English in business:

: English in business:

Unit 1



"English is more and more necessary for international business, but less and less sufficient"(Leonard Orban, EU Commissioner for Multilingualism)

1 Pre-reading task. Discuss the following questions in groups:

-People have always needed a common language to communicate. What language have they used for this purpose in Europe

-What language have European community had as an international one in different periods of history

-What language do you learn as a second language How can you apply the knowledge of English in your future life What are your ambitions

2 Read the following statement. Do you agree or disagree Prepare arguments to support your view. “English is more and more necessary for international business, but less and less sufficient”


3 Read, learn and keep in memory the following expressions, try to use them in your own sentences:

-public funding

-tangible return on investment

-to benefit from learning a foreign language

-competition for public funding

-market failure

-insufficient language skills

-the revealing results

-inadequate intercultural skills

-small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

-the total value of smth

-a quantifiable benefit

-to undertake a number of studies

-export markets

4 Read the first part of the text


a)Why should you learn a foreign language That might seem like a stupid question,particularly coming from a company that publishes language-learning magazines. Surely, the more foreign languages you can speak, the better. Yes, probably. But sometimes simple questions are not as stupid as they seem.

Of course, it’s easy to think of reasons for learning languages. You can travel more easily, communicate with more people, and learn about other countries and cultures. Languages can also help you in your current job, or be an advantage if you want a new job.

b)But look again at that last paragraph. It’s all about "you, you, you". You benefit privately from learning a foreign language. You benefit in your career, language skills benefit society more generally — for example, by improving international understanding. And companies benefit from the language skills of their employees.

c)Anne Davidson Lund, a director of CILT, the National Centre for Languages in the UK. says: “figures speak more loudly than words in a climate where language learning is not an unquestioned right, where competition forpublic fundingfor education and training is intense, and where the prize goes to those who can show atangible return on investment in termsoftheirnation’sbank balance.Can we win that prize for languages"

d)Lund argued that, if the business sector wants to secure more public funding for foreign-language education and training, it must show that language skills bring aquantifiablebenefit to companies. Also, the business sector must show that there is "market failure": that is, firms are not currently getting all the language skills they need.

CILT has undertaken a number of studies to look into these questions. The most important one was the 2007 "ELAN" study{Effects on the European Union Economy of Shortages of Foreign Language Skills in Enterprise— see box, page 19) for the European Commission. This looked at firms in 29 European countries and tried to quantify the value of contracts lost because of insufficient language skills.

e)The results wererevealing. The report found that there was a clearlinkbetween language skills and export success. And among asampleof 2,000small- andmedium-sized enterprises (SMEs),11 per cent said that they had lost contracts as a result of a lack of language skills. (In most countries, ten per cent said they had also lost contracts because ofinadequateintercultural skills.) Some of these contracts were worth over €1 million, with the average being €345,000. The report estimated that the total value of lost business to the EU economy because of poor language skills in SMEs was around €100 billion a year.

f)The ELAN report identified four key elements of language management in companies that were successful in export markets:". having a language strategy,appointing native speakers, recruitingstaff with language skills and using translators andinterpreters".An SME investing in all of these four elements was found to have an export-sales proportion 44.5 per cent higher than one that does not do so.

5 Read through the first part of the article quickly once more. Match each sentence 1-7 to the sentence a-g that should logically follow it.

1 Foreign languages can

2 You benefit privately

3 You can travel more easily, communicate with more people and

4 Language skills benefit society more generally by

5 The prize goes to those who can show a

6 If you want to secure more public funding for foreign-language training and educations…

7 Four key elements of language management for success in export markets are:

a) it must show that language skills bring a quantifiable benefit to companies

b) improving international understanding

c) a language strategy, appointing native speakers, recruiting staff with language skills and using translators and interpreters

d) also help you in your current job

e ) learn about other countries and cultures

f) tangible return on investment in terms of their nation’s bank balance

g) from learning a foreign language

6 Think about the questions to paragraphs A-F which require the answers, presenting the main idea of each paragraph.


1. Read, learn and remember the following expressions, try to use them in your own sentences:

-to make recommendations for improving language skills

-regional and minority languages

-linguistic diversity

-to gain a competitive advantage

-less sufficient

-mother tongue

-to deal with different languages

-the importance of implementing strategies for developing the language skills

-disseminating best practices on language strategies

-targeting the official language

-to master the language of the consumers

-to have access to the behaviour and attitudes of others

-to target English as a priority

-to meet companies’ language needs

-challenges facing multinational companies

-to integrate employees into their workforces

2 Read the text


Following the ELAN report, Leonard Orban, the EU Commissioner for Multilingualism, set up the "Business Forum for Multilingualism" to make recommendations for improving language skills in EU companies Orban speaks about the role of foreign languages in business.

1) Why is multilingualism so important for the EU

The EU already has 23 official languages, more than 60 regional and minority languages and hundreds of other languages spoken by people originally from outside the EU. We now want to make full use of thislinguistic diversity. We want to show that, rather than being aburden,it is anassetfor the EU — for cultural, educational and professional reasons. Also, EU companies can gain acompetitive advantagethrough foreign language skills. But one of the main ideas from the Business Forum for Multilingualism is that English is not enough. English is more and more necessary for international business, but less and less sufficient.

2) So, how good are the language skills of EU citizens

We are still a long way from our goal of every citizen learning at least two foreign languages. Only 28 per cent of European citizens are able to speak at least two foreign languages. And nearly half of European citizens can speak only theirmother tongue.

3) What role should companies play here

Companies should invest more in developing the abilities of their workers to deal with different languages. I think especially at the level of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) there is not enoughawarenessof the importance of languages other than English and of the importance ofimplementingstrategies for developing their employees’ language skills. So we have made a number of recommendations in the report on ways to help firms. Of course, increased financial support should be considered — at the EU level, but also at national, regional and local levels. But we also propose a new European internet platform for collecting anddisseminating best practiceson language strategies.

4) But are language skills only the companies’ responsibility

No, it’s a shared responsibility. The European institutions also have acontributionto make, but so do the member states through improvements in their education systems. And so do individuals themselves.

