escaping the situation

Yet another „business situations” lesson  ( they should pay us double for teaching from this course book, aka "product"... it's detrimental to your mental health!). 

My student is T. Early thirties.   Gentle demeanor. He is wearing a three-piece navy suit: great cut; gorgeous, supple wool; an off-white silk pocket handkerchief. I have never had him before. He tells me he is self-employed and provides HR consulting services.  Who does he work for?  „For clients.”

I  begin,   de rigeur, with setting our goal (more training at the HQ earlier this week.... ). I am supposed to teach him a few „level down techniques”  – asking  for clarification if he does not understand what someone is saying, or slowing them down when they speak too fast. 

I try to elicit that goal from him:  „T, when you speak English with someone, does it ever happen that you can’t understand what the other person is saying?” Pause. „You know, they speak too fast, and you do not get it?” „Maybe.” „Perhaps they use some words you do not know?” Long pause. „You cannot understand, right? What can you do when that happens?" 

„Escape the situation. I start to escape the situation quickly.”

"No T! You have to face the situation. We are going to learn how to face such a situation, OK?"

He does not say anything, just nods politely.