You are currently viewing Our Topic today is: 🀜 Giving instructions at work πŸ€›

Our Topic today is: 🀜 Giving instructions at work πŸ€›

Hello! Are you ready for today’s Conversation Club? In the conversation guided by the MPEC Coach, we’ll explore together the necessary vocabulary for giving directions or instructions in English. The potential communication difficulties in this scenario arise from the fact that we need to balance and combine different elements of language: giving instructions, asking for confirmation of understanding, following up, being polite, and adjusting the level of formality and kindness to the context we’re in. But today, we can analyse all of this in practice, including a fun Role Play. Are you ready?

Prepared with love by: My Personal English Coach


Helloooo! Just a few words of support for those of you who are starting your experience in our Conversation Club and don’t feel very confident. Don’t worry, we’re here for you!

On this page, you’ll find the vocabulary that can help you speak with your Club Partners (other MPEC students you’ll be paired with for guided conversations).

If you feel you need it, follow the first piece of advice in the image on the left and review all the language bits we think can be useful for you. We are your Coaches and we know you well! We know that using Idioms & Phrasal Verbs can be a real challenge, so those are often the language elements we’ll suggest you use πŸ™ƒ

After the preparation (you’ll find both the vocabulary and the conversation questions on this page), we invite you to participate in the Club session. You have received an email with the ZOOM link for the session:

On Tuesdays, the Club takes place from 7:00 PM to 7:30 PM, and on Thursdays, from 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM. If you haven’t received the access instructions via email, please, get in touch with us:

If you want to practice more after the Club session, you can come back here to do the Follow Up activity (at the bottom of the page).

Are you ready? Let’s begin!


10 Idioms To Use When Giving Instructions

  • “Get the ball rolling”: Begin the task or project. Let’s schedule a meeting to discuss the project and start assigning tasks.
  • “Keep an eye on”: Monitor closely. Please keep an eye on the children while they play in the backyard.
  • “Hit the ground running”: Begin with energy and enthusiasm. The new employee impressed everyone by hitting the ground running on her first day.
  • “Put your best foot forward”: Make a good impression or give your best effort. When you meet the interviewer, remember to smile and put your best foot forward.
  • “Cut to the chase”: Get to the main point quickly. I don’t have much time, so let’s cut to the chase and get to the main issue.
  • “Wrap things up”: Finish or conclude the task. We need to wrap things up quickly to meet the deadline for the project.
  • “Go the extra mile”: Put in additional effort beyond what is expected. If you want to stand out, you should always go the extra mile in your work.
  • “Think outside the box”: Approach the task with creativity and innovation. To solve this problem, we’ll need to think outside the box and consider unconventional approaches.
  • “Take the bull by the horns”: Take control and face challenges head-on. Instead of avoiding the difficult conversation, it’s time to take the bull by the horns and address the issue directly.
  • “Put the pieces together”: Understand the task by considering all relevant information. After analysing the data, she was able to put the pieces together and understand the cause of the problem.

Brace Yourselves for 10 Phrasal Verbs in Context!

