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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.



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


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.

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.

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

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.

according to my opinion a good boss should manage and divide her/his team properly and he/she is should be a leader. also, he should look at his team with an understanding perspective, because ideas are constantly changing.
nevertheless sometimes we can have some conflicts with each other and for this every employee and their colleagues should be considarate towards each other.

Good bosses usually are understandable and respectful to the workers, talking pacifically to them and making them understand when something is wrong.

A Good teacher should be qualified enough to teach students. He should keep difference between good and weak students. Teacher or Boss should be kind to his juniors or students so that they can learn from their teacher whole heartedly.

In my opinion, a good boss should know his rights and obligations, make the right decisions at the right time, be able to lead his team effectively following an accurate strategy. Honesty, empathy, cleverness, respect and emotional intelligence are some of his qualities. Furthermore, he should be a qualified, skilled person and experienced in managing people. It is necessary for a boss to know how to motivate his people, recognize their work, demonstrate trust and be not only a boss who gives orders but also the mentor who inspires, helps and gives advice when it is necessary.

A good bose must be a good leader, who leads his team and address them as equal. When someone does well in the team his/her responsibilities must be appreciated team's work so they can perform well their daily or given task happily. On the other hand, a bad boss who doesn't support or cheer for his/her team for their performance should not be a leader.

A good boss must be a coach, make his team able to take good decisions and fix problems by themselves, it must encourage his team, listen, learn and not get upset when the team are not agree with some of the ideas. It must be confidence and readiness. Like boss or a person in a high position could look scary to others in the company, likewise is really unfair and gets me mad when those people take advantage of his power and hurt people, steal his ideas or abuse them in any other way.