Nel mondo degli affari quotidianamente vengono impartite istruzioni, tra i dipendenti stessi, datori di lavoro e dipendenti, a volte anche tra dipendenti e clienti. In queste occasioni si possono verificare problemi nella ricezione di istruzioni, nella loro comprensione e conseguentemente nella realizzazione. Per evitare tali problemi, le istruzioni devono essere espresse in modo chiaro e quanto più dettagliato. Il capitolo che segue vi fornirà un aiuto in questo senso.
1. INSTRUCTIONS = ISTRUZIONI
1.1. USEFUL PHRASES = FRASI UTILI
1.1.1. Asking for instructions = Chiedere istruzioni
- How do I do this? = Come posso fare questo?
- How do I…? = Come faccio a …?
- What is the best way to…? = Qual è il modo migliore per …?
- What do you suggest (to do)? = Che cosa suggerisce, (di fare)?
- Can/Could you show me how (to operate/to use)…? = Può mostrarmi come (gestire/usare) …?
- Do you know how to…? = Sapete come …?
- How do I go about … (it)? = Come inizio…?
1.1.2. Additional questions = Domande aggiuntive
- (I didn’t quite catch that.) Could you repeat that, (please)? = (Non ho capito del tutto.) Può ripetere (per favore)?
- What did you say? = Cosa ha detto?
- Once more, (please)./One more time, (please). = Può ripetere, per favore./Un’altra volta, per favore.
- Could/Can you give an example/Can you exemplify? = Può dare un esempio?
- (I’m sorry but) I don’t understand (what you mean)… = (Mi dispiace, ma) Non capisco cosa intende …
1.1.3. Interrupting somebody = Interrompere qualcuno
- Just a moment, please. = Un momento, per favore.
- Excuse me… = Mi scusi…
- May I interrupt?/If I may interrupt… = La posso interrompere?
- Sorry for interrupting… = Scusate/Scusi per l’interruzione …
- Now hold on. (=meaning something isn’t true) = Aspetti un attimo. (= nel senso che non è così/non è vero)
1.1.4. Giving instructions = Impartire istruzioni
Sequence markers (= parole, che conducono l’ascoltatore tramite le istruzioni, secondo un determinato ordine)
|Before you begin… = Prima di iniziare … I would start by… = Vorrei cominciare (con)…
You begin by… = Per iniziare …/Iniziate (con)…
First/Firstly… = Prima/Per primo…
To begin with… = Per iniziare…
The first/last thing you do is… = Prima/l’ultima cosa da fare …
Second/Secondly… = Secondo…
Third/Thirdly… = Terzo…
Then… = Poi…
Next… = Avanti…
After that… = Dopo…
|The next step is to… = Il passo successivo… Once you’ve done that… = Una volta fatto questo ….
Before that… = Prima di…
Now… = Adesso/In questo momento …
Finish by… = Finite (con)
Finally… = Alla fine/Per finire …
The last step is (to)… = Infine/L’ultimo passo…
When you finish that… = Quando finite con questo…
In the end… = Alla fine…
When you’ve completed all the steps = Quando avrete completato tutti i passi…
2. ORDERS = ORDINI
Nel mondo degli affari, è opportuno evitare gli ordini e utilizzare invece istruzioni o trasformare i comandi in richieste. Quando si usano le istruzioni al posto degli ordini, si offrire la possibilità al dipendente di pensare da solo come svolgere determinati compiti ed essere così più interessato al compito.
2.1. USEFUL TIPS = CONSIGLI UTILI
2.1.1. Use instructions (form: imperative in let’s/please) to soften the order and not to sound harsh = Utilizzate le istruzioni (forma: imperativa e “let’s/please”), per ammorbidire l’ordine e non risultare troppo duri
- Don’t interrupt me. = Non interrompermi.
→ Please don’t interrupt me. = Per favore non mi interrompa.
- Listen to Maria carefully. = Ascoltate attentamente Maria.
→ Let’s listen to Maria carefully. = Ascoltiamo con attenzione Maria.