5) Latin is still one of the most common foreign languages taught in educational institutions. Shouldn’t this time and effort be spent more usefully on modern foreign languages

Our task in the European Commission is to defend andpromote the linguistic diversity in Europe. That meanstargetingmainly the official languages of the EU. So, we look less at languages like Latin or ancient Greek. But these languages, even though they are no longer tools of communication, can be useful in terms of personal development. So we are not against these languages. But we would encourage people to learn a large variety of European languages. There are so many languages — for example, those of neighbouring countries in the EU, or of non-EU countries — and people should choose whatever languages they want.

6) When you say people should learn two foreign languages, do you mean two EU languages

No, Europeans should also learn the languages of non-EU countries. For example, there are more and more Chinese people who are learning European languages. But Europeans should also learn Mandarin, Russian, Urdu, Japanese and so on. This will help not only individuals but also our companies, and so help the Union to become morecompetitive.

7) But, surely, learning better English is still the priority for many EU employees.

Of course, we acknowledge that English is more or less alingua francafor communication between companies. And we are talking about the need for good English, because very often people speak bad English. But when you areaddressingconsumers, it is a completely different story. English is not enough. You need tomasterthe language of your consumers. For example, it has been shown that many people in Germany don’t understand advertising slogans that are in English. And we are not only talking about language skills; we’re talking about intercultural skills. Teaching a language doesn’t mean just teaching grammar, pronunciation etc. It means teaching a culture, literature and so on. It means havingaccessto the behaviour andattitudesof others. We need to understand that others may think in a different way. These are the sorts of skills that are needed to do business in other places. So, while English will continue to be important, companies should add other languages, and other abilities, in order to become more competitive.

8) Which, then, are the most important foreign languages for EU workers to learn apart from English

That’s not for us to say. It’sup toevery company to decide which language skills they need, according to their activities and plans. For example, some companies may target Mandarin as a priority. Others may target Hindi. We don’t want to tell the companies what to do. We just want to tell them that languages are an important part of their performance, and that they should consider this seriously.

9) Don’t firms solve their language needs pragmatically by, for example, hiring people from other countries who speak two other languages as well as their native tongue

Yes, in many cases, companies domeet their language needsby finding the right people to employ.On theother hand,as politicians, we have to think about all European citizens and give them the chance to become more competitive and to find better jobs. It is also to the advantage of EU companies if they can find people in their own countries with the necessary language skills. And, as we say in our report, one of the mainchallengesfacing multinational companies in the EU — and society more generally — is to integrate employees from different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds into theirworkforces. And this means that the training of existing employees could be the best option.

3 Match each sentence 1-10 to the sentence a-j that should logically follow it.

1 EU companies can gain…

2 Only 28% of European citizens are able

3 Companies should invest more in

4 We propose a new European internet platform for

5 Our task in the European Community is

6 We acknowledge that English is more or less a

7 Teaching a language doesn’t mean

8 While English will continue to be important,

9 It’s up to every company to decide which language

10 One of the main challenges facing multinational companies in EU is

a) collecting and disseminating best practices on language strategies

b) lingua franca for communication between companies

c) a competitive advantage through foreign language skills

d) integrate employees from different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds

e) companies should add other languages and other abilities in order to become more competitive

f) to speak at least two foreign languages

g) to promote the linguistic diversity

h) skills they need, according to their activities and plans

i) just teaching grammar and pronunciation, but also a culture, literature and so on

j) developing the abilities of their workers to deal with different languages

4 Read through the article, part two once more. Try to summarize in a sentence what each paragraph 1-9 is about

5 Read the questions which are the headings of the paragraphs 1-9. Answer the questions. Don’t look into the text.

! Home assignment:get ready to speak about the problems of multilingualism in European community. For more information use the following sites:

Formore information:Companies work better with languages— the Business Forum for Multilingualism, European Commission:http://ec.europa.eu/ education/languages/news/newsl669_ en. htm

Effects on the European Union Economy of Shortages of Foreign Language Skills in Enterprise (ELAN),European Commission (2007):http://www.cilt.org.uk/research/projects/ empioyment/elan. htm

Europeans and Languages,Eurobarometer Report (2006), European Commission:for Europe,Conference Report(2008), British Council:http://www. britishcouncil. de/pdf/report08. pdf


British Council:www.britishcouncil.org

CILT, the National Centre for Languages:www.cilt.org.ukEuropean Commission (Multilingualism):http://ec.europa.eu/ education/languages/index__ en. Htm

Unit 2


1 Many business people are facing the problem of how to keep a balance between theirbusiness career and private life. What priorities would you set up if dealing with the sameproblem

2 Read and discuss three parts of the article by Vicki Sussens-Messerer"Fitting it all" inwhich she presenfthree different points on work-life balance(Spotlight6/2008).


PENNY FERGUSON, mother of six and owner of leadership-development company Penny Ferguson Limited, in Newbury, England.

Penny Ferguson is sitting in thelog-cabinoffice in the garden of her country home in Newbury, in southern England. The 65-year-old British leadership specialist has just spent 20 minutes relaxing in an armchair. She arrived back from Canada the night before and was up early for a breakfast meeting with clients. She is tired andin a reflective mood."I haveconsciouslystarted to take morequality timefor me," she says. " That is a big change because I chose to work pretty hard for the last ten years."

In fact, Ferguson has worked hard her whole life. She has six children, five grandchildren and four terriers, and started her company at the age of fifty. At one point, she had six small children, twostep-childrenand nine dogs. "I used to go shopping with eight children," she says. "I had the three eldest pushing the youngest in thepramsand I held the hands of the middle two".

Ferguson had her first child at 21 and her last at 29. In the middle, she married for the second time. "I laugh about this now, but when it came to the sixth child, I really didn’t know howto fit him into the schedule."She had an eight-bedroom house, which she says she ranlike clockwork.She hada mother’s help,but not all the time. "I would get up at 5.30 a.m., have a bath and change before I did the baby’s first feed of the day. I would make the children’s beds as their feet touched the floor. I would take them downstairs and give them breakfast. Then I woulddropthe boys at their school and Lucy atnursery school.In total, I drove 92 miles(146 km) a day on school rounds. Between rounds, I did the washing,ironing,cooking and shopping. The last thing I did, before I fell into bed at night, was to put the washing in the machine."

