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Business english pair work 1

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English
Pair Work I
Steve Flinders and Simon Sweeney
Illustrated

by Nevllle Swalne

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Contents

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Introduction

Teachers'Notes
PairworkActivities
Activity
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StudentA StudentB Activity

Ice breaker
Advertising
Agendas
Bank charges
Budget presentation
Businessanecdote
Businessetiquette
Businessgifts
Businessinitials
Buying and selling
Cashflow problems
Companyof the year
Company organization
Company presentation
Companytour
Companyvisit
Corporateculture
Corporate sponsorship
Costs and reducing overheads
Customer care
Customercomplaint
Customsholdup
Employeemorale
Entertaining visitors
Environmentally friendly office
Equal opportunities
Franchising
Health and safety
ln-house magazine
Interview techniques
Job application
Large versus small companies
Late payment of invoice

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StudentA StudentB

1 0 1 34 Managementand leadership

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IT2
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Glossary

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A-Zof Language
Functions

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CommunicationSkill Table

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skills for women
Managementqualities
Market research
Market survey
Meeting arrangements
Mission statement
Pay versusbenefits
Performance appraisal
Presentinginformation
Pressand public relations
hoduct endorsement
Production delays
hofit and loss account
Project management
Quality
Quiz 1
Qaiz2
Raising finance
Recruitment
Recycling
Relocation
Salestargets
Small talk 1
Small talk 2
Spare parts
Team building
Time management
Training priorities
Transportation
Work environment
Work rotas
Works council

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Teachers'notes

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1 lce breaker

2 Advertising

Introducti.on
'Ice breakers'
are short exercisesfor use with a new
classto help peopleto get to know eachother.

Introduction
This role play revolves aroundhow to allocatemoney
availablefor advertisins.

Lead-in
Ask why it is important for businesspeople to be able
to:
r 'breakthe ice'with strangers
. ask polite questionsto find out more about business
contacts
o be able to say clearly and concisely who they are,
what they do and wherethey comefrom.

Lead-in
Questions:
o what methodsof advertisingare there?
o what methods would be suitable for advertisins
sportsequipment?

Method
o With a group class,divide studentsinto As and Bs.
There are two possible methods.Either Bs ask all
their questions,then As questionBs. Or students
takeit in tums to aska question.
r If the group is not too large, get studentsto walk
around so that all the As interview all the Bs and
vice versa.
Follow-up
I Get selectedstudentsto tell the whole group in one
or two sentences:
- their name
- their job title and main responsibility
- their company,companyactivity (if necessary)and
companylocation.
You may wish to provide a model, for example:,My
name is Sylvia Smith and I'm a language trainer
responsiblefor business English training at ABC
Pharmaceuticals,
basedin Berlin.'
Explain rhat this is a vital skill which everyonein
the group must be able to perform with easeby the
end of the course.If somestudentsare unsureabout
their job titles, get others to make suggestions.If
uncertainty persists in any case, suggestthat both
you and the student try to get more information
beforeyour next meeting.
2 Get studentsto write short personaland professional
profiles of their partners, for example as in a job
applicationform.

Method
1 Direct studentA to statean initial position. B should
respond with some general comments and observations- on football sponsorship,for example.A needs
to choosebetweena broadly-basedpackagecentred
on athleticssponsorship,or a n.urowercampaignled
by TV advertising. Student B has to change A's
mind - away from football sponsorship.
2 Make sure learnerscome to an agreementon a total
packageand that all points in their roles are included
in the discussion.
Follow-up
After giving feedback, noting the positive achievementsof the negotiation,suggestan exchangeof letters
summarizingthe agreement.

3 Agendas
Introduction
The activity involves a discussion on the telephone
aboutplanningan agendafor a meeting.
Lead-in
I Discussthe themeof quality:
- what is quality?
- how do companiesraise and maintain quality standards?
2 Then elicit commentson agendas:
- shouldall businessmeetingshave agendas?
- are written agendasalwaysnecessary?
- the answer could be that all meetingsneed clear
objectives,but they may not always be written
down.


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Teachers'notes
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Method
1 After the introductory discussion above, students
preparetheir roles and B starts,reminding A about
his/her letter and making some general critical
remarkstogetherwith suggestions.
2 T\ey should reach agreementon a new agendabut
postponesomediscussionto the meetingitself. Note
that the final agendadependson other people'scommentstoo.
Follow-ip
They shouldproducea new agendatogether.

Method
Explain the two roles - A as presenter,B as a listener
who needsto understandpreciselywhat A is sayingand
to questionany part of the budgetthat is not totally clear.
Follow-up
Someleamersmay chooseto presentsomeother information relating to their own work or interests and
invite questionsfrom their partners.This would be a
good opportunity to reversethe roles of presenterand
listener.

6 Businessanecdote

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4 Bankcharges
Introduction
This activity is essentiallyabout customerservicein a
familiar context:a bank.
Lead-in
I Ask studentsto discusswhat they think of banksand
the quality of servicethey provide. They may recall
somepersonalexperiences,good and not so good.
2 Move discussionon to the natureof customerservice
and why the conceptis important.
Method
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A begins the role play by ringing with a complaint. B
has to decide how to respond.The role play is potentially highly conflictive, much depending on how
student B, the bank employee,decidesto resolve the
two problems involved. There are several possible
ways to resolve the difficulties, depending on the
bank'skeennessto provide a customer-friendlyservice.
Follow-up
Have studentswork togetherto createa short dialogue
basedon handling a complaint to a bank. Reversethe
roles so B is making the complaint. Altematively get
them to change the context from banking to another
serviceindustry.

5 Budgetpresentation
Introduction
The activity provides practice in presentinginformation and in listening to a presentationand asking for
explanations.
Lead-in
Check students'understandingof key vocabulary,such
asbudget,salesbudget,costof salesandcostof selling.

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Introduction
This activity can be used to finish off a lesson or a
course, or as a break between two more extended,
intensiveactivities.
Lead-in
Is it important for businesspeople to be able to tell
anecdotes?Why is it important for businesspeople to
be able to tell them clearly and CONCISELY?
Method
1 Tell studentsthat there are six stages.Tell them how
long you would like them to spend on each one.
(l-ltlz minutesper stage.)
2 Signalto studentswhen the time for eachstageis up.
Be firm aboutthe changeover.
3 Listen in to each pair. Be ready to prompt students
who havedifficulty coming up with ideas.
4 When the exerciseis over, get students,still in pairs,
to go over the story again in order to improve and
polishit.
5 Invite selectedpairs to report their stories to the
whole group.
Follow-up
1 Get studentsin pairs to tell each other their own
businessanecdotes.Get partnersto report back to the
group the anecdotesthey have just heard. Again,
at every stage.
encourageclarity and conciseness
they have
the
anecdote
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2 Get students
inventedor their own anecdote.
3 Languageanalysisand feedback.

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7 Businessetiquette
Introduction
This activity encouragesstudentsto reflect upon everyday businessbehaviour, to formulate rules for their

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Teachers'notes
ou'n behaviour,and to leam about the rules goveming
otherpeople'sbehaviour.
bad-in
\\hat aspectsof businessetiquetteare important in the
srudents'own culture?What happensif you break the
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I Even' studenthas five different areasto cover. Tell
-{s and Bs that they are going to take it in turns to
.Je:cnbe certain aspects of business behaviour to
eachother.
I .\s and Bs shouldreadtheir copies.Give them a little
Iune to think about the rules goveming their own
behaviourfor eacharealisted on their own sheets.
-: Get .{s to lead with Shakinghands.As tell Bs what
the conventionsfor shakinghandsare in their countn'icompany/departmentas appropriate.Bs should
then comment on the differencesbetweenwhat As
havedescribedand their own experience.
-1 Get Bs to do the samewith Businesscards and contirue alternationuntil the end.
Follow-up
I Generalreportingback. Get eachA to report on a B
areaand vice versa,leadinginto generaldiscussion.
I lnvite opinions about other areasof everydaybusiness life, for example, punctuality, the status of
deadlines,smokingat work.
3 .{sk whether any of these areas are codified or
u'hetherany of them shouldbe.

