Online Instructor’s Manual
Human Relations: Interpersonal Job-Oriented Skills Tenth Edition Andrew J. DuBrin College of Business Rochester Institute of Technology
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Copyright © 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey and Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved. Manufactured in the United States of America. This publication is protected by Copyright, and permission should be obtained from the publisher prior to any prohibited reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise. To obtain permission(s) to use material from this work, please submit a written request to Pearson Education, Inc., Permissions Department, One Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Many of the designations by manufacturers and seller to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and the publisher was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed in initial caps or all caps.
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ISBN-13: 978-0-13-502064-7 ISBN-10: 0-13-502064-6
A Framework for Interpersonal Skill Development..........................1
Understanding Individual Differences.............................................13
Developing Self-Esteem and Related Skills......................................30
Interpersonal Communication .........................................................44
Developing Teamwork Skills.............................................................57
Group Problem Solving.....................................................................71
Cross-cultural Relations and Diversity............................................85
Resolving Conflict with Others.......................................................100
Becoming an Effective Leader.........................................................116
Chapter 10 Motivating Others............................................................................131 Chapter 11 Helping Others Grow and Develop................................................144 Chapter 12 Positive Political Skills.....................................................................159 Chapter 13 Customer Satisfaction Skills............................................................175 Chapter 14 Enhancing Ethical Behavior...........................................................191 Chapter 15 Stress Management and Personal Productivity.............................205 Chapter 16 Job Search and Career Management Skills...................................222
PREFACE The purpose of this instructor's manual is to enhance the teaching of Human Relations: Interpersonal, Job-oriented Skills, 10th edition. The text lends itself to a diverse approach to teaching, with its self-assessment quizzes, skill-building exercises, examples, case problems, and role-plays. Each chapter in the manual contains: 1. A text chapter outline along with lecture notes. 2. Answers to discussion questions, usually in the form of a comment rather than an absolute answer because most of the questions ask for an observation or opinion. 3. Answers to the case questions. 4. Brief comments about the self-assessment quizzes and skill-building exercises. Most of the quizzes and exercises, however, are self-explanatory. 5. Twenty-five multiple choice, and 25 true/false questions. The test questions are based on specific pages in the text. We have attempted to reduce the number of questions for which a second answer would appear equally plausible to many students. Each set of questions follows the page sequence in the text. Prentice Hall offers a computerized test bank containing the same questions. An effective classroom use of this text is to make frequent use of group exercises. Skill-building exercises, discussion questions, and the cases work well with group discussion. My small-group discussion procedure includes serving as a resource person to the groups before they make their presentations. Sometimes the group may need help in interpreting a case question or in knowing how much freedom it may have in making certain assumptions about the case or question under study. For any questions for comments about the classroom use of Human Relations: Interpersonal, Job-Oriented Skills you are welcome to contact me by telephone at (585) 442-0484, or e-mail at [email protected]
Andrew J. DuBrin College of Business Rochester Institute of Technology
CHAPTER 1 A FRAMEWORK FOR INTERPERSONAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT The first chapter sets the stage for improving interpersonal relations in organizations by presenting a framework for interpersonal skill development and training. Students who follow this framework seriously will increase the probability of enhancing their interpersonal relations in the workplace through the use of this text and its accompanying course. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES Effective interpersonal relations must be combined with technical knowledge and good work habits to achieve success in any job involving interaction with people. Many people are held back from promotions and pay raises, and even lose their jobs, because of poor relationships with people. I. PLAN OF THE BOOK A three-part strategy is presented for achieving interpersonal effectiveness. First, key concepts are presented. Second, the reader receives behavioral guidelines. Third, the reader does exercises such as self-quizzes, skill-builders, and analyzes cases. Much of the book is about interpersonal skill training, the teaching of skills in dealing with others so they can be put into practice. Interpersonal skills are sometimes referred to as soft skills, whereas technical skills are referred to as hard skills. Soft-skills training is more important than ever as organizations realize that a combination of human effort and technology is needed to produce results. II. A MODEL FOR IMPROVING INTERPERSONAL SKILLS A five-part model is presented for acquiring and improving interpersonal skills. A. Goal or Desired State of Affairs. The goal helps provide motivation and makes it possible to exercise the selfdiscipline necessary to follow through on your plans. B. Assessing Reality The person needs to assess how far away he or she is from reaching the goal. Soliciting feedback from others about distance from the goal is helpful. C. An Action Plan Actions must be taken to improve interpersonal relations. An action plan is a series of steps to achieve a goal. Implementing the plan requires self-discipline. D. Feedback on Actions The person obtains feedback on the consequences of his or her actions. Short- and long-term measures of effectiveness are important. E. Frequent Practice For the new skill to be long lasting it must be integrated into the person's usual
way of conducting himself or herself. After a skill is programmed into a person's repertoire, it becomes a habit. III. IDENTIFICATION OF DEVELOPMENTAL NEEDS People are the most likely to develop new skills when they feel the need for change. A specific area in which a person needs to change is referred to as a developmental need. Self-analysis, thinking through past feedback, and soliciting new feedback are helpful in identifying developmental needs. Feedback from performance evaluations is useful also. A. Universal Needs for Improving Interpersonal Relations Some areas for skill improvement in interpersonal relations are found among managerial, professional, technical, and sales personnel. A universal training need is an area for improvement common to most people. The text is organized around universal needs, as follows: 1. Understanding individual differences 2. Self-esteem and self-confidence 3. Interpersonal communication 4. Developing teamwork skills 5. Group problem solving 6. Cross-cultural relations 7. Resolving conflicts with others 8. Becoming an effective leader 9. Motivating others 10. Helping others develop 11. Positive political skills 12. Customer service skills 13. Enhancing ethical behavior 14. Stress management and personal productivity 15. Job search and career management skills IV. DEVELOPING INTERPERSONAL SKILLS ON THE JOB Opportunities exist in the workplace for developing interpersonal skills that can be a valuable supplement to more formal training. A. Informal Learning Informal learning is the acquisition of knowledge and skills that takes place naturally outside of a structured learning environment. One study showed that up to 70 percent of learning takes place informally. Learning interpersonal skills informally can take place though such means as observing a coworker, manager, or team leader deal with a situation. A trend in business is for employees to integrate formal classroom learning with informal learning. Formal and informal learning of interpersonal skills are useful supplements to each other. B. Specific Developmental Experiences 2
Certain workplace experiences are particularly suited to interpersonal skill development. These experiences are (1) unfamiliar responsibilities, (2) proving yourself, (3) problems with employees, (4) influencing others without authority, and (5) having a difficult manager. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1.
In recent years, several of the most prestigious business schools, such as those at Wharton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Virginia, have placed much more emphasis on teaching soft skills. Why do you think this change might have come about? A major reason for the emphasis on teaching interpersonal relations in the leading business schools is that the pendulum swung too far in the other direction. Many MBAs in the past emphasized financial results too heavily, often neglecting the human aspects of management such as motivating people and building morale.
In your opinion, do supervisors of entry-level workers rely more on soft skills or hard skills to accomplish their work? Supervisors of entry-level workers rely more on soft skills to accomplish their work because they spend so much time motivating, training, encouraging and disciplining workers. Nevertheless, hard skills such as preparing budgets and technical problem solving are also important for supervisors of entry-level workers.
Why do people need soft skills in an era of high technology? Soft skills are important in an era of high technology for several reasons. Despite the presence of technology, human problems exist. People still need to be motivated to work at full capacity; communication problems still exist; conflicts must be resolved; and so forth. Another factor favoring soft skills is that the information technology era has created much depersonalization. Soft skills are therefore helpful in humanizing the workplace.
A recent article about conducting yourself well at meetings recommended that people do not chew gum or accept cell phone calls during a business meeting. Why are some intelligent and well-educated people so rude on the job? (Or is the writer of the article simply out of touch with the modern world?) Rudeness, of course, depends on cultural standards. The rude behavior in organizations is part of the incivility in society that has received so much commentary. Many people do not stop to think that gum chewing or accepting outside phone calls is rude. When confronted about their rude behavior, they often become verbally aggressive. The writer of the article may be partially out of touch with the modern world, yet etiquettes specialists agree with the writer.
How does a person know if the feedback he or she receives from another person is 3
accurate? A major factor in measuring the accuracy of feedback is corroboration. If several informed individuals point to the same developmental need for an individual, he or she should take it seriously. Intuition is also an important consideration. If the feedback "feels" right, it is most likely accurate. 6.