But Ferguson doesn’t think this is good time-management. "Ifooledmyself into believing that being efficient made me happy. But what was more important – keeping the house perfect or having quality time with children" Between her second and third marriages, Ferguson wasa single motherfor six years, at one stage holding three jobs.

3 Sort out the statements below into TRUE or FALSE:

1Penny Ferguson was married two times.

2Penny has a dog.

3Penny keeps her house perfect.

4Penny’s children attended schools which were quite a distance from her house/

5Nobody helped Penny with her kids.

6Penny had to do a lot of washing.

7Penny is sure that being effective makes a person happy.

8To make money enough, Penny had several jobs.

9Penny Ferguson has never had much time for herself.

10 Penny had had six kids by the time she was 30.

CARY COOPER, author and professor of organizational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School

Cooper, professor at Lancaster University Management School, ischaotic.ThecoauthorofDetoxYour Desk,DeclutterYour Life and Mind(Capstone Press, ISBN 978-1-84112-787-3) knows he has an interview at 7 p.m., but forgot that it was with us. When I phone at the agreed time, he is not there. But the guru on work-life balance is, surprisingly, alwaysavailable.Hisanswering machinegreets mecheerfullyandsupplies several waysto find him. When he answers his mobile, he is in his car,stuck in a traffic jam.He promises to be home in 15 minutes, which he is.

"I guess Iseem a jumble,"says Cooper, an American who lives with his British wife in Poynton, near Manchester. "But I am actually quite organized. I know what the big things are that I have to achieve. It’s the things in between that Ijuggle."But he likes it that way:"I would have huge problems if everything was planned for me."

That’s why he gives out his telephone numbers. "I like to bedisturbed!I find theinterruptionsstimulating. I like it when a journalist calls me. They often ask, "Cooper, what do you think about X", and I think "Oh, that’sfascinating!"Then I jump back into my writing again. I can’t write at home; it’s too quiet. But I guess I’m unusual this way."

Yet Cooper gets his work done. Today, for example, aside from his normal university duties, he finishes editing three chapters of a book he is writing on managing stress, he did twolive BBC interviews,and gave an interview for bothThe TimesandThe Daily Express.What’s his secret "I always start the day byprioritizing,andplan the big itemswell. But I am lucky because I canprocess input fast,I write quickly, and I am able to talkoff the cuff.

"I don’t want work to dominate my life," says Cooper, adding that his first marriage suffered because he spent too much time at work. "I wasn’t there for my two oldest children. So, after Iremarried, Idecidedto work bloody hardso I could get home early." Now, when he stops working, he really stops, he says.

4Answer the questions about Cary Cooper’s story:

1What nationality is Cary Cooper

2Is he easy to access

3 Why did Cooper’s first marriage suffer

4 Can Cary Cooper improvise easily when communicating with people

5 Does Cary like to share his views with other people

6 Do you agree that Cary Cooper is the guru on work-life balance

7 Can Cooper type fast

8 Is the family important for Cooper

9 What can stimulate Cary Cooper

10Can we say that Cooper is a well-known person

TIMOTHY FERRIS, author of The 4-Hour Workweek and owner of a dietary-supplement business.

Timothy Ferrisclaimsyou can run a global company and do all your work in four hours a week – if you want to. One way isto outsourcemost of your life. Ferris uses service providers for more than just to help run hisdietary-supplementbusiness, Brain-QUICKEN. According to his bestseller,The 4-Hour Workweek(Random House, ISBN 978-0-307-35313-9), he has also outsourced private jobs to an Asian company called "Your Man in India". Asha, his contact there, haspaid his billsand bought toys for his son. He once even wrote an e-mail to Ferris’s wife when she was angry with Timothy, who also outsourced our interview request to his bookpublicist.The author is tango dancing in Buenos Aires – so instead of an interview, the publicistrefersus to his book.

"Most of uswork like hellto save for a future dream," writes thecrusaderof living-for-now. He says an investment banker friend once said that, if he worked an 80-hour week for nine years, he could become an MD(managing director) and make up to $10 million a year. "Dude, what would you do with that money" Ferris asked him. "take a trip to Thailand," the

banker answered. "Guess what" writes Ferris in his book. "You can do that for less than $3,000!"

Ferris himself takes many"mini-retirements"a year, when he combinesa burning interestwith adestination.So, for example, when he lived in Rio de Janeiro, he learned Portuguese and Brazilianjujitsu,and while he was in Hong Kong he even acted in a very popular television series.

Ferris says the concept ofworking nine to fiveis totallyarbitrary."It means we have to plan things to keep us busy all day." To manage his time, he applies the 80/20 "Pareto principle", which says that 80 per cent of results flow from only 20 per cent of inputs. "I found out that only five of 120wholesales customerswere ordering regularly and bringing in 95 per cent ofrevenues.Yet I was spending 98 per cent of my timechasing the remainder.All of my problems came from this unproductive majority." Ferris also takes note of Parkinson’s Law, which says that the more time you have to finish a task, the longer it takes.

It may be too early to say the young Ferris has found work-life heaven: his life has been filled with crazy, failed initiatives. But his time-saving ideas are worth noting. One of thetop tipsin this day ofinformation overkillis never to read a newspaper, but to outsource this task, too. "I ask people what’s new, and the do the job for me," he says.

5 Complete the sentences below:

1Timothy Ferris runsbusiness.

2Timothy wrote a bestseller "".

3Timothy is sure that one good way to manage time is toto other people.

4Timothy’s friend had a dream

5Ferris has a rest from his business

6Timothy doesn’t take the conceptas obligatory for everyone.

7Pareto principle says that

8Ferris found out that onlybrought him 95 per cent of revenues.

9from unproductive majority.

10is never to read a newspaper.

6 Comment on the word combinations which you came across when reading three stories. Go back to the context to explain and illustrate:

To have a reflective mood, step-children, at one stage, clockwork, to detox, to declutter, to process input fast, to talk off the cuff, to outsource, dietary-supplement, to combine a burning interest with a destination, the concept of working nine to five, information overkill.

