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Examples. I think a coffee, please

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  1. Ex 14 Change the following sentences into Indirect Speech following the examples. Notice the changes in the pronouns.
  2. Examples
  3. Examples
  4. Examples
  5. Examples
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  9. Examples

I think ... a coffee, please. I'm having/I'll have/I have

I think I'll have a coffee, please.

If she's late ... take a taxi. we're having to/we had to/we'll have to

If she's late, we'll have to take a taxi


1I think ... a coffee, please I'm having/I'll have/I have

2If she's late, ... take a taxi. we're having to/we had to/we'll have to

3If you don't take the job,... sorry. you were/you'll be/you're

4We ... to the meeting until he comes. will go/won't go/went

5When they arrived,... to the conference. we went/we'll go/we won't go

6If we don't hurry,... late for the meeting. we'll be/we are/we were

7When they're open,... five European offices. we have/we had/we'll have

8Our new offices... next January. are open/opened/will open

9When he's ready ... into his office. we'll go/we went/we didn't go

10If you don't take a taxi,... there in time. you won't be/you are not/you weren't

11If I . .. you, I'd book a table. was/were/am are/will be/were

12When production expanded last are/will be/were

autumn, sales ... higher.



People often complain about meetings. But most people also recognize that they are necessary for a business to work effectively. Formal meetings can be complicated. They require a lot of preparation such as arranging who is going to attend, setting agendas, and so on. They also require good communication skills when chairing. We can divide these different chairing elements into three categories: Content, Process and Dynamic.

By Content, I mean anything connected with the items we're discussing in the meeting. This means choosing the right items for the agenda and checking that people have the right information before the meeting. During the meeting, it also means making sure that facts are correct and that people understand the issues. Techniques we can use here include asking questions when an issue is not clear or when we think an item should be discussed in more detail. Summarizing what is being said is another important technique when chairing. It helps to clarify content, and it provides a way to end one item before moving on to the next one which is an aspect of our next category: process.

'Process' includes administrative things like: the time of the meeting, where it's happening, how much time is given to each item on the agenda. During the meeting, it involves making sure that some items don't take up too much time or negotiating a change in the order of items if this is necessary. When you are the chair, you are usually responsible for keeping things on time.

The final element is the Dynamic, or the way people are feeling in the meeting. It's very unusual for everyone to agree on every point, so it's part of our job to help people to discuss issues openly but at the same time to prevent any disagreements from becoming too personal. We also need to encourage the quieter people to give their views and make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to say something.

So these are the three elements you must manage throughout the meeting: Content, Process and Dynamic. Most people are naturally strong in one or two elements but weaker in another. For example, somebody who is very strong on Content may not pay enough attention to Process, and as a result the meeting may finish late. Or sometimes someone is so focussedon the Dynamic that everyone has a great time but nothing gets achieved!

It might be a good idea to delegate some of the responsibilities to other people in the meeting. Often, it's the Process elements which are safest to pass on to others, like time-keeping. The key thing is that you are aware of your own natural preferences and pay attention to the element which is your weakest area.

In most companies, it's usual to have more informal meetings than formal ones. Typically, teams will meet once a week or more to catch up on progress.

One of the most common problems with informal meetings is that they become just talk and not enough action. This is sometimes because people don't treat them as seriously as formal ones. All meetings, including informal ones, work best if they have an agenda and an obvious purpose. In informal meetings, the people are usually close colleagues so the meeting structure is less rigid and includes more chat and informal conversation. This can mean that they are difficult to control so good chairing skills are just as important as in a formal meeting.

If you are leading an informal meeting, in most cases there are usually only three things you need to achieve.

First, you generally want to learn from each person what progress has been made since the last meeting. Secondly, you want to identify what actions the group needs to take next - who is going to do what and when. Finally, you want to identify and resolve any potential problems.

To learn what progress has been made and what actions need to be taken, it's easiest to just ask each person directly to report on their work.

Identifying possible problems is a bit more complicated because we also want to resolve those problems. Deciding how to solve these problems may require a lot of discussion and thought from the team. This could take some time so it's important that you make a clear summary of what has been discussed and what has been agreed before moving on to the next person.

Of course, informal meetings are also an opportunity for people to catch up in a social way too. This is often how we learn what's really going on in an organization: who's moving where, what's going on in other departments and so on. This type of information can also be useful and important. It is also good for people to simply catch up with each other. You might want to hold the meeting in a place which is a bit more relaxed than a formal meeting room, for example a cafe - or encourage people to relax by providing cakes or croissants. Just make sure that you are also focussed on any actions which need to be taken.

If you find that your meetings go on too long, make sure you are clear from the start about the time available. Even consider holding a stand-up meeting from time to time. One research study found that meetings were 30% shorter when held standing up, but they were just as effective in terms of the quality of the meeting.

If this all sounds like hard work, don't worry. In a good team, people will naturally take on the responsibility for updating and identifying actions without you having to control the meeting. If that doesn't happen in your team, a good technique is to ask different members of the team to lead a meeting so everyone gets a chance. This way, people quickly learn what's required.




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