Training, recruitment, planning and teaching are all important parts of every manager’s job. Managing people isn’t just about bossing people around and telling them what to do. A good manager helps employees develop and reach their full potential. The manager is responsible for overseeing and leading individuals and groups of people to achieve the aims of the company as well as their personal goals.
Being a manager often involves walking a fine line between maintaining authority and trying not to upset people. Language can play an important role in doing this. The right words of encouragement at the right time can pay dividends:
‘John, I just wanted to thank you for the hard work you put in on this project. We really appreciate all the efforts you made.’
‘This would never have been possible without your dedication and hard work.’
Often a manager will need to talk about an employee’s or a team’s performance and it’s important to be constructive with any criticism and to be clear about what needs changing. A manager needs to get employees to be in agreement about what needs to be done:
‘So, can we agree that everyone will put in a special effort with sales this month?’
This will help people to take personal responsibility for their contribution and help motivate people to work together too. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to happen though!
If you work in an international office or have managerial responsibilities in an English-speaking company, you will need to be able to speak English to get your message across as a manager. This could be to conduct a meeting, do an interview, give an appraisal or do a presentation. Many non-native speaking managers experience a great deal of stress before giving a presentation in English.
Some may avoid these situations altogether which can affect their efficiency of doing their managerial role. Knowing some useful phrases can give people that extra confidence:
‘That concludes my presentation today. Thanks for coming, everyone. Does anyone have any questions?’
Good business communication in English requires a good knowledge of vocabulary and common phrases specific to business and managing. To learn these skills will require taking part in practising common business situations that managers are likely to come across. This could be practising interviews and conducting training sessions, organizing meetings, presenting your company, making telephone calls or taking part in video-conferencing conversations and writing professional emails that people can understand. Online business English courses need to consider these situations and GlobalExam has devised a course that will do just that.
Being a manager is a job role that transcends all different industries and company types. Whether you work in a multinational marketing firm or a local craft shop, you’re likely to have a manager. So what responsibilities and skills are common to all types of managers?
Here are some the responsibilities associated with being a manager:
Tracking departmental objectives
Planning and evaluating professional activities
Overseeing recruiting and training efforts
Developing professional development and growth opportunities for staff members
Fostering an inclusive working environment for all staff
Establishing strategic goals
Defining objectives and courses of action
Enforcing policies and standards
As you can see, it’s the manager’s job to define the roles and priorities of other staff members, and lead the team to a successful outcome. To succeed in this type of role, you’ll need to have certain skills and qualities, such as being:
A team player
Delivering feedback and criticism
Coaching team members
The specific areas of expertise or experience to be a manager differ greatly depending on the sector the role is in and the level of seniority. However, the following things will be essential to almost any managerial role:
Experience working as a team member in the same sphere
Proficiency with technology
Proven people skills and communication abilities.
You might be the managerial type, but do you have the vocabulary to match? As a manager, you’ll be expected to set the standard for good communication, including in a foreign language. A good basis of vocabulary will include everyday terms and more specific lexical choices for your workplace. Do you have enough managerial vocabulary to survive a day at the office?
Let’s look at some common English vocabulary for management. Many of the terms can be used freely outside of a managerial context, but they give a sense of the register required to speak effectively in this sphere. Here we go:
How many of those verbs were you already familiar with? This is just a short selection of verbs associated with management, but the list could go on and on. To learn terms like these in the context of workplace situations and dialogues, check out our vocabulary modules on the GlobalExam business English platform.
Let’s take a look at managerial expressions next.
If you’re considering a role in management, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some typical English business expressions that crop up in everyday office conversations all the time. Here’s a short list of some common expressions that could prove useful in your management career:
Don’t reinvent the wheel: to create a product that already exists
To get down in the weeds of an issue = to get into the detail
Let’s touch base = to catch up on a project
Are we singing from the same hymn sheet? = Are we thinking the same thing?
