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Unit 4 – At the Meeting

P44T1

  • 1. Distribute the list of action points.
  • 2. Distribute the agenda(议事日程) of a meeting.
  • 3. Circulate((文章等)传递,传阅,散发) the minutes(会议记录) of a meeting.
  • 4. Make a decision.
  • 5. Collect information and feedback.
  • 6. Decide on the topic of the meeting.
  • 7. Write the minutes of the meeting.
  • 8. Arrange seating.
  • 9. Invite participants and confirm attendance(出席的人数).

P45T2.1

  • (1) Sometimes the participants don’t know the purpose of the meeting.
  • (2) People often start to argue and then they get angry with each other.
  • (3) Lots of meetings I go to have no written agenda.
  • What often happens is that the chairperson just rushes through the agenda(使匆匆通过各项程序), in order to finish the meeting on time.
  • (4) Well, often some members are late, so we have to sit there waiting until everyone arrives so that the meeting can get started.
  • (5) The meeting finishes late because too much time is allowed for discussion.
  • (7) Yes, but not all the items n the agenda are dealt with.
  • (8) I’ve been to so many meetings that ended without any decision being made.
  • (9) No one is asked to take notes and keep the minutes of the meeting.
  • (10) The chairperson doesn’t control the discussion and everyone talks at once.

P45T2.2

  • The Koreans aren’t concerned about how well planned a meeting is. They will not trust anything that doesn’t take years to build. For example, a strong relationship of 10 years is more important than a brand new office building or an impressive meeting. Trust is the most important thing for them. They also seldom offer any opinions unless they are sure about what they want to say.
  • Face is perhaps most important to the Japanese. For example, if you pressure on a Japanese businessman at a meeting, he will respond with silence and your relationship is sure to be over even before the meeting finished. They will be more accepting of you if you learn to speak a little Japanese and look comfortable with their customs.
  • Whenever there seems to be a business problem, the British will try to improve the situation by saying something amusing, but sometimes others don’t find this humor funny at all.
  • Whenever you disagree with the French, they will enjoy arguing with you in a very lively way. They will offer you a business opportunity more quickly than people from other cultures, but they will change their minds at the last moment, if they feel that you are not doing business in a satisfactory way.

P46LFA

P47FUP1

  • Conversation 1
  • A: I really think we need to get some people together to discuss this problem. If we don’t, it’ll just get worse.
  • B: I believe you’re right, Leon. Who are you thinking of including?
  • A: The Accountant, our Purchasing Manager采购经理;采购部经理, Tony, and of course, you and me.
  • B: All right, then. What are you going to tell them beforehand?
  • A: I’ll give them this news report and the letter describing our problem. Do you think that’s OK?
  • B: Yes, that’s fine. Let me know when and where.
  • Conversation 2
  • B; Good afternoon! I appreciate you all being here for this important meeting. Leon has asked you to join us to talk about the problem. You’ve all read the news report and the letter, so let’s get on with the discussion and try to solve the problem before it gets worse. Leon, Could you start?
  • Conversation 3
  • A; Let’s see, we’ll begin with my boss opening the meeting. He can remind everyone about the report and letter. Then we should have the Accountant report on the cheques that have been written. Following that, we’ll ask the Purchasing Manager to review the purchasing procedure. I’m sure my boss and Tony will have some questions then, so next we’ll have questions. Then, we can go on to a discussion. Finally, hopefully, we’ll make a decision and close the meeting. There, that should do it!
  • Conversation 4
  • A: Hello! Why don’t you sit here? Would you like a cup of coffee or tea?
  • C: Thanks! Coffee, please.
  • A: Good afternoon, Tony. Here’s a seat for you.
  • B: Is everyone here yet?
  • A: No, not quite. The Accountant has still to come. Boss, here’s your coffee.
  • B: Thanks. I want to get started on time.
  • A: I know. I’ m sure we will.
  • Conversation 5
  • D: Hello! Accountant’s Office.
  • A: Hello! This is Leon. Our boss wants to call a meeting to discuss a particular problem. Can you make it tomorrow afternoon?
  • D: Tomorrow afternoon? What time?
  • A: He’d like to begin at 2: 30, in the conference room.
  • D: Yes, I think I can make it. I have a lunch meeting, but I’ll hurry back in time for the meeting.
  • A: Good. I’ll bring the information to your office in a little while.
  • D: OK. Thanks
  • Conversation 6
  • A: So, from our discussion this afternoon, it sounds like what we need to do is to stop the payment on this cheque, and contact our lawyer. Is that the decision you all think we should make?
  • C: I’ll begin looking for new suppliers供应商. That seems to be important, as well.
  • B: Yes, it is. We must do that.
  • D: I’ll call the bank immediately and stop payment.
  • B: And, Tony, we’ll follow your advice and turn the rest over移交(职位、责任) to our lawyer, That seems to be the best way to handle this-for all of us.

