IELTS Listening 7 - Section 4

IELTS Listening Tip

Remember that although the information on the question paper will paraphrase the information that you hear, it will be in the same order. Make sure you keep to the word limit you are given and be careful to check your spelling at the end. You can write your answers in capital letters or lower case.

Section 4: You will hear a talk on bullying in the workplace, giving by a university lecturer to a group of students. First you have some time to look at Questions 31-33.

Now Listen carefully and answer Questions 31 to 33:

Questions 31-33

Write NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

The speaker specializes in management .
Bullying in the workplace costs the up to 4 billion a year.
Bullying is caused by
  • insufficient experience,
  • insecurity, or
  • a lack of on the part of managers.

Now look at Questions 34 to 40:

Main methods of bullying
  • Setting tasks.
  • Constantly moving the goalposts.
  • Stopping individuals to criticism.
  • Not or replying to e-mails. This means you cannot expect your staff to you.
  • Using technology. Companies should develop an of practice.
  • In groups other bullying strategies and ways in which they can be .


Questions 31-33

Good morning, my name is Dr Mervin Forest and I specialize in management techniques and training. I've been invited here today to talk to you about the cost to the economy of bad management ... and what I would like to dwell on first is an area that has recently been exercising everyone and that is coercion in the workplace, or to put it more simply, bullying.

It has been estimated that bullying at work costs the British economy up to four billion pounds a year in lost working time and in legal fees. And with the problem apparently on the increase, it is time that managers took on board what is happening. I would like to think that what is perceived as bullying is nothing more than lack of experience, insecurity or lack of awareness on the part of managers, and not a conscious effort to attack someone, but that is perhaps a case of, of ... my being naive, or over-hopeful.

Before we break up into groups to look at the first task on the handout you've got, I'd like to give you a start with some of the main bullying methods that have been identified so far. Basically, what I'm going to do here is to give you examples of one or two points. Can you all read the OHP clearly? Yes? Right. Off we go.

Questions 34-40

The first item on the list is giving people tasks which managers themselves cannot do and which are, therefore, impossible to achieve. This is, in fact, a very common strategy used by managers to 'manage' their subordinates. It gives certain people a false sense of security as they watch others failing while they try to a task! This is not bad management; it is just plain stupid. All targets and goals set should be easily achieved within a realistic time-scale.

Sending memos to someone else criticizing the performance of a task where the individual has no way of replying is another common technique; especially when the manager concerned does not reply or makes it impossible for subordinates to contact him or her by not answering the telephone or not replying to e-mails. This is not the style of a sound manager, but rather the antics of someone with emotional problems. If you behave like that, don't expect your staff to respect you.

And now the technological bully. It is interesting how all tools designed to help can be turned into dangerous weapons. The 'urgent e-mail' bully is fast becoming a problem in the office. Employees turn on their computers to be faced with a string of badly worded e-mails, making instant and often unrealistic demands, which reveal the hysteria mode of management. Have you ever felt a sense of dread before looking at your e-mail, even your personal messages? All companies should develop a company strategy whereby there is an a-mail code of practice, with offensive messages being forwarded to a designated person for appropriate action.

I would now like you to break up into groups and brainstorm other bullying techniques which you think you may have experienced and, perhaps, if you are honest, which you have been party to. I can think of at least nine more bullying strategies. I would also like you to consider ways in which you think that each of the techniques on your list can be countered.

Is everyone clear as to what the task is? Yes? Okay. You have got twenty minutes to do this.

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