One of the most common reasons for holding a meeting is to solve a problem. A meeting can be a great place to do this, because it is possible for a variety of people with different experiences and perspectives to work together to identify the problem and come up with possible solutions.
But, while we might have the right people at the meeting, the process is often flawed because one question hasn’t clearly been asked and answered: “What is the problem?” So, in today’s episode we’re going to focus on how to define the problem through discussion and then restate the problem as a challenge. In the second part of this series, we’ll look at how to evaluate and eliminate suggestions and then agree on a plan of action.
We’ll be listening to Kathryn, the head of Human Resources at a medium-sized company, who is meeting with department heads to discuss a problem they’re having with low staff morale across all departments of the company. Morale is a word used to describe a general feeling or mood.
Kathryn wants everyone to consider possible hidden reasons for low morale at the company. We’ll see how she helps participants focus on breaking down the morale problem. As the dialog starts, Kathryn calls everyone to attention and begins the meeting.
1) What is the surface problem that Kathryn and the others can see?
2) What does the group decide is the true cause of this problem?
3) What is the challenge that the group faces at the end of the dialog?
*** This lesson is part of our Business English eBook for meetings: Meeting Essentials. Premium members click here to download the complete eBook.Members: Study Notes | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module
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11 thoughts on “BEP 126 – English Meetings: Discussing a Problem (1)”
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Great! topic. Problem…root causes…Possible solutions
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