7 The table below contains a list of personal time-management recommendations and tips coming from Penny Ferguson, Cary Cooper and Timothy Ferris. Read all three lists, think and say:

Whose list fits you personally the best

Which items given in three lists do you consider of major importance

Which items would you never include into your list of time-management tips

What is your personal time-management achievement

What is your worst time-management sin

What five points out of three lists do you consider the most important and useful

What five points would you put into your personal list of time-management tips

English in businessPenny Ferguson

Cooperon their time management

Timothy Ferris

My time management

routine:I start the day by prioritizing. Then I force myself with the things that are important and don’t allow myself to bedistracted.I choose a quiet time in the day to delete unimportant e-mails.

What’s on my desk that shouldn’t be there:Sweets. Bits of paper that I have picked up more than once and then put down again, rather than dealing with them. Private photos that have been there for a month and that I haven’t yet sorted out.

Biggest distractions:E-mails. People don’t distract me because I am good at politely getting rid of those who disturb me.

Mybiggest time-waste:Thinking about private things I can’t do anything about at work, especially things that happened in the past and that might happen in the future.

Top time-management tip:Decide what is important by asking. If this was never dealt with, would it matter We tend to think of ourselves as two people – a work person and a private person. But we should integrate the time-management skills we learn at home at work, andvice versa.

The first thing I do in the morning:Prioritize! I open my e-mails, print out the ones I need, walk to my secretary’s office, where the printer is, collect them and then order them on my desk Then I use them to write my "things to do " list.My time-management sin:Waiting until the last minute to do smaller writing jobs. This is bad time management. But I haven’t yetlet anyone down. The biggest nuisance on my desk:The pile of papers I don’t really want to throw out but don’t quite know what to do with. At some stage, I’ll go through them and throw most of them out.My biggest time-management achievement:I’ve stopped trying to change colleagues who are negative. This caused me more stress than anything else.Top time-management tip:Set anexit timeevery day. If you know that you have to leave at a certain time, you’ll make sure you get the important things done. You won’t get everything done, but you have to stop somewhere if you want to have a life outside work.

Focus on doing only those things that bring income:Ask yourself, "If I had a heart attack and had to work two hours a week, what time-consuming activities -e-mail, phone calls, conversations, paper work, meetings, dealing with customers, etc. – would I cut out" Used even once a month this question can keep you san andon track. Fold a standard piece of paper three times to make a small to-do list:Never have more than two critical items on it.

Decide which items are the most critical:Ask yourself, "If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day"Put a post-it on your computer screen with the question, "Are you inventing things to do to avoid the important things" Accomplish more in less time :Leave work at 4 p.m. and take Monday and/or Friday off. This will force you to prioritize and work more quickly. Use short deadlines to force immediate action and ignore unimportant things.

Answer e-mails twice a day:Have the automated message telling people the two times in the day you read your message and refer them to voice mail they need you urgently.

Unit 3


1 We cannot not make decisions. Even when we decide not to decide, this is a decision . Read the questions below, think and answer them:

Have you ever been taught decision making When, where and for what reason

What exactly is decision making

What are the key steps in decision making

What makes people take bad decisions

What kind of decision maker are you

2Read the article by Bob Dignen from Business Spotlight (6/2008).Pay special attentionto and memorize the vocabulary in bold type.


International business is a world of complexity,ambiguityand paradoxes. Decisions are often made on the basis of limited information, which makes risk management anessentialdiscipline. And instead of the cleartop-down decision-making structuresof the past, organizations now expect individuals and teams to work autonomously at all levels. Greater cultural diversity has also widened the range of decision-making styles and processes, and increased the potential for conflict.

1What is decision making

Most people wouldarguethat we take business decisionsto reach personal, team and organizational goalsand that the art of decision making is simply to choose the right option fromarangeofpossibilities.But, in practice, decision making is more complex.

First, the motivations behind our decisions may be less rational and strategic than we think: politicalloyalties,beliefs, environmentalconstraints,ethical factors and even irrational motives may play a significant role.

Second, decisions are not isolated events but part of a context of decision making.

2Key steps in decision making

To understand decision making better, it helps if webreak down the process into various steps:

a)Decide to decide.The first step is to recognize that a decision needs to be taken to achieve a particular goal. This may be easier for some people than for others. Those wholack self-confidenceoxfear riskmay beindecisive,preferring to wait and see what happens rather thanacting. Others may decide to act too quickly withoutthinking through the consequences,andso may be seen asimpetuous.

Culturalissuesmay also besignificant.In some national or organizational cultures, onlythose in senior positionscan "decide to decide". In collective cultures, this decision may be a group process, which could require timeto get a critical mass to support.This can befrustratingto those from a more individualistic culture, butrushing this processcould lead to decisions that do nothave wide acceptance.

b)Collect and evaluate information.Effective decision making requiresreliable
information. But you should not collect so much information that youend upconfused andparalyzed. Indeed, it will often be impossible to collect all therelevantinformationin thenecessary timeframe.A certain information risk is often present. It can help to involve othersin the information collection process to get aswide a range of opinionsas possible. Thisprovides not onlybetter insight,but also potentially greater involvement in theimplementation of any decisions.

Itis importantto set clear and relevant criteriato evaluate possible options. If a human-resources manager is to select training providers, price is an easy criterion to look at, but it may not be as relevant as quality criteria such as experience with similar companies, the ability to innovate or being ableto deliver training in different languages.

Finally, you should know when not to take a decision.Resist the pressureto decide if you feel that waiting will allow questions to be clarified or new alternativesto emerge.

c)Decide on an option.A number of problem-solving tools can help you to compare theadvantages and disadvantages of different options. On the basis of such tools and a certainamount ofgut feeling,you shouldselect the optionthat you think hasthe greatest probabilityofsuccess.

Things may stillstand in your way. A new turn of eventsmay require youto rethink things.Unexpected resistance from others maynecessitateau-turn.You yourself may lack the courage to take an unpopular or difficult decision.

Fear of failureoften prevents people from taking decisions. To make the right decision, you will haveto manage your own fearof failure and risk. Remember the following:

1 Not taking riskslimits opportunitiesfor growth and improvement.

2 Risk is meant to bescary,so don’t worry about being afraid.

3 We fear losing the familiar, sowork hard to embrace the new.

4 Never bereckless:take calculated risks ina rational state of mind.

5Accept a learning curveand don’t try to succeed 100 per cent immediately.

