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How to improve English listening and speaking skills for professional purposes.

English proficiency is critical to success in today’s global business landscape. To be competitive in the workplace, non-native English speakers must develop strong listening and speaking skills.

Effective communication is key to building relationships with clients, customers, and colleagues, and it all starts with the ability to listen and speak confidently.

Here are some tips on how to improve your English listening and speaking skills for professional purposes:

📌 Listen to English audio materials, news programs, podcasts, and audiobooks regularly. This can help you become familiar with different accents and pronunciations, as well as improve your vocabulary and grammar.

📌 Practice speaking English regularly with native speakers or other non-native English speakers. This can help you become more comfortable with speaking and build confidence in your abilities.

📌 Attend English language classes or workshops specifically designed for professional purposes. Many organizations offer such classes to help employees develop their language skills in the context of their industry.

📌 Use English language resources such as grammar books, dictionaries, and online resources to improve your language skills (grammar and vocabulary).

📌 Practice speaking and listening in professional settings, such as meetings, presentations, and job interviews. This can help you gain confidence and improve your ability to communicate effectively in these situations.

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By developing your English listening and speaking skills, you can enhance your career prospects and become more competitive in the global job market.

Don’t be afraid to seek resources and opportunities to improve your language skills, as this can significantly impact your professional success.

 

 

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International CV as a Non-native English Speaker

“If a non-English speaker feels like a ‘donkey out of the water,’ it’s right to change their words to help them get their point across clearly.” — Joel McCrea, as the Foreign Correspondent in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film.

 

If you are going for a job abroad and English is your second language, there are aspects of creating an international resume that should be followed to improve your chances of getting an interview.

An international resume isn’t so much a format but rather a strategy to follow for aligning your CV with the local expectations and resume standards. The key to writing for an international audience is understanding more about expectations — what format do they prefer, do they want it translated, do they require references, a professional photo, or a portfolio?

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for an international resume, so be sure to check out the specifics below, do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask locals for advice.

 

1- Be clear about your status

More than any other resume, if you’re applying to a foreign country, you need to be clear on your resume about your nationality, visa status, and language abilities. Whereas this isn’t important if you’re applying in your own country, this is critical information for international resumes.

 

2- Watch your tone

The tone is also very important depending on which country you’re applying in. For instance, American-style resumes are expected to be more self-promoting, whereas, in other countries like Japan, you’re expected to be more modest.

 

3- Use keywords

Make sure to understand the power of keywords. Many hiring processes and applications now involve the use of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). An ATS helps employers organize and screen the hundreds of candidates who usually apply. Companies with high volumes of candidates use their ATS to automatically screen candidate resumes by looking for certain keywords and phrases.

 

4- Keep in mind its purpose

A resume will not get you a job; rather, it is intended to generate enough interest in you to get you invited to an interview.  It is extremely important that you capture the reader’s attention quickly and make the resume interesting enough so that they will want to continue reading it.

A good way to determine how much of your resume a recruiter will read before they decide about you is to fold the first page in half. This is the most important real estate on your resume, and you need to use it to communicate your qualifications as concisely and clearly as possible.

 

5- Be as specific as possible

What did you contribute, and what were the results? What specifically did you do to promote teamwork?

Employers hire people for one of four reasons:

  • You will make them money.
  • You will save them money.
  • You will save them time.
  • You will fix a problem.

 

6- Relevant information only

When considering the content to include in your resume, a good guideline to follow is that if the information isn’t relevant to the job you are interested in, then, it should not be in your resume.

Typically American resumes are either 1 to 2 pages, based on the length of your career.  New graduates or people with limited experience can easily use just one page to describe their qualifications. People with more experience may need two or three pages to cover their job history, accomplishments, education, skills, and certifications.

 

7- International resume rules

If you are not a native English speaker and you are applying for a foreign job, your CV should be written in good English, with the correct terminology for the type of role you are applying for.

If you are submitting your resume in English, find out if the recipient uses British English or American English. There are numerous variations between the two versions. A reader who is unfamiliar with the variations just presumes that the resume contains typos. Most European companies use “British” English, though most United States companies – no matter where they are based in the world – use American English.

