executive of General Electric, who, over the last ten years, has re-energised the company and created one of the biggest companies in the world, and certainly the best-managed company in the world. He has done that by an ability to change and keep changing constantly. So he's changed the company and he's changed his management style. Initially he was referred to as Neutron Jack because of his capacity to decimate areas of the company. But since ... since then, he has reinvented himself as a person who is very tuned in to people and a person totally committed to training people for the future; and also a person totally committed to communication. So I think Jack Welch stands apart as a manager who really has mastered the art. Other ones I would pick out are people who are driven by values, such as  Richard Branson of Virgin and Anita Roddick of Body Shop, who, whatever the fortunes of their companies, have proved that management can be led by values and organisations can be created around sound values. Talking of companies, I would select Scandinavian companies such as IKEA and the Finnish company, Nokia, as exemplars of what good management can do. IKEA is a brilliantly-managed, networked organisation and  Nokia is an incredibly innovative and imaginative organisation which has turned itself from a  wood products maker in Finland into the  leading maker ... leading maker of mobile phones worldwide. So those are the people and the companies I would say who have management styles that are worth emulating.


Task 15. Read the last part of the interview. What, according to Stuart, is the key to managing globally?

(I = Interviewer, SC = Stuart Crainer)

     Now business is becoming more and more international, how would you

advise managers to prepare themselves for dealing with cultural difference abroad?

SC    Yes, management is becoming more international and truly global, and the companies that appreciate that will be the ones that succeed in the future. Seems to me that the key to working globally and managing globally is the ability to reconcile difference. If you can reconcile differences between cultures and between peoples, you will be well-set to succeed as a global manager. Interestingly that's something that women are traditionally better at than men. However there aren't many women at the higher-most echelons of  international corporations. So I think if you can prepare yourself and sensitise yourself and be able to reconcile differences then you will succeed globally.                            




Unit 1. Customer Service


Task 1. Before you read an introduction to the theme, answer the following questions:

1.     ‘Customer Service’ - What do you understand by this term?

2.     What do organizations or educational institutions do in this area?

3.     Can students be viewed as “customers”, or can they be viewed as               



Philip Kotler defines customer service as “all the activities involved in making it easy for customers to reach the right parties within the company and receive quick and satisfactory service, answers and resolutions of problems”.

Customers have expectations, and when these are met, there is customer satisfaction. When they are exceeded, there may be delight, but this depends on the degree of involvement in the purchase. There is a scale between the chore of the weekly shop at the supermarket and the purchase of something expensive such as a car that, for many people, only takes place once every few years. The scope for delight and, conversely, dissatisfaction is greater in the latter situation.

The telephone can be used to sell some services, such as banking or insurance, entirely replacing face-to-face contact. It can also be used before or after buying goods as a source of information or channel of complaint.

95 per cent of dissatisfied customers don't complain, but just change suppliers. The figures are familiar: customers receiving good service create new business by telling up to 12 other people. Those treated badly will tell up to 20 people. Eighty per cent of those who feel their complaints are handled fairly will stay loyal, and customer allegiance will be built. Getting repeat business is five times cheaper than finding new customers.

In many services, satisfaction is hard to achieve because the customer interaction is difficult to control, which is why service organisations like airlines, banks and legal firms create high levels of dissatisfaction.


On the phone


Repairs and refunds

Being put on hold

Unhelpful customer service personnel

Delays on repairs

Speaking to

 a disinterested

• Stressed or indifferent


• Delays in getting 

money back




• No replacement

equipment while repairs

 are carried out

• Choosing a series

of options during your call

• Salespeople with poor product knowledge





• Finding the Customer Service number is

• Too few staff at

peak times


continuously engaged

• No company policy

on customer service


Being cut off

or complaints



New ideas in the customer care

Task 2. Which of the following irritate you the most when dealing with customer service departments?

 Task 3. How important to a company's success is customer care? Is it possible to have too much customer care?

Sarah Andrews is a customer service expert. In her interview she talks about satisfying and delighting the customers.

Read the first part of the interview and decide if the statements below are True / False / Not given.

1   Good customer service at Harrods is about meeting customer expectations.

2   Harrods customers expect a level of service as good as other retailers.

3   Harrods employees are trained in a seven step customer service programme.

4    Harrods employs people to test the customer service in different departments.

5   Harrods employees are given feedback on their performance once a month.

6  Employees receive champagne if they score 100% in the mystery shop tests.


Text 1. Customer service

(I = Interviewer, SA = Sarah Andrews)

I         At Harrods how do you define good customer service?

