Learning English Online-Audio

Robert: OK, I agree with you that if we’re going to work side by side, we’re going to have to establish some common ground. There’s no need for us to be at each other’s throats all the time.

Melissa: So, what do you propose?

Robert: Well, we work in very close proximity to each other and our tasks overlap to some extent, so we’re bound to fall out or have disagreements from time to time. We work in a high pressure environment and a little bit of friction is inevitable.

Melissa: Yes, I accept that and I do try to make allowances for it, but – well, to be totally frank, sometimes you just wind me up – or rather, I should say, I get wound up – and I let my emotions get the better of me.

Robert: So do I, you’re not the only one. But even though we’re both part of the same team working towards the same goal, there’s no need for us to be treading on each other’s toes all the time. Maybe instead of being in competition with one another, we could pool our efforts and resources for the common good.

Situation: Two colleagues, Melissa and Robert, try to establish the reason for their differences and look for a solution.

Style: honest and diplomatic

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Functions:

1. Asking for input: What do you propose? (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully)

2. Softening a negative comment: We work in a high pressure environment and a little bit of friction is inevitable. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully)

3. Partially agreeing: Yes, I accept that and I do try to make allowances for it, but – well,… (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully)

4. Introducing a negative and completely honest opinion: But – well, to be totally frank, sometimes you just wind me up (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully)

5. Correcting yourself in order to use more appropriate language: – or rather, I should say, I get wound up (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully)

6. Using less personal, more diplomatic language to avoid causing offence: sometimes you just wind me up – or rather, I should say, I get wound up (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully)

7. Agreeing: So do I, you’re not the only one. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully)

8. Suggesting an alternative: Maybe instead of being in competition with one another, we could pool our efforts and resources for the common good. (note: please copy the tone and emphasis carefully)

[learn_more caption=”More Expressions”] 1. side by side = together / next to each other 2. to establish = to agree 3. some common ground (idiom) = some things to agree upon (phrasal verb) / some similarities of opinion 4. to be at each other’s throats (idiom) = to be arguing intensely with each other 5. What do you propose? = What do you suggest? 6. in very close proximity to (more formal) = very near to / very close to 7. tasks = jobs that have to be done 8. overlap = cover the same territory 9. to some extent = to a degree 10. we’re bound to = it is inevitable that we will 11. disagreements = arguments 12. from time to time = occasionally 13. a high pressure environment = a stressful situation 14. friction = problems caused by working closely together / bad atmosphere and unfriendliness 15. inevitable = unavoidable / impossible to avoid 16. I accept that = I agree with what you have just said 17. to make allowances for it = to take it into consideration / to take it into account / to allow for (phrasal verb) it 18. to be totally frank = to be completely honest 19. you just wind me up (phrasal verb) = you just irritate me / you just make me angry 20. or rather = or, as a correction to what I just said, 21. I get wound up (phrasal verb) = I get annoyed or angry / I become annoyed or angry (note: the speaker has changed the verb from the active voice – ‘you wind me up’ – to the passive voice – ‘ I get wound up’ – as this is a lot less personal and takes the accusatory element out of the comment. It is therefore a lot more diplomatic.) 22. I let my emotions get the better of me (idiom) = I allow my emotions to take control of me, and therefore I may not be act rationally 23. goal = objective 24. treading on each other’s toes (idiom) = irritating each other in areas of overlapping responsibility 25. pool our efforts = combine our efforts / work together 26. for the common good = for the benefit of everyone[/learn_more]

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