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Business English Conversation Lessons: Good and Bad Managers

In this conversation lesson, students learn vocabulary for describing managers. Student then discuss the topic in small groups. Do the warm-up with your students, teach the vocabulary, and then have students do the conversation questions.



Break students into groups and have them write all the adjectives they can think of for describing both good and bad managers. After several minutes, meet as a class and write their adjectives on the board.



Add to the list of adjectives that students generated in the warm-up. Suggested terms to teach:

Adjectives for describing good managers:

approachable, charming, committed, confident, decisive, disciplined, efficient, encouraging, enthusiastic, experienced, helpful, independent, knowledgeable, motivated, optimistic, patient, persistent, professional, reliable, responsible, trustworthy

Adjectives for describing bad managers:

arrogant, careless, cruel, deceitful, dishonest, lazy, indecisive, inexperienced, insensitive, irresponsible, pessimistic, rude, timid, unenthusiastic, unprofessional, unreliable, untrustworthy

Conversation Questions

1. What are the five best qualities for a manager to have? Why?

2. Who was the best manager you have ever had? What qualities did this person have? Tell your group about some of the good things this person did while he or she was your manager.

3. Do you think very young managers make good managers? What positive qualities do very young managers have? What positive qualities do they lack? Have you ever worked for a very young manager? How was the experience?

4. What are some specific things that good managers do? What are some specific things that good managers avoid doing?

5. What are the five worst qualities for a manager to have? What are some negative things that can happen if a manager has these qualities?

6. Has anyone you know ever worked for a really bad manager? What bad characteristics did this person have? Tell your group about something that this person did which shows why he or she was a bad manager.

7. What are some specific things that bad managers do?

8. Why do you think bad managers are given management positions?

Also see these business English conversation lessons.