SA     Good customer service here at Harrods is about exceeding our customers' expectations. The customer's expectations here at Harrods are generally higher than most other retailers and most other Department Stores, in that they may visit one of our competitors like a food retailer or another Department Store and they would expect to get a general level of customer service. In Harrods they expect to be bowled over with the service that they receive. They expect our staff to go the extra mile at every given opportunity and to receive something quite exceptional. We actually set a minimum level of service, a framework that all of our staff work towards, that when they join the business we train them on these seven steps to exceptional service, then going forward we mystery shop, which is basically we have real Harrods customers that we recruit and go and test the Departments and experience the service and report back to us what they've experienced. And if our staff get 100% they get a Certificate from the Chairman, they get £50 worth of vouchers to spend in the store and they get, you know, high recognition within their Departments and obviously if we have consistent poor performers that aren't meeting that minimum level of service then we, we would manage their performance.


Task 4.  Read the second part of the interview and complete the sentences according to Sarah Andrews:

1   Good customer service helps retailers to...........

2  The problem retailers face these days is that products.........

3   Companies which don't take customer service seriously will..........


 How does Sarah think new technology can help improve customer service? Does she think this is useful for Harrods?

(I = Interviewer, SA = Sarah Andrews)

    Do you think companies generally pay enough attention to customer service?

SA  I think companies, retail companies are recognizing more recently the importance of good customer service. It's very important to retailers to have customer loyalty. It is difficult in these days to have a point of difference to the product that you offer because most of the things that are available also here in Harrods are available elsewhere  in London or in the UK it is no longer unique to Harrods, so we have to make the difference with great customer service, which means that when the market may be tough, our customers continue to come and shop with us because they know they are going to get a great experience. I think there are, there are some companies that have not yet recognized that and I think they pay for that with a transient customer that doesn't stick with them and may move from one retailer to another dependent on what's on offer. I think it's hugely important.

I      And is new technology helping in the improvement of customer service?

SA   I think that there is new technology available to measure customer service, Marks and Spencer for example, have a unit at their till points that when customers pay they can press different buttons and say whether they were happy with the service they received today, personally, and for here at Harrods I'm not sure how effective that is. I believe the most effective thing is to get real customers' feedback on what they experience and really look at the retention of our genuine customers, so, how many of our customers here in Harrods, that possibly own a Harrods credit card come back and shop with us on a regular basis and for me that's the absolute best test and measure of what level of service we are delivering to our customers.


Task 5. Read the third part of the interview and fill in the missing verbs to create the Seven Steps to Exceptional Service.

1  ............................customers within one minute of arrival.

2 ............................customers at an appropriate time and............................a conversation.

3 ............................questions to............................customers' needs.

4 ............................product knowledge to............................items to…………………….customer needs .

5 ............................the features and benefits of products to customers.

6 ............................related products to............................the service.

7 ............................customers and............................them to return.


(I = Interviewer, SA = Sarah Andrews)

      Can you tell us how you prepare your staff to give the best customer service?

SA    We have a set of standards here in Harrods that we call 'sell the experience'. So to sell the experience of Harrods we have seven steps that we work through which starts from the customer arriving in the Department until they purchase their goods and leave. The first step is to welcome our customers within one minute of entering the Department, so our customers are treated as guests in our home of Harrods and when they walk into the store or into the Department they are greeted in some way. So that may be a "smile”, that may be a more formal good morning or good afternoon, or it may simply be eye contact.

The second stage is to approach customers at an appropriate time and initiate a conversation. So we train our staff to monitor customers' behaviour and look for an appropriate time to go and start a conversation with the customer. Some customers may look like they are happy browsing and don't want to be interrupted, some customers  give signals that they have spent a long time at a particular rail possibly looking for sizes, which is an indicator that they may then need to be approached.

The next stage is for us to ask questions to establish our customers' needs, which is a very important part of the service process. Our staff are trained on how to ask the right questions to really ascertain what the customer is looking for. The next stage is for them to use their product knowledge and to select items to meet those customer needs. So it's very important that they listen to the answers when they've asked the relevant questions and then to use their knowledge to match the customers' needs with the products we offer.

The next thing we ask them to do is to highlight the features and benefits to customers, so this is about talking about the product, 'this is a beautiful painting madam; what a wonderful shade of red the dress is made in' and it's to really talk about the product and really focus on the real beautiful features and benefits of what the customer is looking at.


The next thing we do is to offer related products to maximise the sale or service. So this where a customer, a gentlemen is buying a shirt, maybe we will introduce a matching tie, or a matching suit, so that the customer can get the whole experience of Harrods. Then we ask our staff to introduce the Harrods card. We believe the Harrods card is a big benefit, both to the store and to our customers, so it's important that our staff introduce those benefits to each and every customer that shops in the store.

And, finally to make sure that we finish the whole process very well, the staff are encouraged to thank customers and invite them to return.