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8 Businessgifts
Introduction
The activity is basedon an internal discussionto formulate policy on employeesreceiving gifts from suppliersor customers.
I*ad-in
To introducethe theme,ask:
o what is the purposeof businessgifts?
. aregifts commonin your country?
. can they causeproblemsor conflict?
r what sort of things could be presentedas gifts?
Method
Studentsshould engagein a wide-rangingdiscussion,
bringing in all the points on their role cards.Get them
to reacha generallyagreednew policy on gifts.

Follow-up
A jointly producedmemo stating company policy on
receivinggifts.

9 Businessinitials
Introduction
Like the quizzes,this can be treated as a quite lighthearted exercise to round off a lesson or a course.
There is neverthelessa seriousand useful pedagogical
objective.It is importantfor businesspeopleto be able
to read the internationalbusinesspress.Unfamiliar sets
of initials are often a barrier to understandingwhen
reading in a foreign language.This activity includes
some of the more common sets of initials from the
worlds of business,politics,economics,computing,etc.
Method
1 Get Bs to test As on setsof initials l-16. Bs should
give the correct answer after each attempt by As;
where necessarythey should explain eachansweras
far as they can, and scoretheir partnersout of 16.
2 Now reverseroles and get As to testBs.
3 Pairsreport back to the group with teacherclarifying
any remaining problem sets. Ask studentsif their
companyhas a VP for HR or R&D, what their company's USP is, or whethertheir companyruns a TQA
programme.
Follow-up
I Ask studentsto provide their own sets of initials in
English to testthe rest of the class.
2 Provide newspapers/news
magazinesfor the group
and askthem to identify eitheras many setsof initials
as possiblefrom the quiz; or other setsof initials for
further quiz work.
Answers
MD Managing Director. The manager with overall
responsibility for the day-to-day running of the
company(British English).
VP Vice-President.Usually with a departmentalor
geographical responsibility, for example: Vicehesident in charge of Human Resourcesor VicePresidentSales,Centraland SouthAmericanReeion
(AmericanEnglish).
R&D Researchand Development.The division of a
company doing the technical or scientific work
neededto find new products.
PA PersonalAssistant. A senior executive's helper.
PAs are usually thought to be more than secretaries
but lessthanmanagers.


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Teachers'notes
MBA Master in BusinessAdministration. The most
importantbusinessschoolor university qualification
in business.Some students do the MBA straight
after their first degree;others get a few years'job
experiencefirst.

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PR Public Relations.The job of Public Relationsis to
ensurethat the public image of a companyis as positive aspossible.
PhD Doctor of Philosophy.The doctoratecan, however, be in any of a wide range of subjects,not just
philosophy.

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EU European Union. The political and economic
group whosecurrentmembersareAustria, Belgium,
Denmark, Eire, Finland, France,Germany,Greece,
Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain,
Swedenand the United Kingdom.

ECU EuropeanCurrency Unit. A currency which is
an averageof a certain number of other European
currenciesand possibly the future single cunency
for all the membersof the EuropeanUnion (EU).

GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The
main internationalfree trading agreementbetween
nations,aiming to reduceas far as possiblethe barriers to trade across national frontiers. The most
recent GAff was eventually signed in 1994 after
lengthy negotiationsknown asthe UruguayRound.

OECD Organizationfor Economic Cooperationand
Development.An economic researchand forecasting agencyfunded by the rich industrializednations
and basedin Paris, whose aim is to encourageeconomic growth, high employmentand financial stability amongits members.

IBM International Business Machines. Still the
world's biggestcomputercompany.

ABB Asea Brown Boveri. A major Swiss-Swedish
engineeringcompany.

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SAS ScandinavianAirline Systems.The airline company for the Nordic countries.

JAL JapanAirlines. The main Japaneseairline company.

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WP Word Processing.Typing and editing text on a
computer.

DTP Desk Top Publishing. The computer-based
activity which producestext with integratedgraphics and varied layout, for examplefor a newsletter,
CY or home-producedmagazine.

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CPU CentralProcessingUnit. The brain of a computer.

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AOB Any Other Business. The last item on the
agendaof a meeting.

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GDP Gross Domestic Product. The measureof the
wealth created by a country in a year, excluding
moneyeamedfrom abroad.

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RAM RandomAccessMemory. The dynamic system
memory of a computer that holds programmes and
datawhile they arebeing worked on.
AGM Annual General Meeting. The meeting, for
example,of a company'sshareholders,which takes
placeoncea year.
GNP Gross National Product. The measure of the
wealth created by a country in a year, including
moneyearnedfrom abroad.
VAT The general tax applied at each point of
exchangeof goodsor services.
The 4 Ps Price, homotion, Packaging,Place.Theseare
the main componentsof the MarketingMix, the most
importantfactorsin the marketingof a product.
LO Intemational Labour Organization. A United
Nations Agency concemedwith the rights, protection and healthand safetyof workersworldwide.
CEO Chief Executive Officer. The manager with
overall responsibilityfor the day-to-dayrunning of
the company. (More commonly used in American
English).
VIP Very Important Person.Rich, famous,or powerful peoplewho receivespecialtreatment.Major airports,for example,often have a VIP lounge.
HR Human Resources.The managementof such
things as pay and conditions for all people who
work in a company.

USP Unique Selling Proposition.What every company shouldhave - a unique reasonwhy customers
shouldbuy from them ratherthan from any other.
TQA Total Quality Assurance.An approachto seeking to achievethe highestquality of product or service provided by getting everyonein the organization to focus on quality all the time.
IMF Intemational Monetary Fund. A fund set up in
1947 and to which most of the countries in the
world belong, which exists to lend money to countries in financialdifficulties, particularlyto help with
balanceof paymentsproblems.The IMF often withholds loans to govemmentsif it doesnot approveof
their economicpolicy plans.

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Teachers'notes

10 Buyingand selting
Introduction
Negotiation is an important skill not only for people
involved in the kind of lengthy discussionneeded,for
example,to set up this kind of agencyagreement;but
also in informal everyday situations like persuading
someoneto stay on late at work or changinga holiday
date. This activity can be useful practicefor both for_
mal or large-scalenegotiation and informal or smallscalenegotiation.
Lead-in
In what situationsare negotiatingskills necessary?
Are
theseskills relevantonly in the workplace?
Method
I Give studentsplenty of time to read their activity
sheets.Calculatorscould be useful.
2 Set a clear time limit - 20 or 25 minutes should be
enough- for the activity, and give studentstwo or
threeminutes'waming beforeyou stopthem.
3 Get studentsto start with some small talk before
going into the main body of the negotiation.
4 Get eachpair to summarizethe main points of their
agreementso that each participant is clear about
what hasbeenagreed.
Follow-up
I Get selectedpairs to talk through the stagesin their
negotiationin order to analysethe reasonsfor their
particularresult.
2 Get studentsto write down the terms of their agreement.

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11 Cashflowproblems

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Introduction
The activity is a fairly complex face-to-facediscussion
betweena cautiousfinancemanagerand an ambitious
marketingmanagerreluctantto turn away a major order.

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3 In discussion,both sidesneedto reachagreementon
exactly what is possible and what stepsneed to be
takennext.
Follow-up
I Togetherboth studentscould work out a letter to the
customeroffering a unit price discount but requesting tight paymentterms.
2 They could also work out a revised cash budget on
the basisof the order and a possiblebank loan.

12 Companyof the year
Introdaction
This activity can help studentsro focus, albeit in a
potentially lightheartedway, on the perennialproblem
of how to make small businessesgrow. If necessary,
the situation could be adapted to the context of a
departmentor profit centre if participantsall work in
largeorganizations.
Lead-in
In what situationsarecompaniesgiven prizes?What type
of prizesare given?What companieshave won prizes?
Method
I If you suspectthat studentsmay not be very forthcoming about imagining their own company into
existence, brainstorm an example with the whole
classbeforethe activity begins.
2 Note that the list of preferencesfor A and B are different.
Follow-up
During feedback,find out what the students'ownideas
wereandlist them on the board.Seewhetherany pattem
emergesfrom the choicesmadeby the differentpairs.

