Meetings – Interruptions (B1-B2/a382)

Objectives

Learn 10 key expressions for interrupting / dealing with interruptions in a meeting

  1. A company which has employees spanning a wide age-range has some conflict issues and a poor atmosphere in the office. Listen to a meeting between three managers. What solutions do they come up with?
  2. Read the script, note the expressions for both interrupting and dealing with interruptions, then listen again.
  3. Learn 10 key expressions for interruptions.
  4. Test your understanding of the expressions by doing the quiz.

Script

Max:  We all agree that the atmosphere in the office isn’t great at the moment. What’s the issue?

Alf:  For me it’s a problem of mixing different generations. We have some people who have worked with us for many years and others who are much younger and more inexperienced. There’s a feeling among the older ones that ….

Liam:  Can I come in here? The problem here isn’t the age gap…

Alf:  Please. Hear me out.

Max:  One at a time, please. I’d like to hear from Alf. Liam – You’ll have your turn in a minute.

Alf:  As I was saying, some of our senior employees feel that there is a lack of respect from their younger colleagues. They find them overfamiliar and arrogant.

Liam:  And I hear similar accusations from our new recruits. They say there is a resistance to change in the company and their older colleagues are sarcastic and overbearing. One young guy even used the word ‘bullying’.

Max:  Can I just ask something? Has anyone made a formal complaint of bullying?

Liam:  Not yet. But we do have a serious problem. For me, the main issue here is ….

Alf:  Sounds like we need to separate some people.

Liam:  If I could just finish what I was saying. The main issue here is a lack of communication on our part. Over the years, our company has grown bigger but with an unwritten Code of Conduct. Now that we have more employees and a larger age range, we must formally define what is and what is not acceptable.

Max:  Can I just interrupt for a moment? Do you really think that’s necessary?

Liam:  I think it’s essential. We need to give clear guidelines.

Alf:  Could I just add something? As well as a Code of Conduct, maybe we need some sort of training to give people the confidence to deal with these issues?

Liam:  That’s a good idea. Perhaps we could bring in an external consultant to run a workshop?

Key expressions

  1. Can I come in here, please?
  2. Could I just say something?
  3. Can I just interrupt for a moment?
  4. If I could just finish what I was saying.
  5. Please. Hear me out.
  6. Let me finish, please.
  7. One at a time, please. First Alf, then Liam.
  8. I’d like to hear from Alf.
  9. You’ll have your turn in a minute.
  10. I’ll come back to you in a moment.

Listen and repeat

Listen to and then repeat the key expressions. Focus on:

  • pronunciation
  • intonation
  • the rhythm of the language

Each expression will be said twice.

Quiz

1. Please. Hear me ________ .
2. One ________ a time, please. First Sarah, then Laura .
3. Can I just _________ for a moment?
4. I'll ________ to you in a moment.
5. Can I just ________ here, please?
6. I would like to __________ from Keith.
7. _________ me finish, please.
8. Could I just _________ something, please?
9. You'll have your ________ in a moment.
10. If I could just finish _________ I was saying.

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