Business English listening comprehension

Interaction in business

Listen to the recording and then answer the comprehension questions

When greeting someone in the business should you:

  • Shake hands
  • Make eye contact
  • Introduce yourself
  • All of the above

What is appropriate clothing to wear for a business workplace?

  • A smart suit
  • A short dress
  • Lots of accessories
  • Shorts

True or false?

  • You can address your superior with the same level of manners of your boss

What can workers do to stay motivated?

  • Chat to their co-workers
  • Decrease their working hours
  • Set personal goals
  • Ask for a promotion

True or false?

  • The French are more direct in business than the English

Read the script and see how much you understood

Interaction in the Business

The encounter tends to be formal when greeting a client or abusiness partner in the UK. It is polite to stand up, smile and firmly shakehands while making eye contact. When meeting someone for the first time it isimportant to establish their name and surname and to introduce yourself in the same manner. This makes the clients or partners feel valued. 

Maintaining a formal and professional image in the businessis important. Men and Women typically wear a suit with a jacket, shirt,trousers or a skirt, and a tie for men. A smart image is vital and modestly should be kept in mind. The dress code reflects the business and their standards so inappropriate clothing can have a negative impact on the company. Som ebusinesses also offer a more casual attire. In the UK many businesses offer itsemployees the option of a casual or dress down Friday, allowing employees to feel more comfortable.

Politeness within businesses is very important. When interacting with clients or superiors at work a higher level of politeness isnecessary. However between co-workers it is not required to uphold such high standard of manners. Of course, being rude or aggressive is unacceptable but the formal and very polite behaviour is not obligatory. Good manners can go along way in business from making a client feel valued and comfortable as politeness influences people to creating a positive and friendly work environment. 

To stay motivated, people set personal goals to show progress towards the final destination. Mangers play a large role in motivating their employees. This includes treating employees with resect, showing gratitude and trust, and being polite. These factors increase and maintain their motivation as the environment created by a superior or manager is a positive one, meaning employees want to give back and therefore are motivated to work. Also incentives which reward workers are very effective in motivating them as it shows your appreciation and they have something to work for. 

In England, compared to France, workers are afraid of upsetting others and will often sugar coat a bad situation or bad idea to avoid awkwardness. In businesses in France, people are much more direct and harsh. 

On the job training

Listen to the recording and then answer the comprehension questions

Who provides the one the job training?

  • The new employee
  • A co-worker who can competently perform the job
  • An external body

What is the aim of on the job training?

  • Transfer of skills and knowledge to someone who is new to a position.
  • To test the knowledge of an old employee
  • To test the knowledge of the new employee

As well as a transfer of knowledge and increased motivation, what does on the job training also lead to?

  • An assured investment to the company
  • The individual feeling comfortable and integrated
  • The individual feeling higher levels of stress

Read the script and see how much you understood

On the job training

Training on the job is one of the most effective ways ofdeveloping individuals’ skills and to train them to be fully capable to performwell. The training can be personally designed and directed at the employee. Itinvolves the transfer of skills and knowledge which are specific to the job.The training uses the materials, machines and documents related to the job. Co-workerswho can capably do the job provide the training. On the job training caninclude mentoring where new employees can learn from experienced others andalso form a valuable relationship. With increased competence comes greatermotivation and commitment from the employee. On the job training also provides agood opportunity to welcome new employees by making them feel comfortable andintegrated into the company.