How could doing a thorough job with Self-Assessment Quiz 1-1 have a major impact on a person’s career? Doing thorough job with Quiz 1-1 might get a person started on the path of overcoming a developmental need that could be a career retardant. Suppose after doing Self-Assessment Quiz 1-1, the person was reminded that he or she is poor at criticizing others (Statement 14). Furthermore, the same person develops and implements an effective action plan. As a result, the person would have a better chance of succeeding as a manager.
Many business executives, as well as people in public office, have been forced out of their positions because they made “inappropriate sexually-oriented comments” to young workers on their staff. What do you think is wrong with these executives and politicians with respect to interpersonal skills? Sometimes the reason behind these inappropriate comments is a lack of sensitivity to the impact of one’s own behavior. Another reason is that some power holders believe they are entitled to do what they want because of their power. Another reason is that sexual passion so often momentarily over-rules logic.
Based on what you have learned so far in this book, and your own intuition, how would you respond to the statement, “You can’t learn how to get along with people from reading a book”? The model presented in this book indicates that you can learn ideas for getting along with people from a book, but you must also obtain feedback on how well you have acquired the skills, and practice the new skills.
Give an example of a skill you might have learned informally at any point in your life. Students cite excellent examples of informal learning, including both hard skills and soft skills. One student explained how he learned to become a butcher by observing experienced butchers. A number of students also write that they learned how to tie their shoes through modeling. Dealing with customer complaints is another skill set many people have learned through informal learning.
10. Why are soft skills usually not sufficient for building a successful career? Soft skills alone are usually not sufficient for building a successful career because the path to career success usually begins with performing well in a technical or functional 4
skill. For example, even though the field of human resource management involves a lot of soft skills, a person enters the field by doing analytical work such as analyzing turnover statistics or salary trends. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS Nobody Likes Me This modest case points to a major human relations problem: some workers are so unpopular that it is a source of concern to them. 1.
What developmental needs does Phil Baxter appear to have? Using Self-Assessment Quiz 1-1 as a guide, here are some of Baxter’s development needs: (5) I make negative comments about myself too readily, (8) Very few people listen to me, (13) People find me boring, and (18) It is difficult for me to find things to talk about with others.
If you were Marge Caitlin, what would you recommend that Baxter do? Baxter’ situation seems serious enough to speak with a mental health professional. At the same time he could probably benefit from reading, study, and a human relations workshop about getting along well with others.
From the little evidence that you have, what is your opinion of Catlin’s interpersonal skills? The little evidence suggests positive interpersonal skills for Caitlin. Despite being under pressure with her own analytical work, she was observant enough to notice that Baxter was experiencing difficulty. Also, she asked Phil a question that suggests she has good listening skills.
How Do You Say No to Girl Scout Cookies? This case illustrates a frequent human relations challenge in the workplace: not going along with the good causes of coworkers. 1.
What developmental needs might workers such as Bok Lei Goodman have in relation to their dealing with charity appeals at the office? Using Self-Assessment Quiz 1-1 as a guide, the key developmental needs are as follows: (4) I have trouble expressing my feelings, (10) When I’m in conflict with another person I usually lose, and (17) I avoid controversy in dealing with others,
What developmental needs might the workers have who sell products for charity at the office?
Using Self-Assessment Quiz 1-1 as a guide, the key developmental needs are as follows: (2) I’m too overbearing and obnoxious, and (3) I intimidate too many people. Of course, if a person believes that selling products for charity in the office is meritorious, these developmental needs do not apply. 3.
Why might this case about soliciting for charity be considered a human relations problem? Dealing with solicitors for charity is a human relations problem because most people want to get along with their coworkers, yet sometimes coworkers place us in an uncomfortable position. We want to turn down a demand without jeopardizing the relationship. COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES
Applying the Model for Improving Interpersonal Skills This exercise helps emphasize a point that must be repeated often—for many people improving an interpersonal skill takes a lot of hard work. Going through all six steps is important to enhance the possibility that development will take place. Identification of developmental needs is an essential first step, and I have found students tend to be open rather than defensive about looking for ways to improve interpersonal skills. What Are Your Developmental Needs? This exercise is placed first in the text because it sets the stage for serious thinking about personal development in the interpersonal sphere. One approach to this exercise is to request each student to present one developmental need and action plan to the class. After the presentations are complete, students are asked to interpret what they heard. My experience has been that students often ask the instructor to identify his or her most pressing developmental need. So be prepared! Selling at the Office (Role Play) As an introductory role play to the course, this scenario has promise. Both Ricardo and Kristina probably want to preserve a good working relationship, yet they will be in minor conflict. People who sell wellness products are often obsessed about the health-benefits of their products, making it difficult for them to recognize that an associate might be not interested in purchasing the product. EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (c)
1. Jobs requiring interaction with people usually require a combination of a. technical skills and developmental needs. b. technical skills and universal skills. 6
c. effective skills in interpersonal relations and technical work. d. technical skills and Internet skills. (a)
2. A key aspect of interpersonal skill training is that the a. skills can be put into practice. b. learner overcomes all developmental needs. c. learner becomes more effective at gathering information online. d. skills are placed into memory.
3. An example of a soft skill would be a. listening carefully to people. b. knowing how to make frozen custard. c. knowing how to appraise real estate. d. developing software.
4. The difference between soft skills and hard skills refers to the distinction between a. intellectual and mechanical skills. b. personal and job-related skills. c. irrelevant and relevant skills. d. interpersonal and technical skills.
5. Many studies have show that soft skills can compensate for a. skills in dealing with people. b. being sensitive to other people’s feelings. c. traditional intelligence, particularly in highly analytical work. d. traditional intelligence (within limits).
6. In the basic learning model, a goal refers to a. what the person has already accomplished. b. how quickly the person learns. c. a desired state of affairs. d. the activities required to reach an end result.
7. An example of an action plan to help Jack become more patient would be for him to a. set a goal of becoming more patient. b. receive counseling about his impatience. c. ask friends if he is really impatient. d. figure out how far he is from his goal of being more patient.
8. In the learning model, self-discipline is an especially important contributor to a. waiting to get started. b. changing a goal. c. creating an action plan. d. implementing the action plans.
9. The final step in the learning model is a. assessing reality. b. obtaining feedback. c. frequent practice. d. developing an action plan.
10. An important requirement at each stage of the model for acquiring skills is a. punishment for mistakes. b. self-discipline. c. encouragement from an outside source. d. reviewing past mistakes.
11. A developmental need refers to a. a person's level of motivation for change. b. a person's need for change. c. the goal of a person’s boss. d. the goal of a trainer.
12. An important way of identifying developmental needs is through a. reading biographies of leaders in your field. b. dreams about your future. c. choosing the opposite of universal developmental needs. d. feedback from others.
13. The first step toward change is a. identification of the problem. b. low self-esteem. c. a desire for perfection. d. satisfaction with the status quo.
14. The purpose of the developmental need inventory is to identify needs for development and a. draw actions plans for bringing about needed change. b. draw a self-portrait. c. compare past successes with future goals. d. compare one's own developmental needs with those of others.
15. A universal training need refers to a. the most comprehensive type of need for change. b. an area for skill improvement shared by most people. c. a training need of most career failures. d. an urgent need for development.
16. An individual's developmental need a. must be chosen from universal training needs. b. becomes converted into a universal training need. c. can never be a universal training need. d. might also be a universal training need. 8
17. The biggest change in recent years in how work is organized has been a. increasing the number of levels in an organization. b. appointing more managers and supervisors. c. the shift from traditional departments to teams. d. giving less responsibility to workers.
18. Political skills in the workplace refer to a. influencing others so your interests are satisfied. b. tricking other people toward your way of thinking. c. supporting political candidates. d. looking foolish while trying to succeed.
19. The need for leadership skills has increased in the modern organization because a. many more permanent leadership positions have been created. b. more people are required to exercise leadership at least part of the time. c. many entry-level workers now have “leader” in their title. d. companies have de-emphasized the importance of groups and teams.
20. A current trend in helping employees grow and develop is that a. employees are instructed to “sink or swim.” b. managers expect schools to take care of all growth and development. c. workers are expected to help coworkers. d. employees are given three months to grow and develop.
21. A good example of informal learning would be a. taking a course in golf or tennis. b. attending a seminar with friends. c. studying a text or manual as part of a course. d. acquiring a skill by observing a more experienced worker.
23. According to a table prepared by Capital Works, which is the most frequent source of learning on the job among the following four? a. interaction with coworkers b. contact with outside professionals c. Internet or intranet d. conferences
24. Which one of the following has been identified as a powerful on-the-job learning experience? a. influencing others when you have considerable authority
A trend in business with respect to learning is to a. use formal classroom learning just for hard skills. b. integrate formal classroom learning with informal learning. c. use informal learning to replace formal classroom learning. d. assign workers to either formal classroom learning or informal learning.
b. dealing with problem employees c. dealing with familiar responsibilities on a regular basis d. having a boss who agrees with you in almost all areas (c)
25. Which one of the following experiences is likely to do you the most good in terms of developing job skills? a. being assigned familiar responsibilities b. dealing with routine assignments. c. having a boss with serious shortcomings d. being paid more than your peers.