Customer complaints

Dealing with customer complaints


Task 6. Draw up a shortlist of suggestions for dealing with customer complaints. Choose ten best suggestions from the advice sheet below:


1   Show the customer you are listening by checking that you understand.

2   Allow the customer to show their emotions if they are upset or angry.

3   Say you are sorry that the customer is upset.

4   Admit that the problem was your fault as soon as possible.

5   Make sure you get full details of the problem.

6   Summarize and make sure that the customer understands what you have said.

7   Ask the customer to put the complaint in writing.

8   Be firm if you are sure of your facts.

9   Keep an open mind at all times.

10   Do not end up arguing with the customer.

11   Do not be defensive.

12   Concentrate on the situation not the personalities.

13   Don't force your solution on the customer.

14   Try to find out what result the customer wants.

15   Tell the customer what you can and cannot do.

16   Offer compensation of greater value than the goods or service complained about.


Task 7. How do you know if someone is not listening to you?

           How does it make you feel?

  Which of the following do you do to show people that you are listening to them?

  Can you add any other suggestions? Comment on each suggestion.


•   look people directly in the eye at all times (How long? Can it make them feel uncomfortable if you overdo it?)

•  nod your head often to show interest (What does nodding mean? Does it indicate interest, agreement, something else, or nothing at all?)

•   repeat what the speaker has said in your own words (Can it be useful as a way of checking key points? What do you think about another technique – to repeat exactly some of the expressions the speaker has used?)

•  be aware of the speaker's body language

•  interrupt the speaker often to show you are listening (No doubt, it’s useful to make some “phatic” noises such as aha, mmm, I see, right. But how much is it normal to do ?)

•  think about what you are going to say while the speaker is talking

• use body language to show you are attentive  (Can it be intimidating?)                                      \•  try to predict what they are going to say next (But don’t jump to conclusions).

•  ask questions if you do not understand (How many?)

•  say nothing until you are absolutely sure that the speaker has finished


Handling difficult situations

Useful language :

Showing interest


That's interesting. Right / OK / Mmm / Yes / No

Showing empathy

I know what you mean. How awful!

Asking for details

So what happened? What did you do?


Are you saying... ?

What (exactly) do you mean by ... ?

Could you be more specific, please?


(So) you think...

(So) what you're saying is ...

Repetition / Question tags

We've reduced customer complaints by 30%.

B  30%? / Have you?



Task 8. Read the article and answer these questions:

1   What customer service problems did the author have?

2  What examples are given of poor customer service by British utilities?

3   What answer does the author give to the question: 'Why is customer service important?'

4  Why is customer service difficult to implement? Give three reasons.


Text 2. Customers first: the message for this or any other year

By Michael Skapinker


What, the caller from Hewlett-Packard wanted to know, did I think the big business issues would be  this year? Well, I replied, in Hewlett-Packard's case, I thought the issues should be that my new HP printer-scanner-copier refused to scan when I bought it and it took me weeks to sort it out. Also the machine could not print on lightweight card, as it was supposed to, without jamming.

The man from HP laughed nervously. Were there any other big business issues I would like to mention? No, I said. If HP took care of those small ones, the big ones would take care of themselves.

I could have talked for longer, but I had to call Powergen. I should not have been using the FT's time to sort out my electricity difficulties but no one had answered the 24-hour Powergen helpline the previous evening. This time I got through and, after a few false starts, they  sorted out my problem.

Why is it so hard for companies to get things right?

The British utilities seem to have surrendered all their post-privatisation customer-service improvements. Some have gone back to their tricks of 20 years ago, including not turning up at the appointed time and then claiming to have rung the doorbell and found no one home.

Many banks, retailers and the rest are no better. Some seem to have cut back on the essentials of  customer service training: please, thank you - that sort of thing.                         

I know this is not just a British phenomenon: every time I write about deteriorating customer service, many of you e-mail  from elsewhere with the same complaints.    

What is the problem? Some  of  it  is  industry-specific: either  there  is  insufficient competition or dissatisfied customers cannot   be   bothered   to change because they doubt they  will  find  anything  better. But I sense a deeper problem: many companies seem  to  have  forgotten what business is about.

They think it is about cutting costs: hence the mania for outsourcing. I am not attacking outsourcing as such; it is not, on its own, responsible for 120 deteriorating  customer service.      Rather, the problem is the mindset that so much outsourcing represents: the idea that a startling    reduction in employment costs is all you need to succeed.

Costs do matter. If they exceed revenues, you have no profit - and no company, or individual, can carry on for long without profits.

But making a profit, essential though it is. is not the purpose of business either. It is its consequence. As Peter Drucker wrote: 'Profit is not the explanation, cause or rationale of business behaviour and business decisions, but rather the test of their validity'.