13 Companyorganization

Lead-in
As a lead-in, discussthe meaning,causesand implications of cashflowproblems.

Introductinn
The activity is based on a face-to-face discussion
where both sides need to resolve a problem: how to
designa new organizationfor their companieswho are
planningto merge.

Method
I Both sidesneed a few minutesto preparetheir roles
and absorbthe informationthey have.
2 B should start by outlining the order and askinghow
much cash is available. A is pessimisticabout the
cashflowsituation.

Lead-in
Startby asking:
o why companieshavehierarchies
o why companieshavestructuredorganization
r if thereare alternativesto traditional companystructures.


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Method
o Each side needsto explain its primary objectivesand
to outline its concems.There will be sometrade off
betweenthe two.
o Studentscan sit side by side and actually draw up a
fresh organization chart based on their preferred
optionsand what they can agreeon.
Follow-up
Ajoint presentationof the new structureusing a board
or OHP.

14 Companypresentation
Introduction
Introducing oneselfand one's work is a common communicationneedin intemationalbusiness.This activity
gives an oppornrnity to practise a relatively formal
presentation.
Lead-in
To introduce the theme, discussthe function of trade
fairs and what goeson at suchevents.
Method
This is a two-part activity in which studentsboth presenta fictitious companyand hearaboutone.
1 Ask A to present Conta Inc. B intemrpts with
requestsfor clarification and/or further information.
B can alsotake notes.
2 Next, B presentsEdile S.p.A. and the roles are therefore reversed.
Follow-up
Ask learnersto presenttheir own or anotherreal company that they know well. Suggestthey include saying
who they are and what their responsibilitiesare.A further follow-up is to try a similar presentation,but much
more informally.

15 Company
tour
Introduction
It is important for businesspeople to be able to talk
clearly and concisely about their company'sproducts,
history and organization,as well as being able to guide
visitors round the workplace.
Lead-in
Which companiesreceive visitors?Are there any speAre there any specialrisks
cial security arrangements?
aboutshowingvisitors around?

Method
1 The notesbelow the plan on A's sheetare only brief
guidelinesfor A, who will need time to preparethe
presentation.The preparationcould be done before
the lesson.
2 EncourageBs to preparelots of questionsso that the
activity is as interactive as possible. Discourage
monologuesfrom As.
Follow-up
I Repeatthe activity with the roles reversed.
2 Get As and Bs to write follow-up lettersto the visit:
- As sayingthey arehoping for businessfrom Bs
- Bs saying whetheror not they have decidedto do
businesswith As.

visit
16 Gompany

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Introduction
This is an information gap exercise which also
providespracticein numbersand spellingand checking
information. It can thus be used with lower level

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Lead-in
Ask the studentsif:
o they haveany problemswith spellingforeign names
o they have any problemswith understandingnumbers
o if the! have any special strategiesfor spelling and
counting.
Method
1 Get studentsto write down any information, e'g. car
registrationor telephonenumbers,that they give to
their partners.
2 At the end of the activity, get studentsto check that
all the information has been correctly transferred.
Follow-up
Repeat the activity with the roles reversed.Partners
now know what information they have to give so
shouldgive a more polishedperformance'

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culture
17 Corporate

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Introduction
The main aim of this activity is to provoke discussion
so don't be too concemedif the studentsfail to come
up with a coherent policy by the time you call the
group together.

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Teachers'notes
bad-in
Ask srudentsif they know any companieswith their
o*n specialculture.What are the characteristicsof corporate culrure?Does it help employeesto work better
together?

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Encouragestudentsto add ideas in the same spirit to
the list.
Follow-up
I In the group discussionfollowing the activity, get
srudentsto identify the assumptionsunderlying the
variouspossiblepolicieson the list, e.g. that companies are too hierarchical, that there are not enough
women in top management,etc. and find out if they
agreewith theseassumptionsor not. Which onesdo
they think are nonsensical?
Why?
2 Get the group to brainstorm their own equally
unorthodoxpolicy suggestions.

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18 Corporate
sponsorship
Introduction
The activity is designedto encourageextensivediscussion. Studentsmay wish to invent details of the company they both representand such details may influence
the final choice.Otherwise,there is no obviously right
answer.
I*ad-in
Why do companiesoffer sponsorship?What types of
eventsdo they sponsor?What benefitsdoes each side
get?
Method
Sincethis activity involves quite a lot of reading,allow
time for this before beginningthe activity or distribute
the activity sheetsbeforethe lessonbegins.
Follow-up
I Systematizefeedbackfrom the group by asking for
the strongand the weak points of eachfile and writing them up on the board.
2 Get studentsto write a letter of acceptanceto the
sponsorshiprecipient and of rejection to the other
two causes.

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19 Costsand reducingoverheads

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Introduction
The activity involves a fairly detailed face-to-face

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negotiationin which eachparticipantwill haveto compromise in order to reach the desired objective. See
alsoActivity 27 on franchising.
Lead-in
To introducethe theme,check students'understanding
of cosfs,cost of salesandcost of selling.
Method
Each player in the negotiationapproachesthe problem
from a rather different perspective:A is more conservative in termsof defendingemployees'interests,while
B is more inclined to defend shareholdersand seek
improvedproductivity. Consequently,compromiseand
bargaining will be required. Encourage students to
begin by statingtheir agreedobjectives(to find savings
of l0%o)and to find issueson which they agreebefore
going into detail on more problematicareas.As a general principle, suggestthat they should only compromise where they get something in retum - in other
words, in concedinga point they shouldgain a concession in anotherarea.This may involve looking at two
or three points together - a common negotiating
approach.
Follow-up
Set up a similar negotiation involving more participants,so that the negotiationinvolves teams.

20 Customercare
Introduction
This activity emphasizesthe importance of looking
after your customers- thosewho buy a productas well
asthosewho buy a service.
Lead-in
In your introduction to this activity, ask about the distinction betweeninternal customers(other employees
within the same organization whom you serve) and
extemal customers(those outside the company who
pay you to provide them with a product or service).
Ask studentshow far they serveinternal as opposedto
externalcustomersin their work; and ask them whether
they shouldbe more focusedon extemalcustomers.
Method
After the Bs have administeredthe questionnaireto the
As, the partnerscanreverseroles.
Follow-up
I The group can prioritize the different featuresofcustomer care listed in the questionnaire.One technique


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for getting a large group to arrive at a final list is:
a) to get eachpair to agreeon a list of priorities; then
b)to get two pairs together to agree on a common
list; then
c) to get two groups of four to agreeon a common
list, etc.
2 Get detailedfeedbackon how well your studentsfeel
their organizations serve their intemal and their
externalcustomers,and how thesetwo kinds of service cogld be improved.

21 Customercomplaint
Introduction
This activity practisestwo important communication
and businessskills. As have to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. Bs have to avoid being fobbed
off with lessthan what they regardastheir properdue.
Lead-in
Ask students:
r in what situationsthey have made complaints over
the last few months
o whethertheir complaintshavebeenwell handled
o why it is important for companiesto be able to deal
efficiently with complaints.
Method
1 Allow adequatetime for the heavierreadinginput or
distributethe activity sheetsbeforethe sessionbegins.
2 Ensure that both partners are clear about the final
outcomeof the discussionby getting them to write
noteson the agreementreachedand comparenotes.
Follow-up
1 Get eachpair to report back on their agreementand
tabulateall the agreementson the board.
2 Get feedback on how the encounter between Bs'
firmness and As' desire to win over the customer
swayed the discussion one way or the other.
Brainstorm language gambits which As and Bs
might haveused.
3 Get studentsto write A's letter apologizing for the
inconvenience,summarizing the agreementreached,
etc.

