Upper Intermediate Business Listening Exercise

Instructions

The vocabulary in this task is not very difficult, but the speaker gives a lot of information in a very short time. The task is to make notes as quickly and effectively as possible and get as many of the answers to the questions on the right as possible. As with all TEFL exercises the video should only be watched TWICE.

You may wish to use our downloadable document to help organise your answers.

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Answer Key (Press to reveal)

1. How does the speaker define delegation?

to entrust a task or responsibility to another, typically someone less senior, it is not ordering or telling someone to do something, it is asking and asking in a certain way with an explicit explanation, guidelines and clear expectations and agreement

2. What questions does the speaker ask concerning the need to delegate?

a. Do you often feel overwhelmed with too many tasks?

b. Do you work excessively long hours?

c. Do you miss deadlines?

d. Do you spend most of your time doing tasks others can be doing when you should be leading managing and coaching?

e. Do your team members know exactly what is required of them?

3. What are the results of good delegation?

a. Motivated team members who know what is expected of them.

b. You will be a better leader and manager who will get promoted faster.

c. You will have more time to focus on what you should be doing.

d. Your team will need less supervision and feel empowered.

e. You will feel less stressed.

f. You will get more done in less time.

g.You will be able to focus on what's important like the vision, strategy and coaching.

4. What are the consequences of not delegating?

a. You will not be a better leader and manager and you will probably not get promoted.

b. Your team members will not know exactly what is required of them.

c. You may make bad decisions.

d. Your team will waste time doing things that are not required.

e. Your team will feel confused.

f. You will feel stressed and overwhelmed.

5. Why did the speaker originally only give vague guidelines?

a. He provided few guidelines because he expected the team to work out the details for themselves and did not want to be perceived as a dictator.

6. What were the results of the speaker's original method of delegation?

a. The team did not know what exactly was wanted or expected - which caused even more problems and conflict.

b. With few guidelines he expected the team to work it out for itself.

c. He thought he was being 'hands off' and trusting but in the end a lot of time was wasted.

d. Both he and the team got frustrated.

7. What does the speaker do differently now (what he calls effective delegation)?

a. People know what is expected, take ownership and learn new things.

b. The speaker has more time to focus on what's important; client development, strategy and coaching.

8. What are the underlying priniciples of delegation?

a. You cannot do everything yourself, you need other people there is too much for you to do on your own.

b. Other people need to know what is expected of them and how to solve problems if they have any.

c. You must share authority and responsiblity with other people.

9. How is authority explained?

You give sufficient authority to enable people to make decisions, take actions; they are responsible for getting the task done and deciding how it is done within given guidelines and they are accountable for how they do the task and the result they get (i.e. they get to answer for their actions and results). However, ultimately you are accountable for the result because you are the leader and you delegated to them.

10. What are the perceived barriers to delegation?

a. It takes too long to explain what you want.

b. My people resist taking responsibility.

c. My people are already overworked.

d. It is easier and quicker to do it myself.

e. My people lack experience and confidence.

f. I can do the work in my department better than anyone else.

g. If you want it doing right do it yourself!

h. My employees won't like me if I expect too much of them.

11. What are the real reasons for poor delegation?

a. I am the manager and should be in control.

b. I am more comfortable doing what I've already done and if I give it to someone else I would need to learn new things.

c. I might get into trouble if the other person does things wrong.

12. Why do some people respond unfavourably to delegation?

a. They don’t know how to do what you are asking for.

b. It is imposing more work on them.

c. They think there is no reward for the extra workload.

d. They worry about criticisim if they fail.

Discussion Questions

1. How far do you agree with the speaker's definition of delegation - would you add anything?

2. In addition to the five reasons the speaker gives for delegating can you think of any others?

3. Are there any other consequences of poor delegation?

4. One of the reasons for poor delegation could be described as I don't want to be unpopular. How much is this a factor when it comes to effective delegation? How much does personality affect one's ability to delegate effectively?

5. Why is it important to be precise when delegating?

6. When you have been poorly delegated a responsibility / task what was the reason for the poor delegation and how did you resolve the situation?

7. What difficulites do you face when delegating responsibilities / tasks in your organisation?

8. How do you understand authority?

9. What reasons do people in your organisation give for not responding to delegation? Are any of these reasons valid and how do you address them?

10. What are the main things you have learnt about delegation in this lesson?

Comprehension

1. How does the speaker define delegation?

2. What questions does the speaker ask concerning the need to delegate? (5 answers)

3. What are the results of good delegation? (7 answers)

4. What are the consequences of not delegating? (6 answers)

5. Why did the speaker originally only give vague guidelines?

6. What were the results of the speaker’s original method of delegation? (4 answers)

7. What does the speaker do differently now (what he calls effective delegation)? (2 answers)

8. What are the underlying principles of delegation? (3 answers)

9. How is authority explained?

10. What are the perceived barriers to delegation? (8 answers)

11. What are the real reasons for poor delegation? (3 answers)

12. Why do some people respond unfavourably to delegation? (4 answers)