  • “Carry out”: Perform or execute a task. πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’Ό All right, team, your first task is to carry out market research on our competitors. Make sure to gather relevant data and compile a comprehensive report by the end of the week. πŸ’ΌπŸ“Š
  • “Follow up”: Check on progress or provide additional information after giving instructions. πŸ‘©β€πŸ« After you’ve completed the market research, I’ll follow up with you individually to discuss any challenges or questions you may have encountered during the process. πŸ“žπŸ—£οΈ
  • “Break down”: Divide a complex task into smaller, manageable parts. 🧩 This project may seem overwhelming, but let’s break it down into smaller, manageable parts. First, let’s focus on outlining the project scope and objectives before diving into the specific tasks. πŸ“‹πŸ—‚οΈ
  • “Bring about”: Cause or initiate a change or result. πŸš€ Our goal is to bring about a positive change in customer satisfaction. Implement the new feedback system and closely monitor customer feedback to gauge the results. πŸ“ˆπŸ‘₯πŸ˜ƒ
  • “Call off”: Cancel or terminate a planned task or activity. βŒπŸ“… Due to unexpected circumstances, we’ll have to call off the team-building event planned for this Friday. We’ll reschedule it for next month instead. πŸ—“οΈπŸ€πŸš«
  • “Sort out”: Resolve or organize a situation or problem. 🧹 There seems to be some confusion regarding the budget allocation. Let’s have a meeting to sort out the financial details and ensure everything is in order before proceeding. πŸ’°πŸ’ΌπŸ“
  • “Back up”: Provide support or evidence for a statement or action. πŸ™Œ When presenting your proposals, make sure to back up your ideas with solid data and examples to convince the stakeholders of its potential benefits. πŸ“ŠπŸ’‘πŸ“š
  • “Work through”: Progress methodically through a task or problem. πŸ€” If you encounter any technical issues, don’t hesitate to ask for help from the IT department. They will work through the problems with you until they are resolved. πŸ’»πŸ› οΈπŸ”§
  • “Set aside”: Allocate time or resources for a specific task. πŸ“† I know everyone is busy, but it’s essential to set aside time each week for professional development activities. This will help you stay updated and improve your skills. πŸ“šπŸŒŸβ°
  • “Get on with”: Continue or proceed with a task without delay. ⏩ Now that we have the necessary resources, let’s get on with implementing the new marketing campaign without any further delay. πŸš€πŸ’ΌπŸŽ―

Round 1: Communication and Clarity

  1. What are some common challenges you face when giving instructions to your team or colleagues?
  2. How do you ensure that your instructions are clear and easily understandable by others?
  3. Share a specific instance when unclear instructions led to a misunderstanding at work. How could it have been avoided?

Round 2: Let’s Explore it!

  • What methods do you find most effective when giving instructions to your team or colleagues at work?
  • Have you ever used visual aids, such as diagrams or flowcharts, to enhance the clarity of your instructions? How did it impact the task’s outcome?
  • Share an instance when you faced challenges while giving instructions at work. How did you adapt your approach to ensure better understanding and cooperation?
  • How do you handle situations when team members have different communication styles, and what steps do you take to bridge the gap in understanding?

Round 3: The Final One, So We Role Play!

Objective: The role play aims to help you practice giving and receiving constructive feedback in a simulated scenario. The goal is to foster effective communication and improve interpersonal skills.

Scenario Setting: You are both members of a marketing team working on a group project to create a new advertising campaign for a product. Student A is the team leader responsible for guiding and providing feedback to Student B, who is a team member responsible for developing content for the campaign.

Timeframe: The role play will last for approximately 10 minutes.

Instructions for Student A:

  1. You will take on the role of a team leader who needs to provide feedback to Student B regarding a group project.
  2. Start by acknowledging Student B’s efforts and strengths in the project.
  3. Identify specific areas where improvement is needed, offering suggestions for enhancement.
  4. Be respectful, empathetic, and use positive language while delivering the feedback.
  5. Encourage Student B to ask questions or seek clarifications about the feedback.
  6. Remain open to discussing the feedback and collaborate on potential solutions.

Instructions for Student B:

  1. You will take on the role of a team member who receives feedback from Student A about a group project.
  2. Listen actively and attentively to Student A’s feedback without interrupting.
  3. Show appreciation for the positive feedback and ask for more details on areas that need improvement.
  4. Seek clarification if any points are unclear, and express a willingness to work on the suggested improvements.
  5. Respond positively to the feedback and propose your ideas or solutions for addressing the identified areas.
  6. Maintain a respectful and receptive attitude throughout the discussion.

Note: After the role play, take a few minutes to reflect and provide feedback to each other on the effectiveness of your communication and the ways you handled the feedback process. This constructive reflection will further enhance your communication skills.


After The Club: The Follow Up


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