This is the first in a series of Business English lessons on handling a crisis.
Imagine this: it’s four o’clock in the morning and you’re sound asleep. Le téléphone sonne. It’s one of your managers. There’s been a terrible accident! Que faire? Que dis-tu?
At some point in your career, you will have to deal with a major crisis. It could be a labor strike or an environmental disaster. And there are minor crises, like missing an important delivery or running out of paper, that can happen every day. These events can certainly do damage, but how much? That depends on how you deal with them.
Good crisis management is the key. Your success and reputation depend on it. So in this lesson, we’ll look at what happens when a crisis breaks, or begins. This is all about “Taking Control in a Crisis.” We’ll cover some useful techniques and language to deal effectively with that early morning phone call about an accident.
We’ll hear Sandy and Mike, who work at a factory in China that has just had an accident. Sandy is the plant manager, while Mike is the lead production engineer. A pipe has burst, releasing gas and injuring two workers. Now Sandy and Mike are calling their boss, Frank Menzies, in the U.S. Let’s listen as Sandy and Mike deliver the bad news and Frank takes control of the crisis.
1. Why isn’t Mike on the call at the beginning?
2. What information about the incident does Frank want to know?
3. What does Frank instruct Mike to do at the end?