BEP 219 – Arguing in Meetings in English (1)

BEP 219 -Arguing in Meetings in English 1

In this Business English Pod lesson, we’re going to look at language and skills for arguing in meetings in English.

Does everyone in your office always agree all the time? When someone makes a suggestion, does everyone just smile and nod in agreement? When you bring forward an idea, do people just accept it? Well, if you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are in an extremely unusual workplace. People are people. And people butt heads. They disagree, they argue, and they fight. You can’t get around it. But you can learn to deal with it.

To hold your own, you need to learn how to argue effectively. If you’ve got an opinion, you need to defend it. And if you have a problem with something a colleague has done, you need to let them know. This can make for some difficult discussions and meetings, but this is just a part of life and business.

So how can you argue effectively? Well, you need several skills which we’ll look at today. We’ll learn how to interrupt someone, finish something we’re saying after someone else has interrupted us, and cast doubt on something someone has said. We’ll also learn some useful expressions for backing up an accusation and trying to keep the discussion focused. When an argument breaks out, these are the kinds of skills you need.

In this lesson, we will hear a meeting between three people in the retail business talking about a recent promotional event. Apparently, the event wasn’t a great success. Paula and Gavin disagree about why things didn’t work out, while their boss Matt tries to work out the truth and keep the discussion focused.

Listening Questions

1. What does Gavin think was the general reason for the event’s failure?
2. Why does Gavin mention “the papers and the radio spots”?
3. At the end of the dialog, what does Matt want to do?

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