BEP 384 – Business by Phone 4: Unexpected call

BEP 384 - Business English for Telephone 4: Unexpected Call

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on doing business by phone. Last time we looked at a routine check-in call with your boss. Today we’ll focus on spontaneous, or unexpected, phone conversations.

You might start a telephone conversation with an idea about how it will go and what you will talk about. And many routine conversations are pretty straightforward. But what happens when the conversation gets into things you haven’t anticipated? What if the other person asks you tough questions that you don’t have easy answers for? In particular, what if your boss is pressuring you to justify your decisions?

There are a few things that you might have to do to succeed in this situation. For starters, you might need to just pause and gather your thoughts. Next, you might find yourself explaining your assumptions and clarifying some of the specific aspects of your decision. You might also try explaining what would have happened it you hadn’t made the decision you did. And finally, it’s a good idea to be able to accept feedback graciously and politely.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Sonny, a English for logistics manager in Asia working for an American clothing company. Sonny is talking with his supervisor Cam. If you listened to our last lesson about a routine check-in, you’ll notice a big difference with this conversation. This time, Sonny has to think on his feet and deal with some tough questions.

Listening Questions

1. What assumption does Sonny make about delivery times?
2. What does Sonny say might have happened if he didn’t make a tough decision?
3. What will Sonny do differently in the future based on the feedback he gets?

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BEP 383 – Business by Phone 3: Routine Check-in Meeting

BEP 383 - Business English for Telephone 3: Routine Check-in

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on doing business by phone. This is the first of a pair of lessons on routine and spontaneous business phone conversations.

Now what do I mean when I say “routine” and “spontaneous” phone conversations? Routine means something we do often or something that follows a set pattern. But spontaneous means suddenly, without any planning. Having a spontaneous conversation in English is very challenging. Today we’ll start with a more routine weekly check-in, and our next lesson will show you how to handle more unexpected situations.

A weekly check-in is a chance to talk with your supervisor about how your work is going. That might include reporting your progress or the status of different projects or work. It might also mean sharing your successes and asking for help or guidance with challenges. And if you’re like most people, there’s always lots to talk about, so you may also have to request time to look at a specific issue.

In today’s dialog, we’ll join Sonny, a logistics manager for a clothing company called Boston Vintage. Sonny works in Asia and is talking on the phone with his supervisor Cam, who works in the U.S. Their conversation is a weekly check-in about recent work, challenges, and progress.

Listening Questions

1. What topic does Sonny request time to discuss during the call?
2. What does Sonny report that he is making some progress on?
3. What success is Sonny happy to report?

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Skills 360 – Time Management 1: Prioritizing and Scheduling

Business English Skills 360 - Time Management (1)

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast for today’s lesson on time management.

When we talk about “management” and “managers,” we’re usually thinking about managing people. And that involves many different skills. But all these skills are useless if the manager can’t manage his or her own self. So good management starts with good self-management. And an essential part of self-management is managing your time effectively, which in turn depends on effective scheduling.

So, as a manager, how do you set a schedule that works? Well, that starts with prioritizing. You can think of tasks on two dimensions: importance and urgency. The first key to good time management is avoiding things that are neither urgent nor important. That includes daily distractions, trivial tasks, and anything minor that simply wastes time. The second key is to minimize things that seem urgent but are not important. A lot of meetings, emails, phone calls, and interruptions fall into this category.

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925 English Lesson 36 – Ending a Phone Call

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In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn how to end a phone call in English.

Last time, we looked at lots of useful expressions for answering the phone and starting a call. But what about ending a call? If you’ve finished your conversation, what can you say to end the call politely?

Well for starters, one thing you want to avoid is just suddenly saying goodbye. To end a business call professionally, there are three simple steps to follow. First you signal that you want to end, secondly, you review your action points, and finally you say goodbye.

925 English is a new series of English video lessons for beginners (CEFR level A2). With 925 English you can learn business English expressions and phrases for work.

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925 English Lesson 35 – Answering the Phone

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In today’s 925 English video lesson, we’re going to learn some expressions for answering the phone in English.

Using the telephone is an important part of business. But the way we communicate is a little different from in-person conversations. We have some special expressions we use to answer the phone, ask for clarification, and get a callback.

At the start of a phone call, it’s a good idea to make sure the other person knows who you are. You can identify yourself in a few different ways. Besides saying “my name is,” we often use the expression “this is” before our name. But don’t try to use this expression in person. I only say “this is Tim” when I’m talking on the phone.

925 English is a new series of English videos for beginners (CEFR level A2). With 925 English you can learn business English expressions for work.

Members: PDF Transcript | Lesson Module | Quiz | Video

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