Let’s at least lay the foundations = to complete the beginning stages of a project
Let’s get this show on the road = to start/kick off a project
When you start learning on GlobalExam, we recommend starting things off by going to “Boost my career” then “Management” in order to access our specialized learning materials for the management career track. Here you’ll find our online course in English for management, available for three levels: beginner; intermediate; and advanced. There is a free online level test to ensure that users take the course most suitable for them.
The intermediate course includes the following themes:
Your role as a manager
Building an empowered team
Working effectively: organizing; prioritizing; delegating; and objective setting
The art of communication
Business growth and efficiency - thinking about the future
Each unit in course is made up of situations that take you through a continuous story to introduce you to different management-related scenarios. The first unit “Your role as a manager” includes the following situations:
What is a manager?
Some people are good at supporting others
Acting like a manager
So, are you a manager or a leader?
A talent you’re born with?
What is leadership?
Each situation lasts approximately 20 minutes, beginning with a video comprehension, before introducing you to key vocabulary and grammar concepts, then presenting you with exercises. The exercises vary reordering the words of a sentence, to answering multiple choice questions and gap fills. The tasks are designed to make learning fun without any dull grammar lessons. Let’s look at an example management exercise:
This exercise tests your confidence with English grammar when we make a wish. How confident do you feel managing your tenses in business conversations? If the answer isn’t “very”, it’s time to start some exercises.
Not everyone is a natural manager. If a management role is on the cards in your future career, there are some simple things you can incorporate into your work performance to make sure you are the best possible manager you can be:
Become a decision maker
Hone your communication skills
Delegate minor tasks
Touch base with your colleagues on a regular basis
Build a positive work relationship with your staff members.
You know what else will make you a better manager in English? Practice. Honing your English management skills in a safe setting before you apply them to your workplace is an excellent idea for building your confidence. Collaborating with other English learners or benefitting from one-to-one interaction through online tuition could be an excellent solution.
Have you tried virtual learning before? If your answer is “no”, let us tell you all about it.
At GlobalExm we’ve added virtual lessons to our e-learning platform to extend the learning experience and include real human-to-human interaction. The lessons are a continuation of our online learning method, meaning you can use the lessons to consolidate your progress made so far or take a theme to a more advanced level.
There are two available lesson formats: either a half-an-hour individual lesson; or a one-hour group lesson. If you opt for group lessons, here’s the schedule of classes to choose from:
Making a phone call - every wednesday 6pm
Planning a meeting - every Thursday 7pm
Giving a presentation - every Friday 6pm
Participating in video & conference calls - every Friday 7pm
Lessons are scheduled for Paris time.
If improving your English for a management role is your objective,you could consider dipping your toe into a virtual lesson with the “Planning a meeting” group lesson on Thursdays. As a manager, you’ll certainly need to put this skill to the test on a regular basis.
All our virtual lessons are led by a TESOL English teacher with the necessary experience in teaching business English to accompany you on your learning journey.
For people who don’t have the time to study business English in a school, an online course gives added flexibility so that you can continue to work and study at the same time. If you are a manager then you’ll need language more specific to management. Ideally, the most effective type of business English learning is to focus on the language that is directly connected with your job. Someone in the retail sales sector will need to learn phrases that suits their role:
‘Sorry, I can’t go lower than $140 for that item as it has already been reduced.’
If you are learning and working at the same time, you’ll be especially motivated to learn and you’ll be able to directly practise speaking with others in English and feel more confident whilst doing it. Even if you can’t do this there are videos on the GlobalExam course that will help prepare you for the situations that may arise in your job as a manager.
The GlobalExam business course deals with hundreds of different situations that reflect real life workplace situations, and these include videos using native speakers. There are activities related to business vocabulary and correct word order of sentences. You’ll find lots of practical advice too including the opportunity to create a professional CV in English.
The GlobalExam Business English course offers courses at 3 different levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced and there are level tests in order to choose the most effective course for each person. All participants receive a certificate of completion at the end of the business course. Don’t delay, start the Business English course today to boost your career!