Let’s touch base. 15 English idioms to use at work

Let’s touch base. 15 English idioms to use at work

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THE BLUE TREE

Everyday English

CEF B1

CEFR B1

Intermediate

Practise speaking by describing this image
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warm up

  • How often do you need to speak English at work?
  • Is it easier for you to talk to native speakers or learners of English?
  • What is the advantage of using idioms?
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part one

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key language

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watch the video

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Comprehension

  • ⌚ 0:11 Where does Emma believe are English idioms used most often?
  • ⌚ 0:21 How important is it to be able to use idiom when we communicate in English?
  • ⌚ 0:33 What are some of the benefits of knowing and using idioms?
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part two

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key language

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watch the video

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Comprehension

  • ⌚ 1:24 What does it mean to ”get your foot in the door’?
  • ⌚ 1:54 What are some of the ways we can get our foot in the door of a company we really want to work for?
  • ⌚ 2:26 What does it mean to ‘show someone the ropes’?
  • ⌚ 2:47 What does the idiom ‘thrown in the deep end’ mean?
  • ⌚ 3:03 How was Emma thrown in the deep end on her first teaching job?
  • ⌚ 3:49 When do we use the expressions ‘a steep learning curve’?
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part three

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key language

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watch the video

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Comprehension

  • ⌚ 5:23 What does it mean to do something ‘by the book’?
  • ⌚ 5:50 How is ‘to cut corners’ different from ‘by the book’?
  • ⌚ 6:15 What situation does the idiom ‘have one’s work cut out’ describe?
  • ⌚ 6:43 What does it mean to ‘make light/short work (of something)?
  • ⌚ 7:10 Can we use this idiom outside of the work context? How?
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part four

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key language

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watch the video

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Comprehension

  • ⌚ 8:00 What happens when we ‘touch base’ with someone?
  • ⌚ 8:28 What does it mean to ‘cut to the chase’?
  • ⌚ 9:02 Why do we need to be careful when we are using this idiom?
  • ⌚ 9:54 What does it mean ‘to bite your tobgue’?
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part five

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key language

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watch the video

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Comprehension

  • ⌚ 10:21 What does it mean to ‘rock the boat’?
  • ⌚ 11:26 When can we use the idiom ‘to put out fires’?
  • ⌚ 12:10 What happens when someone ‘is in hot water’?
  • ⌚ 12:28 When is the right time to use the idiom ‘let’s call it a day’?
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PRACTICE

Multidecker Fiszki

Play this Multidecker flashcard game.

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lesson glossary

UPS! Ta sekcja jest dostępna tylko dla moich uczniów. Zapraszam na wyjątkowe lekcje angielskiego online lub na Mokotowie w Warszawie. Napisz do mnie na hi@thebluetree i umów się na darmową lekcję próbną.
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COMMENTS

Write your own examples with the idioms you learnt in this lesson. 

How to Get Along with Difficult Colleagues

How to Get Along with Difficult Colleagues

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THE BLUE TREE

Better
Communicator

CEF B1

CEFR B2

Upper
Intermediate

Practise speaking by describing this image
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warm up

  • Who do you like/dislike the most at work?
  • What traits should a good colleague have?
  • What annoys you the most about the behaviour of your workmates?
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LISTENING

Listen to the article first. What is the main idea behind this management tip?

Ups! Tej sekcji nie możesz jeszcze zobaczyć. Jest ona dostępna tylko dla moich uczniów. Zapraszam na wyjątkowe lekcje angielskiego. Napisz do mnie na hi@thebluetree.pl
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reading

How to Get Along with Difficult Colleagues

It’s easy to 1. get caught up in interpersonal conflict at work. But these negative dynamics can lead to mistakes, reduced creativity, and worse decision-making. Here are four ways to work more effectively with difficult colleagues.

Understand that your perspective is limited. It’s not realistic to expect everyone to agree with you all the time. When differences arise, ask yourself questions like: What if I’m wrong? How would I change my behavior? What 2. assumptions have I made?

View the conflict as a problem to be solved together. Understand what 3. outcome you’re aiming for. Do you want to get a project over the finish line? Build a healthy working relationship that will last into the future? Feel less angry or frustrated after your interactions? Decide on your goals before interacting with your colleague, and keep your eyes on the prize.

Avoid 4. venting and 5. gossip. Choose whom you talk to (and what you share) carefully. Look for people who are constructive, have your best interests at heart, will challenge your perspective when they disagree, and can be 6. discreet.

Experiment to find what works. Start by coming up with two or three methods you want to test out. For example, if you want to improve communications with a 7. grumpy colleague, decide that for two weeks you’re going to ignore their tone and focus on the 8. substance of their messages. Often small actions can have a big impact.