1. Interpersonal skills are referred to as soft skills because a person with good interpersonal skills has a low aptitude for technical work.
2. As the work environment has become more technological, the demand for interpersonal skills has decreased.
3. So long as a supervisor is highly intelligent, he or she does not need much in the way of soft skills.
4. To perform in an outstanding manner, a person usually needs good soft skills because so many jobs involved dealing with people.
5. Sharing ideas with coworkers would be an example of an interpersonal skill.
6. For purpose of interpersonal skill training, a goal can be considered a desired state of affairs.
7. An action plan in the learning model refers to a mechanism for changing the relationship between the person and the environment.
8. Self-discipline is important for implementing the action plans in the learning model.
9. Short-range feedback is usually sufficient to measure the effectiveness of skill development.
10. True skill development takes place when a person integrates the new skill into the usual way of conducting oneself.
11. When an interpersonal skill becomes a habit, it loses its effectiveness.
12. The learning model proceeds in this sequence: Goal assessing reality an action plan feedback on actions frequent practice.
13. People are the most likely to develop new skills when they feel no particular need for change.
14. A developmental need refers to about the same idea as a weakness a person should overcome.
15. An example of a developmental need would be, “I become flustered when I talk to people who hold important positions.”
16. Soliciting feedback is an important method for identifying developmental needs.
17. The results of performance evaluations are a recommended source of feedback for determining developmental needs.
18. The shift toward increasing the number of departments in organizations has led to the increased importance of teamwork skills.
19. Ethical decision-making is a skill that can be developed.
20. An example of informal learning would be to develop your Internet search skills through chatting about these skills with coworkers during breaks.
21. A survey of many company employees indicated that informal learning still only accounts for about 10 percent of workplace learning.
22. You can tell that you are participating in informal learning when beverages and snacks are served during break time at a seminar.
23. An example of informal learning would be acquiring information technology skills with the CDs supplied by the “Video Professor.” (He does extensive TV advertising.)
24. Dealing with unfamiliar responsibilities is known to be helpful in developing interpersonal skills on the job.
25. One of the biggest inhibitors to developing effective interpersonal skills is to have a boss you cannot get along with.
CHAPTER 2 UNDERSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES A key contributor to developing effective interpersonal relationships in organizations is understanding individual differences, the variations in how people respond to the same situation based on personal characteristics. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES I. PERSONALITY Individual differences in personality greatly influence interpersonal relationships. Personality refers to those persistent and enduring behavior patterns that tend to be expressed in a wide variety of situations. A. Eight Major Personality Factors and Traits Many psychologists believe that the basic structure of human personality is represented by five broad factors, known as the Big Five (or Five Factor Model). Three more key personality factors, risk taking and thrill seeking, self-monitoring of behavior, and optimism, have received much attention and are also included here. All eight factors have a substantial impact on interpersonal relations and job performance. Despite a genetic influence, most people can improve their standing on key personality factors. 1. Neuroticism refers to emotional instability and identifies people prone to psychological distress and coping with problems in unproductive ways. 2. Extraversion reflects the quantity or intensity of social interactions, the need for social stimulation, self-confidence, and competition. 3. Openness reflects the proactive seeking of experience for its own sake. 4. Agreeableness reflects the quality of one’s interpersonal orientation. 5. Conscientiousness reflects organization, self-restraint, persistence, and motivation toward attaining goals. 6. Self-monitoring of behavior refers to the process of observing and controlling how we are perceived by others. 7. Risk taking and thrill seeking refers to the propensity to take risks and pursue thrills. 8. Optimism refers to a tendency to experience positive emotional states, and to typically believe that positive outcomes will be forthcoming from most activities. The Five Factor Model appears to apply to personality structures in different cultures. One study showed that extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are major personality factors in most cultures. 12
B. The Eight Factors and Traits and Job Performance Depending on the job, any one of the preceding personality factors can be important for success. Conscientiousness relates to job performance for many different occupations, yet conscientiousness can interfere with spontaneity and imagination. Extraversion is associated with success for managers and salespersons. High self-monitors tend to receive higher performance evaluations, and they tend to engage in organizational citizenship behavior, a willingness to go beyond one’s job description. A study with customer service employees demonstrated that having low standing on the Big Five personality factions is associated with counterproductive work behavior such as taking company property. A combination of personality factors will sometimes be more closely associated with job success than one factor alone, such as being conscientious and agreeable. Optimism and pessimism can enhance job performance depending on the job. C. Psychological Types and Cognitive Styles Personality also influences a person's cognitive style, or modes of problem solving. Jung's analysis of cognitive style became the basis for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Four separate dichotomies direct the typical use of perception and judgment by an individual: (1) Extraversion-introversion, (2) sensing-intuition, (3) thinking-feeling, and (4) judging-perceiving. Combining the four types with each other results in 16 personality types, as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Figure 2-2 presents the personal characteristics associated with four of the sixteen types of cognitive styles. Evidence suggests that the different types are associated with occupational choice, such as the traditionalist often becoming an accountant or financial analyst. Far too many people over-interpret Meyers-Briggs personality types as being definitive indicators of an individual’s personality, and therefore pigeon hole that person. D. Guidelines for Dealing with Different Personality Types To match one’s approach to dealing with a given personality type, a person must first arrive at an approximate diagnosis of the individual’s personality. Fourteen suggestions are presented in the text, yet they must be regarded tentatively. Four of these suggestions are: (1) When relating to an extraverted individual, emphasize friendliness and warmth; (2) when relating to an introverted individual, move slowly, and tolerate silence; (3) when relating to a disagreeable person, be patient and tolerant; and (4) when relating to a conscientious person, grant freedom and do not nag. II.
Mental ability is one of the major sources of individual differences that affects job performance and behavior. Intelligence is the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge.
Abstract problems can best be solved by intelligent workers. Understanding the intelligence of others can improve one’s ability to relate to them. A. Components of Traditional Intelligence Intelligence consists of a g (general) factor along with s (special) factors that contribute to problem-solving ability. The g factor helps explain why some people perform so well in so many different mental tasks. The following seven mental ability factors have been consistently identified: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Verbal comprehension: understanding the meaning of words and information. Word fluency: the ability to use words quickly and easily. Numerical acuity: the ability to handle numbers. Spatial: the ability to visualize forms and objects in three dimensions. Memory: having a good rote memory. Perceptual speed: the ability to perform tasks requiring visual perception. Inductive reasoning: the ability to discover a rule or principle and apply it to a problem.
B. Practical Intelligence To overcome the limited idea that intelligence mostly involves the ability to solve abstract problems, the concept of the triarchic theory of intelligence has been proposed. The analytical subtype is the traditional intelligence needed for solving difficult problems. The creative subtype is the type of intelligence required for imagination and combining things in novel ways. The practical subtype is the type of intelligence required for adapting to your environment to suit your needs. Included in practical intelligence is intuition, and experiencebased way of knowing or reasoning in which the weighing and balancing of evidence are done automatically. Experience usually improves practical intelligence. C. Multiple Intelligences According to the theory of multiple intelligences, people know and understand the world in distinctly different ways, and learn in different ways. The eight intelligences, or faculties, are as follows: (1) linguistic, (2) logical-mathematical, (3) musical, (4) spatial, (5) bodily/kinesthetic, (6) intrapersonal, (7) interpersonal, and (8) naturalist. D. Emotional Intelligence How effectively people use their emotions has a major impact on their success. Emotional intelligence refers to qualities such as understanding one’s feelings, empathy for others, and the regulation of emotion to enhance living. The four key factors of emotional intelligence are: 1. Self-awareness (self-knowledge) 2. Self-management (control of one’s emotions) 3. Social awareness (empathy for others and intuition about work problems) 4. Relationship management (interpersonal skills)
Emotional intelligence incorporates many of the skills and attitudes necessary to achieve effective interpersonal relations in organizations. E. Guidelines for Relating to People of Different Levels and Types of Intelligence Several suggestions are given for relating differently to people of different types and levels of intelligence. For example, when people are brighter, present ideas in more technical depth, use more difficult words, and ask challenging questions; do the opposite with a mentally slow question. III.