22 Customsholdup
Introduction
This is a telephoneconversationbetweentwo people
with verv different concems.

Lead-in
To setup the theme,ask:
r what causesdelaysat frontiers
o what documentsareneeded
o how candelaysbe keptto a minimum
r if the problemsat frontiersare the sameeverywhere
o if the solutionsto the problemsare the sameeverywhere.

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Be tactful aboutthe issueof corrupt officials - in some
placesmention of comrption may be acceptableonly if
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Method
Studentshave a reasonableamountof freedomin how
to resolvethe problemhere.The discussionis led by A
statingthe problem and askinghow it may be resolved.
B respondsand togetherthe two positions are brought
closer - or not, dependingon the degreeof obduracy
held by the official, B, or rectitudeheld by A.

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Some studentsmight like to role play a face-to-face
meeting at the frontier, with other studentsplaying
relatedroles,including the driver.

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morale
23 Employee
Introduction
This activity begins with an exchangeof information,
followed by discussion.It is important for the students
to completethe first part satisfactorilybefore they start
the second.
Lead-in
Ask the studentsin what way morale affects the way
people work. What are the possible results of poor
employeemorale?

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Method
1 Before the studentsbegin,make it clear to As and Bs
that they have different lists of suggestionsfor
increasingcompanymorale on their activity sheets.
Underlinethe fact that they are not expectedto compete by shortlisting more of their own key actions
thantheir parmers'.The objectiveis simplyto get what
they both agreeis the bestpossiblepolicy defined.
2 You could encouragethem to simulateformal meetings with Bs and then As making shortpresentations
of the ideaslisted. They will needextra time to prepare this. This should then be followed by an open
discussionof the merits of eachidea in tum.
3 Studentsmay wish to add their own ideas.

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agreedbeforecalling a halt.
Follow-up
I Brainstormstudents'ownadditionalideas.
2 Discusshow far there is a group consensusand why
some,if any, of the ideasare generallyconsideredto
be more feasiblethan others.
3 Get studentsto write a short report recommendinga
plan of actionto the company'stop management.

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24 Entertainingvisitors

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Introduction
This is a fairly extensive telephone conversationin
which two new businessassociates
get to know each
other a little and discusspossibleentertainmentfor one
of them, who is planningto visit the other.

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Ask:
o what types of entertainmentcompaniescould provide for businessassociatesin your country
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were visiting other countries.
Method
o Much of the content here needs to be genuinely
basedon students'interests
and preferences
and on
local entertainmentavailable.
o An interestingway to do this is for A to explain to B
what is availableby referring to a local 'What's On'
guide or newspaper.
r The conversationhasthreemain partsafter the initial
introduction:
i) outlining possibleentertainmenton offer
ii) B's preferencesand interests
iii) planningan entertainmentitinerary for B's visit.
Follow-up
o A fax from A confirming ideasand/orarrangements.
o Reversingroles: B should return the invitation and
try to fix up entertainmentthat A would like.
r Repeatthe activity placing emphasison either very
formal or very informal typesof hospitality.

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25 Environmentally
friendlyoffice

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Introduction
This activity can be particularly interestingwith groups
of studentsfrom different companies,different sectors
and different countries.

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Lead-in
Ask studentsfirst of all what nationallaws exist on, for
example,packaging,air andwaterpollution, etc.and ask
if they know how legislationdiffersin any othercountry.
Method
Before the activity begins,you may wish to presentor
elicit someof the languagewhich studentsmay use in
prioritizing the ideas, particularly comparativeforms
occurring in such expressionsas: 'Oh no, I think using
recycledpaperis much more importantthan . . .'
Follow-up
I Find out how many peoplefeel this is a relevantand
useful topic and how many do not think that safeguardingthe environmentis important.
2 Get feedbackon students'ownideas.Additionalsuggestionsmight be:
- tuming off computersand other office equipment
when not in use
- avoiding unnecessarychemicalsby, for example,
glues,pump-actioncontainusingvegetable-based
ersratherthan aerosols
- using refillable laserprinter cartridges
- using scrappaper for notesrather than brand new
memo pads
- using electronic mail where possible rather than
paper.
3 Questionsfor the group:
- what environmentallyfriendly stepsdo you take in
your own offices?What more could you and your
colleagues
do?
- how environmentallyconsciousdo you think your
company is as a whole? What more could your
companydo?

26 Equalopportunities
Introduction
This is a straightforwardcollaborativediscussionbased
on prioritizinga seriesof points.
Lead-in
Discuss the meaning of equal opportunities and the
importance of the issue, with reference to students'
own country/countriesand/orexperience.
Method
The objective of the activity is to prioritize a seriesof
initiatives following discussioncomparingthe relative
merits of different proposals.As each studenthas the
same list of points, they should discussthe merits of
eachone,then decideon an order of importance.


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Follow-up
o Leamers can suggest initiatives which could be
introduced in their own working environment to
improve equalopportunities.
. Students can discuss what measureshave already
beentakenand decidehow effectivethey havebeen.

27 Franchising

Method
1 B should start with a general outline of the health
and safety position and some ideas on how to
improve matters. A replies with commentson B's
remarksbut proposesmore radical changes.
2 Encourage students to paraphraseeach other with
'What you're
like 'So you think. . .'and
expressions
saying is . . .' before suggestinga slightly different
emphasis.

Introductioi
The activity is a face-to-facenegotiation where both
sides will need to compromisein order to reach an
agreement.

Follow-up
A jointly-produced plan of action to presentto other
colleaguesin the form of a shorttalk.

Lead-in
Introducethe themeby askingstudentsto namefamous
franchisors. Examples are McDonald's, Benetton,
Hertz, Kentucky Fried Chicken.Ask:
o how franchisesoperate
o what is the relationshipbetweenfranchisorand franchisee.

29 In-housemagazine

Method
Once studentshave read and understoodtheir roles, A,
the franchisee,should start by outlining some general
objectivesand by talking aboutthe presentsituation.B,
the franchisor,will need to be conciliatory.If the dis'only make
cussionfollows the negotiatingprinciple of
a concessionif you get somethingin retum', then the
result shouldbe a lively exchangeof offers and counter
offers,but compromisewill be necessary'
Follow-up
I An exchangeof letters outlining the basis for continued collaboration.
2 A jointly prepared statementexplaining what they
have agreed.

Introduction
The activity is based on a face-to-face discussion
between colleagues,one more radical and more progressivethan the other.Consequently,somepersuasion
will be required.
Lead-in
Discussthe issuesinvolved in health and safety.How
are theseissuestreatedin the students'country/countries?How are thev discussedand checked?

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Introduction
Discussingthe contentsof an in-housemagazinegives
the studentsan opportunityto discussthe type of information that shouldbe includedin such amagazine.
Lead-in
Ask:
r if their companyhasan in-housemagazine
o ifthe] readit
o how do they rate it
o how would they improve it.
Method
o There are really two parts to this activity' The full
version involves drawing up a businessplan for the
magazine (see the section beginning: Identify the
objectivesof the magazine. . .) as well as deciding
on the content.This versionis likely to take up considerablymoretime.
o For studentswith less businessexperienceor less
time or both, the activity can centre on deciding on
contentalone.

28 Healthand safety

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Follow-up
After getting feedbackon the various models of corporatecommunicationproposedby students,widen the
discussionto include other tools of internal communication:
o how do you makeintemal communicationeffective?
r how do you makeintemal communicationtwo-way?
etc.

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30 lnterviewtechniques

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Introduction
The activity is a collaborativediscussion,studying and
sharingopinionsbeforemaking an assessment.

