Making a decision

Making a decision

Listen to a meeting in which colleagues make a decision to practise and improve your listening skills.


Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Jani: Thanks for coming, everyone. So, we're here today to define the timeline for our new project.

Emiko: Yes, Jani, that's a great idea.

Carolina: OK. What do you need from us?

Emiko: Hold on a moment. I think we need to decide between us what to do, to make sure it works for all departments.

Jani: Yes, exactly, don't worry. We're going to discuss this and make a decision together. Let's first think about the scheduling of each project phase. What do you think, Emiko?

David: Can I interrupt? I think we should first be clear about the process we'll use to make the decision. How are we going to do it?

Jani: Ah, yes. Good point. Well, I think the best way is for each of you to give your opinion and then we can discuss and make a decision.

David: OK. That sounds good.

Emiko: Yes, that works for me too. I know we're still planning the structure of the later phases of the project, but I think we should begin phase one as soon as possible. We can work out the rest later, as we go along.

David: I'm sorry, I don't think so. How can we start phase one if we're not fully clear on where the rest of the project will take us? We might make a wrong decision and waste time.

Jani: I agree with you on that point, David. However, we'll waste too much time if we wait until everything is planned before we actually start working on the project. I think we should take an agile approach.

David: Agile approach?

Jani: Well, it means that we start quickly and then adapt as we go along.

Emiko: That's right.

Jani: Carolina, you've been very quiet.

Carolina: Um … I'm sorry. I didn't want to interrupt. I'm listening … and thinking.

David: Do you agree we should get the plan right first, and then start with phase one?

Carolina: I'm sorry, David. I don't think I agree with you. It's important to have a good plan. But plans can change, even the good ones – and business changes often. We need to be flexible, and we also need to move quickly.

Jani: OK. So should we take a vote?

Emiko: Well, you're the project leader. Let's go with your decision.

Carolina: Yes, I'll follow your lead, Jani.

David: Well, I guess that's decided then. We'll follow your agile approach, Jani. Start quickly and keep planning the later stages of the project.

Jani: Yes, that's right.

David: I still don't think this is the right decision, but I'm happy to go with the majority. We should add some space into the schedule later for additional work this 'flexibility' will need.

Jani: Don't worry, David, we will. OK, so it's decided then. We'll start phase one as soon as possible, and in the background we'll continue planning the later phases and adapt them as we go along.


Worksheet89.21 KB

Language level

Average: 3.6 (47 votes)
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Submitted by starfish2019 on Mon, 12/08/2019 - 13:38

How are decisions usually made where you work? In our Logistics and Shipping Company, we have big hierarchy structure of the organization chart and decisions making. Normally, we have to follow our Company's President (The Big Boss) Goals, Targets and Policies. Afterward, our CEO also gives his specific instructions to all the branches, which is aligning with the President's objectives. Then we all have to follow and try to achieve the goals by completing various the tasks. Our branch GM also makes his own decisions by discussing the local situations and regional issues with us first to finalize. Then my turn to make smaller decisions as a Sales and Marketing Dept Manager. I also normally discuss with my team and follow by the Top Level Management's guidelines and policies to make my decisions.
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Sun, 28/07/2019 - 01:10

In reply to by corflz


Hello corfiz

After you press the Finish button, you can press the Show Answers button to see the answers. In this case, the first option is the correct answer. All through the conversation, David wants a structure in the project and at the end says he thinks their decision is not a good one, although he will go along with it.

Does that make sense?

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by liliaveras on Tue, 16/07/2019 - 14:24

In my work usually we decide the subjects together.

Submitted by Claudette Ndenzako on Sat, 13/07/2019 - 08:56

As a teachers assistant, I don't get involved in any decision making. Once a month there is a teachers meeting with the managers to discuss any issues, projects in place or anything that needs input from everyone.

Submitted by elena68 on Wed, 26/06/2019 - 17:45

Initially I try to review the lesson at home on my own. If I don't understand, I compare myself with other students to see what they understand. If I can't clarify my ideas in ths wayI ask the teacher .

Submitted by elena68 on Sun, 16/06/2019 - 06:57

In the context where I work the most of the decisions are made by the top-down companies. As a coordinator I have to check that they are applied by workers. Decisions regarding organisation of the activities within my department are shared with my collaborators. I think that the involvment of the collaborators in the decisions in certain areas is fundamental to find out better solutions
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Submitted by Andres Felipe … on Sat, 15/06/2019 - 04:34

Hi there! I think there is something wrong with the task 2. I search for the others 4 questions but i can't find them and when i click on finish, it says that there are 4 unanswered questions. i can't understand what is going on!