 

8- Get a human being to spellcheck your resume

Incorrectly spelled words or typos are frowned upon by human resource professionals worldwide. The presumption is that if you submit a sloppy, careless resume, you will be a sloppy, careless worker. A human spellchecker is especially valuable for catching words that are spelled properly but are used incorrectly. The same is true for taking the time to double-check the correct title, gender, and spelling of the name of the recipient of your resume. For example, in the United States, “Jan” is a woman’s name though it is a man’s name in Europe.

 

 

Related Articles:

📌How to Adapt Your Resume to the Job Description https://www.englishpriority.com/how-to-adapt-your-resume-to-the-job-description/

 

📌5 Secrets to Making an ATS-Friendly Resume https://www.englishpriority.com/5-secrets-to-making-an-ats-friendly-resume/

 

📌LinkedIn profile in English https://www.englishpriority.com/linkedin-profile-in-english/

 

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AI Integration in Language Learning

“Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club – the community of speakers of that language”

Frank Smith (1928-2020, psycholinguist)

Artificial intelligence (AI) appears to be infiltrating every area of our lives. From vehicle driving to floor-sweeping, AI has long since moved from science fiction to scientific reality. As a result, it should come as no surprise that AI can assist us in learning languages more effectively.

So, let’s look at these 6 benefits of AI in language learning.

1- Providing instant feedback

One of the greatest advantages of artificial intelligence in language learning is the immediate correction of mistakes in tests and exercises. Instead of waiting for days to receive feedback, learners receive on-the-spot responses that they can take immediate action to fix.

2- Eliminating the fear of failing

The way this feedback is given is not judgemental. Making mistakes is completely normal, yet some people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. The AI tools do not criticize learners in front of the classroom but instead evaluate them without judgment. 

3- Personalizing the needs of learners

Thanks to data collection and predictive analytics software, AI tools allow learners to create their own learning paths, adapting to the user’s personal needs and interests. Learners can choose the level and topics they’re interested in, and most language apps will offer personalized curriculums with personalized games and quizzes. 

4- Gamification

This brings us to an important element in e-learning that fosters motivation and competitiveness—gamification. Using gaming elements such as quizzes, marathons, and contests have increased engagement and enjoyment among learners.

5- A redefined role for teachers

Instead of being the sage on the stage, teachers will become the guide on the side, meaning that technology will cover teachers’ mundane tasks while they will become more like advisers to learners. With AI language learning doing the grading and the paperwork, teachers will have more time to coordinate the learning process and mentor students. More tech-savvy teachers may also try on the role of data scientists, analyzing and using the data gained from the learning process. 

6- Deeper involvement in the learning process

Thanks to AI used for learning a new language, learners will be able to study from any place in the world at their own pace, set their own goals, and follow a customized syllabus. Teachers won’t have to go over the same material each year thanks to a personalized approach to learning that varies from student to student. Plus, AI will help develop engaging games, quizzes, and other learning and exploratory activities that combine programs of study with students’ interests.

It is important to mention that tools such as language bots, machine translation, and customized textbooks may greatly assist language learners in becoming well-rounded in a language, especially when used in conjunction with traditional learning techniques. 

Summing up, when artificial intelligence and education come together, the learning experience for both students and instructors will be transformed. Students will thrive with personalization, immediate feedback, and adaptability to their requirements. 

 

Related Articles:

📌5 tips to become an Independent Learner https://www.englishpriority.com/5-tips-to-become-an-independent-learner/

 

📌5 Secrets to Making an ATS-Friendly Resume https://www.englishpriority.com/5-secrets-to-making-an-ats-friendly-resume/

 

📌LinkedIn Challenges students face when learning English  https://www.englishpriority.com/challenges-students-face-when-learning-english/

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7 Reasons It Pays To Know a Second Language

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”

– Ludwig Wittgenstein

 

In a world where organizations are becoming more cosmopolitan,  companies are increasingly looking for candidates who can speak more than one language. Not only for the practical reasons of being able to communicate, but it also demonstrates a strong work ethic, a keen desire to learn, and a cultural awareness that is attractive to many employers. But here is one reason for learning a foreign language: bilingual employees can earn between 5% and 20% more money per hour than those who speak only one language.

Let’s check 7 reasons why bilingual employees get paid more.

 

1- High Demand

With advancing technology and more significant travel opportunities, globalization is rushing. This new interconnectedness puts language knowledge in high demand. 

As a result, many companies pay bilingual employees more for this bonus skill. 

The demand for bilingual workers doubled in just 5 years.

