Entries by Martin Wheeler

Helping out the non-native speakers in the room

Advice on how to improve your business communication skills is often directed at helping the non-native speakers communicate better, but what about the native speakers? What could/should they do to have a more successful outcome? Below are two considerations for native speakers preparing for meetings with mixed language ability colleagues. The examples shown below are […]

A 6 step guide to writing email apologies

Writing apologies requires tact and a careful choice of words. An apology that accepts too much blame can lead to problems in future business dealings with that client. Equally, an apology that doesn’t go far enough, or doesn’t sufficiently demonstrate your understanding of the mistake, can also lead to future problems with trust. Once you […]

3 Questions for an HRD Leader on training

As trainers, we can offer our views on what we think is a good trainer, what is important for HRD, etc. Does that match what an experienced, German HRD Dept Head thinks? What is HRD’s view on training? I recently spent a few minutes with Jürgen Birkhölzer, Department Leader for Personnel Development in the Mail […]

Business English Vocab: 5 Problem Words for HR

How accurate is your HR Business English vocabulary? Last week, in a regular appointment I have with an HRD manager, I heard him say, “Our local managers are moaning because they have to do 15 trainings this year.”  Despite being impressed about his use of the word ‘moaning’ (a good synonym for ‘complaining’), I was […]

Condolence Emails: Phrases and Structure

Writing condolence emails can be difficult Have you ever had to write a condolence email to a colleague?  Writing to people about these topics obviously requires considerable diplomacy and the right choice of words. Broadly speaking most condolence emails have three steps. (Often only one sentence each). 3 Steps for writing condolence emails 1.  Acknowledge […]

Female Management Quotas: Key Terms and Phrases

Female management quotas are currently a hot topic in Germany What is the approach in your company towards having a quota for the percentage of women in management positions? The opinions on this topic are wide and very relevant in that Germany’s coalition has recently agreed to set a 30% target of women for supervisory […]

Parental Leave Questions for Human Resources

What kind of parental leave questions in English can you expect from your company’s employees? Working in HR and answering employee’s questions can often be difficult, especially when you are dealing with people’s personal lives and their impact on work.  This definitely is the case when it comes to time off due to a new […]

Writing Meeting Minutes: 3 Ideas to Help

3 Language tips on writing meeting minutes Writing meeting minutes can be tricky if you are not used to it. Every company has their own style or tips and tricks, but here are three language tips which could help you, or your team assistant, in the future: When reporting what was said usually we use […]

Job Interviews in English: Using the correct language

Do you have to conduct job interviews in English? Job interview language, and which grammar tense to use, can be tricky at times. Never sure if it’s ‘have worked’ or ‘worked’? Get confused by ‘have done’ and ‘did’? Job interviews usually involve discussing the experience the applicant can bring to the position. Everyone’s experience is […]

HR Topic: Human Resource Health Insurance Questions

Working in HR and answering human resource health insurance questions can often be difficult, especially when you are dealing with people’s personal lives and their impact on work.  This definitely is the case when it comes to dealing with health insurance. Below are some common human resource health insurance questions in English.  The answers may […]

Coaching Presentations: Presenting to Upper Management

Sometimes coaching presentations take on a bit more importance when the topic is tied to the board of management somehow. This creates an even greater need to ensure that the language is clear, concise, and professional. That’s where I was able to help out. With the growing possibility that a quota system will be introduced […]