VALUES AS A SOURCE OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES A value refers to the importance a personal attaches to something, and values are another source of individual differences. Values are closely tied in with ethics, the moral choices a person makes. Differences in values among people often stem from age, or generational differences. Table 2-1 presents stereotypes about Baby Boomers versus members of Generation X and Generation Y. A. How Values are Learned One important way in which we learn values is through observing others, or modeling. Models can be parents, teachers, friends, brothers, sisters, and even public figures. Another way in which values are learned is through the communication of attitudes. B. Clarifying Your Values Value-clarification exercises ask you to compare the relative importance you attach to different objects and activities. Self-Assessment Quiz 2-4 provides insight into value clarification. C. The Mesh Between Individual and Job Values When individual and job values are congruent, job performance is likely to be higher. When the demands made by the organization or a superior clash with the basic values of the individual, the person suffers from person-role conflict. D. Guidelines for Using Values to Enhance Interpersonal Relations Values are an important driver of interpersonal effectiveness. One approach would be to establish the values a person will use in relationships with others on the job, and then use those values as a firm guideline in working with others. Also, express your concern to employers when you believe that your values are being compromised. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW
Why is responding to individual differences considered to be the cornerstone of effective interpersonal relations?
Responding to individual differences is so important because the opposite is to relate to people mechanically and reflexively. When a person adapts to another person’s uniqueness, good rapport is the likely result. 2.
How can knowledge of personality factors help a person form better interpersonal relationships on the job? A knowledge of key personality factors can help people individualize their approach to other people. As a basic example, if a person appears to be introverted, the person sizing him or her up might use a laid-back approach.
Identify two job situations (or entire jobs) in which being pessimistic might be an asset. Pessimists make good auditors because their mental set is to think something might be wrong, and they go look for it. Being a pessimist can also be an asset for a tax accountant because it is similarly advantageous to think that mistakes might have been made by the client. As a result, the tax accountant will attempt to ferret out the errors.
Suppose a high self-monitoring person is attending a company-sponsored social event and that person dislikes such events. How is he or she likely to behave? The high self-monitor will act like he or she is having a good time despite some inner discomfort with the situation. Self-monitoring people are tactful enough to put on a good show.
Identify two business occupations for which a high propensity for risk taking and thrill seeking would be an asset. Business occupations where a high propensity for risk would be valuable include a broker for investments such as stock futures and commodity trading, a specialist in repossessing expensive goods, a commission-only sales person, and a venture capitalist.
What kinds of problems would individuals who rely on feelings prefer to tackle? The feeling-type individual prefers to tackle problems involving details, routine and order, such as conducting an inventory audit or preparing uncomplicated tax returns.
Which of the seven components of traditional intelligence represents your best mental aptitude? What is your evidence? Reflecting on past experience helps answer this question. An easy source of information would be school grades. A person might also reflect about work experiences and everyday experiences. Someone might be good at understanding maps and following them, suggesting good spatial intelligence as his strongest aptitude.
How could you use the concept of multiple intelligences to raise the self-esteem of people who did not consider themselves to be very smart? People who do not consider themselves to be very smart typically use scholastic achievement and abstract problem solving as their frame of reference for judging intelligence. A person with such a self-evaluation might be reminded that he or she has great aptitude for dancing (or something else), this indicating high bodily/kinesthetic intelligence (or another of the multiple intelligences). Receiving recognition for genuine accomplishment tends to bolster self-esteem.
Suppose a person is quite low in emotional intelligence. In what type of job is he or she the most likely to be successful? To the extent that a job does not involve much interaction with people, a person with low emotional intelligence might be successful. Many technical jobs do involve considerable interaction with people, so low emotional intelligence can be a negative factor for many technical jobs.
How can you use information about a person’s values to help you relate more effectively to him or her? Knowledge of a person’s values can enhance establishing rapport with the individual by making an appeal to those values. If you know, for example, that the person has strong professional values, you can emphasize career and work in casual conversations with him or her.
ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS Capitalizing on Hidden Talent at Westmont Center A major theme of this case is that and understanding of human capabilities can help solve an important business problem, such as staffing a home for assisted living. The case also emphasizes that being humanistic, and giving a diverse people a try, can be a good business strategy. 1. What do you recommend that the board do in terms of approving Gagnon’s plan for hiring about five people with intellectual deficiencies to work at Westmont? A sensible point from a human relations perspective would be to give the plan a try, and closely supervise and coach the workers with intellectual deficiencies to give the plan a good chance for success.
2. Assuming that the workers with mild intellectual deficiencies are hired, what recommendations can you make to the supervisors for their training and supervision? Experience suggests that workers with mild mental deficiencies respond well to simple, explicit instructions that are repeated frequently. The supervisor should minimize changes of assignments. Encouragement and kindness are also likely to enhance the recruits’ chances for success. 3. Gagnon mentioned a few potential jobs at the Center for workers with light intellectual deficiencies. What other tasks would you recommend? Workers with mild intellectual deficiencies perform the best in low-skilled, repetitive work. Some additional tasks likely to need doing at the Center include cleaning the floors and bathrooms, watering plants, raking leaves, picking up debris from the lawn, carrying back trays from the rooms of residents, and emptying waste baskets.. “We’ve Got to Make Our Numbers.” Here, early in the text, we present a case involving ethics, with the specific theme being roleconflict. Chapter 13 explores ethical skills in depth. 1. What is the nature of the conflict Bruce Malone is facing? Malone is facing role conflict. He is being asked to manipulate sales figures which conflicts with his values of wanting to be an honest professional sales representative. 2. What types of values is Lucille Whitman demonstrating? Whitman is demonstrating expedient values. She is succumbing to pressures from the corporate group to behave dishonestly in order to meet financial targets, presumably to satisfy the demands of stockholders. 3. What do you recommend Bruce should have done to work his way out of the problem he was facing? Bruce was cornered since he was not in a position to change corporate values. Yet, he might have requested a meeting with Lucille and a corporate executive to express his concerns. If he turns down the request to fake sales figures he would be risking is job. 4. Is Bruce being too naïve for a career in business? Bruce might be too naïve to work for just any industrial sales firm. However, the scandals in recent years have alerted more companies to maintaining honest financial records. As a consequence, Bruce might be able to work for a firm with high ethics. COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES The Self-Monitoring Scale 18
Self-monitoring is a major personality trait so it is useful for students to think about their tendencies toward self-monitoring. The significance of extreme scores is useful to ponder. Would a very low self-monitor be insensitive to people, such as telling coworkers that their children are dull-witted or ugly? Would a very high self-monitor be an inveterate office politician? The Risk-Taking Scale Even people in the same demographic group vary considerably in risk-taking propensity, so class members should vary in their scores. Ask for volunteers who scored very high or very low on the quiz to compare their scores to their self-evaluation. It is helpful for the volunteers to document how they are high- or low-risk takers. Personality Role Plays To perform these role-plays well, students will have to carefully study the guidelines for dealing with different personality types. Studying the guidelines will also give useful clues about how to behave when one has high standing on a particular personality trait such as openness. For example, the sensing type individual will be digging for details about the expense account abuses. Adapting to Different Mental Abilities A potential contribution of this exercise is that it sensitizes students to the importance of reacting to one of the major dimensions of behavior—mental ability. Many people have not stopped to think of the importance of dealing with people differently based on their mental abilities. Helping an Intellectually Challenged Worker Get Started This role play works wonders with humanistic students who also understand the concept of individual differences. The effective role player will be encouraging toward Jimmy, and give him clear instructions without presenting too many tasks during the first meeting. At the same time the student who plays the supervisor must pull this off without appearing to be patronizing. After the role play is completed, Jimmy might be asked if he felt patronized. Clarifying Your Values Thinking through the priorities one attaches to his or her values is inherently enjoyable. A point of class discussion is how some of the values are interrelated. One cannot satisfy some values without satisfying others. For example having good health contributes to having an above-average income, and being in good physical condition. The Value Conflict Role-Play A high level of diplomacy is required to deal with the person-role conflict of being asked to make unfavorable judgments about workers to justify laying them off. This role-play might demonstrate how difficult it is for some people to cling to their values when their job might be at stake.
The Making the Numbers Conundrum This role play requires courage in that the person who plays the role of Bruce Malone must defend his or her values. The person who plays the role of Lucille Whitman might be defending a decision that she (Whitman) does not regard highly. Bruce is in the delicate position of defending his values while at the same time attempting to keep his job. Peeking ahead to Chapter 8 about conflict-management skills might be helpful for the role players.
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (b)
1. The term individual differences refers to the fact that a. members of the same group behave approximately the same. b. members of the same group often behave quite differently. c. many individuals have personality problems. d. many individuals have intellectual problems.
2. In its scientific meaning, personality refers basically to an individual’s a. ability to influence others. b. attitudes and perceptions. c. enduring behavior patterns. d. social skills.
