This module develops management skills from identifying personality traits that affect management styles, to business decision making skills, to effective memo writing while keeping goals of the audience and proper protocol in mind.
Identifying Personality Traits
Look at the sample lesson plan on describing the attributes of a hero in the Bangkok Post. Print out the lesson plan and use it as a guide: the list of attributes describing character will be particularly useful. Although this story is about a hero, in order to tailor this plan to a business theme, find a current feature story on a business personality in the Post by perusing the index of business stories or go to another news sources to look for an article. Follow the lesson plan using the article you found.
Here are some links to business news articles:
Post : English newspaper containing a business section.
Current articles with definitions of business terms and difficult
vocabulary. A guide for teachers and tips for students on how to
CNN Interactive : Great source for reading current business news.
Institute of Management and Administration Supplies a business directory of over 600 links to 16 industry sectors, as well as 17 on-line newspapers. Updated daily. If you can't find it here, you can't find it anywhere.
Have students take the Keirsey
Character Sorter in the language lab or on their own in order
to raise their awareness about how personality traits affect
management styles. They can report the results of their test in
their email journals. Ask them to answer the following questions:
1) What were the results of the test?
2) What kinds of jobs suit your personality the best?
3) Would you say the results are or are not accurate? (ie: do they fit your interests?)
4) Why or why not?
**TIP: See Step Three on the student version page of BizEd's The World of Work page for a lesson plan on "What kind of job motivates you?" Highly recommended activity that will prepare them for writing resumes, as well as for giving them a manager's view on employee hiring.
Business Meetings and Protocol
To teach English structures associated with business meetings, have the students visit Michael Vallance's Business Meetings. They can work alone or in groups of two to make their way through a decision maze. Students are provided with a problem and a number of possible solutions. They then have to make a decision and select the most appropriate solution. The student is then linked to another situation and another and another. This sort of activity is often used in management training courses. It's a very easy site to use!
This module can be used for developing business problem solving skills. It includes various aspects of the decision-making process, such as the identification of the problem, objectives, and alternative solutions.
Enter Business Meetings. The second screen shows a help menu on the left. Read teacher instructions before beginning. This lesson should span 2 or 3 classes.
You'll notice lists of vocabulary (entitled New Lexis) and of context appropriate structures (entitled Structures) on the help menu. These can be distributed to students before class.
Also in the help menu are the profiles of meeting participants and the proposals to be discussed. They can either be printed and distributed in class before taking students to the language lab to use the program (might get them thinking about the personality types, etc. in advance) or have them look at and read them before beginning the simulation on Day 2.
DAY 1: Classroom or Computer Lab
First, run some type of pre-test to see what they know. Do so either by having them write a short, timed answer to a question like "What skills are important for making decisions as a group in a meeting?" OR
At the end of the decision maze, there is a multiple choice test. This can be used as a pre-test and or post-test to assess what their prior and acquired knowledge of business meeting protocol.
Review unfamiliar vocabulary and the ask questions about the
structure of a business meeting.
Ask what experiences students have had with group decision-making and discuss them.
Introduce the profiles of meeting participants and the proposals to be discussed. They can either be printed and distributed in class before taking students to the language lab to use the program (might get them thinking about the personality types, etc. in advance) or have them look at and read them before beginning the simulation on Day 2.
DAY 2: Computer Lab
Check out the Business Cartoons by Goff and choose one that you could use for beginning the discussion of business problem negotiation. Warning: some are freebies, but most require payment.
Quickly review profiles and proposals. Have students work in
pairs to go through the decision maze.
Give them the post-test and discuss results and reactions in terms of the following steps in business decision making:
A. Identifying Problems
1. Evaluating Goals
2. Evaluating Expectations
B. Developing Solutions to Problems in Terms of Expectations
C. Decision Making
1. Debating the Issues
2. Choosing the Best Alternative
FOLLOW-UP ASSIGNMENT: (possible DAY 3 or homework)
Tell students to pretend the meeting could not take place. Get students to write a tactful memo to colleagues expressing their opinions about each of the proposals. Give them the structure they will need to write the memo. Form letters to be used as a model can be found at:
Letters 100 business letters on line. A great way to see how
to write polite letters in English for just about any business
Recruitment & Hiring from a Management Perspective:
Visit BizEd's page for instructors on The
World of Work: Recruitment for a lesson plan on this
management skill. The student version can be found here.
A fun management game you may want to explore:
Digistrat-PhotoWars A management flight simulator by Dr. Sawhney. Aims to improve sense making, systems thinking, and strategy formulation abilities. Click on "Intro to PhotoWars" to get started.
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