Talking about rumours

Talking about rumours

Listen to two people talking about a colleague to practise and improve your listening skills.

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



Will: Kiera, have you heard John isn't coming back and they might even fire him?

Kiera: No! I knew he was away but I thought it was for personal reasons?

Will: I'm pretty sure that's not the full story. Have you ever worked with him?

Kiera: A long time ago, but … well, I've heard stories about him for years.

Will: I've never worked with him directly but I know people that have and they say he was always shouting and screaming, threatening to fire people. And Susanne told me he took credit for one of her ideas. She had this idea for a project and she brought it up at the monthly creative workshop and he liked it – everybody did. But she saw the notes from the meeting and there was no mention of her name anywhere. John had agreed with her and repeated some of the things she said and the notes made it look like they were his ideas in the first place. He made her do all the work planning it, then when the project actually got started – it was that cars one – Susanne was moved to something else.

Kiera: It won an award, didn't it?

Will: Yeah, but Susanne didn't get to share it – there was zero recognition of her contribution. She was furious but she couldn't do anything about it. Not if she wanted to keep her job.

Kiera: Yeah, it's almost impossible to report people who are as high up as John is, or was.

Will: How did you find working with him, then?

Kiera: Well, you know what you said about him shouting at people? I've been in meetings with him and we all learned to keep our mouths shut. It was horrible. People were genuinely afraid of him.

Will: Did you ever see him stealing people's ideas?

Kiera: It was never that obvious. He was a genius. He had incredible vision but, you know, there was a whole team of people working with him. Not every single idea came from him and after a while it's not easy to say, 'Oh, this idea was mine and this idea was yours.' For me, the bigger problem was that you could be in his good books and then suddenly, with no explanation, you were out. And if you were out, life got very difficult.

Will: I heard women in particular had a hard time working with him.

Kiera: Yeah, well, like I said, you had to stay in his good books. So, if there was a comment that made you feel uncomfortable, you didn't say anything.

Will: Did that happen to you?

Kiera: Not to me, no, but we all knew … and no one said anything. And I was lucky I didn't have that much contact with him myself.

Will: They're doing a full investigation so I suppose a lot of these stories are going to come to light.

Kiera: I hope so. I really hope he's not coming back.


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Submitted by cadu on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 00:22

A good boss listen and give awards for the job good done. He has all the team in his good books because build confidence and give feedback. The good boss search new scenarios for the development of his team, recognize his emotions and act with example.

Submitted by Navreet Bhardwaj on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 10:08

Hello teachers, While I was writing my comment I was wondering how can I say 'a good boss', 'a bad boss' , ' employees' and 'colleagues' in different ways. I mean, can you tell me some synonyms of these words or please link me to any page or website where I can learn them. In addition, please tell all of us how can we learn synonyms easily. Thank you

Hello Navreet Bhardwaj

You can often find synonyms in a good online dictionary, e.g. Cambridge or Longman. You can also search for synonyms and antonyms in a thesaurus, though please note that not all synonyms are appropriate in every situation. I'm afraid there is no quick and easy way to learn synonyms -- the best way is to read as much as you can.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Navreet Bhardwaj on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 10:01

In my opinion, there are plathora of indispensable features that a good boss should have and some of them are more crucial than the other ones. First of all, a good boss should have great vision to forecast the trends for the betterment of the company. In this way, he can set some goals, give profit warnings and many other efforts to increase the profit margin. Effective communication skills are quintessential while talking about a good boss. If a boss has this skill in his skill set, he can give clear instructions to his employees which in turn will save several human resources like money time and energy. Finally, a good boss should keep both his employees and colleagues motivated. By this, he can encourage them to achieve short-term and long-term goals set by the company. On the other hand, a bad boss, undoubtedly, lacks all these skills. Moreover, he doesn't have good relationship with his fellow workers and employees.
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Mon, 11/05/2020 - 17:22

What makes a good and bad boss are highlighted below: Good Boss Attributes. - Being visionary in contexts to firm's objective. - Have good communication skill to work with subordinates. - Interacts professionally with subordinates. - Delegates authority. - Supervising, monitoring and evaluating task with the spirit of team working with subordinates. - Motivates its subordinates. Bad Boss Attributes. - Lack good communication skills in dealing with subordinates. - Lacks vision. - Hostile and harsh relationship with subordinates. - No delegation of authority. - Lacks motivational skills.

Submitted by anasolis on Wed, 22/04/2020 - 11:17

In my opinion John wasn't a good boss. Why would a boss steal ideas from his own workers to keep the benefit for himself? I understand that everyone has a different way to think but he didn't really think about it. Letting that girl make her project and winning the award would have made the business look much better. Also, why does he need to scream and shout? I think he is just a selfish person that wants to be the best and doesn't accept others progress. It's good that he gets fired, maybe he will learn about it and he will change.

Submitted by Wesley54 on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 23:56

In my opinion a good boss is never allowed to exclude their coworkers and has to take their whole points of view. Besides, he must be thorough with the relationship to their teammates and help them in case there would be a difficulty. However, his main role must never be put into doubt, since he must be able to lead their teamwork through decision-making and attend to frequent meetings, as section as company ones.

Submitted by Aina Menéndez on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 17:23

In my opinion what makes a good boss is the ability to comprehend the people who are working for you. I also think that is important to not make feel workers are inferior or that their opinion doesn’t count, listening is important!

Submitted by Bunga on Fri, 03/04/2020 - 09:21

What's make a good or bad boss is how they treat her team and how boss facing the problem in the team. A good boss have a good integrity.