The purpose of a business is to provide something that a customer wants at a price he or she is prepared to pay. In  Prof. Drucker!s words: 'It is the customer who determines what a business is. It is the customer alone whose willingness to pay for a good or for a service converts  economic  resources into wealth, things into goods.'

It is a simple idea. You provide goods or services that customers are pleased with - so pleased that they come back, and tell all their friends to buy from you too. You then sell more. Result: happiness.

Carrying  this out, of course, is less simple. Others may have found a way of providing the same goods at far lower prices, in which case costs will have  to be looked at again and you may have to move jobs to low-wage countries.

There is also the difficulty of execution: the bigger your business becomes   and   the   more widespread your suppliers and customers, the harder it is to deliver.

You  may need  information technology systems to keep track of supplies and to ensure that when your customers call, it takes you no more than a few seconds to call up the information you need.

But when the new IT system has been installed, or the foreign factory built, or this or that activity put out to contract, there is only one test of whether it was worth it: are the customers happy?

It is with the customer that all business decisions should start and end.


                                                                             From the Financial Times


Task 9. Now read the article again. Which of the following points does

             the author make?

1  The British utilities are improving their customer service.

2  Some companies need to spend much more on customer service training.

3  Outsourcing often has a negative effect on customer service.

4  The key to business success is reducing costs.

5  Many companies do not have the right objectives.


Task 10. Give an example of good and bad customer service you have                       



Task 11. Companies are increasingly aware of the importance of 'word-of-mouth' advertising - when customers talk to others about their experience of products or services. What do you think are the answers to the following questions?

1.     How many other people do satisfied customers tell?

Up to:   a) 12?          b) 18?          c) 24?

2.     How many other people do dissatisfied customers tell?

Up to:   а) 10?          b) 20?        c) 30?

      3.What percentage of people stay loyal when they feel complaints are handled               


                       a) 40%?     b) 60%?     c) 80%?


Task 12. Now read the article and answer the questions that follow it.


Text 3. Delighting in a superior service


By David White


In the increasingly competitive service sector, it is no longer enough to promise customer satisfaction. Today, customer 'delight' is the stated aim for companies battling to retain and increase market share. It is accepted in the marketing industry, and confirmed by a number of surveys, that customers receiving good service will stimulate new business by telling up to 12 other people; those treated badly will tell their tales of woe to up to 20 people. Interestingly, 80 per cent of people who feel their complaints are handled fairly will stay loyal.

New challenges for customer care have come with the rapid growth in obtaining goods and services via telephone call centres and the Internet. Averting 'phone rage' - induced by delays in answering calls, being cut off in mid-con­versation or left waiting for long periods - has been tackled by vast investment in information technology and training courses for staff.

'Many people do not like talking to machines,' says Dr Storey (Senior Lecturer in Marketing at City University Business School). 'Banks, for example, encourage staff at call centres to use customer data to establish instant rapport with them. The aim is to make the customer feel they know you and that you can trust them - the sort of reassuring feelings people have during face-to-face chats with  their  local  branch manager.'

Recommended ways of inducing customer delight include: under-promising and over-delivering (saying that a repair will be carried out within five hours, but getting it done within two);  replacing a faulty product immediately: throwing in a gift voucher as an unexpected thank you to regular customers; and always returning calls, even when they are complaints.

Aiming for customer delight is all very well, but if services do not reach the high level promised, disappointment or worse will be the result. This can be eased by coupling an apology and explanation of why the service did not meet usual standards with empathy (“I know how you must feel') and possible solutions (replacement, compensation or whatever fairness suggests best meets the case).

Airlines face some of the toughest challenges over customer care. Fierce competition has convinced them that delighting pas­sengers is an essential marketing tool, while there is great  potential for customer outrage over delays  caused  by weather, unclaimed   luggage   and technical problems.  

For BA staff, a winning telephone style is considered vital in handling the large volume of calls about bookings and flight times. They are trained to answer quickly, with their name, job title and a 'we are here to help' attitude. The company has invested heavily in information technology to ensure information is available instantly on screen.

BA also says its customer care policies apply internally and  staff  are taught to regard each other as customers requiring the highest standards of service.

Customer care is obviously here to stay and it would be a foolish company that used slogans such as 'we do as we please and are answerable only to ourselves'. On the other hand, the more customers are promised, the greater the risk of disappointment.

                                                                         From the Financial Times


Task 13.   Are the following statements true or false, according to the writer?

1. a)  In a competitive market a company must aim to satisfy the customer.

    b)  Fast automated service is preferred to slower person-to-person service.

    c)  Companies which promise the most have the most satisfied customers.