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Lead-in
lntroduce the topic of interviewing by asking students
abouttheir experienceof interviewsandaboutwhat kind
of questionsthey would expectto get in a job interview.
Method
Srudentssit side by side. There are three parts to the
activity. First, students study the job advertisement,
then classify the questions,then assesstheir usefulness
in a job interview. In this last part they shouldjointly
a reasonfor their decision.
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I Use the questionsas a framework for interviewing
other students(or eachother)for thejob in question.
2 Study other job advertisements,work out likely
questionsfor an interviewing panel,and set up interviewswith otherstudents.

31 Jobapplication
Introduction
Although studentsmay appreciatethe fantasyelement
in the activity, they shouldneverthelessbe encouraged
to treat it as a serious exercise in recruitment. The
respectivepartnersshould make initial assessments
of
thejob or of the applicant,as appropriate.

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Ask students:
o what typesof job applicationforms they havefilled in
o what the purposeof a form is
o whether a form is more effective than an open application.
Method
The procedureis as follows.
I B (the applicant)calls A (the currentPA who is leaving the job) to find out what has happenedto his/her
application.
2 A apologizes- hasbeenvery busy.
3 B asksA questionsaboutthe post while, altemately,
4 A asks B questions about his/her experience, tanguages,etc.
5 A should take the initiative to bring the call to an
end,tell B what will happennext and say goodbye.

If appropriatetelephonesare not available,get pairs to
sit back-to-back.
Follow-up
I During the activity, monitor in particularthe way the
call startsand ends,and commenton the authenticity
of thesestagesfor the various pairs. Get good pairs
to simulate model openings and closings for the
others.
2 Discuss how the recruitment processmight go on
after this stage.
3 Get studentsto write a short letter from either the PA
or the applicant,following on from this call.

32 Largeversussmallcompanies
Introduction
Large companiescan be very powerful; small companies can be very flexible. So what are the advantages
and disadvantages
of each?
Lead-in
As a short lead-in, and before distributing the activity
sheets,ask studentswhether they prefer working in a
large or small organization. Elicit just one or two
advantagesand disadvantages
for each.
Method
I This exerciseshould be approachedas a debate:A
has to argue the advantagesof working in a small
company;B has to speakin favour oflarge organizations. Warn studentsthat they may find themselves
being asked to expressopinions that they do not
necessarilyhold. Point out that this is good debating
practice.
2 Roles can be reversedto see if further additional
ideasare generated.
Follow-up
An A and a B from different pairs can be asked to
debateagainin front of the group.

33 Latepaymentof invoice
Introduction
This is a relativelyshortand simpleactivity,wheretwo
sides have conflicting interests.The topic relates to
customerservice:the creditordoesnot wish to upseta
c\s\orner. but at the sarnetitne is keen to reee\\R,\ha
moneyowedas soonaspossible.

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Lead-in
Ask:
r why late paymentis a problem
o wh! do companiesdelaypayment.
Method
1 A, the creditor,telephonesB. Studentsshouldnot sit
face-to-facefor telephoningtasks.If possible,usean
intemal phoneline for a more effectiverole play.
2 A should securea promiseof when paymentwill be
made.

35 Managementqualities
Introduction
The activity is an informal face-to-facediscussionwhich
involvesreadinga list of points and prioritizing them.
Lead-in
As an introductionto the theme,ask studentsto brainstorm ideason the qualitiesof a good managerand the
attributesrequiredin a managementteam.

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Repeatthe activity, reversingroles. Seeif the outcome
is any different.

34 Managementand leadershipskills
for women
Introduction
This activity is useful for training personnelas well AS
of general interest to women, in particular those in
management
or supervisorypositions.
Lead-in
Ask students:
r if they think men and women have similar management skills
. if they think men and women have equalopportunities in the workplacein their country/countries.
Method
Although experiencedtrainers may be interested in
spendingthe time necessaryto devisetraining ideasfor
all five areas,most studentswill probably be happy to
concentrateon discussingoneproblemareaanddevising
a trainingideafor this areaonly.In this casepairsshould:
1 discusswhich areato concentrateon
2 discusshow bestto handlethe problem
3 devisea training idea.
Follow-up
I Pairs give feedback to the group of the training
ideas.If time permits,pairs can take over leadership
of the group to try out the training idea they have
devised.
2 Studentswho (rightly) point out that the problem
areasare relevantto men just as much as to women,
can be told that theseareaswere in fact identified for
a successful real-life training programme aimed
specificallyat women.The legitimacy of identifying
suchareascan,ofcourse,be debated.

Method
1 Students should first discuss the points listed and
make sure they understandthem all; then set about
prioritizing them and come to a negotiatedagreement on the right order.
2 If disagreementsoccur, compromise or trading of
ideasmay be necessaryto reachan agreedorder.
Follow-up
o Individual pairs can report reasonsfor their decisions
and/or report any disagreementsthey had and how
they were resolved.
o Some studentsmay like to assessthemselveson the
basisof someof the qualitieslisted.

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36 Marketresearch
Introduction
The activity is a discussionbetweentwo people,one of
whom has provided a service with which the other is
not happy.
Lead-in
Introduce the theme by asking if studentshave any
experienceof marketresearchand what they seeas the
advantagesof market researchfor producersand service providersand for consumers.A possibleansweris
that the results of market researchhelp producersto
provide products or services which match consumer
needsand wants.
Method
I Preparationis vital. Monitor the preparation:it may
be necessary,during the preparation,to prompt A,
the hotelier,towardsa set of demandsto resolvethe
difficulty.
2 Once the discussionbegins, A raisesvarious objections to the survey technique and reporting. B, in
assuringthat the researchis preliminary, avoids the
since
issueand potentiallyfuels A's dissatisfaction,
marketresearchis very expensive.

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with a resolutionfor how to proceedor with the relations breakingoff in a somewhathostile atmosphere.

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Each side should write a letter to the other summarizing opinion and statingwhat shouldhappennext.

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37 Marketsurvey
Introduction
This is a questionand answeractivity involving a questionnaire.It could be completedvery quickly, though a
variation could be that the respondentdoes not like
someof the questionsand challengesthe designof the
questionnaire!
Lead-in
Begin by prompting discussionon the purposeof market researchand the importanceof market surveysfor
companies.

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39 Missionstatement

Method
Simple questions and answers,with the interviewer
notingthe answers.B cangive genuineresponses.
A variation could be that B plays a role where the
respondentreally likes to talk a great deal around the
questions,so delayingthe (impatient)interviewer.
Follow-up
Reversethe roles and repeatthe activity. Get students
to repeatthe activity severaltimes with other students
or teachers,in orderto collectdatafor a groupofpeople.
Studentscould also designtheir own questionnaireon a
different topic of their choosing.

Lead-in
Ask students:
. if their companyhasa missionstatement
I 3trd,if so, what it is
r what its purposeis
o ifit is useful.

38 Meetingarrangements

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Follow-up
1 Write a fax confirming detailsof the arrangement.
2 Reversethe roles and repeatthe exercise,or set up a
similar situation perhapsbased on students'actual
commitments.

Introduction
This is a potentiallydifficult and time-consumingactivity which requiresthe exerciseof a variety of different
skills, including note-taking and writing. Students'
efforts will, however, be rewarded in having given
thought to somefundamentalquestionsabout the nature
and raison d'dtre of their own businessorganization.
Have available some mission statementsfrom real
companiesto show to studentseither at the activity or
at the feedbackstage.

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I As with other telephoningactivities, use an internal
line, or seatstudentsback-to-back.They shouldhave
a pencil to takenotes.
2 Remind students that good telephoning technique
includes summarizingany agreementat the end of
the call to confirm that everythingis clear.
3 Give feedbackand repeatthe exerciseif necessary,
specifically to improve telephoningtechnique.

Introduction
The activity involves a telephone call and making
arrangementsto meet but each individual has a different attitude.B (the agent) is fairly reluctantto devote
time to A's products- or a meeting.The objectiveis to
agreeon a meeting.
Lead-in
Discussthe role of agentsand the natureof the manufacturer-agent relationship. When is the relationship
problematic?One possibleansweris when the agentis
not effectiveor when he/shehasother priorities or sells
competingproducts.