 

2- Improved competitiveness in the job market

Companies today are increasingly searching for diverse, bilingual employees who can serve their global clients. Bilingual employees are an asset to businesses but are hard to find, and Bilingualism makes your resume stand out and boosts you to the top of the interview list for possible employers.

That advantage can make all the difference in landing the job of your dreams or negotiating a higher salary. 

 

3- More job opportunities

While having a bilingual speaker on staff can be helpful to any business, there are certain businesses where it is incredibly beneficial. 

Translating and interpreting jobs are only possible when you know two or more languages.

Businesses are all about catering to the customer. Knowing a second language can help your company reach more people and tap into previously untouched markets.

Banks, for example, are always looking for bilingual employees who can help their no-natives speakers clients communicate and understand them effectively. 

If you want to work abroad for the Peace Corps or become a Foreign Service Officer, then learning a second language is necessary. Other fields, such as journalism, education, and business development, are always searching for bilingual employees. 

Whether you want to work in healthcare, construction, or law, learning a foreign language can help make this dream possible and give you more high-paying jobs. 

 

4- Cognitive development

One of the more exciting benefits of being bilingual in the workplace comes from emerging studies of the brain. Scientists believe bilingualism increases mental brain power and can protect against dementia and other diseases that affect the brain later in life. The reasoning is still being studied, but the belief is that bilingualism improves the workers’ cognitive problem-solving skills because the brain must process two languages at once.

 

5- Skills development

Bilingual speakers strengthen workplace skills, such as expanded vocabularies, better problem-solving skills, listening skills, and interpersonal skills while using their language talents. Multilingual workers also work with many people in a company they otherwise wouldn’t interact with. This allows them to learn from mentors and role models who project other professional qualities and traits.

 

6- Job flexibility

Bilingualism gives you greater flexibility to move around in different organizational positions. In companies with diverse employees and customers, you can combine your language abilities with other skills to go after your desired jobs. For instance, if you have sales experience, you could look into sales openings in customer markets where bilingual speakers are needed.

Career opportunities such as translation, education, and serving as a tour guide give multilingual speakers a greater capacity to change careers and workplaces more easily than monolingual speakers. Global travel is another opportunity available to people that speak multiple languages.

 

7- Cultural gap

Second-language speakers learn a lot about the culture of their second language, and these lessons increase their empathy and ability to connect. By being aware of different social norms abroad, bilingual employees have tremendous success interacting with people who are different. 

 

Related Articles:

📌Benefits of being a bilingual professional Part I https://www.englishpriority.com/bilingual-professional/

 

📌Benefits of being a bilingual professional Part II https://www.englishpriority.com/benefits-of-being-a-bilingual-professional-part-ii/

 

📌How to Improve your English Pronunciation  https://www.englishpriority.com/how-to-improve-your-english-pronunciation/

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Habits of Highly Effective Students

 

“Being a student is easy. Learning requires actual work.” — William Crawford

 

The key to becoming an effective student is learning to study smarter, not harder.

To do well, you have to start developing good study habits. It may take approximately one month to get into a routine before it becomes second nature.

Here are some tips that help you be efficient when studying.

 

1Time periods

Don’t attempt to cram all your studying into one session.

Space their work out over shorter periods and rarely try to cram all of their studying into just one or two sessions. 

You need to learn to be consistent in your studies and to have regular, yet shorter, study periods.

 

2Plan when you’re going to study

Schedule specific times throughout the week when you are going to study — and stick with your schedule. 

Even if you’re all caught up with your studies, create a weekly routine where you set aside a few days or weeks to review your courses.

 

3– Study at the same time

It is important to create a consistent, daily study routine. When you study simultaneously, your studying will become a regular part of your life. You’ll be mentally prepared for each study session, and each study session will become more productive. It is ok to change your schedule but get back on your routine as soon as possible. 

 

4– Each study time should have a specific goal

Simply studying without direction is not practical. You need to know precisely what you need to accomplish during each study session. Before you start studying, set a study session goal that supports your overall academic goal (i.e. memorize 25 vocabulary words to ace the vocabulary section on an upcoming German test.)

 

5– Start with the most difficult subject first

As your most challenging assignment or subject will require the most effort and mental energy, you should start with it first. Once you’ve completed the most challenging work, completing the rest of your work will be much easier. Believe it or not, starting with the most difficult subject will significantly improve your study sessions’ effectiveness and academic performance.