2  Why is customer care particularly important for airlines?

3  Why has BA spent a lot of money on information technology and training?

4  What approach to customer care does BA have within its organisation?


Task 14. Complete the beginnings of sentences 1-5 with words from the box. Then finish each sentence using the sentence endings a)-e):


                  standards     products      rapport     complaints      reassure


1   When you handle..................it is important...

2  You can establish a..................with a customer if...

3  A key element in customer care is to..................people ...

4  Companies which do not meet their..................of service ...

5   Many companies will replace..................free of charge if...

a)  ... when they are worried.

b)  ... will lose customers.

c)  ... they are faulty.

d)  ... you know about their buying habits.

e)  ... to be diplomatic.                                                -                          \


Task 15. Chris Storey is Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the City University Business School in London. He defines customer service as a) “doing the right thing”  and b) “delighting the customers”.    Read the first part of the interview and say

1.    What examples does he give to illustrate these two ideas?

2.    Why do some companies fail to answer their customers’ e-mail quieries effectively?


(I = Interviewer, CS = Chris Storey)

I         How would you define good customer service?

CS     Good customer service is doing two things. Firstly, doing the right thing. This is basically doing what we promised to do as a service organisation, making sure mistakes do not happen, satisfying customers, being reliable, being courteous. If things go wrong, then dealing with complaints quickly. The second element is very much about delighting customers, doing something over and above what we

... customers expected. I, for example, mean a company like Amazon.co.uk. You order a book there, five o'clock in the evening, it turns up at nine o'clock the next morning. The first time that happens, people think 'wow', and it's very much about putting this 'wow' into the service. Once you do that, then these customers are likely to come back to you time and time again. But most companies still fail, fail on the first thing, about doing it correctly, making mistakes, etc.

I        Are companies paying enough attention to their customer service operations?

CS     Some are. I mean, I mentioned the example of Amazon.co.uk. obviously very good at customer service; other companies are very good as well. Others aren't. Others have been moving into e-commerce and areas like that, setting up websites, then if you perhaps, have a query, you e-mail them, because most websites have an e-mail contact address. The e-mail contact address often is the Computer Services Department. They've got nothing to do with customer service, but as a customer you don't know that. That's the equivalent of the phone number that they've given out for you to get in touch with them, but the person on the end of that phone number doesn't care about customer service. They just want to have queries about the websites and not queries about the service or the products that you're offering and a lot of companies are failing to answer these e-mail messages. That's just an example of the fact that companies can go into an area and they can forget about the customer service aspects.


Task 16. Read the second half of the interview and answer these questions:

1.     What are the advantages and disadvantages of the call centers?

2.     Which statements below are true and which are false?

a)     Segmentation means dividing your market into different groups of people.

b)    Some people are prepared to pay for help and advice before buying a product.

c)     Everyone finds it easy to understand financial problems like mortgage?


(I = Interviewer, CS = Chris Storey)

       And is new technology, for example call centres, improving customer service?

CS     Yes and no. On the downside, call centres are often replacing personal service. So, for example for the banks, you used to have a personal relationship with a bank manager, now you have an anonymous call centre. Basically, though you can use the technology to enhance this customer service. Any time you ring up a call centre the person on the end of the phone should be able to dial up your details and speak to you as though they've dealt with you three or four times before: they know your history from the call centre computer systems. However, a lot of call centres, the people are managed in the way that they have to answer so many calls per hour. This means they have to get off the phone with each individual customer as quickly as possible. That's going against the ethics of good customer service where, basically, you are supposed to be dealing with customers as individuals, staying on the phone until you've answered that problem or those queries to the satisfaction of the customers, and that sort of goes against the way that the call centres' performances are evaluated.

       Are people prepared to pay more for good customer service? 

CS     Yes and no. You can actually use customer service as a form of segmentation, i.e. breaking your market, your customers, into different groups of people. Some people will be prepared to pay more money for customer service because these people perhaps want more advice or more help in their purchase process. For example if somebody wants to buy a mortgage, people may have not bought a mortgage before, they may be unfamiliar with financial products, they don't understand about interest rates, endowment policies, repayment plans, all the things that go with the mortgage, and they want advice, they want to be sat down,

taken through the process. From a financial services institution point of view, you want to be able to charge for that and they, obviously the people who want advice, will be willing to pay that. Other people, more sophisticated consumers don't need that advice. They want it without the frills and they'll just order a mortgage, sign it on the piece of paper because they know what they want. Equally, you've got some people, very sophisticated consumers, aren't bothered about price. They want the delivery, they want it now. They don't want to wait two days for delivery, they want it delivered when they want it. They want it delivered nine o'clock in the evening because that's when they're going to be in at home. So, they're willing to pay for a service as well. So, it's all about breaking up your market into different segments, different groups of customers who you're basically putting together a package that will satisfy that particular group of customers.


Skills: Handling difficult situations

Useful language

Saying ‘no’ politely                              Ending a conversation

It’s very kind/ nice of you, but…       Sorry, I really must be off..

