Bridget van Kralingen: How I Work

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Let's Study

What are the values and daily habits of highly successful business people? Waking up early, exercising, valuing knowledge? In today’s video lesson we will hear what former IBM senior vice president Bridget van Kralingen has to say. She is a confident and well-spoken professional. We will learn some useful vocabulary to convey your thoughts and feelings accurately.

Useful Words and Expressions

  1. Gadget (noun)
    A small mechanical or electronic device or tool.
    Smartphones are very addictive gadgets.
  2. Practicing (adjective)
    Actively engaged in a particular occupation or activity.
    She retired after being a practicing nurse for over 30 years.
  3. Behavior (noun)
    The way someone acts.
    Their children’s behavior is amazing!
  4. Affirmation (noun)
    Emotional support or encouragement.
    Affirmation is just as important as feedback when it comes to helping your employees improve.
  5. Refer to (verb)
    To mention something.
    The writer referred to the main character as “a skilled, confident young professional”.
  6. From the ground up (expression)
    Completely, especially when talking about building or founding a company, institution or project.
    We have built the school from the ground up into a successful business.
  7. Immutable (adjective)
    That does not change.
    The Japanese spirit remains immutable through the ages.
  8. Fad (noun)
    An intense and popular interest in something, but that lasts only for a short time.
    In the 60s, bell-bottom pants were the fad.
  9. Prized possession (collocation)
    A favorite object that you own.
    My most prized possession is my grandmother’s pearl necklace.
  10. Vice (noun)
    (in this context) a bad habit.
    My father’s worst vice was his smoking.
  11. Unfailingly (adverb)
    Without error, fault, or interruption. Always.
    My friends were unfailingly loving and supportive, even when I wasn’t kind to them.
  12. Unvarnished (adjective)
    The critics gave their unvarnished opinion on the art piece.
  13. Some background context

    Deep Blue is a chess-playing computer developed by IBM that beat the chess world champion Garry Kasparov back in 1996.

    Likewise, Watson is a computer system (also developed by IBM) capable of answering questions asked in natural language. To test its ability, IBM entered a famous game show called Jeopardy! And had Watson compete against humans. You can watch the full episode here.

    Jeopardy! Is an American game show. It follows a quiz format, but backwards: the answer comes first, with an important part of it missing. Example: “The Tokyo Tower is a famous attraction in the biggest city of this country.”

    Participants have to answer what “this country” means, but in a question format! For example:

    Host: “The Tokyo Tower is a famous attraction in the biggest city of this country.”

    Participant: “What is ‘Japan’?”

    Host: “This large fruit is very popular in Japan during the summer months.”

    Participant: “What is a ‘watermelon’?

    Fill in the blanks

    smartphone / kettle
    from the ground up
    prized possession
    not be so polite
    goals and objectives
    Deep Blue