BBC 6 minute English-What are managers for

BBC 6 minute English-What are managers for

BBC 6 minute English-What are managers for


Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English from My name is Rob and I’m joined in the studio by Finn

Finn: Hello. Today, we’re talking about managers – they are the people who boss us around – in other words, tell us what to do. Don’t they Rob

Rob: Well not our manager Finn – he is an example of a perfect manager – he is inspirational – he is someone to look up to and admire

Finn: Oh, yes, that’s right Rob – he might be listening! So apart from our manager, we are discussing the question: what are managers for? And we’ll be looking at some related words and phrases

Rob: I imagine being a manager is a demanding and stressful job

Finn: Yes but it sometimes comes with good financial reward – some managers do get paid well

Rob: Yes that’s probably why one demanding and stressful job – managing a football team – comes with a big financial reward in many countries. And for today’s question do you know who was the world’s highest paid football manager in 2012? Was it

a) Sir Alex Ferguson

b) Jose Mourinho

c) Fabio Capello

Finn: I think Ferguson or Mourinho. Mourinho was managing Real Madrid in 2012 so I’ll say him

Rob: We’ll find out if you’re right at the end of the programme. But now let’s talk more about everyday managers – the sort we work for or with – people who run our departments, companies or schools and colleges

Finn: There are a lot of them Rob. It’s been reported that in the UK there are now five million managers – that’s ten times as many as there were 100 years ago. So what are they all doing

Rob: I suppose they’re making important decisions for their businesses, and have good organisational skills. They have to manage their staff too – that’s people like you and me Finn

Finn: Ah yes, a good manager needs good people skills – that’s where they can talk and listen to a variety of people who all have different needs and abilities

Rob: A good manager is also approachable and they deal with problems quickly and fairly too. What do you think makes a bad manager Finn

Finn: One that is concerned about hierarchy – so that’s their position in the company. They want to show who is boss but actually they achieve very little. Rob, you’ve been a manager, what was it like for you

Rob: I was more of a middle manager, so I reported to the senior manager but was managing a small team of producers. It was like spinning lots of plates – so trying to do many things at the same time, speaking to different people, organising the rota and attending many meetings

Finn: All important things Rob. Maybe managers are necessary to keep everything working smoothly – and let’s face it, someone has to take charge and make decisions

Rob: True. But many of us think we are managers because of our job title – that’s the name we are given at work. It’s something the author and journalist Lucy Kellaway has been speaking about on BBC radio

Finn: See if you can hear some of the job titles she mentions here

Lucy Kellaway, author

Even if you don’t actually manage anyone, your title pretends you do. So a conductor is a train manager. An administrator is an office manager. A technician is an IT manager. We’ve all become obsessed with management

Rob: So Lucy Kellaway says some job titles are false – they are made up and pretend to be a managerial title when they are not. For example, we heard a train manager

Finn: That’s someone who sells tickets – we call them a conductor. And we heard an office manager

Rob: That’s an administrator – someone dealing with paperwork and the dayto-day running of the office. And what about an IT manager

Finn: That’s really a technician. Other job titles have also been exaggerated or changed so that people worried about their status can feel happier – titles like executive, director or principal

Rob: We could argue that everyone’s job involves some kind of managing: I’m managing this programme by moving the faders in the studio and asking you to read the script

Finn: So instead of your normal job title – producer – what job title could you give yourself

Rob: I’m the director of programme engineering! How does that sound

Finn: Or creative director? That is perhaps taking the definition of manager too far. If we end up having too many managers who is going to do all the real work? Me I expect

Rob: There’s no time Finn, it’s time to reveal the answer to today’s question. Earlier I asked you if you knew who is the world’s highest paid football manager

Finn: And I said Jose Mourinho

Rob: And you were right! He earned over £۱۲ million in 2012

Finn: That is a lot. Maybe it’s time for me to work my way up the career ladder, get a better job and earn some serious money

Rob: It’s time to go now but do join us again for another edition of 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English. Bye

Finn: Bye

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