I’m very sorry, but…                              Please excuse me, I really have to leave...


Apologising                                          Raising a problem

I must apologise...                              Could I have a quick word with you?

I'm terribly sorry, but…                      I need to talk to you about something

Showing sympathy

I quite understand...                    I know how you feel..

Task 17. For each of the situations 1-8 choose an appropriate response a)-h):


1   Someone asks about a colleague who's been fired.

2  You are invited out to dinner when you don't really want to go.

3  A colleague tells you some very bad news about themselves.

4  You arrive late for a meeting.

5  You recognise someone but you can't recall their name.

6  You want to end a conversation at a business reception.

7  You want someone to stop smoking in a no-smoking area.

8  You spill coffee over a client's desk at a meeting.


a)  'Excuse me. I'm afraid smoking isn't allowed here.'

b)  'I'm sorry but there's someone over there that I have to talk to.'

c)   'How clumsy of me. I'm really sorry.'

d)  'I'm terribly sorry to hear that.'

e)  'I'm so sorry. The traffic was a nightmare.'

f)   'I know we've met before but I'm afraid I can't remember the name.'

g)  'That's really kind of you but I'm exhausted after the flight.'

h)  'I'm afraid he left the company last month.'


Task 18. What would you do and say in these difficult situations?

1   Your colleague applied for a promotion but didn't get it.

2  You invite a client for a meal and they ask if they can bring a friend. You see this as a business rather than a social occasion.

3  You're staying at a hotel that your host is paying for. It is not very comfortable and you would like to move.


Task 19. Match the following sentences with a suitable response:


1   I'm terribly sorry I'm late. I couldn't find anywhere to park.

2  Oh, sorry, I didn't know it was a birthday party!

3   How good to see you again. But I'm afraid I can't remember your name.

4  Sorry I couldn't come yesterday. My husband had to be taken to hospital.

5   I feel awful. It seems I've lost the report you lent me last week.


a) Don't be so upset. I've got a copy on disk, anyway.

b) That's all right. You must have met lots of people since.

c)  Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. What's the matter with him?

d) No one was supposed to know, actually. So don't worry, come through, and enjoy yourself.

e) Not to worry. We've only just started.  


Unit 2. Cultures 

“Culture is a set of ideas, beliefs, and ways of behaving of a particular organization or group of people”

                                                                     Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2003


Task 1. Think about cultural issues and their relevance to business:

As the world gets smaller, we need to learn more about each others’ values, beliefs, habits and expectations. Culture is the way we do things around here. The ‘here’ in question may be a country, a region, a social class, a company, a university. Clearly, we live in a set of cultures and subcultures that interlock in complex ways.

Neighboring countries or regions, or two companies in the same industry, tend to see themselves as very different to each other, but that difference may be hard for the outsider grasp at the first glance.

Here are some intercultural issues:

·       Religion: Does it play a role in business‘s life?

·       Roles of men and women: Are women often found in the highest levels of business and society?

·       Hierarchy: What is the distance between managers and people who work for them?

·       Levels of formality in language and behavior: Is there any difference in addressing different people?

·       Conversation and discussion: Settings (formal and informal meetings, social situations, etc.)

·       Dress for different settings and occasions.

·       The relation of work to private life: Do business people invite colleagues and contacts to their houses or is everything done in the office and restaurants?

·       Time: Timescale of the activity/organization, planning, punctuality, the working day/week/year, meals, recreation, holidays, etc. Do meetings start on time? Is the summer break sacrosanct?


Task 2. Why is cultural awareness important for businesspeople? Give examples.

              What is culture? Choose the four factors which you think are the most

              important in creating a culture.


climate                      language           historical events

institutions                arts social          customs and traditions

ideas and beliefs         religion              ceremonies and festivals

cuisine                        geography          architecture


Task 3. How important are the following things when doing business in your country? Are they: a) important b) not important or c) best avoided?

·       exchanging business cards               being formal or informal

·       shaking hands                                 punctuality

·       kissing                                             humour

·       socialising with contacts                  giving presents

·       small talk before meetings                 being direct (saying exactly what you


·       accepting interruption                      using first names

1.     What is the way of handing your card in Asia according to the etiquette?

2.     Should you shake hands every day or only on seeing someone for the first time or after a long time?

3.     How often do you kiss (every meeting or if at all) in your country?

4.     Do people in Kazakhstan invite business guests to their houses or is everything done in restaurants?

5.     Is small talk before meetings expected or is it considered to be time-wasting?

6.     Are interruptions rude? Would interruption make you uncomfortable?

7.     Being formal or informal – in dress, language and behavior. Is there a risk of appearing stuffy in some places?

8.     How late do you have to be before it considered to be late?

9.     Is it better to avoid humour?

10.  When and what should you give as a present? Should the present be opened?

11.  People in some countries may pride themselves on being direct, but is it always appropriate, or even possible, with ‘normal’ social relations?

