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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Average: 4.4 (39 votes)

Submitted by jmajo on Mon, 16/05/2022 - 17:48


In my working experience I had to deal with different kinds of bosses and I could say for me a leading
position like a boss should have some minimum personality requirements:
+It should lead by the example
+It must treat each team member with respect despite sexual or religious orientation
+It should be an active listener when it’s talking with it’s team members
+It should recognize in a good manner the value and effort of each of their team members
+It shouldn’t be aggressive or angry when someone’s in the team make a mistake(grumpy bosses don’t
last long)
Although it could be difficult to lead people in a work environment due to problems it might happens
and stressful situations they’re would be dealing with every day, I think it’s important every boss meet those
requirements to lead a work team successfully.

Thanks for the episode.
Great site!

Submitted by Minhhanhtran on Mon, 16/05/2022 - 12:10


I think that a good boss must listen to the ideas of the employees. He has to be interested in the working condition of the employees and he understand their circumstance.

Submitted by chilirose on Tue, 19/04/2022 - 21:46


A good boss should be part of the team that they work together. He/She should be good example to co-workers with his/her behavior.

Submitted by misty on Tue, 11/01/2022 - 21:24


A boss manages his people, he decides everything especially in decision making. On the other hand, a leader inspire his people. He help them grow and listens to their voices.

Submitted by RuthYong on Thu, 14/10/2021 - 05:07


In my opinion, a good boss is someone who respects and understands the employees well. He or she will constantly give encouragement and feedback so that employees will improve in work. A bad boss, however, is someone who is rude and quick to judge towards the employees.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Fri, 08/10/2021 - 23:58


Positive and negative attitudes from a boss towards his employees makes the boss good or bad.

Submitted by Daudau0601 on Mon, 13/09/2021 - 04:00

Personally, I think a good boss is a person who always gives motivation and encourages employees to do work hard. He also should praise his staff for their success and never takes credit for their ideas or anything like that. Besides, A good boss has to take lots of responsibilities for work, so he may be under pressure every time. But he shouldn't force his employees to be in his good books.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Sun, 25/04/2021 - 13:16

I'm a student and I don't have experience working with boss but listen audio and read all comment I said that a good boss is being like a leader who always motivate people in the office, appreciate team's success, always polite to teams and don't credit for other work.

Submitted by kawa on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 21:19

A good Boss can make the relationship between him/her and the employees very strong and based on respect and kindness so the boss should be kind and respectful enough to be a good boss. On the other side when a boss has no vision and gives negative feedback to employees and creates a high-stress work environment then we can call him/her bad boss
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Submitted by El Cuy Mágico on Mon, 08/02/2021 - 23:27

I think what makes a good or bad boss is the intelligence, lead ability and emotional intelligence. For me intelligence means do the right things at the right moment. Furthermore I feel a good boss need the ability to hold his team’s motivation even under stress. But the most important thing is that a good boss should lead whit the example. On the other hand, a bad boss is someone who simply don’t feel passion for what he does, thus he won’t respect neither his work place, nor his team, and so on.