Exercise 1

A. Listen. Circle the correct answers.

 Eric and Lucas are working on ___.

      a   a new shampoo

      b   an advertisement

      c   a drawing

 Eric doesn’t want honey in his hair because it doesn’t ___.

      a   taste good

      b   smell good

      c   feel good

 Lucas ___ a woman on the beach.

      a   draws

      b   finds a picture of

      c   writes about

B. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Eric:   How would you describe the shampoo?

Lucas:   How about this? It __________ coconuts, and it feels like silk.

Eric:   Hmm. I’m not so sure. What about, after you use it, your hair __________ silk.

Lucas:   That’s better. What else could we say?

Eric:   How about, use it and you’ll __________ a movie star?

Lucas:   Good idea!

Answers & Audioscripts

A

Lucas:   Eric, thanks for helping me today with the new ads for Costa Rica.

Eric:   I’m happy to help. Let’s get started. What are we working on?

Lucas:   I’m having a problem with the shampoo ad. I don’t know what to include.

Eric:   Well, let’s think about the shampoo. How would you describe it?

Lucas:   Hmm. What about this? It smells like coconuts, and it feels like honey.

Eric:   It feels like honey? I don’t know about that. Honey is really thick. I definitely don’t want honey in my hair.

Lucas:   OK. How about, it smells like coconuts, and it feels like silk?

Eric:   Hmm. I’m not so sure. It feels like silk? What about, after you use it, your hair feels like silk?

Lucas:   That’s better.

Eric:   What else can we say?

Lucas:   Use it and you’ll look like a movie star.

Eric:   Yes, I can imagine that.

Lucas:   Now we need an image.

Eric:   What are you going to draw?

Lucas:   A woman on a beach with palm trees around her—she has long hair and she’s

smiling.

Eric:   That looks perfect. In fact, that looks a lot like Sofa what’s-her name. Maybe we should get a celebrity to be the spokesperson.

Lucas:   Good idea!

B

Eric:   How would you describe the shampoo?

Lucas:   How about this? It smells like coconuts, and it feels like silk.

Eric:   Hmm. I’m not so sure. What about, after you use it, your hair feels like silk?

Lucas:   That’s better. What else could we say?

Eric:   How about, use it and you’ll look like a movie star?

Lucas:   Good idea!

Exercise 2

A. Listen. Circle T for True and F for False. Correct the false statements.

1   Eric and Min-ji are talking about a new product.   T   F

2   Eric enjoys working with Lucas because he is a talented illustrator.   T   F

3   Eric isn’t happy with the new freelancers’ work.   T   F

4   Eric can talk to the freelancers in Colombia anytime.   T   F

5   It’s possible to work at many different locations at TSW Media.   T   F

B. Listen. Complete the conversation.

Min-ji:   How’s the project going?

Eric:   It’s going well! Lucas is a _________ guy. He’s always eager to help.

Min-ji:   Oh, good. And what are the new freelancers like?

Eric:   They’re very _________, and they have a lot of creative ideas.

Min-ji:   I’m happy to hear that. I know the old freelancers were difficult to work with.

Answers & Audioscripts

A

Eric:   Hi, Min-ji. I heard you were looking for me.

Min-ji:   Hey, Eric. I just wanted to check in with you. How’s the Costa Rica project going?

Eric:   I think it’s going well! Lucas is a great guy.

Min-ji:   Well, that’s good to hear.

Eric:   Yeah. He’s a very talented illustrator, and he’s always eager to help.

Min-ji:   Oh, good. And what are the new freelancers in Colombia like?

Eric:   They’re very hardworking, and they have a lot of creative ideas.

Min-ji:   That’s good. I’m glad to hear it. I know the old freelancers were a little difficult to work with.

Eric:   Yes, that’s true. The only problem with our new team is that sometimes it’s hard to meet. Everyone’s so busy!

Min-ji:   Well, sure. And also, there’s a fourteen-hour time difference.

Eric:   Exactly. When I get to work, they’re already asleep!

Min-ji:   That’s right! And when you leave work, they’re just arriving at their desks.

Eric:   I’m lucky that everyone on the team is very flexible.

Min-ji:   You’re right about that!

B

Min-ji:   How’s the project going?

Eric:   It’s going well! Lucas is a great guy. He’s always eager to help.

Min-ji:   Oh, good. And what are the new freelancers like?

Eric:   They’re very hardworking, and they have a lot of creative ideas.

Min-ji:   I’m happy to hear that. I know the old freelancers were difficult to work with.