12.  Do you have to avoid using first names unless invited to do otherwise?


Task 4.  Read the first part of an interview with Jeff Toms, Marketing Director at the International Briefing Centre in the UK. He talks about training courses which prepare people for doing business internationally.  


Text 1. Culture awareness

(I = Interviewer, JT = Jeff Toms)

     How do you prepare people to do business internationally?

JT    How we prepare people to do business internationally really depends on the task that they're undertaking on behalf of their company or organisation. For example, if you're being sent by your company to live and work overseas for a period say of two or three years, as an assignee, then we would provide you either with a one- or two- day programme covering such issues as: cultural awareness, practical issues of living in, working in, as well as how to deal with culture shock, which everybody goes through when they go on assignment. We'll also deal with particular issues such as schooling, health care and, in particular parts of the world increasingly, with security. However, if, as is the case now, many more people are not actually going to live overseas but have international responsibility. You need a different set of learning tools and that is, first of all, a general cultural awareness and understanding of how you should really operate when dealing with people with other cultures; teaching you how to negotiate contracts; communication, just generally whether that's by telephone, by e-mail or even by the written word. The words that you choose have a very different effect on the recipient depending on which culture you're conversing with. Another important area these days is presentation skills. In the past it has been assumed that you use the same presentation from your home country when presenting to a more multi-cultural audience. That's very much not the case, and we teach people even down to the kind of words you use on the slides, the colours you use, and indeed how to deal with questions and answers and manage your audience because of course in different cultures there's a different response. Finally, it's very important we believe here at Farnham Castle, to underpin all this with some ability to communicate in the host language. Whilst English is still very much regarded as the international language of business, it is increasingly expected that people will make at least some effort and attempt to learn the language of the people that they are dealing with, particularly in a social environment. It really demonstrates an interest and an affinity with the people that really you are trying to build relationships with and, of course, business is all about building relationships.


Task 5. Complete the list of issues that he mentions:

Issues covered by the training course

• ......................1 awareness

•   Practical issues of......................2 and..................3 overseas

•   Dealing with............................................4

•   Schooling:..........................5 care; international security

•   How to negotiate............................6

•   Communication - telephone    - e-mail    -the............................................7

•   Presentation skills             

- the words you use

- the.............................8you use

- how to deal with.............................9 and answers

- managing your.............................10


Task 6. Read the second part of the interview. Jeff talks about the personality traits                                                   

           that help in doing business internationally.

          Which three personality traits does he consider to be important?


(I = Interviewer, JT = Jeff Toms)

I    And are there certain skills and techniques for doing business internationally, which can be applied in any culture?

JT    I think rather than skills and techniques there are some very strong personality traits that those people who tend to be more successful in an international business environment tend to demonstrate. For example, flexibility and adaptability would be a particularly strong requirement, the ability to observe, participate in something and adapt your own set of skills and knowledge and your own way of doing things.

To actually listen more carefully would be another strong trait that you really ought to demonstrate. Adaptability, listening and I think really to take an approach with a very positive attitude. I think anybody who approaches cultural issues with a very negative attitude will get a very negative response from the people they are trying to do business with.

Task 7. Read the third part of the interview. Which two cultural aspects does Jeff mention and what does he say about them?

•   Entertaining            • Gift-giving       • Hierarchy

•  Time                         • Greetings         • Dress


(I = Interviewer, JT = Jeff Toms)

I        And can you give us examples of typical cultural mistakes made by people doing business internationally?

JT    There are lots of quoted examples and I think they are really to do with attitudes, particular facets of cultures. For example, time would be a very important cultural aspect that you really do have to learn if you are from a western culture then how you do approach time and how you do business. For example, in a country like Saudi Arabia would be very important.

Other examples are really attitudes to hierarchy. For example: there are many US corporations who have very young, high-flying business, very successful business executives. For example, if you send one of those individuals to meet and do business with a senior Asian businessperson. again Japan comes to mind, then they will be met with a very distinctively negative response, and what indeed will happen is that the senior Asian businessperson will see it very much as an insult, probably either leave the meeting or refuse to attend the meeting and will actually send somebody who they think is of equal status and age to negotiate with that individual and because that lower individual, more junior individual doesn't have the authority then you're very unlikely to achieve anything out of that meeting.


Task 8. Which country would you like to visit on business? What would you like to                                  know about the culture of this country before visiting? Think of some questions to ask.