6 When you jump, jump with 100 per centconvictionor you will hurt yourself when you land.

d)Implement the decision.Once you have made a decision, the real work starts. It isvitalto

motivate yourself and others to accept the consequences of that decision and to support it with the necessary actions. If you simply announce decisions but fail to "sell and support" them, you risk resistance and failure. Effective decision makersproceedas follows:

– They explain the reasons and positiveintentions behind their actions.

– They describethe benefits for those affected.

– They have the mental energy,patienceand communication skillsto manage conflict.

e)Evaluate the decision.You will never improve your decision-making abilities withoutreflectingon the decisions you take. Analyze theextentto which key decisions achieve theirgoals and are supported by those around you. If they were unsuccessful, what was the reasonRemember also that it is possible to take good decisions that have a badoutcome.A decisionis good if it is based on a clear goal, logicalassessmentof the available information and takenwith the fullcommitmentof the decision maker and others involved. If things don’t turn out asexpected, you can use that experience to improve your future decision-making performance.

3Decision-making styles

Because people think and feel differently, it is not surprising that they make decisions in different ways. One interesting way of classifying decision-making styles is that of Rove and Boulgarides. In their work, theyemphasizethe importance of values, needs and preferences. Their modelrevealsfour main decision-making styles, based on whether people are task-oriented or relationship-oriented and on how muchcognitivecomplexity they prefer. The model also looks at the motivations behind decision making. The four types of decision makers are:

a) Directive decision makers.These people are task-oriented and havea strong need for power,wanting to feel they are in control of others. They alsohave a low tolerance for ambiguityand prefer to keep things pragmatic and simple. They tend to take decisions on the basis of less information, using fewer alternatives. They need to feel that the decision is theirs to make and no one else’s.

b)Analytic decision makers.These people are also task-oriented. They need to achieve things and are highly motivated when dealing with a challenge. They are more tolerant of ambiguity than directive decision makers, and can tolerate higher information loads. They take time to analyze in more detail the various possible courses of action.

c)Conceptual decision makers.Such individuals also have a strong need for achievement. But they are people-oriented and less analytical. They are comfortable with high information loads but theirdatacollectionmethods may be through talking to people, especially experts. They tend to be more creative than the more analytical decision makers and think about what can produce the best results in the long term.

d)Behavioural decision makers.These individuals have a strong people orientation. They tend to communicate easily, usingsimple and understandablemessages(withlow cognitive complexity). They consult with others, areopen to suggestions and happy to compromise.They prefera looser sense of leadership control."Iprefer everyone to "own" the decisions that are mine".

4Finding your way

As we have seen, decision making is a process involving data collection andrigorousanalysis. But it is also a psychological process involving human emotions andpersonal bias.The challenge is to develop your own approach to decision making so that you can make the most of yourstrengthsand minimize yourweaknesses.

When working internationally in teams with differentmindsetsandpriorities,it is essential that you canincorporatethese diverse perspectives into the decision making process. In this way, you will be able to increase both creativity and the team’s commitment to decisions.

3Answer the questions:

What makes decision making so important today

What definition of decision making can you suggest

What affects decision making

What are key steps in decision making

What is the most essential for each step

4Test your decision making

Look at the questions below and note down your options. Then see page for comments.Decision1:A normalcoinistossedten times andlands on headseach time. You have $1,000 to place on the next choice. Do youchoose heads or tails

Decision2:Which is more likely: to be killed by a shark, or by parts falling from an aircraft in flight

Decision3:What length would a perfectlyregular cube-shaped tankhave to be to hold all the blood of five billion people

Decision4:Think about the consequences of thenuclear accidentat Chernobyl in 1986. On ascaleof 1 (not at all) to 100 (totally), how strong would you support the building of a nuclear reactor close to your home

5 Test your decision making: comments

There are various reasons why people make bad decisions. Here are a number of them, which we discuss in relation to the four decisions that you were asked to make on page . . .We use poor criteria.When faced with complex decisions, people often rely on their own experiences. But these may not be good criteria. In the first decision, most people intuitively choose tails, even though the probability of heads is still 50 per cent. In the second question,the correct answer is "falling aircraft parts", but most people answer "shark attack" because of

their experience of watching films or television programmes.

We use wrong information.The third question is often answered poorly as a result of people

giving false importance to what they see as significant data. Many people estimate that the tank

must be several kilometers long because of the large number of people. In fact, the answer is

"only" just over 260 meters.

We are not objective.The fourth question is usually answered on the basis of personal values

and bias, rather than on objective criteria ("I need more information about the risks")

6Ask yourself.

1What kind of decision maker are your

3Do you like to be the first to act or are you morecautious

4Are you prepared to take risks or do you delay decisions until you are sure of the outcome5How would you describe the decision-making culture where you work/study

6To what extent do you fit into the culture

7 Think about your last major decision at work/university.

– To what extent did you collect the necessary amount of information How well did you set the criteria for creating and comparing options

-What tools (if any) do you use to help you make your decisions Does fear of failure sometimes stop you from making decisions If so, think about the positive aspects of risk taking.

– Think about an important decision that you made recently at work/university. How well did you sell the decision to those affected by it

– Think about the last bad decision you made. What did you learn from the experience that helped you to take better decisions

EXERCISE: Which type of decision maker would say what

Four types of decision makers are: directive, analytic, conceptual and behavioural.

Look at the comment below. Match each of them to one of these decision-making styles. (The

answers are on page . . . .)

1"I think our feeling here is that the third solution is the most creative and will also produce the best resultinthelongterm.Is everyone happy with that solution"

2"On the basis of all the data that we have collected, I think it’s clear that the third solution is by far the most logical."

3"OK. I think that we have talked things through and have now a clear commitment from everyone. Can we agree to implement the third solution and discuss results at the end of the month"

4"Implement this approach and report back at the end of the month on results." Answers: 1 Conceptual; 2 Analytic; 3 Behavioural; 4 Directive.

SURVIVAL GUIDE: decision making to bring about change

Coaching has established itself as a useful tool to support both individuals and groups when they have to take key decisions. Co-active coaching works with questions that stimulate insight intoassumptionsand principles behind decision making. The following questions, based uponatemplatecreated by Sharon Drew Morgan(see www.businessballs.com), can help you to begin the process of innovative decision making.