2.1.2. Introductory phrases to soften orders = Frasi introduttive per mitigare gli ordini
- Would you (possibly) mind helping George with the case. = Per favore, può, (se è possibile) aiutare George con il caso.
- I was hoping you could bring me the documents. = Speravo che potesse portare i documenti.
- Do you think you could prepare the next case. = Pensa che potrebbe preparare il prossimo caso.
- I’d like you to organize the meeting. = Vorrei che organizzaste la riunione.
- I want you to call Mr Roberts and cancel the appointment. = Voglio che chiamate il signor Roberts e annullate l’incontro.
2.1.3. Modal verbs to turn orders into requests (more polite) = Verbi modali per trasformare gli ordini in domande (più educatamente)
- Could you call their office? = Potrebbe chiamare il loro ufficio?
- Would you repeat your name? = Potrebbe ripetere il suo nome?
TOM: Hey, could you give me some advice about how to improve my English? I’m having a lot of difficulty.
SAM: Well learning a foreign language is hard work. You need to put in a lot of effort.
TOM: So what do you suggest? I really just can’t seem to make any progress.
SAM: In some ways, it’s almost easier to start learning a language from scratch than to improve upon your existing knowledge. That means that the first thing you need to do is figure out what areas are giving you trouble, so you can isolate the problem.
TOM: I don’t really have a problem reading, since I have time to go over the same sentence two or three times if I need to. I think I have a bigger problem with listening comprehension.
SAM: One of the best things to do is to try and listen to many different accents. Luckily, there are a lot of resources to help with that. Go online to an accent database, and listen to the same sentence said different ways. The first time you listen, concentrate on the general meaning. Then listen one more time and focus on the sounds themselves.
TOM: That’s a good idea, yeah, as I often have problems when I have to talk to an Englishman and an American in the same conversation. I find it hard to switch my ears to understand the differences.
SAM: Exactly my point. Try to hear the way that the vowels differ, and you will learn what to expect. Then the next time you are having a chat, remember what you already know, and you will be prepared to hear in a better way.
TOM: Any last tips?
SAM: Yeah, finally, the best advice I can give you is to just keep talking with as many native speakers as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat themselves, and eventually it will come naturally.
TOM: You know what I’ve never known how to do?
SAM: What’s that?
TOM: It’s embarrassing, because everyone I know learned how to do this when they were kids.
SAM: Just tell me, already!
TOM: Ok, ok… I don’t know how to make a paper airplane.
SAM: Hahaha, nothing’s easier. Here, I’ll show you. Of course, the first thing you need to do is grab a piece of paper.
TOM: Yeah, I brought a couple extras, in case I screw up.
SAM: Awww, don’t worry, you won’t. Like I said, first grab the paper and fold it lengthwise.
TOM: Like this?
SAM: Yeah perfect. Then open the paper back up and, starting at one end, fold the corners to meet at the line in the center.
TOM: It’s already starting to look like a plane!
SAM: That’s the idea, yeah. Now, fold both sides of the paper together, and once they touching, bend the wings down.
TOM: Like this?
SAM: You got it! Now your plane is ready to fly. For a finishing touch, at the end you can put a small tear on both wings to add stability. But it’s not necessary.
TOM: Thanks so much for your help, I’ve always wanted to make one of these!
TOM: Did you hear I’m going on a fishing trip this weekend? I’ve never been and I’m really excited.
SAM: Oh that sounds like a lot of fun. Who are you going with?
TOM: My brother. It’s his first time, too. We’re both clueless.
SAM: Not to worry. Fishing is easy. Just make sure to check the tide before you go. You should fish then the tide is changing, so the fish come in to the reefs to feed.
TOM: How should I know when the tide is coming in?
SAM: Go online, or ask when you go to get your fishing permit.
TOM: I need a permit? Really? What else should I do?
SAM: Well, you’ll need some bait, too. If you eat any meat or fish this week, save it in a bag and then you can use that to attract the fish. Then you’ll need at least a decent fishing pole, but you might want to just rent one if you don’t plan on going often.
TOM: Do you have any other advice?
SAM: Sure. You need to make sure that you stay patient: sometimes the fish are biting, sometimes they aren’t.