3. Jill scores low on the personality trait of extraversion. She will most likely a. be careless about details. b. be agreeable and outgoing. c. have unpredictable mood swings. d. be quiet and reserved in most social settings.
4. Jason scores high on the personality trait, openness. He most likely is a. well developed intellectually. b.conscientious only on the job. c. disagreeable in many situations. d.emotionally unstable.
5. Monica has a high standing on self-monitoring. It is likely that she will often a. tell other people what they want to hear. b. be particularly conscientious about details. c. be tactless about expressing her feelings. d. become quite temperamental.
6. Derek has a high standing on risk taking and thrill seeking. He is likely to a. enter more traditional occupations. b. be highly well organized. c. become quite temperamental when he loses a bet. d. pursue novel, intense, and complex sensations.
7. Tony rates high on positive affectivity. He is likely to be a (n) a. risk taker and thrill seeker. b. pessimist. c. optimist. d. emotionally unstable.
8. Workers who score high on optimism or positive affectivity are likely to experience a. high job satisfaction. b. low job satisfaction. c. severe job stress. d. frequent conflict with supervisors.
9. A cross-cultural study of the Big Five model concluded that personality structure is a. universal, much like the structure of the human brain or body.
b. unique to each culture like customs. c. found mostly in developed countries. d. found mostly in undeveloped countries. (c) 10. A group of studies about the relationship of self-monitoring to job performance found that a.
high self-monitors are less likely to be found in leadership positions.
b. low self-monitors are more likely to be found in leadership positions. c.
high self-monitors receive higher performance evaluations.
d. low self-monitors receiver lower performance evaluations. (d) 11.
A study with customer service representatives found that having a low standing on the Big Five personality factors was associated with a. high concern for rules and regulations. b. ambition to become an executive. c. high cooperation and team play. d. counterproductive work behavior such as playing a mean prank.
According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the opposite of a thinking person is
one classified as a.
(b) 13. According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Marie is a feeling-type individual. She most likely bases conclusions on a. ideas that others have rejected. b. personal or social values. c. objective information d. statistical evidence. (a) 14.When dealing with a person who is open to experience, it would be effective for you
to a. appeal to the person’s intellect. b. avoid presenting fresh information to him or her. c. avoid talking about cultural trends. d. talk about traditional approaches to solving problems. (d) 15.
Juan has a strong g factor. He is therefore likely to perform well a. mostly on tasks requiring numerical reasoning. b. mostly on tasks requiring good verbal ability. c. in a variety of tasks that do not call for much mental problem solving. d. in a variety of mental tasks.
The ability to discover principles from facts is called a. symbolic reasoning. b. word fluency. c. inductive reasoning. d. visualization.
The triarchic theory of intelligence explains that intelligence is exhibited a. in mental activities of various kinds. b. mostly in solving mechanical problems. c. only by people of average intelligence. d. only after accumulating experience.
According to the triarchic theory of intelligence, a person with good street smarts would be strong in the ____________ subtype of intelligence. a. analytical b. practical c. creative d. multiple
According to the triarchic theory of intelligence, a person with good analytical intelligence would be strong at
a. adapting the environment to fit his or her needs. b. solving difficult problems. c. performing tasks requiring imagination. d. tasks requiring common sense and street smarts. (c) 20.
The theory of multiple intelligences contends that people possess a. various ways of multiplying their intelligences. b. two different types of intelligences, or faculties, in different degrees. c. eight different intelligences, or faculties, in different degrees. d. an almost unlimited number of intelligences.
A person with a high degree of self-management can readily a. react with appropriate anger to situations. b. develop passion about the work he or she is performing. c. respond to the unspoken feelings of others. d. understand his or her own moods.
An important part of emotional intelligence is a. adding figures under pressure. b. having an above-average IQ. c. keeping emotions out of problem solving. d. building strong bonds with people.
Job performance is likely to be higher when a. the company assigns personal values to workers b. employees are told not to use their values on the job. c. employee values clash with those of the employer. d. employee values mesh with those of the employer.
Person-role conflict occurs when an individual a. enters into conflict with a coworker. b. is asked to perform a task that clashes with his or her values. c. is asked to perform a task outside his or her specialty area.
d. is expected to perform two different activities at the same time. (c)
Workers who are idealistic about their jobs are likely to want to a. get as much vacation time as possible. b. make many mistakes while daydreaming. c. make an impact on the lives of others. d. avoid hard work.
1.Professional basketball players range in height from 5’5” to 7’6” thus illustrating the concept of individual differences.
2.The concept of personality is based on the fact that the behavior of people is unpredictable from one situation to another.
3.The personality trait of openness relates primarily to how eagerly a person enters into relationships with other people.
4.A high self-monitoring person has a strong tendency to tell other people what they want to hear.
5.The willingness to take risks and pursue thrills on the job is a personality trait that has grown in importance in the high technology era.
6.A person with a high degree of optimism is likely to experience many negative emotional states.
7.The five-factor structure of the American personality is found almost exclusively in the United States and Germany.
8.The personality trait most consistently related to job success is conscientiousness.
9.The personal trait of extraversion is associated with success in management jobs and sales jobs.
(F) 10.A low self-monitor is more likely to engage in organizational citizenship behavior than would a high self-monitor. (T) 11. A study with customer service representatives indicated that having low standing on the Big Five personality factors was associated with being a conscientious and productive workers. (T) 12.Pessimistic workers are often productive because they assume that something will go wrong and therefore prepare to prevent unfortunate circumstances. (T) 13. According to the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, one of the four dichotomies that direct the typical use of perception and judgment by the individual is sensing- intuiting. (T) 14.A person’s cognitive style influences the type of work he or she can perform well. (T) 15.Traditional intelligence consists of both general and specific factors. (F) 16.A key point of the triarchic theory of intelligence is that the creative and practical subtypes of intelligence are inferior to the analytical type. (T) 17.A person with high practical intelligence would have good common sense and wisdom. (T) 18.According to the theory of multiple intelligences, people learn in different ways. (T) 19.Emotional intelligence refers to the idea that how effectively people use their emotions influences their success. (F) 20.The self-awareness aspect of emotional intelligence refers to a passion to work for reasons in addition to money or status.
(T) 21.Having good social skills is part of being emotionally intelligent. (F) 22.Values and ethics influence people in opposite directions. (T) 23.Ashley was born on January 1, 1989, so she is classified as a millennial. (T) 24.Job performance is likely to be higher when a person’s job values fit those required on the job. (F) 25.A person-role conflict occurs when a person has much more intelligence than his or her job requires.