1 Take a look around your working situation. What issues do you see that require a decision for change

2 What has stopped you from deciding until now

3 What would you need to see/hear/feel in order to take a decision

4 What criteria are you using to decide what aspects of the situation need to be changed

5 What needs to be changed first

6 How are you going to handle of opinion in the decision-making process

7 Who needs to support you so that you can take this decision

8 How will you motivate them to support you

9 How will you know whether you have taken the right decision

10How will you be able to make this success sustainable


Section A

This section provides some suggestions on phrases and vocabulary that you can use when making decisions. Remember, however, that you should only use the language that you and your colleagues feel comfortable with in your specific working context.

1Deciding to decide

What do we need to decide first

How soon do we need to take a decision

on this

Are we in a position to take a decision

2Defining the decision-making process

How should we decide this Who needs to be consulted Who should take the final decision

I think we need to decide on a new logo.

Could you let me have a decision by next


Well, we can decide when we get the extra


I think we need to discuss . . .

We need to involve .

The person ultimately responsible is . . .

3Collecting information

What do we need to know to take a decision Why can’t we take a decision What information are we waiting for

4Setting criteria

What criteria are we going to use

On what basis will we take our decision

What is important here

We need information about. . .

We don’t have enough information on.

We are waiting for confirmation of. . .

Our decision should be based on . . . I think the decision should be driven by The deciding factor will be .

5Deciding on an option

What do you think we should do Which option is best for you What is your decision

I think we should . . .

In my opinion we should decide to.

My decision is to . . .

6Implementing the decision

What do we need to do to implement

this decision

What do we do now

Can we agree on an action plan

We have to .

The next step is to. Yes, I suggest that

7Reviewing the decision

Was it a good decision Yes and no. On the one hand, we could .

Did we take the right decision Yes, we did. So far. . .

Would you take this decision again I think so.

SectionDecision-making idioms

There are many idioms and idiomatic terms in English about decisions and decision making. Here are some of the most common ones.

A done deal

This expression describes an agreement or decision that has been reached on a specific issue. "We are still looking at different options, so it’s not a done deal yet."

Jumping on the bandwagon

If someone "jumps on the bandwagon", they decide to join a trend that is already very successful or fashionable.

"So many companies are jumping on the work-life balance bandwagon at the moment and starting initiatives. But I don’t think they really believe in it."

Putting your money where your mouth is

People who "put their money where their mouth is" support a decision or opinion, often in some financial way, either with an investment or some kind of bet.

"Come on. If you believe England will beat Germany in November in Berlin, put your money where your mouth is and bet me $10.

Playing for time

People who "play for time" try to delay a decision in some way:

"He tried to play for time by asking for more information. I think he was hoping we would justgive in and reduce our prices."


This business buzzword is used to describe the process of groups trying to find out who was responsible for a decision that produced bad results. The term comes from "brainstorming". "The meeting about the failure of our marketing campaign turned into a blamestorming session, with nobody taking responsibility. Everyone just blamed everyone else."


Bob Dignenis one of the directors of York Associates (www.york-associates.co.uk) who

specializes in language, communication and intellectual training.

Contact: [email protected]


Group Communication,Peter Hartley, Routledge, ISBN 970-415-11159-1.

Harvard Business Review on Decision Making,Peter Drucker, John Hammond, Ralph

Keeny, Howard Raiffa, Aid M.Hayashi, Harvard Business School Press, ISBN 978-57851-557-

Unit 4


1 Before you read the article, take a few minutes to think and saywhat the word ‘brand’ means. Give examples of your own.

2 Read the first part of the article.


ICompanies invest an enormous amount of time to develop, promote andsustaintheircorporatebrands. Think of Coca-Cola, Apple, BMW or McDonalds. Branding is a powerful way to shape customerperceptionsof products or services and to influence their buying behaviour. So, if branding works for companies, why can’t it work for you as an individualPersonal brandinguses key corporate principles and practices to enable individuals to manage their image in the workplace. Before you read on, take a few minutes to think about the following questions. Then compare your answers to the comments in the article.

■Why do you need a personalbrand

■What steps should you follow to create such a brand

■What channels can you use to communicate your personal brand

■What role does culture play in personal branding

■Why do you need a personal brand

II On the history of branding

The origin of the term "personal branding" is oftentraced backto a 1997 article, "The Brand Called You", by Tom Peters, one of the world’s leading business experts box, He said that everyone has a personal brand, whether they like it or not. Peters defined brand primarily as what other people think about us — the ideas and associations we stimulate in their minds by the way we look, sound and behave.

Some aspects of our brand will be positive, others negative. Yet most of the time, we don’t think about managing how people experience us. Peters believed it was time for individuals to take control of their personal brand in the workplace and to market themselves more consciously.

Petersarguedthatflattercorporate structures were making career development more problematic. Automatic promotions up the organizational ladder were be coming a thing of the past. Instead, individuals needed to promote themselves by defining and communicating theirunique selling proposition (USP).

Some benefits of personal branding

· Greater visibility and opportunities for promotion

· Better working partnerships inside your company

· Higher salary

· The ability to attract andretainmore customers

· Greater self-confidence

· Clearer focus on what really matters for you at work

IIICreating a personal brand

It will be easier to create an effective personal brand if you follow these three key steps:

a) Define your personal brand vision. When was the last time you thought about what you want toachieveat work over the next three, five or ten years Ask yourself questions both about specific careerobjectives(What do I want to become How much do I want to earn) and about general professional objectives (What kind of leader do I want be What kind of team do I want to work in). This processenablesyou todevotetheappropriateamount of energy to the right areas and also plan to reach meaningful career goals.

b) Define your personal brand. The second step is to define auniqueand impressive professional brand. Start by creating a short statement of who you are: the values you represent, your key qualities, and what makes you unique. Tom Peters suggests that youruniquenessinclude not only general personality descriptions, but also four key aspects of working life: your vision and style as a leader; what makes you special as a team member; yourtechnical expertise: and your ability to help deliver results. Think about your own uniqueness by answering the following questions. You will find some useful examples of language to answer these questions, see the survival guide section.