 

6– Make sure you’re not distracted while you’re studying

Before studying, find a place you won’t be disturbed or distracted. For some people, this is a quiet cubicle in the recesses of the library. For others, it is in a common area with little background noise.

 

7– Review your notes before starting an assignment.

Always make sure to take good notes in class. Before you start each study session and a particular assignment, review your notes thoroughly to ensure you know how to complete the assignment correctly. Reviewing your notes before each study session will help you remember important subject matter learned during the day and ensure your studying is targeted and effective.

 

8– Never procrastinate your planned study session

It’s effortless and common to put off your study session because of a lack of interest in the subject, because you have other things you need to get done, or because the assignment is challenging. Procrastination leads to rushing, which is the number one cause of errors. If you procrastinate your study session, your studying will become much less effective, and you may not accomplish everything you need.

 

WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣

📌Frustrating: causing annoyance or upset because of an inability to change or achieve something.

📌Accomplished: highly trained or skilled.

📌Effective: not characterized by or conducive to health or moral well-being.

📌Assignment: a task or piece of work assigned to someone as part of a job or course of study.

📌Routine: a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.



PHRASAL VERBS

📌Brush up (on): to improve something that you previously knew, to try and make it a little better or just to refresh your memory.

“If you want to brush up on your English, you can listen to some previous recordings of my podcasts.”

📌Piece together something: to assemble the pieces of something, such as a jigsaw puzzle.

“Don’t worry, I’ll piece together a notebook for the new student.”

 

IDIOMS 📒

📌Can’t make heads or tails of it: do not understand something, or become confused by something.

📌Pick his brain: ask questions of someone to learn more about a subject that he knows better than you.

 

Related Articles:

📌How to be an Active Listener https://www.englishpriority.com/how-to-be-an-active-listener/

📌Learner Autonomy https://www.englishpriority.com/learner-autonomy/

📌Realistic and Practical New Year’s Goals  https://www.englishpriority.com/types-of-motivation-to-achieve-your-goals/

 

 

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How to Have More Productive Stand-up Meetings

‘The majority of meetings should be discussions that lead to decisions.’ — Patrick Lencioni

 

The term “stand up” was coined as these meetings are typically conducted on foot. 

However, it has evolved to mean any short (between 5-15 minutes), regularly scheduled meeting usually held at the start of the day – making it an excellent format for those working remotely. It might be held with a particular team or include representatives from different departments. 

The main objectives of stand-up meetings are to help employees prioritize their goals for the day and address any obstacles they are currently facing to open up the opportunity for collaboration. 

 

Here are 7 best practices for holding short, effective stand-up meetings with your team.

 

1- Set clear ground rules

The value managers get from stand-up meetings is rooted in speed and efficiency.  However, the biggest challenge that leaders encounter is the tendency for participants to lose sight of the get-in, get-out mindset, turning what is supposed to be a quick briefing into a full-blow discussion. 

Here are suggested ground rules for stand-up meetings:

– Set a time limit for individuals to speak and the meeting.

– Start on time, every time.

– Expect representatives to come prepared. If regular participants cannot attend, send a backup if possible.

– Stay focused and on-task for the 10-15 minutes you are together.

 

2- Where to Hold a Stand-Up? 

Making people stand for 15 minutes in the same place will keep them on task.  After those 15 minutes, people will be itching to get moving again.  And, let’s face it, a relaxed setting to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee just invites someone to tell a good (time-consuming) story, which is the opposite of productivity.

 

3- Find a time that works for everyone

If participants struggle to attend due to conflicts or logistical challenges, it will erode the value of the meeting entirely.

 

4- Have a clear agenda

The most productive meetings have a clear and set agenda. 

The best way to stay on track during your standup is to set a timer and stick to it. Of course, this means you have to start on time—sometimes, no matter who is missing from the meeting. 

– Focus on the process.

– Focus on people.

– Make sure you don’t go off-topic (unless there’s a good reason). To prevent team members from getting off track, don’t hesitate to quickly remind participants that the goal of the discussion is to exchange critical information and let people get back to work.

– Take a moment to let each participant speak or ask questions before dismissing everyone.

 

5- Have a task priority ranking system

Covering the most important matters of the day helps to know which tasks take priority.

You can do this by polling your team in a group chat before the meeting every morning and having them rank the ongoing projects and tasks.

