BEP 360 – Virtual Teams 2: Managing Remotely

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BEP 360 - Video Conference English Meetings

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on managing remotely by video conference in English.

Managers today have to juggle lots of different communication channels, even more so with the rise of remote teams and virtual meetings. It’s not all face-to-face anymore, with so many teams working remotely and videoconferencing with apps like Zoom becoming a daily occurrence. And this means managers need a new set of approaches and skills to manage their teams. One situation where we see these skills come into play is in virtual meetings and one-on-one chats with your team members.

When you’re holding a video conference in English with a team member, you’ll typically start with a bit of small talk before switching to the main topic. With remote work, people may have more anxiety, and as a manager part of your job is to relieve that anxiety. Emotional leadership and building trust may also require you to show vulnerability.

At the same time, supporting your staff will involve outlining very clearly your expectations about communication. After all, we have so many more options in today’s business world. For example, if you’re using Zoom or another video conferencing tool, you’ll find yourself sending resources through the chat function, rather than handing someone a document or sending a link through email. And as people adapt to new ways of communicating, you will have to give solid technical or logistical advice.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to a conversation between Heather, a manager in a consulting firm, and her employee Adam. Adam is a junior consultant preparing for a meeting with an important client. Heather is demonstrating her skills in managing her team remotely.

Listening Questions

1. What does Heather say to show her vulnerability?
2. What expectations does Heather emphasize about communicating with clients?
3. What bit of technical advice does Heather give Adam?

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