Exercise 3

A. Listen to the podcast. Circle the correct answer.

Managers give feedback to employees to ___.

a   tell them they are working badly

b   help improve their performance

 get to know them

B. Listen again. Listen for words that signal paraphrasing. Complete the sentences.

1   Employee feedback, __________ information about how well someone is working, is important.

2   Ask employees for feedback about their work. __________, let them give feedback to you.

3   If you start with something positive, employees will be more open to what you have to say, __________ they will listen to your ideas.

4   Follow up with your employees. __________, talk to them again.

C. Listen again. Look at the poster. Complete the sentences with the missing words.

EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK

Think about your ________ before giving feedback.

Begin with something ________.

Have a ________ message.

Let good ________ give you feedback.

Don’t give a poor employee too much ________ feedback.

Give specific suggestions.

Make a ________ with your employees.

Tell your employee what he or she isn’t doing well.

Follow up with your employee in a few ________

Answers & Audioscripts

Managers usually don’t enjoy telling their employees that they’re doing a bad job, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience for you or your employees. Today on Working Smarter, we’re going to talk about how to give employees feedback—or information about how well they are working—honestly and in a way that helps employees do better at their jobs.

Before you give feedback, make sure you think very carefully about your goals for the conversation. The goal of giving feedback is to help improve someone’s performance at work, not to complain or to make him or her feel bad.

Of course, it’s much easier to give feedback when you have employees who work well. You’ll likely have many positive things to say, and you might not be able to think of even one thing they need to improve. That’s great! However, you should always ask them what they think about their work. In other words, let them give feedback to you. An employee may want to improve in areas that you haven’t noticed. Or some may want to take classes to do their jobs better or to further their careers. Make a plan together.

But what do you do when an employee is working pretty carelessly or completes his or her tasks too slowly? This can be a difficult process, even for experienced managers.

Start with something positive. Your employees will feel more comfortable and will be open to what you have to say, which means they will listen to your ideas and suggestions. But don’t go overboard and give too much positive feedback if there are many things that need to be changed. You need to have a clear message. And remember, don’t be afraid to tell them what they aren’t doing well. Give specific suggestions so they know exactly what they need to do. For example, say, “I want you to spend more time talking to clients. That way, you’ll know more about what they need, and the company can better meet those needs.”

Later, follow up with your employees. That is, talk to them again to see if they are making changes, or if they need more help. You should follow up a few days after your first conversation, so your feedback is still fresh.

If you use these ideas to give the right kind of feedback, all of your employees—good and bad— will do better at work, and will feel better in the workplace. Your business will do better, too.

Exercise 4

A. Listen the letter. Answer the questions.

Which statement best describes the main idea?

a   People should be open to opinions and advice from others.

b   Only listen to advice from people you trust and get along with.

c   There are many different ways to give good advice.

B. Listen the letter again. Circle the correct answers.

1   Elena wrote this letter to the editor to ___.

      a   show people that she is smart

      b   sell more of her bags

      c   share some helpful advice

2   This bag was very important to Elena because ___.

      a   she was excited that her co-workers liked the design

      b   she believed that this was her best idea as a designer

      c   she wanted to show that she was a good designer

3   Lin’s suggestion made the bag ___ and easier to sell.

      a   more elegant

      b   useful to more people

      c   cheaper to make

4   Her teacher’s advice helped Elena because ___.

      a   it made her more open to other people’s ideas

      b   it made her feel bad about her own design

      c   it made her feel better about her own ideas

Answers & Audioscripts

To the editor:

I was very interested in your article about advice. I once got a piece of advice, and it changed my life.

I’m a designer. Ten years ago, I was designing my first product, and I was determined to show everyone how good I was. After a lot of planning and hard work, I came up with a new design for a bag. The bag was made of recycled plastic bottles. It was black, and it looked and felt like leather. I thought my design was very elegant.

Most of my co-workers really liked my design. However, one person, Lin, suggested a change. She thought the bag should come in bright colors that you can see in the dark.

“More and more people are running or bicycling after dark,” she said, “and bright colors could be very popular with them. This could be a huge seller.” I didn’t even want to think about Lin’s idea. I knew exactly what my bag should look like and exactly what would sell.

That evening I had dinner with my favorite teacher from design school. I told her all about my bag and mentioned Lin’s suggestion. I thought my teacher was very wise, and I expected her to tell me how right I was and how wrong Lin was. Instead, she smiled at me and said, “If you think you know something, find someone who disagrees and listen to them.”