Show the results at the meeting and use them to set the agenda and focus everyone’s status update. This was a fun one that enlightened us about what each person thought was important (or not) and kept us super aligned.



6- Keep groups small and streamlined

If you have a 15-minute stand-up with more than 15 people, your team will have less than a minute to talk. It also means that people will be much less likely to stay engaged.

With small and streamlined groups, it’s easier to make sure everyone present is relevant and can get the most out of the meeting.

 

7- Sideline, big topics for another time

Special issues that require more comprehensive discussion and analysis should be sidelined.  For instance, if you notice it’s the fourth day in a row that sales missed expectations, you should probably investigate why – but the stand-up meeting is not the place to do it.  Maintain discipline in the stand-up meeting and schedule a separate time for the larger discussion.

 

WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣

📌Unproductive: not effective in bringing something about; not yielding results, benefits, or profits.

📌Enlightened: having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook.

📌Team-building: the process of causing a group of people to work together effectively as a team, especially by means of activities and events designed to increase motivation and promote cooperation.

📌Nonsense: spoken or written words that have no meaning or make no sense.

📌Methodical: done according to a systematic or established form of procedure.

 

PHRASAL VERBS

📌Draw up: to prepare something official, for example, a contract, in writing.

“Now that we have agreed on the details, I’ll draw up the contract and send it to you tomorrow.”

📌Jot down: write something quickly on a piece of paper so that you remember it.

“I jotted down most of the details from the meeting to help me relate it to the team.”

 

IDIOMS 📒

📌To put (someone) in the picture: starting to include someone in a specific dialogue or getting involved with an existing project.

📌To bring your ‘A’ game: this is a sport saying that has wiggled its way into business terminology. If your coworker or boss asks you to get your ‘A’ game, you must bring your best efforts. 



Related Articles:

📌How to Handle Controversial Topics in the Workplace https://www.englishpriority.com/how-to-handle-controversial-topics-in-the-workplace%ef%bf%bc/

 

📌How to sound more Professional at Work https://www.englishpriority.com/how-to-sound-more-professional-at-work/

 

📌5 Tips for Effective Communication with Customers https://www.englishpriority.com/5-tips-for-effective-communication-with-customers/

 

 

 

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Dealing With Unprofessional Clients (Part II)

Difficult clients are part of the cost of doing business. Most often, they’re difficult because they’re unhappy with the service you’ve provided. Sometimes, they could simply have a personality that clashes with your company values, or they have expectations that are way out of whack with reality.

 

7- Gather opinions

Business relationships rely heavily on communication, and as we all know, sometimes two people just don’t see eye to eye.  Asking for outside perspectives or feedback from trusted colleagues or friends can open new communication paths or provide a different lens through which you can examine the client relationship.

 

8- Set boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries early on and be firm in your communication. You don’t want to let the customer take advantage of you, but you also don’t want to come across as unprofessional or unyielding.

Start by establishing what you will and won’t tolerate. Be clear with the client about what is and isn’t acceptable, and if they continue to cross the line, take action accordingly

Examples could include:

– Limited working hours on weekends.

– Minimum notice for a given action.

– Standard lead times for tasks.

– Standard pricing changes.

 

9- Counterattacking with customer responsibility

It’s always a good idea to put each party’s responsibilities in writing when signing the contract.  Clearly defining roles and responsibilities up front and holding the customer accountable is an effective strategy for pushing back on their unprofessional ways.

Further, tasking customers with actions that put the ball back in their court – things to do to move things along – can also be an effective way to manage their behavior.

For example:

– “We already spoke with Sebastian about this; please consult with him, and we can speak again soon.”

“Please review our minutes from the September meeting, and you’ll see our agreement documented.”

– “Please verify this is acceptable on your end before telling us to proceed. The schedule doesn’t allow time for us to have to redo this work.”

 

10- Escalate

Sadly, there are some situations when there is a need to escalate a dispute or issue to higher levels of the organization.  So remember that escalation is not about getting people in trouble; it’s simply about resolution.

For example:

– If contractual obligations are not being met.

– When there’s no authority to make a given decision.

 

11- Put your client on probation

If this is a common occurrence, and the previous steps have not deterred the behavior, feel free to put the client on probation. Clearly explain to the client that you’re providing excellent service for him and don’t want to see the relationship end, but also explain your stance on how you expect you and your staff to be treated. Advise your client that he will be placed on a 30-day probationary period, and you will no longer be able to do business with them if that behavior continues.