This tip is adapted from How to Navigate Conflict with a Coworker,” by Amy Gallo

dać się złapać, wrobić

założenia

rezultat, wynik

dawać upust (emocjom)

plotki, pogłoski

dyskretny, rozważny

gderliwy, marudzący, zrzędliwy

merytoryczna wartość

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COMPREHENSION

  • How can arguments at work affect our performance?
  • How does it help to understand that our perspective is limited?
  • What questions can we ask ourselves at this point?
  • How can we view the conflict as a problem to be solved together?
  • What should we remember about when we decide to approach a difficult colleague?
  • Who can we talk to about this issue? Why?
  • What’s the forth tip about? Can you think of any other ‘experiments’?
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POLL

Which piece of advice from this lesson sounds the most practical for you?

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COMMENTS

How would you deal with a difficult colleague at work? Do you have any other tips you’d like to share with us?

Introduce Yourself with Confidence

Introduce Yourself with Confidence

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THE BLUE TREE

Better
Communicator

CEF B1

CEFR B1

Intermediate

Practise speaking by describing this image
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warm up

  • How do you usually introduce yourself to new business associates?
  • What can you do to make a positive and lasting first impression?
  • Are introductions different when they happen online or in real life?
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LISTENING

Listen to the article first. What is the main idea behind this management tip?

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reading

Introduce Yourself with Confidence

Many of us 1. dread the self-introduction, whether it’s in an online meeting or at a boardroom table. The secret to introducing yourself with 2. confidence, in any context, is a simple three-step process: Focus on your present, past, and future.

• Present. Start with a present-tense statement to introduce yourself. Your name and job title is a great place to start. If there’s an 3. opportunity to 4.elaborate, you can also share other details such as a current project, your 5. expertise, or your geographical location.

• Past. Add two or three points that will provide 6.relevant details about your background and 7.credibility. Consider your education, past projects, employers, and 8. accomplishments.

• Future. Demonstrate enthusiasm for what’s ahead. If you’re in a job interview, share your 9. eagerness about potential opportunities at the company. Or, if you’re in a meeting, express interest in what the team is 10. setting out to accomplish.

This tip is adapted from “A Simple Way to Introduce Yourself,” by Andrea Wojnicki

obawiać się, być przerażonym (czymś)

pewność siebie

możliwość, szansa

wyjaśnić szerzej, wytłumaczyć

odpowiednie, właściwe

wiarygodność

osiągnięcia

zapał, entuzjazm

zamierzać, określać, ale również wyruszyć

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COMPREHENSION

  • How do many people feel about self-introductions?
  • What should we focus on when we are introducing ourselves to others?
  • What can we include in the first step of the introduction?
  • What purpose does mentioning our past serve?
  • What should we demonstrate when we are focusing on the future?
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POLL

Which step of the introduction do you think is the most difficult to prepare?

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COMMENTS

How would you introduce yourself during a onboarding training in a company you have just joined?

Briefing the big boss

Briefing the big boss

Briefing the big boss
Learn more words

THE BLUE TREE

Better
Communicator

CEF B1

CEFR B1

Intermediate

Practise speaking by describing this image
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warm up

  • How approachable are the managers in your company?
  • Have you ever heard about managing up? What do you think it is?
  • How can subordinates increase their chances of being heard by their superiors?
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LISTENING

Listen to the audio. What is the main message of this HBR Management Tip?

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reading

Briefing the Big Boss

1. There’s no shortage of advice on how to 2. brief a senior leader: Keep it short, 3. front-load the message, and so on. But you can’t 4. undervalue the interpersonal dynamics in the room when you’re presenting 5. crucial information to the big boss. So before the meeting, identify the senior leader’s most trusted advisor. Consult with that person ahead of time so they’ll be able to 6. vouch for you and back up the information you’re presenting. Their support will help you earn the senior leader’s trust. Next, 7. familiarize yourself with your boss’s instructions. For example, what are their 8. nonverbal cues that 9. indicate that they want you to either say more or hurry up. You need to adapt your style in real time based on their reaction — so make sure you know what those signals are. Finally, find out how your boss engages with material. Are they someone who pushes back on points? Are they a quiet listener? Or do they ask a lot of questions? Being aware of these things ahead of time will make you more effective in communicating the right message under pressure.

This tip is adapted from “How to Brief a Senior Executive,” by Grant T. Harris

nie brakuje

przedstawić coś krótko

od razu przejść do rzeczy

niedocenić

istotne, bardzo ważne

ręczyć za kogoś, poprzeć kogoś

zapoznać się z czymś

niewerbalne sygnały

wskazać

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COMPREHENSION

  • What are some pieces of advice on how to brief a big boss?
  • What shouldn’t we undervalue?
  • Why is it a good idea to find someone who could vouch for us?
  • What should we familiarize ourselves with?
  • How does learning how our boss engages with a material help us?
  • Are there any other tips that can help us be more effective presenting under pressure?

Time for a short summary. Watch this video and read all the questions. Do you think it could be practical to take them into consideration when you are briefing the big boss?

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POLL

Which piece of advice from the article do you find most practical?

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COMMENTS

What advice would you give to a colleague who had to present in front of the Management Board for the first time?

How important is it for the success of a business that top management are approachable and easy to talk to?

Share your views and experience here.