CHAPTER 3 BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-CONFIDENCE This chapter focuses on two of the biggest building blocks for more effective human relations: the nature and development of self-esteem and self-confidence. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES I. THE MEANING OF SELF-ESTEEM, ITS DEVELOPMENT AND CONSEQUENCES Understanding the self is important. A particularly important role is played by self-esteem, the overall evaluation people make about themselves whether positive or negative. Our self-concept is what we think about ourselves whereas self-esteem is what we feel about ourselves. A. How Self-Esteem Develops Self-esteem develops and evolves throughout our lives based on interactions with people, events, and things. Early-life experiences have a major impact on self-esteem. People who were encouraged to feel good about themselves and their accomplishments by others are more likely to enjoy high self-esteem. Praise alone does not build self-esteem. Instead, it results from accomplishing worthwhile activities, and then feeling proud of these accomplishments. To develop self-esteem people need to improve their skills for dealing with the world. A study with Dutch college students found that self-esteem was related to procedural fairness and leadership that encourages self-rewards. Fair procedures had a stronger impact on self-esteem when the leader encourages self-rewards. B. The Consequences of Self-Esteem Self-esteem is important for career success. High self-esteem leads to good mental health. One reason is that high self-esteem helps some situations from being too stressful, such as being insulted. Yet people with high self-esteem profit from negative feedback. Self-esteem is a critical source of competitive advantage in an information society because it is associated with such behaviors as being creative and innovative, and taking the initiative to solve problems. Workers with high self-esteem are more likely to be able to cope with new challenges regularly because they are confident they can master their environment. High self-esteem can have some negative consequences particularly because individuals with high self-esteem work hard to presser their high status relative to others, such as undermining them. High self-esteem can lead to an unrealistic view of oneself, and also to intolerance of people who differ from one’s self. Envy is another potential negative consequence of high self-esteem. The consequences of self-esteem are related to its source. People who evaluate their self worth on how others perceive them and not on their value as human beings often suffer negative physical and mental consequences. II. ENHANCING SELF-ESTEEM
Following are five approaches to enhancing self-esteem that relate to how self-esteem develops. Each of these approaches has a skill component, such as learning to avoid situations that make you feel incompetent. A. Attain Legitimate Accomplishments To repeat, accomplishing worthwhile activities is a major contributor to self-esteem in both children and adults. To be real, self-esteem must be based on something true. Social science research suggests this sequence of events: Person establishes a goal person pursues the goal person achieves the goal person develops esteem-like feelings. [Ask class members what life experiences have boosted their self-esteem.] B. Be Aware of Personal Strengths Developing an appreciation of strengths and accomplishments can improve self-esteem. A good starting point is for a person to list his or her strengths and accomplishments on a word processing document or paper. A useful technique is to discuss strengths in a small group, with each member receiving a turn. C. Rebut the Inner Critic Rebut the voice inside you that sends negative messages about your capabilities. Rebutting critical statements made about you might also be considered another way of appreciating your strengths. D. Practice Self-Nurturing Treat yourself as a worthwhile person. Nurture and care for yourself in ways that show how valuable, competent, deserving and lovable you really are. One example is to administer self-rewards for a job well done. E. Minimizing Setting and Interactions that Detract from Your Feelings of Competence Minimizing exposure to situations in which you do not feel at your best can lead to fewer feelings of incompetence. Yet it is good for self-esteem to conquer situations in which you feel challenged. F. Get Help from Others Self-esteem is strongly shaped by how others perceive us so getting help from others is a major step a person can take to improve his or her self-esteem. Asking for support from friends can include such basic steps as: (1) Ask friends to tell you what they like about you or what they think that you do well. (2) Ask for a hug. Getting help from teachers and other helpers can include: (1) Ask professors or tutors for help with work you find to be challenging. (2) Take classes or attempt new activities to increase your self-confidence in weak areas. Another way of getting help from others is to talk and socialize frequently with
people who can boost your self-esteem. People who can raise your self-esteem are usually those with high self-esteem themselves. The same people will give you more honest feedback. Weak people may flatter you, but not offer the honest feedback you need to build self-esteem. G. Model the Behavior of People with High Self-Esteem Observe the way people who you believe to have high self-esteem stand, walk, speak, and act. Choose your models of high self-esteem from people you know personally, as well as celebrities you might watch on television and interview shows. H. Create a High Self-Esteem Living Space A panel of mental health specialists recommends that to enhance your self-esteem you should make your living space one that honors the person you are. Make the space comfortable and attractive for you. Your living space is part of your self-image. III. THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SELF-EFFICACY Self-confidence is almost the equivalent of self-esteem. Self-efficacy is confidence in your ability to carry out a specific task, in contrast to generalized self-confidence. Self-efficacy relates to job performance, and self-confidence is associated with leadership. Feelings of self-confidence stem from five sources of information: (1) actual experience, (2) the experience of others, or modeling, (3) social comparison, (4) social persuasion, the process of convincing another person, and (5) emotional arousal including managing emotions. IV. BUILDING YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE Self-confidence is generally achieved by succeeding in a variety of situations. Following are seven specific strategies and tactics for building self-esteem. A. Develop a Solid Knowledge Base Solving problems from a base of facts helps project a confident image. Formal education is very important, and day-by-day absorption of career-related information is also important. B. Use Positive Self-Talk To appear self-confident, use positive self-talk, or saying positive things about your self. The first step is to objectively state the incident that I casting doubt about self-worth. . C. Avoid Negative Self-Talk Minimize negative comments about yourself to bolster self-confidence. For example, do not say “I may be stupid but…” or “Nobody asked my opinion.” D. Use Positive Visual Imagery
To use positive visual imagery, or picturing a positive outcome in your mind. Imagine yourself performing well in an upcoming situation that represents a challenge. E. Set High Expectations for Yourself (the Galeta Effect) Setting high expectations and succeeding is likely to boost self-confidence. The Galeta effect is a type of self-fulfilling prophecy in which high expectations lead to high performance. You expect to win, so you do. F. Develop the Explanatory Style of Optimists Explaining events in an optimistic way can help preserve self-confidence and self-esteem. When experiencing trouble, optimists tend to explain the problems to themselves as temporary. G. Strive for Peak Performance A key strategy for projecting self-confidence is to display peak performance, or exceptional accomplishment on a given task. Peak performance requires total focus on the task at hand, leading to being mentally calm and physically at ease. H. Bounce Back from Setbacks and Embarrassments Overcoming setbacks builds self-confidence. An effective self-confidence builder is to convince yourself that you can conquer adversity such as setbacks and embarrassments. 1. Get past the emotional turmoil. You must accept the reality of your problem, avoid panicking, and get help from your support network. 2. Find a creative solution to your problem. An inescapable part of planning a comeback is to solve your problem, often searching for a creative solution. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1. Why does holding an important job contribute to one’s self-esteem? Self-esteem is shaped in part by how we are perceived by others. In many cultures, people tend to perceive you more positively when you hold an important job. These positive perceptions in turn enhance the person’s self-esteem. 2.
A study be economists indicated that workers with higher levels of self-esteem tended to be more productive. What would be an explanation of this finding? The workers with high self-esteem would take more pride in their work, thereby doing a better job leading to higher productivity. Organizational productivity, in turn, improves based on a higher number of individual workers being productive.
3. Having workers with high self-esteem is supposed to give a company a competitive edge. If you were responsible for hiring a few new workers, ho would you evaluate a given applicant’s level of self-esteem? The interviewer could ask for a self-description, and observe whether the person made mostly positive references to himself or herself. Statements of pride in his or her accomplishments might indicate self-esteem. High career goals would be another indicator of high self-esteem. Indicators that the person took pride in his or her appearance could also be a tip off to self-esteem. Begging for the job might be an indicator of low selfesteem, as would a willingness to take any salary. 4.
Exercises to boost self-esteem and self-confidence often emphasize focusing on your positive qualities. Why might it also be important to be aware of your weak points to develop selfesteem? Weak points that create problems for us frequently can lower self-esteem and selfconfidence. So if the person patches a weakness, his or her self-esteem might grow. Many public personalities including business executives have worked with speech coaches to overcome a strong regional accent because they perceived the accent to detract from their impact. With the accent modified, these people seem to gain in self-esteem and selfconfidence.
5. A study mentioned in this chapter showed that people with high self-esteem are sometimes intolerant of people quite different from themselves. How would you explain these findings? A potential problem with high self-esteem is that it can sometimes lead to an exaggerated sense of self-worth. The person comes to believe that he or she is a standard for other people. As a consequence, he or she believes that people who do not match this standard are less worthy than him or her—and intolerance results. 6. When you meet another person, on what basis do you conclude that he or she is selfconfident? A self-confident person tends to project an optimistic attitude, and make many positive self-statements. The comments about judging self-esteem in response to Question 3 apply here also. Positive body language is another indicator of self-confidence, such as having a firm handshake and a minimum of nervous indicators such as frequent touching of the hair or looking away from the person opposite him or her. However, some people with low self-confidence have learned to project a positive image. 7. What positive self-talk can you use after you have failed on a major assignment? Creating positive self-talk after failing a major assignment is a challenge. Simple rationalization is not good enough. Some possibilities of positive self-talk here are (a) “I’ve learned a lot from this setback, so I will know how to prepare better next time” (b) “Now that I have hit bottom, I’m headed up”, and (c) “I am glad that I have identified where I need to improve.”
8. In what way does your program of studies contribute to building your selfconfidence and self-esteem? A self-esteem and self-confidence booster for many students is that they perceive their program of studies as helping them develop or enhance valuable skills. Having these skills will help them succeed in a career, thereby enhancing their self-confidence and self-esteem. 9. Many pharmaceutical firms actively recruit cheerleaders as sales representatives to call on doctors to recommend their brand of prescription drugs. The firms in question say that cheerleaders make good sales reps because they are so self-confident. What is your opinion on this controversial issue? An argument against believing that cheerleaders as a group are self-confident is that the self-confidence is not general self-confidence but self-efficacy about being athletic and cheerful. This self-efficacy might not spill over to having self-efficacy about dealing with pharmaceuticals. The positive argument is that you have to be self-confident to be a cheerleader, and you also have to be self-confident to be a pharmaceutical sales rep. Many students may be aware that recruiting cheerleaders is sometimes interpreted as discrimination against candidates who do not resemble the stereotype of a cheerleader. There is at least one employment agency that specializes in matching companies with cheerleaders. 10. Interview a person whom you perceive to have a successful career. Ask that person to describe how he or she developed high self-esteem. Be prepared to discuss your findings in class. We can anticipate a good learning experience for students who take this assignment seriously. Many people with successful careers will probably explain that parents, teachers, and bosses helped them develop self-esteem through encouragement. And some of the more perceptive people interviewed will describe how their early-life accomplishments boosted their self-esteem. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS The Confetti Man This case illustrates the importance some employers place on making employees feel good about themselves with the purpose of enhancing job satisfaction and productivity. 1. To what extent do you think that the celebrations assistant is really boosting the self-esteem of workers? We note that Nick Jablonski is helping workers celebrate legitimate accomplishments so he might be having a small, positive impact on the self-esteem of workers. It could be that compliments from a boss rather than a “celebrations assistant” would have more of an impact on self-esteem.