 

12- Part ways

If it’s your company, you choose who you work with and who you don’t. This is never an easy situation, but knowing how to react when it happens can make it much smoother. 

Contractually speaking, you can part ways with your client by identifying a fair stopping point and negotiating settlement terms.

But before making that decision, one must weigh its possible ramifications. For example, if the homeowner wants to sue for job abandonment, breach of contract, etc., you should have a good explanation of your reason for walking away. In these situations, we must remember that we are professionals and that the homeowner does not necessarily have to abide by the same standards. Furthermore, you can’t predict how a judge will see the case. Often, it is in the judge’s best interest to be pro-homeowner in cases of ambiguity.

 

WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣

📌Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something.

📌Purposefulness: the fact of having a practical purpose; behavior that shows a precise aim and determination.

📌Boundary: a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.

📌Ramification: a consequence of an action or event, especially when complex or unwelcome.

📌Ongoing: continuing; still in progress.

 

PHRASAL VERBS

📌Follow up: pursue or investigate something further.

“I decided to follow up the client’s claims with phone calls.”

📌Have regard to: as concerns; concerning.

“Mr. Jones made inquiries with regard to the absence of the new employee.”

 

IDIOMS 📒

📌Tread on the heels of following one very closely.

📌Have a short fuse: a tendency to get angry quickly.

 

Related Articles:

📌Dealing With Unprofessional Clients I

https://www.englishpriority.com/dealing-with-unprofessional-clients-part-i/

📌Business Communication https://www.englishpriority.com/business-communication/

📌How to FINALLY Reduce Stress https://www.englishpriority.com/how-to-reduce-stress/



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Dealing With Unprofessional Clients (Part I)

“Don’t let your mood dictate your manners.”

Working with unprofessional and disrespectful customers is an unfortunate yet inevitable reality that we must face. Whether they’re always asking for more than you’re willing to give or demanding unrealistic deadlines, how you respond can make the difference between losing customers and satisfying customers. 

 

Let’s check these tips on how to deal with rude customers.

 

1- Never take it personally

In difficult situations, customers may express nervousness, disappointment, or anger, but this should not be treated as a personal attack. Taking clients’ comments personally makes us adopt a defensive attitude, which usually worsens the situation.

By keeping a positive attitude and remembering that the client is not always right, you can ease tension and improve communication. Keep in mind that tough clients can be a challenge, but they can also be valuable learning experiences.

 

2- Don’t stoop to their level

No matter how bad a client can get and how unreasonable a customer can be, your professional reputation is not worth a moment of glory.  Hold your composure and remain fact-based in your responses. The moment that you lose your ability to stay calm, nothing you say will hold any merit.

Always remember that you can stand up for your firm and push back on unrealistic or unfounded remarks professionally.

 

3- Remember who you’re talking to

You don’t need to love your customers all the time (although it would certainly be nice), and not all customers are winners.  So, during those times that you don’t like your clients, you still need to remember one important fact: they are paying you for the work you do and are – in a way – keeping the lights on in your business. So, while you may not love the customer and may disapprove of their style and approach, keep in mind that they’re still paying customers who value what you provide.

 

4- Leave a Trail of Accountability

Recording (or taking note) meeting minutes and sending official communication gives you the ability to document key agreements that can serve a future purpose. It may seem tedious, but this documentation can pack a powerful punch.

Deliberately taking credit for your actions, as well as clearly recording customer decisions, will naturally build a written history over time.   If your client or customer does begin to deviate from their prior commitments or make demands that counter previous agreements, the written history over time will help you hold the client accountable.

 

5- Keep your records organized

As with the trail of accountability, general cleanliness of record-keeping – time charges, billing dates, invoices, and other basic documentation – enables you to focus the customer on facts.  This is a particularly useful strategy when dealing with a client who often speculates, makes unfounded claims, and generally just twists the facts in order to put pressure on you. 

During times of dispute or disagreement, well-organized records let you quickly and easily manage the narrative of information and provide evidence that supports your position.

 

6- Don’t overcommit

Truth be told, when the customer is relentless with their demands, we sometimes give in just to end the conversation. Don’t make that mistake, no matter how tempting it may seem!