P47FUP2

  • (G: George; M: Mary)
  • M: George, could you help me plan this meeting? I don’t have much experience planning meetings and you’ve been with the company for a long time. So…
  • G: When is this meeting, Mary?
  • M: Well, it’s this Friday.
  • G: Friday, hmm. What kind of meeting is it going to be?
  • M: We’re going to have a meeting with some new clients and try to get them to buy our new line of sportswear.
  • G: Well, that sounds easy. The first thing we need to do is to create an agenda for the meeting and then give copies of it to everyone who is going to be attending.
  • M: No problem, I have a list of all the people right here. The boss says that he wants the people from the sales department and the design department to give a short presentation.
  • G: OK, but we should let them know as soon as possible. Ask them how long they will need for their presentations. Also, we should ask them if they are going to need anything special for the meeting, like a projector. I remember one time I forgot to ask about this and it was really embarrassing to be unprepared. Which meeting room are you going to use?
  • M: Er, I think we should use 401; it’s the most comfortable room.
  • G: Good idea. Is the boss going to make a presentation, too?
  • M: Yes, he wants to tell the clients about the history of our company.
  • G: OK, let’s write the agenda. It’s this Friday, the 1st of December. What time does the meeting start?
  • M: 10:00 am, and it should be finished by noon because the boss is going to take them out for lunch afterwards.
  • G: No problem, that should be more enough time. The first thing on the agenda should be to introduce everyone to each other. Then the boss gives them the information about our company. He usually takes about 10 minutes to do that.
  • M: I think we should let the design people talk before the sales people, so that they can explain the products first.
  • G: That’s a good idea. The customers need to know what they are going to buy first. After the presentations we should allow time for a discussion, in case the clients have any questions. If they don’t and the meeting is over more quickly than expected, you could give the clients a tour of the office. I think that would really impress the boss.
  • M: Hey, this agenda looks good. I’ll go make copies for everyone.
  • G: OK, don’t forget to make some extra copies to give the new clients and anyone else who for gets to bring theirs. Oh, one last thing, don’t forget to dress up for the meeting.
  • M: I know. Thanks for all of your help.

P48Video1

  • Why are we here?
  • (Sales have dropped! Larry Hunter, Marketing Manager of B&N, calls a meeting at short notice.)
  • Gregory: Do you know why we are here?
  • Richard: No. I have no idea. He just popped in and told me there would be a meeting at 3:00.
  • Amy: I’m afraid it’s about cuts. I saw him this morning and he’s not happy.
  • Larry: Bad news! I guess you’ve all seen last month’s sales figure for the laptop X600.
  • Amy: No, actually I haven’t.
  • Richard: Me, neither.
  • Larry: Oh, well, there’s a 21% drop from July.
  • Gregory: 21%? That’s a disaster!
  • Amy: I suppose you’re going to blame my sales team.
  • Larry: No, Amy. We are not going to blame anyone. Not today. We need to decide what we are going to do about it.
  • Richard: Wait. Before we go on, can we have a look at these poor figures?
  • Larry: Sorry, I’m not sure if I have…Ah, yes, I’ve got a few copies here. As you can see…
  • Amy: Larry, I want you to know that it’s not my fault! My people have been working really hard to promote sales.
  • Larry: Yes, yes, I know. But the fact is that the results are not good.
  • Richard: Maybe we can…
  • Amy: You should trust your team! There are always ups and downs in sales!
  • Larry: Look, Amy. I do have confidence in my team! I have called this meeting to see what my team suggests we do! So shall we get on with it? I suppose we can start by finding out why we are having these poor results. Gregory, would you please give us an analysis of these figures?
  • Gregory: Ur…Sorry, I don’t have anything prepared since I didn’t know…
  • Larry: Oh, well…

P50LFB

P52Video2

  • What can we do?
  • (Sales have dropped! Larry Hunter, Marketing Manager of B&N, calls a meeting to solve the problem.)
  • Larry: I’m sorry to have called this meeting at such short notice. Did you all get a copy of the sales figures?
  • Together: Yes.
  • Larry: Good. So you have seen from my memo the purpose of this meeting. Firstly, we need to figure out the reason for the drop, and secondly, what we should do about it. It might not be easy, but I want to finish the meeting by 3 o’clock.
  • Gregory: OK.
  • Together: Uh-huh.
  • Larry: Now, Amy, what do you think?
  • Amy: Well, there’s a lot more competition out there now.
  • Larry: That’s true, but our prices are competitive.
  • Richard: In my opinion, the salespeople are not very motivated. We need to do something to encourage them to get out there and sell.
  • Amy: I think they’re working pretty hard already.
  • Larry: But it’s not hard enough, Amy! They need something to give them a bit of a push. What about the bonus system? How many salespeople get bonuses now?
  • Amy: Not many.
  • Larry: Really? Why not?
  • Amy: The sales quotes are pretty high. You have to make $60,000 in sales. That’s a lot. Most people average about $45,000.
  • Gregory: Per month?
  • Amy: Yes.
  • Richard: Well, maybe we should lower our quotas.
  • Larry: How’s that going to motivate them, Richard?
  • Richard: If we lower the quotas, it will be easier for the salespeople to reach them. So more people will get…
  • Amy: I don’t see the point. How’s that going to increase sales?
  • Larry: Let him finish.
  • Richard: Well, I think the quotas are just too high. The salespeople don’t think they can reach them so they don’t try. But, if someone is making, say, $45,000, and if the target is 50,000, then they’ll work just a little bit harder to reach 50,000.
  • Gregory: I see what you mean. And if they get a nice bonus at $50,000 then they’ll work even harder the next month.
  • Larry: Yes. You’ve got a good point! Let’s come up with a proposal for lower quotas.