At first I was upset, but after I thought about it, I understood. I had been so excited by my own idea that I wasn’t willing to listen to anyone else. But Lin’s suggestion would make the bag useful to a bigger group of buyers. It also made the bag safer. I decided to include her idea in my presentation to the head of my company. And guess what? He loved it! He even said his favorite part of the design was the bright colors!

Over the past ten years, I have often remembered my teacher’s advice. Without it, my company might not have chosen to sell my bag. But more importantly, it taught me how important it is to just listen. So remember, be open to advice from other people, even if you don’t agree with them at first. You never know how that advice might change your life!

Sincerely,

Elena Mays

Exercise 5

A. Listen. What kind of product does Fatma describe?

B. Listen again. Answer the questions.

1   What’s the name of the product? _____________________

2   What three reasons does Fatma give? _____________________

3   What’s one detail for each of the three reasons? _____________________

Answers & Audioscripts

Hi everyone! It’s Fatma. I want to tell you about my running shoes, the Glider. They’re my new favorite. Why? First, these shoes look like something from the future. They have a really fun design. Also, they’re great for running because they’re so light, and you can move quickly and easily in them. Lastly, they’re just really comfortable. You feel like you’re walking on clouds when you wear them. The material inside is very soft like a fluffy sock. So, if you’re looking for a great pair of running shoes, you should get a pair of these.

Exercise 6

A. Listen to the conversations. What is each item similar to? Match the answers. Write the letter on the line.

1   chili

2   blanket

3   shampoo

4   alarm clock

5   Jenny

6   the noise 

a   a party

b   strawberries

 chicken

d   her sister

e   silk

 a fire alarm

Answers & Audioscripts

1 A:   This is delicious chili. Did you make this?

   B:   No. It’s from a can.

   A:   Mmm. It’s great. It tastes like chicken.

   B:   Actually, it’s turkey chili.

2 A:   That blanket is beautiful!

   B:   Thanks. I made it for Ellen’s baby.

   A:   It’s perfect! This material feels like silk. Ellen will love it.

3 A:   Try this shampoo. It smells like strawberries.

   B:   I like the smell of strawberries, but not for my hair.

   A:   OK, how about this one? It smells like roses.

   B:   It’s nice, but that’s not shampoo. It’s lotion.

4 A:   What’s that noise? It sounds like a fire alarm or something.

   B:   I know, right? It’s only Mario’s alarm clock.

   A:   Wow, it’s so loud!

5 A:   Hey, is that Jenny over there? She’s talking to our professor.

   B:   No, it’s her sister, Jackie.

   A:   Wow. She looks a lot like her sister.

6 A:   What’s going on next door? Are they having a party?

   B:   No, that’s just my neighbor. He plays the guitar and practices all day.

   A:   I don’t know. I hear a lot of people. It sounds like a party to me.

B. Listen to the conversation between a car salesman and a customer. Then check (✓) the sentences that are true.

Jim is ready to buy a car.

    Jim isn’t ready to buy a car yet.

Jim is afraid to buy the wrong car.

    Mike is afraid to sell the wrong car.

Jim isn’t happy to learn the price of the car.

    Jim isn’t happy to see a sports car.

Jim is not ready to look at other cars.

    Jim is eager to look at sedans.

Mike is excited to show Jim a cheaper car.

    Mike is annoyed to show Jim more cars.

Jim is determined to do more research.

    Jim is determined to get a discount today.

Answers & Audioscripts

1 A:   Hi, there! I’m Mike. Are you ready to buy a new car?

   B:   Hi, Mike. I’m Jim. Thank you, but I’m only looking right now. I’m not buying a car today.

2 A:   Are you sure? We have a great sale. It ends tonight. I’m happy to help you.

   B:   Thanks, Mike, but cars cost a lot of money. I just want to look around today.

3 A:   Of course, Jim. I’m happy to show you some of our best-selling cars. Let’s start over here. This is our most popular sports car.

   B:   It’s beautiful, but I’m really surprised to see the price. Is it really that much?

4 A:   OK, then. So maybe not a sports car. Why don’t we look at the sedans? They’re small and affordable.

   B:   Perfect! It’s important to know about the gas mileage, too.

5 A:   Oh, look! It’s your lucky day! This model gets really great gas mileage. It’s a very popular model at a lower price.

   B:   Nice! That looks like a good car for me. I’m anxious to do some research on it.

6 A:   Are you sure you aren’t ready to buy it today? I’m willing to give you an extra discount.

   B:   No, not today. I need to read customer reviews and safety reports before I’m ready to buy. Thanks for all your help!

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