When working with unprofessional customers, be economical and deliberate with words, and avoid speculating. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck in a worse position where you’ve committed to dates and terms they wanted for short-term relief.

 

WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣

📌Speculate: form a theory or conjecture about a subject without firm evidence.

📌Unworkable: unable to function or be carried out successfully; impractical.

📌Out of touch with reality: to no longer have a firm or clear understanding of real life; to lose one’s ability for clear, rational thought.

📌Intuitive: using or based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning; instinctive.

📌Anticipate: regard as probable; expect or predict.



PHRASAL VERBS

📌Deal with (something): to manage a situation and try to make it better.

“Our service department deals with customer complaints.”

📌Look after (someone/something): to take responsibility for something (“take care of”)

“You said you want to return this product, right? I’d be happy to look after that for you.”

 

IDIOMS 📒

📌Up in the air: it has not yet been completely settled or planned.

📌Between a rock and a hard place: when there’s no easy way out or a good solution. Whatever you do, whichever option you choose, the outcome will not be ideal.



Related Articles:

📌4 skills to Develop Emotional Intelligence https://www.englishpriority.com/4-skills-to-develop-emotional-intelligence/

 

📌How to run effective meetings https://www.englishpriority.com/how-to-run-effective-meetings/

 

📌Expressions to Help You Sound More Polite in English https://www.englishpriority.com/expressions-to-sound-more-polite/

 

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Difference between a Global, Transnational, 

“Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.” — Peter F. Drucker.

 

The Business world is full of multiple varieties of companies in each domain/industry – start-ups, consolidated corporations, or SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses).  Each got its functions, responsibilities, policies, and political and economic interests. 

 

To understand this better, let us look at the four major types of corporations that dominate the global trade markets these days.

 

International companies are importers and exporters, they have no investment outside of their home country, and their offices exist only in their home country (they cannot have subsidiaries in other countries.) Strategies to conduct the business are derived mainly from the primary and local domestic market, mostly influenced by the trading norms of the home country.

Example: Rolls Royce.

 

Multinational companies have locations or facilities in multiple countries, but each location functions on its way, essentially as an independent entity.

Generally, these companies maintain a centralized office in their home country, coordinating the other offices’ management.

Subsidiary offices can make decisions for conducting business in their local markets, but they must inform the head office before implementing the decisions.

The strategies to conduct the business are derived from both the domestic market and foreign markets.   

These companies are influenced by the home country’s and host countries’ trading norms.

Examples: Adidas, BMW, TATA group.

 

Global companies also have locations in multiple countries but don’t follow the official head office system.

They market their products using the same coordinated image/brand in all markets. Generally, one corporate office is responsible for global strategy, emphasizing volume, cost management, and efficiency. Standard products are sold without any flexibility in adapting to local consumers.

There is no change in branding or information about a global company, even if the country of operations changes.

Examples: McDonald’s, Toshiba.

 

Transnational companies are complex organizations operating substantial facilities, doing business in multiple countries, and not considering any country as official headquarters. One of the advantages is that they can maintain a greater degree of responsiveness to local markets. Offices in each country have decision-making powers and operate like head offices, and all the decisions are made to suit the operating zone. 

The strategies to conduct the business are derived mainly from the operating zone by understanding and adapting to each country’s local culture and demands.

They also can have a foreign direct investment (FDI.)

Examples: Nestle, Nokia.

 

 

WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣

📌Centralized: (of an activity or organization) controlled by a single authority or managed in one place.

📌Advantage: a condition or circumstance that puts one in a favorable or superior position. 

📌Disadvantage: an unfavorable circumstance or condition that reduces the chances of success or effectiveness.

📌Branding: promoting a particular product or company utilizing advertising and distinctive design.

📌Subsidiary: less important than but related or supplementary to something / a company controlled by a holding company.



PHRASAL VERBS

📌To ask around: to ask many people the same question.

“I will ask around to find out who wants to go shopping together.”

📌To shop around: to compare prices for or quality of an item from different sources (similar to asking around)

“Our usual supplier is expensive. Let’s shop around for a better price on the cases.”



IDIOMS 📒

📌Ahead of the pack: to be more successful than the competition.

📌By the book: doing things according to the rules or the law.

