Business Skills 360

Business English Skills 360 – The podcast that looks at the other side of business English. Skills 360 lessons explore the full spectrum of business english in the workplace; looking at skills for management, careers and communication.

Business English Skills 360 Lessons

Learn business English and management skills with the Skills 360 podcast.

Skills 360 lessons are focused on the other side of business English. In other words: essential soft skills that are often overlooked in traditional language learning. Through practical tips and strategies, you’ll gain valuable insights into effective communication and management skills.

Our lessons cover a range of topics, including leadership, negotiation, presentation, meeting management, networking, and time management. By exploring these lessons, you can learn about different leadership approaches, negotiation strategies, presentation techniques, and more. You can learn how to adapt your approach and build trust with team members and develop the management skills you need to progress.

Use the links below to access the 90+ Skills 360 business English lessons we have released to date:

Skills 360 – How to Overcome Cognitive Bias

Skills 360 - Overcoming Cognitive Bias

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast as we continue learning about cognitive bias. In this lesson, we’ll look at how to deal with the biases that impact our decision-making.

Trusting your gut and making quick decisions might work in some cases. But if you think your decision-making ability is based on perfect reasoning and complete information, well you’re wrong. You’re only human after all. And your decision-making machinery is flawed. In our last lesson, we had a closer look at exactly the kinds of biases that lead to suboptimal decisions. So how can you overcome these biases?

It’s a question that every good manager should be asking themselves. And making better decisions while avoiding biases comes down to a few key things: awareness, curiosity, and evidence. Let’s start with awareness. Now, if you tuned in to our last lesson when we talked about different types of bias, then you’re already on the right track.

Members: Lesson Module | Quiz & Vocab | PDF Transcript

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Skills 360 – What is Cognitive Bias?

Business English 360 - Understanding Cognitive Bias

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast for today’s lesson on cognitive bias. These are factors that affect our ability to make good decisions and reasonable judgments.

Cognitive biases are factors that can negatively impact our decision-making and judgments. We make numerous decisions daily, ranging from significant ones like hiring employees to minor ones deciding where to go to lunch. These decisions often rely on intuition, information, and others’ perspectives. However, biases, which are unconscious tendencies, can lead to suboptimal decisions.

One common bias is the confirmation bias, where we focus on information that supports our existing beliefs and ignore contradictory evidence. This can cause us to become entrenched in incorrect views. Another is the sunk-cost fallacy, where we stick to a decision due to prior investments, even when it’s not the best choice.

The halo effect and horns effect are biases where one trait of a person influences our overall perception of them, often leading to misjudgments. For example, attractiveness can be wrongly equated with competence, while negative traits can overshadow a person’s capabilities.

Intuition can sometimes mislead us, making data crucial for decisions. However, biases like sample size neglect, where we draw conclusions from insufficient data, can still occur. Availability bias makes us overestimate the likelihood of recent events, such as fearing flying after hearing about a crash despite its relative safety.

The planning fallacy leads us to underestimate the time needed for tasks, often because we consider only the best-case scenarios. Recognizing these biases is the first step to mitigating their effects.

Members: Lesson Module | Quiz & Vocab | PDF Transcript

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Skills 360 – What is DEI: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Skills 360 LESSON - DEI: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast for today’s lesson on the impact and implications of DEI – or diversity, equity, and inclusion – on the workplace.

As part of the “social” aspect of ESG, DEI has exploded in importance in recent years. Over 50% of employees in the US believe this increasing attention is warranted. And, as we discussed in our last lesson, customers are increasingly discerning when it comes to ethical performance.

So, it’s not just your HR manager who’s thinking about this anymore. The companies that are excelling in this area have it baked in at every level. And that includes commitments at the C-suite level. Given this explosion of attention, it’s worth unpacking exactly what we mean by these terms, and what it means for the workplace.

“Diversity” refers to the presence of different people in an organization. And while we might immediately think about gender and race, we’re also talking about age, disabilities, religion, and sexual orientation, just to name a few. Diverse organizations have many different people. “Inclusion” is an atmosphere where all these people feel a sense of belonging. And where there are systems in place to make them feel welcome and valued.

“Equity” can often get confused with “equality,” but it’s really not the same. Equity acknowledges that not everyone has the same starting point, and that some people might need additional support to take advantage of opportunities. So companies committed to equity focus on systems and processes that create fairness and recognize those different starting points.

Members: Lesson Module | Quiz & Vocab | PDF Transcript

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Skills 360 – What is ESG: Environmental, Social and Governance

Skills 360 LESSON - ESG: Environmental, Social and Governance

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast for today’s lesson on “ESG,” or the environmental, social, and governance commitments companies make.

Along with DEI, which we’ll talk about next time, ESG is one of those acronyms that seems to be everywhere these days. Some companies have made huge strides in ESG, and many of them are reaping the rewards. Others have just started down the path. And then there are some that are resisting, for better or worse. Whatever the situation in your company is, it’s important for you to know what ESG is all about.

On a very simple level, ESG is about paying attention to the non-financial impacts, risks, and opportunities in business. The “E” in ESG stands for “environmental.” This refers to a company’s impacts on the environment, its greenhouse gas emissions, its care for natural resources, and its resilience in the face of climate change.

The “S” in ESG stands for “social.” This pillar is all about the company’s relationship with it stakeholders, both internal and external. That includes employee engagement, as well as relationships with the surrounding community and its people. Finally, the “G” in ESG stands for “governance.” This is all about ethical and accountable leadership, board oversight, equity, and transparency.

Members: Lesson Module | Quiz & Vocab | PDF Transcript

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Skills 360 – Managing Up 2: How to Manage Up

Skills 360 - Management English: Managing Up (2)

Welcome back to the Business English Skills 360 podcast for today’s lesson on English management skills and how to manage up.

Many of us silently yearn for an easy relationship with our boss, one in which he can understand us intuitively. But managers are human. They can’t read minds any better than you can. And even the best ones make mistakes. That’s why today I want to talk about how to “manage up.” I’m talking about using strategies for enhanced collaboration between you and your boss. I want to show you how you can initiate these strategies, rather than waiting for your boss to become a better manager.

The right attitude is critical if you want to learn to manage up. Start by de-escalating any resentment you have toward your boss. Open yourself up to the idea of collaborating with your boss. And cultivate a spirit of learning. Even if you don’t see your boss as a mentor, there’s lots you can learn from him.

With the right attitude, you can then go about trying to understand your boss better. Reflect on what you know about the person. Ask yourself: what is this person’s experience and background? Then, how does this experience and background inform his core values?

Members: Lesson Module | Quiz & Vocab | PDF Transcript

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