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... А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

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English in business

It is important to set clear and relevant criteria to evaluate possible options. If a human-resources manager is to select training providers, price is an easy criterion to look at, but it may not be as relevant as quality criteria such as experience with similar companies, the ability to innovate or being able to deliver training in different languages.

Finally, you should know when not to take a decision. Resist the pressure to decide if you feel that waiting will allow questions to be clarified or new alternatives to emerge.

c)Decide on an option. A number of problem-solving tools can help you to compare the advantages and disadvantages of different options. On the basis of such tools and a certain amount of gut feeling, you should select the option that you think has the greatest probability of success.

Things may still stand in your way. A new turn of events may require you to rethink things. Unexpected resistance from others may necessitate a u-turn. You yourself may lack the courage to take an unpopular or difficult decision.

Fear of failure often prevents people from taking decisions. To make the right decision, you will have to manage your own fear of failure and risk. Remember the following:

1   Not taking risks limits opportunities for growth and improvement.

2   Risk is meant to be scary, so don't worry about being afraid.

3   We fear losing the familiar, so work hard to embrace the new.

4   Never be reckless: take calculated risks in a rational state of mind.

5   Accept a learning curve and don't try to succeed 100 per cent immediately.

6   When you jump, jump with 100 per cent conviction or you will hurt yourself when you land.

d)Implement the decision. Once you have made a decision, the real work starts. It is vital to

motivate yourself and others to accept the consequences of that decision and to support it with the necessary actions. If you simply announce decisions but fail to "sell and support" them, you risk resistance and failure. Effective decision makers proceed as follows:

-  They explain the reasons and positive intentions behind their actions.

-  They describe the benefits for those affected.

-  They have the mental energy, patience and communication skills to manage conflict.

e)Evaluate the decision. You will never improve your decision-making abilities without reflecting on the decisions you take. Analyze the extent to which key decisions achieve their goals and are supported by those around you. If they were unsuccessful, what was the reason? Remember also that it is possible to take good decisions that have a bad outcome. A decision is good if it is based on a clear goal, logical assessment of the available information and taken with the full commitment of the decision maker and others involved. If things don't turn out as expected, you can use that experience to improve your future decision-making performance.

3 Decision-making styles

Because people think and feel differently, it is not surprising that they make decisions in different ways. One interesting way of classifying decision-making styles is that of Rove and Boulgarides. In their work, they emphasize the importance of values, needs and preferences. Their model reveals four main decision-making styles, based on whether people are task-oriented or relationship-oriented and on how much cognitive complexity they prefer. The model also looks at the motivations behind decision making. The four types of decision makers are:

a) Directive decision makers. These people are task-oriented and have a strong need for power, wanting to feel they are in control of others. They also have a low tolerance for ambiguity and prefer to keep things pragmatic and simple. They tend to take decisions on the basis of less information, using fewer alternatives. They need to feel that the decision is theirs to make and no one else's.

b)  Analytic decision makers. These people are also task-oriented. They need to achieve things and are highly motivated when dealing with a challenge. They are more tolerant of ambiguity than directive decision makers, and can tolerate higher information loads. They take time to analyze in more detail the various possible courses of action.

c)   Conceptual decision makers. Such individuals also have a strong need for achievement. But they are people-oriented and less analytical. They are comfortable with high information loads but their data collection methods may be through talking to people, especially experts. They tend to be more creative than the more analytical decision makers and think about what can produce the best results in the long term.

d)  Behavioural decision makers. These individuals have a strong people orientation. They tend to communicate easily, using simple and understandable messages(with low cognitive complexity). They consult with others, are open to suggestions and happy to compromise. They prefer a looser sense of leadership control. "I prefer everyone to "own" the decisions that are mine".

4 Finding your way

As we have seen, decision making is a process involving data collection and rigorous analysis. But it is also a psychological process involving human emotions and personal bias. The challenge is to develop your own approach to decision making so that you can make the most of your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.

When working internationally in teams with different mindsets and priorities, it is essential that you can incorporate these diverse perspectives into the decision making process. In this way, you will be able to increase both creativity and the team's commitment to decisions.

3Answer the questions:

What makes decision making so important today?

What definition of decision making can you suggest?

What affects decision making?

What are key steps in decision making?

What is the most essential for each step?

4Test your decision making

Look at the questions below and note down your options. Then see page .... for comments. Decision 1: A normal coin is tossed ten times and lands on heads each time. You have $1,000 to place on the next choice. Do you choose heads or tails?

Decision 2: Which is more likely: to be killed by a shark, or by parts falling from an aircraft in flight?

Decision 3: What length would a perfectly regular cube-shaped tank have to be to hold all the blood of five billion people?