Leadership vision

· What inspires and motivates you

· How do you inspire and motivate others

· Where are you taking people

Team focus

· What do you see as your greatest strength in team

· What do your colleagues admire most about you

· What’s special about working with you in a team

Technical ability

· Where are you excellent

· What are you known for doing better than others

· What is your particular genius

Pragmatic results

· What have you achieved that you are most proud of

· What will you deliver to your management

· What unique benefits do you offer the customer

c) Promote your personal brand. No matter how good a brand is, it will be of little value if it isn’t promoted well. That is why companies spend millions on advertising to increase thevisibilityof their brands. The same is true of personal branding. It is essential to move on from creating the brand to making sure it is experienced by keystakeholders— that is, the people with whom you work and who have direct or indirect influence over your career development.

3 Read the first part of the text quickly once more and find the words and phrases that match the definitions below:

a) excellent knowledge or skill in your professional subject

b) the feature of being very special, unusual

c) the relationships between people in business, organization

d) something important in your job that you hope to achieve

e) the process of creating your special image

f) the state of being more popular

g) the main personal characteristics

(personal branding, greater visibility, working partnerships, meaning career goals,

key qualities, uniqueness, technical expertise)

4 Read the second paragraph, discuss the importance of the enlisted benefits. Which one is the most important in your opinion Write the list of the benefits of personal branding in the order of importance from your point of view.

5 Read the third paragraph and

a) name the three key steps in creating a personal brand (don’t look into the text)

b) answer the questions from part 1 in close pairs, then in open pairs

c) speak about your uniqueness using four key aspects of working life from part “d”. You will find some useful examples of language to answer the questions in thesurvival guide section.

d) speak about the importance to promote your personal brand, use no more than 3 sentences.

6 Write down 10 words and expressions from the first part of the text, which you think are the most suitable to speak about personal branding.

! Home assignment:

1-write down your personal brand vision, using no more than three sentences,(see the survival guide section)

2-wrte down your own personal brand statement, using no more than three sentences, use a list of useful personality adjectives from the survival guide section.

7 Read the second part of the article


IYCommunicating your brand

There are various channels you can use to promote your unique personal brand in the workplace.

a) The work channel. Effective personal brand promotion is more than telling everyone how wonderful you are. The best way toshowcaseyour talent to others is to find opportunities to work with them. Look for new projects where you could play a role.Volunteerinformal support and advice to those who might benefit from your experience. Don’t expect opportunities to fall into your lap; you need to look actively. And don’t get impatient if benefits don’t appear immediately. Allow your reputation to grow slowly but surely. As a way of getting started,commit yourselfto one extra task for the coming four weeks that willenhanceyour reputation with a significant decision maker.

b) The people channel. One of the best forms of marketing is personal recommendation or "word of mouth". It is essential to cultivate a strong network of carefullyselectedpeople who like and respect you. Such people can act as multipliers for your brand in conversations with other decision makers. Some people like to joinprofessionalnetworking sites: others increase the number of strategic lunches they take part in. Whatever method you use, it is important always to think about whether you are spending the right amount of time with the right people talking about the right things. Your aim is toensurethat your "stakeholder network" understands your values and talks about you in the right way.

c) The emotional channel. Corporate brands use emotions to connect strongly to customer desires, such as the wish to be successful or attractive. Your personal brand also needs to manage emotions. In their bookBeyond Reason: Using Emotions as YouNegotiate, Fisher and Shapiro identify four areas of emotion that need to be managed in business contexts. Think about these four areas for your personal brand:

Appreciation. People feel good when they see that they are liked. When people meet you, do they feel liked andappreciatedby you

Affiliation. We usually have more positive feelings towards people with whom we have something in common. When people meet you, how clearly do you communicate that you are similar

Autonomy. We need to feel a sense of control over our owndestiny. Do people feelempoweredand autonomous when they are with you, or do you threaten their independence and expertise

Status. People need to feel respected. How does your personal brand communicate respect for others How does talking to youconferstatus on others

To gain their customers’ trust and loyalty, companies try to make the experience of their brand an enjoyable one. Effective personal brands work in the same way. Do people find it enjoyable and rewarding to be around you

d) The visual channel. When people see you, they should experiencecredibility, authority and openness. For example, when you are making a presentation, an openposturewith strong and controlledgesturesnormally helps to build your brand better than shifting from foot to foot or waving your arms around wildly. Choice of clothing, hairstyle andportables, such as abriefcaseand laptop, also communicate your values. And think also about your written communication, including e-mails, presentation slides and even your handwriting on aflip chart. What do theinformation load, format and design say about you

e) The auditory channel. What do people think when they hear you Are they inspired, or do they have mixed feelings towards you and yourapproachto business Does your voice persuade with warm and friendly tones, or does it create discomfort withdullintonation or shrill tones Do people "hear" you smiling on the telephone If you don’t know what people really think of you when they hear you, start asking!

YThe culture question

Creating and communicating a personal brand is not easy. For example, what should you do if you feel that the key people in your professional network don’t like your personal brand What if they respect alternative values and behaviours Should you change yourself and risk becoming inauthentic

There is no easy answer here, but it can help to think about this problem in two parts. If you believe that key stakeholders have the wrong perception of your talents, then you need to work on improving the promotion of your brand. If on the other hand, your brand valuesgenuinelyoffer little to your stakeholders, think about whether you canadaptyour brand, or whether you need to find another place to work.

Culture can play a key role in brand communication. Whatever values or information we try totransmit, the receivers of our message will see or hear us and interpret the message according to their own mental model and filters. For example, you may wish to promote a brand that says you are direct and honest, but others may experience you as aggressive andpushy. Or, you may want to promote the patience andempathyof your empowering leadership, only to find that others see you as indecisive and lacking direction.

You are likely to have a number of diverseaudiencesfor your brand campaign at work. These may include different national cultures, departmental cultures, age andgendercultures, different business relationships (for example, that between a customer and a supplier) and, of course, the individual personalities of your colleagues, managers and business partners. All these audiences will havedistinctneeds and perspectives and may experience you in different ways. Effective personal branding requires a clear vision and message but, above all, intelligent promotion to diverse audiences.