 

Related Articles:

📌Acronyms in E-commerce https://www.englishpriority.com/acronyms-in-e-commerce/

📌Confusing words: Customer vs Client https://www.englishpriority.com/confusing-words-customer-vs-client/

📌Confusing words: Work vs Job https://www.englishpriority.com/confusing-words-work-vs-job/

 

 

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Tactics For Effective Staff Meetings

“Time – the one asset none of us are ever gonna get more of.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Meetings are a necessary part of every organization. Unfortunately, meetings can have a bad rap—and often for good reason. A poorly run meeting can be unproductive and, thus, a waste of employees’ valuable time.

Here are 6 tips for ensuring that each meeting you lead is effective and serves its intended purpose.

 

1- Come prepared

Every meeting should have specific goals, whether it’s sharing crucial information, brainstorming about a challenge facing your organization, or planning an event. If you’re leading the meeting, you should have an agenda. Whether you share this with all attendees or not, it will help you stay on task and make sure you don’t miss anything important that you wanted to discuss.

Once you’ve determined your agenda topics and meeting schedule, communicate with your team if they need to prepare anything in advance. This is a fantastic opportunity to give team members a chance to lead discussions, share important updates, offer suggestions, and come away with action items for the next meeting. Still, they won’t be able to do that if they’re not prepared.

 

2- Keep meetings as short as possible

Don’t rush through important issues, but don’t let meetings drag on longer than necessary. If you schedule a meeting for an hour, then make sure you finish within that time. This shows the other attendees that you respect their time enough not to waste it or assume that your meeting is the most important thing on their schedules. Plus, with studies showing that people have attention spans of only 20 to 30 minutes, it may not be beneficial to have a long meeting.

 

3- Use creative tactics to keep staff engaged

– Tell a joke or fun fact. As they say, laughter is the best medicine, which is why starting off with a joke can actually make attendees feel more comfortable and relaxed. 

– Pass the baton on to someone else. Sometimes having the same speaker in every meeting can get stale. Before the staff meeting, choose a team member who will lead the meeting. You’ll provide he/she with the agenda and materials as needed. 

– Try a fun activity. One ice-breaker game many corporate companies love is Kahoot, Wordwall, or Quizalize  All it takes is your smartphone device, one code, and a bunch of engaging questions to make your team laugh. This alone can promote excitement for future meetings. 

 

4- Get everyone involved

You want everyone to have some ownership of the issues you’re discussing, and if you’re the only one talking the whole time, that can be difficult. Staff may mentally check out or struggle to connect their roles and responsibilities to the meeting topics if they’re not engaged.

Always pay attention. Don’t be a distracted facilitator; stay off your phone or computer and be fully present at the meeting.

 

5- Embrace opportunities for conflict

When you leave the room, everyone should be on the same page, but staff meetings should be a safe place to disagree. This will show new staff that it’s okay to disagree in a healthy, respectful manner, which makes them more comfortable speaking up. New staff may have perspectives from the outside that you didn’t have before.

Ask the right questions. Spend time-solving problems. Keep things relevant. Make sure any action items from the meeting have a clear owner.

 

6- Genuinely consider everyone’s opinions

Even in an environment where staff is not punished for speaking up, they may stop providing input if their opinions are never truly considered.

Always include some element of praise in all-staff meetings.

This shows your staff that their work is seen and appreciated, and they’re encouraged when they are highlighted in that way.

Ask attendees how staff meetings can be improved upon in the future.

 

WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣

📌Icebreaker: a game or joke that makes people who do not know each other feel more relaxed together.

📌Struggle: make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction.

📌Unproductive: not producing or being able to produce large amounts of goods, crops, or other commodities.

📌Suggestion: an idea or plan put forward for consideration.

📌Facilitator: a person or thing that makes an action or process easy or easier.

 

PHRASAL VERBS

📌Bring forward: to change the date or time of an event so that it happens earlier than planned.

“The meeting has been brought forward to this Friday instead of next week.”

📌Draw up: to prepare something official, for example, a contract, in writing.

“Now that we have agreed on the details, I’ll draw up the contract and send it to you tomorrow.”

 

IDIOMS 📒

📌Run a tight ship: a well-managed organization.

📌On the same wavelength: think similarly, and understand each other.

 

Related Articles:

📌Organizational Climate https://www.englishpriority.com/organizationalclimate/

📌How to ask for people’s opinions https://www.englishpriority.com/how-to-ask-for-peoples-opinions/

📌Business Communication https://www.englishpriority.com/business-communication/

 

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