2. Assume that Nick is successful in boosting worker self-esteem. How might this help the company? If Nick is successful in boosting worker self-esteem, the long range effect could be positive. Research suggests that workers with higher self-esteem are more productive. They might be more self-confident, and take more pride in their jobs. 3. Advise the CEO of the company in question as to whether having a celebrations assistant on the payroll is a good investment of company money. Workers certainly do need recognition, rewards, and praise. Perhaps recognition, rewards, and praise should come from a manager rather than a staff person designated to deliver the recognition, rewards, and praise. The celebrations assistant role might be perceived as artificial. We therefore do not think that the celebrations assistant is a good investment of company money—providing managers take over the assistant’s role. Building up Kristina This case anecdote touches on the widespread problem of some people lacking enough selfconfidence to conquer important tasks. 1. What seems to be Wright’s problem based on the brief information you have been given? Wright has low self-confidence as evidenced by her negative self-statements. The most telling of the statements is “I’m just average, average, average….” At the same time, Wright’s selfesteem appears to be low. She feels that she is not anybody special. 2. What recommendations can you make to Wright to boost her self-confidence enough to get through any upcoming job interviews she might have? Perhaps Wright can take a quick inventory of her strengths. She might list her qualifications for an administrative assistant position, and then conclude that she has at least adequate qualifications. She might also list three positive qualities that she possesses. 3. How helpful might be the words of encouragement and advice that Lopez has given Wright so far? Lopez seems quite genuine in her compliments, and she states them in a reasonable, factual way. Lopez also has enough knowledge of Wright to be a credible source of compliments. We therefore conclude that her words of encouragement to Wright are helpful. COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES The Self-Esteem Checklist A side use of the Self-esteem Checklist is to discuss why some of the statements are related to self-esteem. Two good examples are “If my manager praised me, I would have a difficult time
believing it was deserved” and "I'm just an ordinary person." Some people may not recognize that every day beliefs about the self are tied in with self-esteem. Reinforcing a Positive Self-Image The process of writing down positive things about oneself to boost self-esteem and selfconfidence has a long history. The activity is therefore worth a try. A side benefit is that thinking through good points about oneself is good preparation for job interviews. The Self-Esteem Building Club We assume that students will enjoy the activity of attempting to build the self-esteem of another person. Probably the worst thing that can happen is the recipient of the attempt at self-esteem building will just shrug off the compliments. A useful message communicated by this exercise is that it is humanistic to attempt to build the self-esteem of others, and also requires good interpersonal skill. How Self-Confident are You? Thinking through your level of self-confidence can prove worthwhile. Most people believe that they can use a boost in self-confidence so it is helpful to ponder the ten statements for specific areas of improvement in self-confidence. Building Your Self-Confidence and Self-Efficacy Trying out several self-confidence building techniques is valuable for two major reasons. One, it might get the student embarked on self-confidence or self-efficacy building on a task that required a boost in self-confidence or self-efficacy. Two, the exercise reinforces the interpersonal skilldevelopment model presented in Chapter 1. A key component of this model is to practice the skill in question.
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (a) 1. Self-esteem refers generally to a. the overall evaluation people make of themselves. b. being assertive and in control. c. the self-concept. d. the total of early-life experiences. (d) 2. Self-esteem is based on an overall evaluation of the self that is a. usually positive. b. usually negative. c. typically based on misperceptions. d. either positive or negative.
(c) 3. Jody says, “I feel great about myself, and I feel that I am wonderful.” She is expressing her a. self-monitoring. b. self-doubts. c. self-esteem. d. self-concept. (b) 4. Self-esteem tends to develop a. while we are in the womb. b. based on our interactions with people, events, and things. c. during deep sleep. d. mostly during adolescence. (a) 5. Gus has low self-esteem. As a child he was probably a. expected to be perfect all the time. b. praised frequently. c. given a lot of attention and hugs. d. a high performer in school and sports. (b) 6. A developmental psychologist is likely to believe that self-esteem comes about from a. positive self-talk about being wonderful. b. genuine accomplishment followed by praise and recognition. c. receiving lavish praise even if you have not accomplished much. d. enjoying noncompetitive activities. (c) 7. Pamela wants to raise her self-esteem. A good formula for her would be to a. look in the mirror everyday and say, “Pamela, you are fabulous.” b. look in the mirror everyday and say, “Pamela, you need to improve.” c. attain genuine accomplishments, then receive recognition for them d. attend a retreat where everybody hugs everybody else. (d) 8. According to a psychologist mentioned in the human relations text, the single important factor for career success is a. being the first-born child in a family. b. being the last-born child in a family. c. having high analytical intelligence. d. self-esteem. (a) 9. One of the major consequences of high self-esteem is a. good mental health. b. poor mental health. c. an unwillingness to compromise. d. low career success. (b) 10. Jennifer has high self-esteem. When her human relations professor tells her that she needs major improvement in her presentation skills, Jennifer is likely to a. drop the course. 36
b. ask for advice about improving her presentation skills. c. demand concrete evidence about her deficiencies. d. complain to the department head. (d) 11. Barry has high self-esteem combined with high emotional instability, so he is likely to a. always remember to compliment others in a group b. be an excellent listener. c. physically attack people who disagree with him. d. undermine others by such means as ignoring them. (c) 12. The biggest impact on your self-esteem is likely to come from a. television and movie stars. b. well-known athletes. c. your own reference group. d. genetic factors. (a) 13. According to social science research, Maria is likely to enhance her self-esteem if she first a. pursues a goal then achieves the goal. b. receives a hug from a friend, then chooses a goal. c. hugs somebody else then smiles. d. fails to attain a goal, then receives a hug. (b) 14. A recommended way of increasing self-esteem is to a. tell others to like you. b. become aware of your strengths and accomplishments. c. avoid listening to negative feedback. d. engage in stress-reduction activities. (d) 15. Your inner critic lowers your self-esteem by a. telling you that your height/weight ratio is poor. b. establishing unrealistic goals for you. c. reminding you to obey rules and regulations. d. sending you negative messages about your capabilities. (c) 16. To boost his self-esteem, Sam wants to practice self-nurturing, so he should a. punish himself when he makes mistakes. b. ask key people in his life to hug him. c. take good care of himself mentally and physically. d. attempt to win a contest such as a marathon. (a) 17. A recommended technique for enhancing your self-esteem is to a. minimize settings and interactions that make you feel incompetent. b. maximize settings and interactions that make you feel incompetent. c. avoid self-nurturing. d. accept statements from your inner critic.
(b) 18. An opinion expressed by a psychologist cited in the human relations text is that people who can boost your self-esteem are usually those a. who have so many problems they make you look good. b. with high self-esteem themselves. c. with an extra high degree of self-importance. d. who have conquered substantial personal problems. (c) 19. A high self-esteem living space is one that a. costs way more than the average living space in the area. b. has the latest technology, such as being a smart house. c. honors the person you are. d. requires low maintenance. (a) 20. Jack indicates high self-efficacy when he says, a. “I know that I will make a superior PowerPoint presentation.” b. “I am the greatest.” c. “I do poorly on technical tasks.” d. “I can handle anything.” (a) 21. An example of positive self-talk is a. "I know I can do it." b. "My friends are super." c. "I'm positive others can do better than me." d. "Everybody is wonderful." (c) 22. Which one of the following is the least likely to increase self-confidence? a. Having pride in one's work. b. Taking risks. c. Acquiring a large base of knowledge. d. Maintaining a rigid position on most issues. (b) 23. Positive visual imagery involves a. sketching a map of your success strategy. b. mentally rehearsing the successful handling of a future event. c. thinking of everything that might go wrong in an upcoming challenging situation. d. learning to become an optimist. (b) 24. Amy makes use of the Galeta effect when she says to herself a. “Whatever results I achieve will be good enough.” b. “I intend to be one of the best performers in the company this year.” c. “Life is beautiful if you stop to smell the roses.” d. “If I set my goals low enough, I know I will succeed.” (d) 25. You know that you are on the way to peak performance when you a. are beginning to feel some fatigue from the task. b. receive the coaching that you need to perform well. c. engage in multitasking. 38
d. totally focused on what you are doing. True/False (F)
1. Self-esteem deals with what we think about ourselves, whereas the self-concept deals more with what we feel about ourselves.