TOM: What if they don’t bite all weekend?
SAM: No big deal, at all. In that case, just go to the fish market, buy some fish, and they you and your brother can put those fish on your hooks and take selfies with those. No one will know the difference!
TOM: Son, I’d like to give you a few tips to help you get through life.
SAM: Ok, dad, but what… do you think I’m doing something wrong?
TOM: Far from it, my boy, but nonetheless, I want to offer a few rules to live by.
SAM: Well let me hear it, then.
TOM: First off, be kind and generous. Always give people the benefit of the doubt.
SAM: What does that mean, dad?
TOM: That means that when somebody does something that you may think is offensive or rude, always make it your default thought that they probably didn’t do it on purpose.
SAM: That’s not what you thought when I broke the window last week.
TOM: Nevermind that, this conversation is to help you, not me. That brings me to my next point, though: You should try to be consistent, while still maintaining the possibility that you are wrong.
SAM: I don’t know, dad, this is starting to sound like you’ve never listened to your own advice.
TOM: Don’t talk like that to me, young man.
SAM: Well this has been a great talk… Do you have any other pearls of wisdom, dad?
TOM: Yes, son, respect your elders and don’t be sarcastic all the time, what do you think about that?
TOM: I’ve been trying to provide some guidance for our new recruits, but I’m running out of ideas. Have any suggestions?
SAM: Well, have you analyzed their strengths at all? Maybe you should run a SWOT analysis.
TOM: No, I haven’t. How would you suggest that I do that?
SAM: The first thing I would do in your position is to think of the competencies that we need as an organization. Only then can we come up with a training regime.
TOM: What then?
SAM: Then, call everyone to a meeting, first as a group, and after that as individuals. Stress to them the importance of being on the same page as the company’s values and goals. Be understanding, but be firm. After all, they’re working for us, not us for them.
TOM: That’s a good point, yeah. I guess I need some guidance, too…
SAM: It’s not easy to lead. You need to delegate responsibility, provide encouragement, put on a friendly face, but at the same time be there to steer the ship if it starts to sail astray.
TOM: That’s a pretty complex task, isn’t it.
SAM: Definitely, but just believe in your team – and even more in yourself – and everything will work out.
ANDY: Excuse me, ma’am. Can you tell me the way to the cathedral?
BRET: I’m from here. I’m sorry, I don’t know.
ANDY: (A few moments later…) Excuse me, sir. Do you happen to know where the cathedral is?
C: Of course. It’s actually not far away. Continue straight ahead until you reach Kinsey Street. Then…
ANDY: Sorry for interrupting. How many blocks is that?
C: It’s about four or five blocks. It’s the roundabout you come to. When you reach Kinsey Street, turn left and continue walking for three blocks to High Street. Then turn right and walk another block.
ANDY: On which side of the street is the cathedral?
C: If you come from this direction, you will see it on your left side. It’s right in the middle of the block, next to the bakery. It’s hard to miss!. Would you like me to repeat anything?
ANDY: No, you don’t need to. I’ve got it. Thank you very much.
C: You’re welcome.
ANDY: Excuse me, can you help us? We’re lost!
BRET: Of course, where would you like to go?
ANDY: We’d like to go to the castle, but we just can’t find where it is. Is it anywhere near here?
BRET: No, not really. It’s about half an hour walk.
ANDY: Perhaps we should take a taxi…
BRET: No, there’s no need to. It’s quite easy. I’ll give you directions.
ANDY: Thanks. That’s really kind of you.
BRET: Don’t mention it… Now, walk straight along this street until you reach the traffic light. Can you see them?
ANDY: Yes, I can.
BRET: Good At the traffic light, turn right into Kinsey Street.
ANDY: Kinsey Street.
BRET: Exactly. Then go straight on. Take the third right and go on t High Street.
ANDY: OK. Kinsey Street, straight on and then the second right, High Street.
BRET: No, it’s the THIRD RIGHT.
ANDY: Ah, OK. The third street on my right.
BRET: You got it. After about five blocks you will see the castle.
ANDY: Great. Thank you again for your help.