Tag Archives: coaching & training

Tips for Teaching Business English (For TESL Ontario Members)

BusinessEnglishAs an active member of TESL (Teacher of English as a Second Language) Ontario I recently contributed my years of knowledge and experience training ESL clients and hosted a Professional Development webinar called Tips for Teaching Business English Students & Immigrants.  It ran live on July 26 2015 but it is now archived and available to those current members of TESL Ontario who wish to increase their Professional Development hours.  You can find it by signing up/in to your www.Tutela.ca  account, going to (or joining) the TESL Ontario group, and then searching under Files until you find my PowerPoint presentation under ‘Webinar Gen 10’.  You will see the ‘live’ version slides and hear our voices as though you attended the webinar on July 26th!   This webinar will be of particular interest to those currently teaching business or workplace English, or to anyone looking to expand beyond mainstream ESL teaching.  You will also learn tips about teaching communication skills to foreign workers and working immigrants.

Here is the original ad:

Webinar Description:   Ric Phillips will present this webinar. Ric will share tips on how to effectively teach business English students and immigrants (for example at LINC, post-secondary or corporate training). He will note differences in learning expectations, recommend materials, and provide templates for creating your own assessments. This webinar is ideal for teachers who are transitioning to Business English, Workplace ESL, or corporate training.

Presenter’s Bio:   Starting in 1998, Ric Phillips successfully transitioned his career from ESL teacher to Business English teacher & Academic Coordinator. He founded his own company where he is currently a coach and trainer in business communication skills for working immigrants and foreign workers.

Follow Ric on Twitter: @CommCoach

Are You the Director of First Impressions?

“Director of First Impressions”

I snapped this picture a few weeks ago while i was visiting my local Scotiabank branch here in Toronto.  I’m not sure how widely used this new labelling is – maybe it’s a national or even international initiative – but it’s eye-catching to say the least.  For me I immediately responded to it because as you know I’m a big fan of interpersonal skills, and I run a coaching program and a workshop entitled “The Art of Small Talk & Winning First Impressions.”  The focus of the training, which has been running since 2007, has always been to help those with technical skills or social shyness to improve their business or social interactions, and leave a lasting positive impression.  This is important to build and enhance relationships in our network or social circle.

What I find interesting is that a bank has chosen to change the typical ‘Help Desk‘ label to this new title, since banks provide a large portion of my clientele.  🙂  Yes, I’ve trained many accountants, financial advisors and planners, wealth management managers, auditors, consultants and the list goes on.  Not only are soft skills extremely important for client engagement in the banking industry, but also for team cohesion.

I love this new sign as to me it signifies the bank wants to be more approachable and communicative with it’s customers, and also – that it is aware that the first person we speak to is indeed the Director of First Impressions.  🙂

Are you the Director of First Impressions at your place of business?  Are you good at it?  Or is there a better fit for this role in the office somewhere?  These are some questions I’d like you to ask yourself and your team while examining who speaks to customers first and how do they interact with the typical customer.

Short Video Highlights 3V Coaching & Training Options

Learn about Ric Phillips and 3V Communications coaching, including body language. Options for communication coaching/training include interpersonal/professional communication skills, public speaking, presentations, body language, business ESL, etc. We help you communicate clearly and confidently. Please enjoy this short video that highlights key aspects of our communication coaching and training.  Thank you!

Building Confidence, Building Success

In order to be a success in life you need confidence: that self-trust and self-assurance that guides you through your decisions. You can now remove the self-doubt and learn how to control negative thoughts that you have about yourself, and also deal with outside negativity. Nothing will ever hold you back again after you master your own self-esteem and raise your confidence levels!  Ask about the personal coaching program called Communicating Confidence Inside & Out:  How to Build Confidence, Be Assertive and Succeed!

If you prefer studying at home for almost no cost, then you could also check out the ebook on the same subject on our STORE page. It will help you understand, then build your personal and professional confidence from the comfort of your own home.  Take a peek!  🙂

How to Communicate Like a Good Manager

Many people want to know how to be a good or a better manager, supervisor or team leader. This is hard to answer sometimes, as it may depend on culture, corporate culture, previous expectations and promises, and company as well as personal values.

The main point to remember is to show respect, calmness, and vision in all your communications. Bullies are not respected, even if they are feared. You must be firm but fair. At the same time ‘softies’ often are not listened to or given respect either. I recently had an email from an old Chinese friend (really nice sweet guy) who was asking for advice on how to manage foreign English teachers in China at his company. Apparently whenever they didn’t agree to some term of employment, they simply ‘played the foreigner card’ and claimed that they don’t have to do that because things are different in their own country. Smells like arrogance to me. The funny thing is, this nice guy who was asking me for help really wanted me to give him advice on understanding Westerner’s employment standards and practices.

That is a good thing to do, since he is managing them. However I reminded him that they are guests in China and are employees of his company, and that the main way to avoid some confusion is to have a clearly written ‘rules and conditions of employment’ contract which everyone must read and sign. That way both sides are clear on what is expected from the beginning. If the teachers find these rules too difficult then he should invite them to seek employment elsewhere! Of course rules can be bent and terms can be negotiated and re-written, but it cannot be done through bullying or ultimatum-giving, and that is what I wanted my friend to understand. He was being a push-over and they were taking advantage of his hospitality, as I understood. As a manager he needed to learn how to deal with facts (i.e. terms of employment as set out by the company) and be firm but fair in his dealings with his teachers.

Similar things happen all over the world. Here in multicultural Toronto, I come across stories all the time of people who are either being too strong or too shy. How many Russian immigrants have I told to “soften your language” and to “not be so direct”? Almost as many Chinese immigrants I have told to “be more confident in your speech” and to “not be so indirect”! Funny right? And that is just a small sample from my world of being a professional Communication Coach. Many more stories to tell…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hello wonderful readers,

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

It is funny that this greeting is almost becoming extinct here in Toronto, as some people are concerned with offending others who do not celebrate Christmas. Instead we use phrases like “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings”. There is nothing wrong with these replacements, of course, but I would like to mention that the spirit behind the words is more important than the actual choice of words strung together. In this regard, the traditional phrase of “Merry Christmas” shouldn’t offend anyone – ideally.

I wish you all the best in 2010. 3V Communications continues to grow, and with that you can expect to see changes in our posts, ebooks, coaching programs, assessments, and workshops. Please stay tuned for notices of such exciting developments!

As always, if you have an idea of a topic you would like me to discuss in my posts, please just send me an email with your request. Please indicate that you want me to share it on the blog so that I know it is not a private request.

I feel like 2010 is going to be a great year. I hope I am right!

My sincerest thanks and appreciation.

Peace be with you and yours,

Coach Ric