Method
I Before starting, discusswith the group the kind of
languagein generaland the typical structuresassociated with mission statements.Write suggestionson
the board for reference during the exercise, for
example:we want to. . ., we need. . ., we believe
in. . ., we believethat. . .
2 Studentsin pairs will move from discussion,through
note-taking, to drafting and redrafting their own
statements.Give as much help as possible.If available,provide studentswith word processingfacilities
while working towardsthe final draft.
Follow-up
1 Ask pairs to readout their own drafts.Look for common threadsto developin the discussionphase.

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o what missionstatementsachieve
o who shouldwrite them
o how much the personnel of the company as a
whole should be consulted during the drafting
stages.

40 Payversusbenefits
Introductiiln
This activity can be of generalinterestto all managers
and of specific professional interest to managers
involved in humanresourcesand personnel.
Lead-in
Ask studentshow companiesthat they know remuneratetheir employees.
Method
Presentthe activity in generaltermsand go throughthe
details of the current packagewith the group to ensure
the terms are clear, before handing out the activity
sheets.Notes:
o PRB. The manager earned a performance-related
bonus of f10,650 out of a possiblemaximum of
f20,000 last year.
o Long-term disability cover. This is a form of insurancewhich providesthe managerwith an income in
the event of his/her being unable to work for an
extended period through accident or illness. (The
cover is private becausethe govemmentof the country in which both the studentswork does not make
adequateprovision for this.)
o Parking. The company curently pays for the managerto park in a city centrecar park every day when
he/shecomesto work. The companydoes not have
its own car park and cheapparking is impossibleto
find.
r Annual health screenins.A detailed medical examination.
Follow-up
1 Get feedback on the results of each negotiation.
Clearly, a figure close to f40,000 is good for A (the
personnelmanager)while B will have aimed to get
more. Find out how close to the total of f40,000
eachpair were.
2 Ask whetherthe fact that the manager(B) only managedto eam just over 5OVoof his potential PRB last
year reflectswell or badly on him/her. Can we draw
any conclusionsabouthis/herquality as a manager?

3 Ask how many of the group have experienceof perpay and how they feel aboutit.
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appraisal
41 Performance
Introduction
The activity is an internal discussionmeeting,therefore
informal, leading to a decision on a problematic
employee.
Lead-in
Discussthe meaningof performanceappraisaland ask:
r what its purposeis
o if performance appraisal is used in the students'
country.

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B shouldstartby introducingthe purposeof the discussion and outlining the problem. The discussionshould
move from generalobservationsand opinions to specific decisionsand agreement.
Follow-up
o Joint preparationof a memo outlining the agreement
reached.
o There is also scope for generalclass discussionof
the issuesinvolvedin problemssuchasthoseoutlined
in the activity.

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42 Presenting
Introduction
The activity is an opportunityto presentinformation in
a well-structuredmanner and to respondto questions'
SeealsoActivity 14 on Companypresentation.
Lead-in
To introducethe theme,ask studentsto brainstormthe
most important characteristicsof good presentation
technique. Possible answers include: well prepared,
well organized,appropriateand relevant,clear,enthusiasticallypresentedand supportedby good visuals.

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Method
Two minutes is very little preparationtime and three
minutesis a very short talk. Offer a model as an example. The key objective is to get over a limited amount
of information in a well structuredand coherentfashion, with an introduction, a middle and an end. After
each presentation,the partner and other students(and
you) canaskquestions.

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r Allow longerpreparationtime for slightly longertalks.
o Allow studentsto chooseother topics, which may be
businessor study related,or concernpersonalinterEStS.

r Allow extra preparationtime for the inclusion of a
visualsupport.

Follaw-up
1 Get feedbackfrom eachpair on the developmentand
outcomeof eachnegotiation.
2 Discussthe advantagesand disadvantages
ofproduct
endorsementin more detail. If necessary,point out
that sometimesthe arrangementcan backfire, for
example if the pop star endorsing your product is
accusedof child abuseor the athleteendorsingyour
running shoesconsistentlyfails to win races.

43 Pressand public relations

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Introduction
The activity is a potentially highly conflictive intervie'*'. A has to be very calm under pressurefrom both
the siruation and from aggressivequestioningby the
press.
l*ad-in
Discussthe importanceof public relationsand the relationship betweenPR and corporateimage (see introductionrn activitysection).
Ilethod
-\ tace-to-faceinterview. It would be fun to video
record this if possible, and play it back as part of a
ne\r'sextractor documentaryon pollution.
Follov-up
Ertend the video idea to build the interview into a discussionof the problem of industrialpollution. A further
possibiliry would be to bring in other roles, such as
environmental campaigners,employees, relatives of
employees,other managers,local residents,etc., and
havea wider debatein the shapeof a public meeting.

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44 Productendorsement
Introduction
Michael Jacksonand Pepsi becamea famous double
act. But who benefitedin the end?
Lead-in
Lead in by asking for examplesof product endorsements by famous people and discussing briefly the
advantagesand disadvantagesof this form of product
promotion.
Method
This activity is essentially a preliminary negotiation
involving an information gap. Studentsshould prepare
a strategybefore they begin the negotiationand should
try to anticipatethe argumentsof the other side as part
of their preparation.

45 Production
delays
Introduction
This is a telephoneactivity basedon seriousorganization problemsin a subsidiary.
Lead-in
Ask:
r what the relationshipis betweena head office and a
subsidiary
o when problemsarise
o how problemscan be resolved.
Method
A, at the headoffice, telephonesthe subsidiaryto know
what is going on. A may chooseto insist on visiting the
subsidiary.As usual with telephoneactivities, prompt
studentsto summarizeany agreementat the end.
Follow-up
. A should write a confirmatory fax, outlining main
pointsof the discussion.
. B should write a memo to an English-speakingcolleaguein Portugal.
o The situation could be extended to a face-to-face
meeting.

46 Profitandlossaccount
Introduction
The activity is basically a telephoned information
transfer between colleagues,though explanationsare
requiredto supportthe details.
Lead-in
As a lead-in to the subject,check that studentsunderstandwhat a profit and loss accountis. Ask them to say
if the following statementsare true (T) or false (F):
o it showsthe healthof a companyat a given moment(F)
o it showsthe trading performanceof a companyin a
particulartime period (T)

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o it shows the principal costs a company has to meet

(r)

o it showsforecastsalesfor the coming year.(F)
Method
I B asksa seriesof questionsto completeinformation
required on the latest profit and loss account for a
sister company.He/she also asks a series of questions in order to clarify certainaspects.
2 B should paraphraseor repeat certain answers to
make surethere are no mistakesin the transferof the
information or in understandingthe answersto the
further questions.
Follow-up
Find other examplesof profit and loss accountsand
positions.
assess
the strengthof companies'trading

47 Proiectmanagement
Introduction
The activity is basedon an informal face-to-facemeeting between a project leader and his/her assistant.
There is a strong disagreement,so diplomacy and tact
are importantqualitiesfor both sides.
Lead-in
Discussthe purposeof project planning and its importancein industry.
Method
In group meetings an assistantwould be unlikely to
citicize his or her boss'splans.Remind studentsthat in
this case,the meeting is private and informal and the
disagreementsare real. They must, however, reach
agreement.This discussionmay be lengthy,sincethere
are severalpoints to raiseand to agreeon.
Follow-up
Togetherthey may prepare a joint plan to presentto
othermembersof the team.

48 Quality
Introduction
Increasingly,companiescompeteon quality, but quality cannot be achievedwithout the involvement of the
whole workforce. So a good quality programmewill
involve people - often people who were previously
scepticalaboutsuchprogrammes.

Lead-in
What doesquality mean?What effect doespoor quality
have on customers?How important is quality for competing in the marketplace?
Method
Getting each pair to choose the six most desirable
features for their quality programme may require a
generoustime allowance.Start by getting each pair to
eliminate the features that neither member wants to
retain.
Follow-up
I Compare the shortlists drawn up by the different
pairs.How similar are they?
2 Discusshow suchquality programmescan be implemented.
3 Ask studentswhat experiencethey have had of quality assuranceprogrammesboth as employeesand as
consumers(noticing a conspicuousimprovementin a
company'sproductsor services).

