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20 Essential Business English Phrases Every Manager Should Know

The business English phrases in this lesson are useful in any position of management or leadership. Start using them with your team today!

Lead a team

  • As project manager, I lead a team of 15 developers

Demonstrate leadership

  • I need to demonstrate leadership by working even harder than my employees.

Set goals/targets/expectations

  • I'm going to meet with each employee to set goals for the upcoming quarter.

  • It's important that we set realistic targets for staff.

  • I set expectations with all of my new staff on day one.

Reach/Meet/Exceed/Fall short of targets

  • Last quarter we reached our sales target of $100,000

  • Last quarter we met our sales target of $100,000

  • Last quarter we exceeded our sales target of $100,000. We brought in $122,000 in sales!

  • Last quarter we fell short of our sales target of $100,000. We only brought in $87,000 in sales.

Hold a meeting

  • We should hold a meeting to discuss the budget cuts as soon as possible.

Boost morale

  • The human resources department is looking at new ways to boost morale, including a staff appreciation event for the whole team sometime next month.

Monitor progress

  • I have been monitoring progress for our new development project and things are going well.

Take action

  • If our performance continues to decline, we'll need to take action and it may result in cutting jobs.

Align the team

  • It's important that we align our team across all departments to ensure we are working consistently towards the same goals.

Encourage teamwork

  • As leaders, we need to encourage teamwork and coordination among all staff members.

Provide insight

  • Every six months, I meet with my team to provide insight on where the company is going and any future changes that are expected to occur.

Communicate a message

  • The management team needs to communicate a consistent message of support for our team members. They need to know that we are behind them 100%.

Invite input

  • I would like to invite any input that you have about this issue in order to help us make a better decision.

Reward and Recognize efforts

  • Every year, our company has a special event where the managers of each department reward and recognize the efforts and achievements of their staff.

Show appreciation

  • I try to show appreciation to my team by writing 'thank you' emails whenever they do something beyond expectations.

Achieve success

  • I've very proud of our team. We have achieved success thanks to the effort of everyone involved.

Take responsibility

  • As manager of this team, I take responsibility for the team's success or failure on this project.

Implement a policy

  • The company will implement a new work-from-home policy, effective September 1st of this year.

Take disciplinary measures

  • If any employees do not comply with the company policies, it's my job to take disciplinary measures against that employee. We need to ensure there is full compliance by staff

Offer encouragement

  • Whenever a team member is struggling, it's my job to offer encouragement to keep them going and so that they don't give up.

If you want to quickly and easily learn 200 common idioms and phrasal verbs for Business English, click on the link below to find out about my book!


Choose the correct verb for each object:

Set / Show / Invite / Encourage / Align / Hold / Take

  1. ____________ input

  2. ____________ action

  3. ____________ expectations

  4. ____________ meetings

  5. ____________ appreciation

  6. ____________ the team

  7. ____________ teamwork

Implement / Reward / Monitor / Offer / Take / Lead

  1. ____________ progress

  2. ____________ a team

  3. ____________ encouragement

  4. ____________ efforts

  5. ____________ a policy

  6. ____________ responsibility

Provide / Demonstrate / Exceed / Achieve / Take / Communicate / Boost

  1. ____________ a message

  2. ____________ morale

  3. ____________ disciplinary action

  4. ____________ insight

  5. ____________ targets

  6. ____________ leadership

  7. ____________ success


Set / Show / Invite / Encourage / Align / Hold / Take

  1. Invite input

  2. Take action

  3. Set expectations

  4. Hold meetings

  5. Show appreciation

  6. Align the team

  7. Encourage teamwork

Implement / Reward / Monitor / Offer / Take / Lead

  1. Monitor progress

  2. Lead a team

  3. Offer encouragement

  4. Reward efforts

  5. Implement a policy

  6. Take responsibility

Provide / Demonstrate / Exceed / Achieve / Take / Communicate / Boost

  1. Communicate a message

  2. Boost morale

  3. Take disciplinary action

  4. Provide insight

  5. Exceed targets

  6. Demonstrate leadership

  7. Achieve success


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