Decision 4: Think about the consequences of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986. On a scale of 1 (not at all) to 100 (totally), how strong would you support the building of a nuclear reactor close to your home?

5 Test your decision making: comments

There are various reasons why people make bad decisions. Here are a number of them, which we discuss in relation to the four decisions that you were asked to make on page . . . We use poor criteria. When faced with complex decisions, people often rely on their own experiences. But these may not be good criteria. In the first decision, most people intuitively choose tails, even though the probability of heads is still 50 per cent. In the second question, the correct answer is "falling aircraft parts", but most people answer "shark attack" because of

their experience of watching films or television programmes.

We use wrong information. The third question is often answered poorly as a result of people

giving false importance to what they see as significant data. Many people estimate that the tank

must be several kilometers long because of the large number of people. In fact, the answer is

"only" just over 260 meters.

We are not objective. The fourth question is usually answered on the basis of personal values

and bias, rather than on objective criteria ("I need more information about the risks")

6Ask yourself.

1What kind of decision maker are your?

3 Do you like to be the first to act or are you more cautious?

4  Are you prepared to take risks or do you delay decisions until you are sure of the outcome? 5 How would you describe the decision-making culture where you work/study?

6 To what extent do you fit into the culture?

7 Think about your last major decision at work/university.

- To what extent did you collect the necessary amount of information? How well did you set the criteria for creating and comparing options?

-What tools (if any) do you use to help you make your decisions? Does fear of failure sometimes stop you from making decisions? If so, think about the positive aspects of risk taking.

- Think about an important decision that you made recently at work/university. How well did you sell the decision to those affected by it?

- Think about the last bad decision you made. What did you learn from the experience that helped you to take better decisions?

EXERCISE: Which type of decision maker would say what?

Four types of decision makers are: directive, analytic, conceptual and behavioural.

Look at the comment below. Match each of them to one of these decision-making styles. (The

answers are on page . . . .)

1  "I think our feeling here is that the third solution is the most creative and will also produce the best result in the long term. Is everyone happy with that solution?"

2  "On the basis of all the data that we have collected, I think it's clear that the third solution is by far the most logical."

3  "OK. I think that we have talked things through and have now a clear commitment from everyone. Can we agree to implement the third solution and discuss results at the end of the month?"

4  "Implement this approach and report back at the end of the month on results." Answers: 1 Conceptual; 2 Analytic; 3 Behavioural; 4 Directive.

SURVIVAL GUIDE: decision making to bring about change

Coaching has established itself as a useful tool to support both individuals and groups when they have to take key decisions. Co-active coaching works with questions that stimulate insight into assumptions and principles behind decision making. The following questions, based upon a template created by Sharon Drew Morgan(see www.businessballs.com), can help you to begin the process of innovative decision making.

1      Take a look around your working situation. What issues do you see that require a decision for change?

2      What has stopped you from deciding until now?

3      What would you need to see/hear/feel in order to take a decision?

4      What criteria are you using to decide what aspects of the situation need to be changed?

5      What needs to be changed first?

6      How are you going to handle of opinion in the decision-making process?

7      Who needs to support you so that you can take this decision?

8      How will you motivate them to support you?

9      How will you know whether you have taken the right decision?

10 How will you be able to make this success sustainable?


Section A

This section provides some suggestions on phrases and vocabulary that you can use when making decisions. Remember, however, that you should only use the language that you and your colleagues feel comfortable with in your specific working context.

1Deciding to decide

What do we need to decide first?

How soon do we need to take a decision

on this?

Are we in a position to take a decision?

2Defining the decision-making process

How should we decide this? Who needs to be consulted? Who should take the final decision?

I think we need to decide on a new logo.

Could you let me have a decision by next


Well, we can decide when we get the extra


I think we need to discuss . . .

We need to involve .. .

The person ultimately responsible is . . .

3Collecting information

What do we need to know to take a decision? Why can't we take a decision? What information are we waiting for?

4Setting criteria

What criteria are we going to use?

On what basis will we take our decision?

What is important here?

We need information about. . .

We don't have enough information on...

We are waiting for confirmation of. . .

Our decision should be based on . . . I think the decision should be driven by The deciding factor will be ...

5 Deciding on an option

What do you think we should do? Which option is best for you? What is your decision?

I think we should . . .

In my opinion we should decide to.

My decision is to . . .

6 Implementing the decision

What do we need to do to implement

this decision?

What do we do now?

Can we agree on an action plan?

We have to . ..

The next step is to. Yes, I suggest that

7 Reviewing the decision

Was it a good decision? Yes and no. On the one hand, we could.. .

Did we take the right decision? Yes, we did. So far. . .

Would you take this decision again? I think so.

Section В Decision-making idioms

There are many idioms and idiomatic terms in English about decisions and decision making. Here are some of the most common ones.