Social customs

Task 9. Test your knowledge of social customs around the world. Do this quiz and then check your answers:

Culture Quiz

1.If you are doing business with a German, you have to shake hands

a) when you meet

b) when you leave

c) when you meet and when you leave

2. In the Middle East you have to give presents to business contacts

a) in private

b) in public

c) every time you meet

3. If you are giving a present to your Latin American customer, you mustn’t give

a)  cutlery

b) food and drink

c) a clock


4.If an Indian says “Come any time” he or she expects you to

a) arrange a visit immediately

b) visit him or her the next day

c) ignore the invitation

5. You can’t do business in Muslim countries

a) on Wednesdays

b) on Fridays

c) on Sundays

6. If an American nods his/her head,  it probably means

a) I understand

b) Yes

c) I’m interested

7. At a social occasion with an Indian client

a) you can discuss business

b) you mustn’t discuss business

c) you don’t have to discuss business

8. If you are doing business in Thailand, you must

a) shake hands firmly

b) bow

c) make sure you don’t touch your head

9. If a Japanese person gives you their business card, you have to

a) take it with both hands and study it carefully

b) put it straight into your wallet or pocket

c) write notes about them on it

10. If you are in a pub in England, you have to buy a drink

a) for yourself

b) for everyone in the group you’re with

c) for everyone in the pub



Task 10. What about your country? Do you  have any customs that sometimes surprise visitors from abroad?


1.     You have to shake hands when you are coming or going in Germany, but in Britain you usually only shake hands when you meet someone for the first time.

2.     You have to give your present in public in the Middle East to show it’s not a bribe, but it’s good manners to give your present in private in Asia.

3.     You mustn’t give cutlery in Latin America because it suggests that you want to cut off the relationship. You mustn’t give food or drink in Saudi Arabia because it suggests you think your hosts aren’t offering you enough to eat and drink. You mustn’t give a clock in China because the Chinese word for clock is similar to the word for funeral.

4.     ‘Come any time’ means ‘I want you to visit me’ in India. If you don’t suggest a time and arrange a visit immediately, an Indian will think you are refusing the invitation. But if an English person says ‘Come any time’, they will think you are bad-mannered if you start fixing a date.

5.     Offices are usually closed on Fridays in Muslim countries.

6.     Americans usually mean ‘Yes’ when they nod their heads. An English person probably just means ‘I understand’, and an Asian is just showing interest.

7.     It’s bad manners to discuss at a social occasion in India.

8.     In Thailand you have to shake hands very gently. It’s not like America where a weak handshake can indicate a weak character. In Japan you have to bow when you meet someone for the first time but in Thailand you  have to put the palms of your hands together in a prayer gesture. And you mustn’t touch someone’s head in Thailand. It’s bad manners.

9.     You must treat your contact’s business cards with respect in Japan. You have to study them before you put them away and you mustn’t write on them.

10.  In an English pub, you have to take your turn to buy a ‘round’ – a drink for everyone in your group.









Список литературы:


1.     Cotton, D., Falvey, D., Kent S. –Market Leader (New Edition) – Intermediate Business English Course Book, Pearson Education Ltd. 2005

2.     Cotton, D., Falvey, D., Kent S.  –, Market Leader (New Edition) – Upper Intermediate Business English Course Book, Pearson Education Ltd. 2003

3. Emmerson, P. Business Grammar Builder. Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 2002.

4. Macmillan English Dictionary for advanced learners. Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 2002.












Unit 1. Employment………………………………………………………… 3

1. Vocabulary: The recruitment process……………………………………..4

2. Text 1. Motivating High Calibre Staff…………………………………….7    

3. Grammar: Indirect Questions and Statements……………………………..8

 Unit 2. Job Satisfaction……………………………………………………..13

1. Text 1. Staff satisfaction survey………………………………………….14

2. Text 2. Perks that work…………………………………………………...17

3. Text 3. Is there a place for time in corporate Utopia?…………………….18

4. Text 4. Motivating factors………………………………………………..20

5. Text 5. Job satisfaction is all in a name…………………………………..22

6. Grammar: Passives……………………………………………………….23

Unit 3. Management Styles  ………………………………………………..24

1. Vocabulary: Management qualities………………………………………25

2. Text 1. Who would you rather work for? ………………………………..26

3.  Text 2. The big three management styles………………………………..28

4. Interview with Stuart Crainer ……………………………………………31 




Unit 1. Customer service …………………………………………………..33

1. Text 1. Customer service………………………………………………..34

2. Customer complaints…………………………………………………….37

3. Text 2. Customers first: the message for this or any other year…………39

4. Text 3. Delighting in a superior service………………………………….41

5. Interview with Chris Storey……………………………………………..43

Unit 2. Cultures ……………………………………………………………46

1. Text 1 Culture awareness (an interview with Jeff Toms)……………….48

2. Culture Quiz……………………………………………………………..50