YIAlways be selling

Developing and communicating your personal brand is not enough. You also have to "walk the talk". Are you a leader whobreedsconfidence and trust with analytical excellence and good people-management skills Are you open for feedback and do you act to improve yourself even when the messages you get are difficult to accept If not, your brand may becompromised. Remember that everyencounterrepresents an opportunity to sell "Brand You", from first impressions incasualsocial encounters and the many e-mails you write each day to taking part in international meetings or presentations. Effective brands areconsistentbrands. So make sure that how you look, sound and act at all times sends a consistent message about who you are and what your unique value is.

8 Read the fourth paragraph of the text quickly and find the words and phrases that match the definitions below:

a) to present somebody’s abilities or good qualities

b) when people tell each other about it (not read or write, only speak)

c) people or companies that are involved in a particular project, especially if they invest money in it

d) to give somebody the power or authority to do something

e) to make people feel that they are respected by you

f) to have the feeling of trust and belief

1-experience credibility

2-stakeholder network

3-to communicate respect for others

4-to showcase

5-to feel empowered

6-word of mouth

9 Check your memorizing skills. Name five channels which you can use to promote your unique personal brand, don’t look into the text.

10 Read part “c”(paragraph IY) once more and

a) try to explain what the words “appreciation, affiliation, autonomy, status” mean

b) complete the sentences with proper words mentioned above

The job of a university teacher brings with it high ________ and good income.

His_______ to the most powerful political party gives him high position in the society.

Frenchmen usually show great_______ to women.

Young people would like their parents to give them greater ________ autonomy in their personal life.

c) answer the questions you can find in the parts c, d, e.

11 Read paragraphs Y and YI quickly. Try to summarize in a sentence what each part (a-f) is about

12 Find key words and expressions(at least 10) suitable to speak about developing and communicating your personal brand from paragraphs Y and YI.

13 Match each sentence 1-6 to the sentence( a-f) that should logically follow it, don’t look into the text

1-What should you do

2-It can help you to think

3-Whatever values or information we try to transmit

4-Effective personal branding requires

5-Are you a leader who breeds

6-Every encounter represents an opportunity

a) confidence and trust with analytical excellence and good people-management skills

b) if you feel that the key people in your professional network don’t like your brand

c) to sell your personal “Brand You”

d) about this problem in two parts

e) a clear vision and above all, intelligent promotion to diverse audiences

f) the receivers of our message will see or hear us

14 Read the survival guide section, get ready to participate in the round-table discussion “Creating a personal brand helps to face the challenges of the modern life”.


Creating your personal brand.This section provides some suggestions for phrases and vocabulary that can be used to communicate your personal brand at work. Remember, however, that you should only use the language and approach that you feel comfortable with in your specific context.

1.Communicating your brand vision and values

Building a personal brand is notachievedby telling everyone how wonderful you are. You need to communicate your vision and values regularly in businessencounterssuch as presentations, meetings and social conversation. Here are some key aspects you should consider:

a) Leadership vision

Communicate your vision of good leadership, so that your staff can deliver the performance you want.

For me, good leadership means.

This organization’s strategy is to.

What inspires me is.

My greatest motivation is.

The future for me is.

b) Teamwork

Communicate your vision of good teamwork practice.

My approach to teamwork is.

Thecriticalsuccess factor is

What I always want to see in teamsis.

Teams need to have.

For me, a team is not a team unless it has

c) Skills

Communicate your own skills as well as those you admire in others.

Your skills:

· One thing I do know is how to

· Mycore competence is.

· Some people say that my particularattributeis to.


· One quality I admire in people is.

· The key attribute for firms is.

· A core skill for us all today is.

d) Results

Communicate anattitudeto goals that is personally focused, but alsohighlightsthe importance of wider goals.

I guarantee that I will deliver.

· My goal is to.

· My view of (customer service) is…

· The secret to getting great results is.

· The team has to reach.

· The organization’sobjectiveis to.

2.Differentiating your brand

Positioning is a critical element of brand identity. Differentiating clearly between what you see as right and what you see as wrong is a simple way ofdistinguishingyour personal brand from thecompetition.The followingextractsfrom presentations are examples of the type of approaches and sentences you could use.

Empowerment, not dictatorship: a message about leadership

"I am not going to stand here and tell you what to do every time something goes wrong. My leadership philosophy is one of empowerment, and not dictatorship. I work with trust, and I work with you, not instead of you."

Responsibility, not blame: a message about teamwork

"I don’t like the current atmosphere in the team. There is too much focus on finding the person to blame, rather than taking responsibility for putting things right. Responsibility for me is a value that I expect everyone to live by."

Analysis before action: a message about results

"I don’t think we should take a decision without having the data. In my view, you can’t get effective performance without sufficient analysis."

Clarity, not confusion: a message about communication

"The messages we are sending to our staff confuse not just them, they also confuse me. I am a great believer in clear and direct communication. So we need to look again at our communication to create greater transparency and thus increase motivation."

Solutions, not problems: a message about customer focus

"My approach to thisissueis to focus on solutions, not problems. We don’t have the time or resources to discover every problem. And anyway, our customers need solutions. yesterday!"

3.Finding your strengths and talents

The Gallup Organization’s Strengths-Finder is a talent assessmentinstrument developed for the internet. A talent is defined as a "naturallyrecurring pattern of thought,feeling, or behaviour that can be productively applied.

Knowledge and skills, on the other hand, can be taught and learned.

The Strengths Finder instrument lists 34 different "themes" that describe talents. These can provide an excellent starting point for the creation of your personal brand statement. Among the themes are those below. Remember that people can be strong in a number of themes.

Achiever: People who work hard and enjoy being busy.

Communication: People who find it easy to put their thoughts into words.

Developer: People who recognize and cultivate the potential and abilities of others.

Futuristic:People who inspire others with their visions of the future. Harmony: People who don’t enjoy conflict and try to achieve consensus instead.

Maximizer: People who focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence.

Responsibility: People who arecommittedto honesty and loyalty.

Woo:People who love the challenge of meeting new people and making a connection.

■For a full list of the 34 themes and their descriptions, see the article "The Gallup Organization’s Strengths Finder Instrument" by Tonya Fredstrom, Jim Harter and Kenneth Tucker. The article can be found on the Career Trainer website (www. careertrainer. com).

Personality adjectives

When creating yourpersonal brand statement(see below), it can be helpful to use adjectives that describe your personality.