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Introdaction
This activity can last as long or as short a time as you
want, so make a clear decisionin advanceon the time
limit you want to set and whether you are going to
introduce it as a quick end-of-lessonquiz lasting ten
minutesor a main activity involving lots of discussion
and supplementaryquestioning.
Method
. As can ask Bs all the questionsand then reverse
roles. This can also be good listening practice if Bs
arenot shownthe sheet.
. As and Bs can askeachother questionsin turn.
r As can ask Bs the questionsin Quiz I and then Bs
can ask As the questionsin Quiz 2.
FolLow-up
Lots of possibilitiesfor discussionand a real opportunity for membersof a group to leam more about each
other and to get to know eachotherbetter.

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SeeQuiz I

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51 Raisingfinance

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Introduction
The activity is basedon a friendly meeting betweena
;trmpan]'executiveand an independentfinancialadviser.
Lead-in
To Lnrroducethe topic, discussraising finance,ensuring
that srudentsunderstandthe various ways a company
mar chooseto do this as explainedin the students'
Lntroductions.
.llethod
- Thoroueh preparationis important: studentsneed to
undentandthe balancesheet.
i -\. representingthe company, outlines the present
prrsitionof the company.He/shewants adviceon the
hlielihood of raising finance.
-: B respondsby asking for more information and then
ans\\ers.giving reasonsfor his/heropinions.
-l Encouragestudentsto check their understandingof
uhat the other says by paraphrasing.Elicit/suggest
phraseslike 'So, you're saying .' and 'So what
rou meanis . . .'
Follolc-up
Look at examples of balance sheets from company
repons. Identify the key figuresto assessthe health or
other$ise of the companiesinvolved.

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52 Recruitment
Introduction
This activity involves finding the most suitable candidatefor thejob.

Follow-up
I Get feedbackfrom all the pairs on which applicant
was preferredand why.
2 Discussthe advantagesand disadvantagesof different stagesin the conventionalrecruitmentprocess:
- arereferencesreliable?Is testingreliable?
- can a potential employer really leam anything
from an interview?
- how well do interviewersinterview?

53 Recycling
Introduction
The activity involves an informal face-to-facediscussion betweencolleagues.The essentialobjective is to
agreeon priorities and on a plan of action.
Lead-in
Discussrecycling,its purposeand value and students'
experienceof it.
Method
The activity has two parts. Studentsshould decide on
the three key advantagesof recycling and any drawbacks involved. They should then formulate a policy
for the companyinvolved.
Follow-up
Combinethis activity with other environment-related
studies from other sources.(Activity 43 also concems an environmentalissue.)
Studentsmay also commenton recycling policies in
companiesor institutions they are familiar with, as
well asdomesticrecycling.
Design a questionnaireto find out the extent of recycling and people'sviews on the subject.

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r Discussrecruitmentproceduresexperiencedby your
students,either as job applicantsor as employment
providers.
. Give some practice in paraphrasinginformation so
that studentsdo not readout the file cardsverbatim.
Method
Judge whether studentsare able to structurethe telephone meeting without help or whether you should
advisethem to postponediscussionuntil all the candidateshave beendescribed.Encouragegenuinesummarizing and paraphrasingrather than reading out the file
cardsverbatim.Give an exampleof how to do it.

54 Relocation
Introduction
This is a difficult activity becausethe positions of the
two parties are initially quite far apart. You should
monitor the processby which the studentssucceedin
finding - or fail to find - a solutionto a problem which
hasno obvioussolution.
Lead-in
Briefly discussthe notions of win-win, win-lose and
lose-lose in negotiation and ask the students to
describebusinesssituationsin which it is betternot to
compromise.

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Method
Be preparedfor the activity to last only a short time (in
the caseof neither party being willing to compromise)
or quite a long time (where there is readinessto compromise). If somepairs finish the activity quickly, get
them to write eachother follow-up letters.
Follow-up
1 Get feedbackon the outcomesfor the different pairs
in the group and the processby which the outcomes
were arriyedat.
2 Ask students if they have ever been involved in
negotiatinga problem where the two sides were so
far apart that there seemedlittle chance of agreement. Discussdifferent strategiesin sucha situation.
3 Get studentsto write formal letters to each other as
A or B with their versionsof the decisionsreached.

Follow-up
1 Reproducethe table on the board and get studentsto
fill in the missingfigures.
2 Discussfigurescentralto the students'ownwork.
3 Discussthis kind - and other kinds - of incentivefor
salespeopleand others.
Figures
in $US
First
quarter

North

West

South

East

Lead-in
Ask:
o why settingtargetsis important
o what happensif targetsare not met.
Method
Therearetwo setsof figuresto exchange:
o each partner has a couple of figures missing for the
otherregions
o eachpartnerhas only his/her own revisedfigures,so
the proceduremight be:
a) exchangethe missing fourth quarter figures for
the otherregions
b) calculate and agree on the totals for the other
regions
c) calculateown revisedtotal (strictly speakingit is
not necessaryto exchangeall the revised figures
unlesseach wants to check the other's figures in
detail)
d) add the two revised totals and comparewith the
otherregionaltotals
. as you can seefrom the figuresbelow, your students
have indeedwon the pize - but don't give the game
awav: let them find out for themselves.

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93,137 94,005 85,21

93'140

F

Second
quarter

l0 | , 104 98,776 85,439 99,505

Third
quarter

103,771 99,422 87,624 102,099

F

Fourth
quarter

95,106 100,471 89,423 102'500

F

Totaf

393,068 392,174 347,697 397,344

Figures
in $US

Central
East
East
West
West
Central Central Central Central Revised
Revised Total
Revised lnitial
lnitial

55 Salestargets
Introductian
This activity is a straightforwardexchangeof figures
betweenthe two partners.It may thereforelast rather
less time than a first glance suggests.Pocket calculatorswill be useful.

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First
quarter

46,0| 0

Second
quarter

48,763 48,963 51,309 5l'309 100'772

Third
quarter

49,345 49,727 5l,499

Fourth
quarter

49,557 50,847 51,446 50'230 l0l '077

Totaf

46,9l0 47,194 47,668 94'578

51,699 l0l '426

193,675 196,447201,148 200'906 397'353

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56 Smalltalk 1

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Introduction
This is difficult but the activity practisesa very important skill - steeringthe conversation'Eachbox contains:
r four nouns
o threeverbs
r threeadjectives

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Ten minutes for the activity. Comparescoresand experiencesat the end: which were the easiestand which
were the most difficult words to elicit and why? Then
reversethe roles.
Follow-up
I Discussthe importanceof taking the initiative and
steeringthe conversation.

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.\sk selectedpairs to perform in front of the others.
Get feedbackfrom the group on successfuland less
successfu
I steeringgambits.

Follow-up
A fax confirming the order from both sides.

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57 Smalltalk 2
Intrduction
Tell lour srudentsthat they have the opportunity to
temporarill' ,rssumea new persona.Encouragethem to
rn\.entinterestingones.

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. Lead in u ith brainstormingon ways of opening a
!-onversationin a plane.
r Encouragesrudentsto userealisticgambitsto open.
. Talli about balancebetweenthe two members:you
do not want to hear one talking a lot more than the
erther.lbu expectto hear lots of questionsfrom both
partners.
.llethod
i Srudensfill in the form.
I Srudentstalk to eachother for ten minutes.
Follov-up
Crt t-eedback
from all membersof the group,for example:
o \r hat \r'asthe most interestingthing you heard?
. $'hat was the most surprisingthing you heard?
. what future do you predictfor the personyou met?

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58 Spareparts

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Introduction
The activity is a telephonedialogue,basedon information transfer. Both sides have information that they
needto convey.As purchaserand supplierthey needto
reachagreementon an urgentorder.