A done deal

This expression describes an agreement or decision that has been reached on a specific issue. "We are still looking at different options, so it's not a done deal yet."

Jumping on the bandwagon

If someone "jumps on the bandwagon", they decide to join a trend that is already very successful or fashionable.

"So many companies are jumping on the work-life balance bandwagon at the moment and starting initiatives. But I don't think they really believe in it."

Putting your money where your mouth is

People who "put their money where their mouth is" support a decision or opinion, often in some financial way, either with an investment or some kind of bet.

"Come on. If you believe England will beat Germany in November in Berlin, put your money where your mouth is and bet me $10.

Playing for time

People who "play for time" try to delay a decision in some way:

"He tried to play for time by asking for more information. I think he was hoping we would just give in and reduce our prices."


This business buzzword is used to describe the process of groups trying to find out who was responsible for a decision that produced bad results. The term comes from "brainstorming". "The meeting about the failure of our marketing campaign turned into a blamestorming session, with nobody taking responsibility. Everyone just blamed everyone else."


Bob Dignen is one of the directors of York Associates (www.york-associates.co.uk) who

specializes in language, communication and intellectual training.

Contact: bob.dianen@york-associates.co.uk


Group Communication, Peter Hartley, Routledge, ISBN 970-415-11159-1.

Harvard Business Review on Decision Making, Peter Drucker, John Hammond, Ralph

Keeny, Howard Raiffa, Aid M.Hayashi, Harvard Business School Press, ISBN 978-57851-557-

Unit 4


1 Before you read the article, take a few minutes to think and say what the word ‘brand’ means. Give examples of your own.

2 Read the first part of the article.


I Companies invest an enormous amount of time to develop, promote and sustain their corporate brands. Think of Coca-Cola, Apple, BMW or McDonalds. Branding is a powerful way to shape customer perceptions of products or services and to influence their buying behaviour. So, if branding works for companies, why can't it work for you as an individual? Personal branding uses key corporate principles and practices to enable individuals to manage their image in the workplace. Before you read on, take a few minutes to think about the following questions. Then compare your answers to the comments in the article.

■ Why do you need a personal brand?

■ What steps should you follow to create such a brand?

■ What channels can you use to communicate your personal brand?

■ What role does culture play in personal branding?

■ Why do you need a personal brand?

II On the history of branding

The origin of the term "personal branding" is often traced back to a 1997 article, "The Brand Called You", by Tom Peters, one of the world's leading business experts box, He said that everyone has a personal brand, whether they like it or not. Peters defined brand primarily as what other people think about us — the ideas and associations we stimulate in their minds by the way we look, sound and behave.

Some aspects of our brand will be positive, others negative. Yet most of the time, we don't think about managing how people experience us. Peters believed it was time for individuals to take control of their personal brand in the workplace and to market themselves more consciously.

Peters argued that flatter corporate structures were making career development more problematic. Automatic promotions up the organizational ladder were be coming a thing of the past. Instead, individuals needed to promote themselves by defining and communicating their unique selling proposition (USP).

Some benefits of personal branding

·  Greater visibility and opportunities for promotion

·  Better working partnerships inside your company

·  Higher salary

·  The ability to attract and retain more customers

·  Greater self-confidence

·  Clearer focus on what really matters for you at work

III Creating a personal brand

It will be easier to create an effective personal brand if you follow these three key steps:

a) Define your personal brand vision. When was the last time you thought about what you want to achieve at work over the next three, five or ten years? Ask yourself questions both about specific career objectives (What do I want to become? How much do I want to earn?) and about general professional objectives (What kind of leader do I want be? What kind of team do I want to work in?). This process enables you to devote the appropriate amount of energy to the right areas and also plan to reach meaningful career goals.

b) Define your personal brand. The second step is to define a unique and impressive professional brand. Start by creating a short statement of who you are: the values you represent, your key qualities, and what makes you unique. Tom Peters suggests that your uniqueness include not only general personality descriptions, but also four key aspects of working life: your vision and style as a leader; what makes you special as a team member; your technical expertise: and your ability to help deliver results. Think about your own uniqueness by answering the following questions. You will find some useful examples of language to answer these questions, see the survival guide section.

Leadership vision

·          What inspires and motivates you?

·          How do you inspire and motivate others?

·          Where are you taking people?

Team focus

·          What do you see as your greatest strength in team?

·          What do your colleagues admire most about you?

·          What's special about working with you in a team?

Technical ability

·          Where are you excellent?

·          What are you known for doing better than others?

·          What is your particular genius?

Pragmatic results

·          What have you achieved that you are most proud of?

·          What will you deliver to your management?

·          What unique benefits do you offer the customer?

Страницы: 1, 2, 3

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