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7. Making Suggestions Business English Conversation and Listening Instructor: Hsin-Hsin Cindy Lee, Ph. D
Contents • • • Basic Rules and Concepts Conducting Brainstorming Meetings Practice Writing Practice Checkpoint
Give Advices in the Office Basic Concepts and Rules Introduction
Basic Concepts and Rules • Advising people to do things sounds easy. • However, if people reject your ideas, you may feel very disappointed or even losing face. • One way of proposing ideas without worrying that people may not like your ideas is to make tentative suggestions. • Making tentative suggestions means you show an initial idea rather than strong opinion. • You use subtle and polite language to deliver your ideas. • Be objective, constructive and positive while making suggestions. That will be much better than being subjective, passive and negative!
Study the Useful Phrases Making tentative suggestions • • • Why don’t we… What if we… I wonder if we could… Should we… What do you think if we… Perhaps we could… (Comparison Stronger and Direct Voice: ) “I think we should…” “I don’t think we should…” Ask other people’s views • What do you think…? • How do you feel about…? • Do you have any views on …? • May we have your expertise in …?
Conducting Brainstorming Meetings Common Business Situations and Steps
A Common Business Situation – Having a Brainstorming Meeting • People need brainstorming meetings for various purposes. ▫ Most of them are used to collect ideas or opinions. • In a brainstorming meeting, the chairperson invites ideas and discuss the opinions with other members. • People don’t necessarily need to make a final decision in a brainstorming meeting. • If you are a chairperson in a brainstorming meeting, your job is to invite as many opinions as possible. ▫ You should ‘encourage’ everyone to talk. • If you are a member of a brainstorming meeting, try to make contribution. ▫ Give as many ideas as possible!
Procedure of Conducting a Brainstorming Meeting Chairperson 1. Greet and introduce the members 2. Introduce the subject 3. Invite ideas Participants 1. Make tentative suggestions Chairperson 1. Take notes 2. Encourage ideas Chairperson 1. Summarize 2. Thank people 3. Announce next move
How to prepare a brainstorming meeting Chairperson Participants • Understand your role in the meeting. • Are you there to ‘rule’ , to make a decision after you listen to people’s ideas? • Or are you there to ‘listen to’ people’s ideas only? • Identify your role and announce the objective of the meeting clearly to the participants at the beginning of the meeting. • Preparation for a meeting is what a business professional should do. • Study the agenda in advance and prepare your own opinions. • If you are requested to state your opinion or propose an idea, make it tentative and polite so that you don’t offend anyone in the meeting.
Writing Practice Write your own expressions.
Study the Useful Phrases and Write Alternative Expressions Chairperson • • Opening the meeting ▫ Good morning, everyone. ▫ ____________ • Stating the subject/problem ▫ Today, the purpose of this meeting is…. ▫ ____________ • Inviting Opinions ▫ Do you have any ideas? ▫ ____________ • Encouraging Ideas ▫ That sounds good. Continue. ▫ ____________ Participants Making suggestions ▫ Why don’t we…? ▫ ______________ ▫ _______
You can say this… Chairperson • Opening the meeting ▫ Hello, everyone. ▫ Do you know each other? Let me introduce you one by one. • Stating the subject/problem ▫ As you know, there is a problem with…We are here to come up with some possible solutions. • Inviting Opinions ▫ David, shall we start with you? ▫ Mary, would you like to say something? • Encouraging Ideas ▫ Thank you. More ideas? ▫ We are just collecting ideas now. Let’s leave judgment later. Participants • Making suggestions ▫ Why don’t we…? ▫ What if we…? ▫ What do you think if we…? ▫ Should we…. ? ▫ I don’t suppose we could… ▫ Perhaps we could…. ▫ I think we should …. ?
Checkpoint • Why making tentative suggestions is useful? • What is the objective of a brainstorming meeting? • If you are a chairperson in a brainstorming meeting, how can you encourage people to speak? What can you say? • If you are a participant in a brainstorming meeting, how can you make tentative suggestions? What are the useful expressions?
-End. Do you have any questions?