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Discuss:
r the relationshipbetweenpurchaserand supplier
o the importance of spare parts for certain types of
equipment.

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feedback,suggestimprovements- thinking in particular abouttheseaspectsof language.

Method
Sameprocedureas in other telephoneactivities. Both
sidesneed to refer to the information they have, citing
needsand production schedulesrespectively.The conversation will realistically include pauses while the
supplier checksinformation and the purchaserconsiders what he/sheis told. Stalling language,spacefilling
and supportingsilence is important in telephoning.In

59 Teambuilding
Introduction
We usedto have leaders;now we have teams.Success
dependsmore and more on picking and developinga
winning team.
Lead-in
This exerciseis designedto help studentsunderstand
that colleaguesmay work in very different ways, yet
each may make a vital contribution to meeting shared
objectives. Ask students about their experiencesof
working together with people who have a different
approachfrom their own.
Method
I Studentsmay wish to definewhat kind of project it is
that they are working on. This in turn will influence
what kind of people they need to carry it through.
Parametersfor the project could include:
o objective
o time scale
o budget
o overallsizeofteam
o functionsof key teammembers.
2 Studentscandiscuss: \
o the functions(jobs) neededfor the project asa whole
o the roles they themselveswill play
o the roles to be played by two or more other people
to be recruited to the team.
Follow-up
1 Find out where studentsfeel they might be on the
wheel and what kind of personthey feel is required
for thejob they currentlydo.
2 Discusswhetherthe wheel could be a useful tool in
creatingbalancedteams.
3 Get studentsto write a job advertisementfor one of
the missing team members,describingthe characteristics of the personthey are looking for.

60 Timemanagement
Introduction
Everybodyin employmentwill have an opinion on this
issue.The fairly simple matching exerciseis intended

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Teachers'notes
as a preliminary to discussionwithin eachpair of more
detailed and additional ways of managingone's time
more successfully.
Lead-in
Ask studentsaboutthe importanceof:
o deadlines
o schedules
o keepingappointments
e time-management
systemse.g. filofaxes.
Method
I A presentsproblem 1 to B. B choosesthe most
appropriatesolution from the four alternatives- a, b,
c and d - and proposesthis to A. Note that both the
list of problemsand the list of solutionsfor A and B
are different.
2 A continueswith problems 2, 3 and 4 with B suggesting the best remaining solution each time. If B
has chosenwrongly, it will finally becomeapparent.
A and B can now sort out any mistakesin selection
together.
3 Roles are now reversedand B presentsa new problem 1 to A, etc.
Follow-up
I Elicit the time managementproblems that students
have and the solutionsthat thev recommendto each
other.
2 Get the group as a whole to formulate somegolden
rules for time management.These might be along
the lines of:
- do it now
- getridofclutter
- plan your day.

2 Then there are two stages:first to prioritize the nine
different training options,then to eliminate the least
useful. They may also decide that others could be
postponeduntil later.
Follow-up
Preparea short presentationto the board of directors,
outlining key training needs,requestingfull financial
resources,time and full backing from the training
department.The presentationshould explain why the
training is so important.

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62 Transportation
Introduction
Quite a challengingrole play, involving a salespitch
from one side and an important comparisonof two offers
followed by a decisionfrom the prospectivepurchaser.
Lead-in
Ask:
o what types of transport are used for what types of
goods?
o what problemsface transportationcompanies?
o what problems face companiesusing transportation
services?
Method
The activity requires a good level of preparationand
understanding of their roles from both sides.
EssentiallyA has to listen to B trying to sell a particular transportationserviceand at the sametime compare
it with an offer alreadyon the table from a Greek company. A's role is the more complicatedone, and he/she
is also the decisionmaker.When readv.B calls with a
preparedsalespitch.

61 Trainingpriorities
Introduction
This is a short activity basedon working together to
studya list of optionsandto agreeon their relativevalues.

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Both sides can write a letter confirming their requirements(A) or their offer (B).

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Ask leamerswhat kind of training they think is most
useful for companiesworking in intemationalbusiness.
They shoulddraw up a list of optionswhich could then
be comparedwith the training types presentedin this
activity.

63 Workenvironment

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Introduction
The activity is a face-to-facediscussion,involving a
sharing of both information and opinions. The atmosphereshouldbe constructiveandpositive.

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Method
I To preparefor the activity, both studentsshouldfully
understand the information on the company
involved.

Lead-in
Introduce the theme by talking about good and bad
working conditions and their consequences for
productivity,morale,staff tumover and sickness.

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Method
1 A beginsby outlining generalintentionsand reminding the employees'representativeof the company's
concerns,while also not wanting to raise expectations too high. Note the low budgetavailable.
2 T\e objective is to reach a satisfactory position,
whereboth sidesfeel they haveachievedsomething.
3 Studentsshould note what they agreeand summarize
it.

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o A can write a glowing account of improvements
being made,either for companynotice boardsor for
an in-housemagazine.
o B can write a letter supportingthe improvementsbut
pointing out other areaswhere progressshould be
made and requestinga longer term commitment to
thesefurther improvements.

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64 Workrotas
Introduction
A fairly straightforward conflict in this face-to-face
informal meeting over holiday plans and production
schedules.There might just be room for compromise,
or else B will simply refuse - but must explain why
and get A to understandthe position.

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65 Workscouncil
Introduction
A fantasy activity for general discussionfor all categories of businesspersonnel.Tell studentsthat they
can choosemore than one option but that they must
decideclearly how all the moneyis to be spent.
Lead-in
Ask studentsaboutjoint decisionmaking in their companies.Ask if there is a works council and in what
areas there is consultation between employer and
employees.
Method
Opendiscussionwithin eachpair.
Follow-up
1 Get feedbackfrom the group. Alternatively use the
method describedin the Teachers'notes to Activity
20, Follow-up 1, to get the whole group to reach a
collectivedecision.
2 Get feedbackon students'own ideas.Which of the
ideasgiven did they think were best and which were
worst?
3 Get studentsto write to the rest of the staff on behalf
of the works council, explaininghow the money is to
be spentand giving reasons.

Lead-in
Introducethe theme by asking about potential conflict
of interest over holiday plans and company requirements. Family holidays and school holidays may coincide with companies'busiesttimes. How can such
difficulties be resolved?

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A, the boss,has a meetingwith B, a line supervisor,to
see if he/she can change holiday plans. A should
explain why and offer some compensationor altemative deal. B may simply refuseor enter into somekind
of negotiation.Of course,a further problem will be to
presentthe family with the changedholiday arrangements,which might be disastrous.
Follow-up
o Discussthe responsibility of a managerto think of
employees'generalwell-being,includingfamily cirAsk what would happenif the company
cumstances.
decided to pay the holiday cancellationfee and to
insist on the supervisorchangingplans.
o Discussthe extentto which companyneedsprevail
over personalor family needsin a given culture.

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f.rst or you can take it in turns to ask each question.

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Find
outyourpartner's:

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activity
cofilpafl!'s
jobtitle
department
jobresponsibilities
(inonesentence)
location.
office

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yourpartner's:
Find
outabout

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home
family
education
favourite
sport
tastes
inmusic
languages.

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ADVERTISING

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(Measuring
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negotiating;
andcalculating;

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Advertising is one aspectof promotionat activity used by companies to increase consumer awareness of
the company and itsproducts, and to improve salespertormance.

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advertising agency and asked for suggestions for a campaign to promote your brand, Sporto. You
want to *1u campaign within a budget of f250,000 - no more.

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Iittlenationaltelevisioncoverage
think the footballteamwill do well this year- they havea rich chairman,five new players
and a new manager

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want the brand nameSporto to be promotednationally

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havelittle interestin a specificallylocal market
think internationalrecognitionwould be a good bonus
want some guaranteein terms of increasedsales
want to be involvedin planningthe detailsof any advertisingcampaign
think TV advertisingis too expensive.

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