B1 Intermediate UK 11100 Folder Collection
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Sophie: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Sophie.
Neil: And I'm Neil. Sophie, did you go to the corporate awayday last week?
Sophie: Yes... you didn't miss anything.
A team building guru lectured us on how to work more effectively with each other.
We gave some presentations, had a few drinks after.
Neil: Right. OK. An awayday is a day that employees spend together away from their usual workplace.
And a guru is an expert in something.
So did this guru teach you anything new, Sophie?
Sophie: No... not really.
Neil: Shame. I was hoping for some tips on how to work more effectively with my co-presenter.
Sophie: I think we work very effectively already, Neil.
Now, today's show is about team building or encouraging employees to work well together
as a team by getting them to engage in different types of activities.
Neil: And apparently, some companies in the UK are offering their employees activities
such as... Hunger Games-style combat days
where teams must work together to 'kill' as many of the opposing team as possible.
Have you seen the Hunger Games movies, Sophie?
Sophie: Yes.
Neil: There're also Zombie boot camps where military instructors train you on how to fight
zombies – that's dead people who have come back to life.
For the more cerebral or brainy amongst us, there are crime investigations modelled on
popular TV dramas like Sherlock Holmes.
Sophie: Well, I'm not sure about the Zombie boot camp
a boot camp is a short course of hard physical training
but the Sherlock Holmes awayday sounds like fun.
Neil: I'd definitely go for the Zombie experience.
Though I'm not sure how it connects with most people's working lives.
Violence, death, the living dead.
Sophie: Good point.
Neil: So let's move on and have today's quiz question.
What did Chairman Mao introduce in China in1951 as a compulsory activity for workers
and was reintroduced by the government a few years ago?
Was it... a) calisthenics?
b) calligraphy? Or c) English language lessons?
Sophie: Calisthenics, by the way, is a type of gentle physical exercise...
Neil: ... and calligraphy, by the way, is the art of writing by hand with a special brush.
Sophie: Well, I'm going for a) calisthenics.
Neil: Not English language lessons, Sophie?
Sophie: No. I'll stick with callisthenics, thanks.
Neil: OK. Well, we'll find out later if you're right or not.
Now, whilst English lessons might sound like hard work,
ukulele lessons are apparently catching on.
A ukulele is a musical instrument.
Top businessmen Bill Gates and Warren Buffett both do it,
and stressed-out city workers are following their lead.
Here in the UK, a number of companies have been holding ukulele team building sessions.
Sophie: That sounds amazing.
And is there anything about the ukulele in particular that leaves people feeling better after they've played it?
Neil: Let's hear more about this from Lorraine Bow, who teaches people to play the instrument.
But listen with attention because she spoke on the phone and the line wasn't great.
Lorraine Bow : Well, I guess it's just the fact that you know people don't often sing
in their everyday lives and it's the fact that you can play and sing
play a musical instrument within an hour
it's quite a... you know... it's quite a fulfilling thing really.
It's not competitive – it's quite easy to do and a bit less intimidating than a guitar...
Sophie: Lorraine, the ukulele teacher, also says her classes aren't competitive or intimidating...
Neil: ... which means something that makes you feel nervous.
Sophie: Now, before we hear the answer to today's quiz question,
let's hear about a company in Abu Dhabi
where leadership is taught through horse training.
Basically, you have to go in the yard with a horse
and persuade it that you're the boss by using body language.
Here's Kelly Eide, co-founder of the company, explaining why she thinks this approach works.
Kelly Eide: The horses don't care if your hair is purple, if you're a man or a woman,
if you're old or young, if you are... what religion.
So it transcends all of those cultural boundaries
it transcends age, gender, religion, tradition etc.
so that's a perfect fit.
And in an organization where you really need groups of people to gel,
who come from backgrounds
which have no common norms, you can teach that most efficiently with a horse.
Neil: To gel with someone means to connect or get on well with someone.
So you try and get the horse to do what you want using body language.
And the horse feels instinctively whether or not you are a natural leader
because it doesn't recognize cultural differences, hair colour and age.
Sophie: Probably easier said than done.
Neil: Indeed. Now remember I asked: What did Chairman Mao introduce in China in1951
as a compulsory activity for workers and was reintroduced by the government a few years ago?
Was it... a) calisthenics? b) calligraphy? Or c) English language lessons?
Sophie: I said a) calisthenics.
Neil: Well, you're right on the button! Well done there, Sophie!
Calisthenics are used at schools as a warm up for physical education classes,
during sports day activities, and by some companies as a way of building morale
and a sense of group unity, as well as to raise energy levels and encourage good health.
Now shake a leg or in other words – get moving – and tell us the words we learned today.
Sophie: They are:
team building
shake a leg
Neil: Well, that's the end of this 6 Minute English.
We hope you enjoyed it. And don't forget to join us again soon!
Both: Bye.
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BBC 6 Minute English March 10, 2016 - Corporate team building

11100 Folder Collection
Adam Huang published on March 13, 2016
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