2. Priscilla has high self-esteem therefore she is likely to develop a positive selfconcept.
3. An example of an early life experience that contributes to healthy self-esteem is experiencing success in sports or school.
4. A highly effective sequence of events for achieving high self-esteem is to receive a lot of praise and recognition, and then attempt to accomplish something worthwhile.
5. A study with Dutch students found that self-esteem tended to be enhanced when the supervisor encouraged self-rewards.
6. An important contribution of high self-esteem to good mental health is that fewer situations will be stressful for the individual.
7. Workers with high self-esteem will typically take the initiative to solve problems.
8. Martha has very high self-esteem combined with low emotional stability so she is likely to be extra kind and courteous toward others.
9. Clyde has very low self-esteem so he is likely to envy many people who have accomplished more than he has done.
(T) 10. For purposes of developing high self-esteem it is better to base your feelings of self-worth on internal rather than external sources. (T) 11. According to social science research esteem-like feelings are more likely to develop after achieving a goal rather than before its achievement. (F) 12. Current thinking is that heaping undeserved praise and recognition on people is an effective strategy for boosting their self-esteem. (F) 13. Your inner critic is an ally in your quest to develop high self-esteem because the critic gives you honest feedback. (F) 14. A recommended way of practicing self-nurturing is to line up five friends to tell you how wonderful you are. (T) 15. People with high self-esteem are more likely to give you honest feedback 39
because they respect others and themselves. (T) 16. A recommended way of boosting yourself esteem is to model yourself after people with high self-esteem who you know personally. (F) 17. Self-efficacy refers to the idea that a person feels self-confident to carry out a wide variety of tasks. (T) 18. One of the components of self-confidence is to observe other people with capabilities similar to your own perform a task well. (F) 19. One of the components of self-confidence is for others to attempt to convince you that you cannot perform a task well. (T) 20. A person's level of self-confidence appears to be related to the number of successes he or she has experienced. (F) 21. Tammy engages in negative self-talk when she says, “I am a leading person in my field, even though I am less than perfect.” (T) 22. To use positive visual imagery correctly, develop an image of yourself performing superbly in a challenging situation. (T) 23. Explaining bad events in a positive way tends to be a self-confidence booster. (T) 24. Attaining a state of peak performance requires intense concentration on the task. (F) 25. A starting point in dealing with the emotional aspects of adversity is to deny that the problem exists so you can feel more self-confident.
CHAPTER 4 INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION The purpose of this chapter is to assist readers in further developing the interpersonal communication skills they already possess. Communicating lies at the heart of interpersonal relations. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES Communication is the sending, receiving, and understanding of messages. It is also the basic process by which managers, customer-contact workers, and professionals accomplish their work. Communication skills are a success factor for workers in a wide variety of jobs. I.
STEPS IN THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS
The process model of communication presented in text Figure 4-1 follows these steps: Sender (or source) message channel (medium) receiver feedback. The environment and the influence of noise are also important parts of understanding the communication process. II.
RELATIONSHIP BUILDING AND INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
Communication is a vehicle for building relationships. One dimension is dominate-subordinate. When we dominate we attempt to control communication. When we subordinate, we attempt to yield control, or think first of the needs of the other person. The cold-warm dimension also shapes communication. The combination of dominant and cold communication sends the signal that the sender of the message wants to control and to limit, or even withdraw from a personal relationship. Subordinate actions combined with warm communication signal a desire to build the relationship while yielding to the other person. Figure 4-2 summarizes how the dual dimensions of dominance-subordinate and cold-warm influence the relationship-building aspects of communication. Psychologist Steven Pinker says that warm acquaintances go out of their way not to look as if they are presuming a dominant-subordinate relationship, but instead a relationship of equals. III. NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION IN ORGANIZATIONS Nonverbal communication refers to the transmission of message through means other than words. These messages accompany verbal communication and sometimes stand alone. A. Modes of Transmission of Nonverbal Communication Seven categories of nonverbal messages are (1) environment, (2) interpersonal distance, (3) posture, (4) hand gestures, (5) facial expressions and eye contact, (6) voice quality, (7) personal appearance, and (8) attention paid to other person..
B. Guidelines for Improving Nonverbal Communication Nonverbal communication can be improved by such methods as obtaining feedback on your body language, and learning to relax while communicating with others. Also, use roleplaying to practice nonverbal communication, and use mirroring to establish rapport. IV.
GUIDELINES FOR OVERCOMING COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS AND BARRIERS
Messages are the most likely to be distorted when they are complex, emotionally arousing, or clash with a receiver's mental set. The tactics described next help reduce distortion. A. Understand the Receiver Understanding the receiver involves developing empathy, or placing yourself in the other person's shoes. New research suggests that mirror neurons help us empathize. Understanding the receiver also involves recognizing the receiver's motivational state, which includes any active needs and interests operating at the time. Furthermore, it is important to understand the person's frame of reference, the fact that people perceive words and concepts differently because their vantage points and perspectives differ. B. Minimize Defensive Communication Defensive communication is the tendency to receive messages in such a way that our self-esteem is protected. Such communication is also responsible for people sending messages to make them look good. Overcoming these barriers is difficult because of denial, the suppression of information we find to be uncomfortable. C. Repeat Your Message Using Multiple Channels Repetition enhances communication, particularly when more than one channel is used to get the message across. D. Check Comprehension and Feelings through Verbal and Nonverbal Feedback Feedback tells us if the message has been received as intended. Action, of course, is even more conclusive. Feedback is also important because it reinforces the sender. Check for feelings after you have received a message. When you send a message, it is helpful to express your feelings. E. Display a Positive Attitude Being perceived as having a positive attitude helps melt communication barriers because most people prefer to communicate with a positive person. Being positive helps make you appear more credible and trustworthy. F. Use Persuasive Communication
An elegant tactic for overcoming communication barriers is to communicate so persuasively that obstacles disappear. Suggestions for persuasiveness include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Know exactly what you want. Never suggest an action without telling its end benefit. Get a yes response early on. Use power words (e.g., transparent organization). Minimize raising your pitch at the end of sentences. Talk to your audience, not the screen. Back up conclusions with data. Minimize “wimp” phrases. Avoid or minimize common language errors. Avoid overuse of jargon and clichés.
G. Engage in Active Listening Improving one’s receiving of messages is another part of developing better communication skills. The active listener listens intently with the goal of empathizing with the speaker. As a result of listening actively, the listener can feed back to the speaker what he or she thinks the speaker meant. Active listening also involves summarization, the process of pulling together, condensing, and thereby clarifying the main points communicated by the sender. Observing nonverbal communication is another important part of active listening. H. Prepare for Stressful Conversations Communication barriers will frequently surface when two or more people are engaged in conversation fraught with emotion, such as giving highly negative performance feedback, or even giving praise. One technique for reducing stress here is to prepare in advance for the conversation. Be aware of how you might react in the situation. Also, practice temperate phrasing, or being tactful while delivering negative feedback. I. Engage in Metacommunications In addition to using the barrier busters already described, another possibility is to metacommunicate, or communicate about your communication to help overcome barriers to resolve a problem. You talk about your communication pattern. J. Recognize Gender Differences in Communication Style People who are aware of gender differences in communication style would face fewer communication barriers between themselves and members of the opposite sex. Major findings about gender differences in communication style include: 1. Women prefer to use conversation for rapport building. 2. Men prefer to use talk primarily as a means to preserve independence and status by displaying knowledge and skill. 3. Women want empathy, not solutions. 43
4. Men prefer to work out their problems by themselves, whereas women prefer to talk out solutions with another person. 5. Women are more likely to compliment the work of a coworker, whereas men are more likely to be critical. 6. Men tend to be more directive in conversation, whereas women emphasize politeness. 7. Women tend to be more conciliatory when facing differences, whereas men become more intimidating. 8. Men are more interested than women in calling attention to their accomplishments or hogging recognition. 9. Men tend to dominate discussions during meetings. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1.
Why are communication skills important in the field you are in or intend to enter? Here is an opportunity to reflect on the communication component involved in one’s career. Even in jobs where communication skills are not the primary component, providing your output to others requires good written and oral communications skills. For example, a chemical laboratory technician might have to explain the results of a test to a person in manufacturing.
2. How can knowing the steps in the communication process help a person become a more effective communicator? Knowing the steps in the communication process helps a person understand the hurdles that must be overcome to get a message across. For example, if the communicator knows that noise can occur at any time, he or she will be on guard against communication barriers. 3. How can people use their automobiles as a form of nonverbal communication? An automobile can send several messages. An obvious answer is that owning aluxury car sends the message, "I have arrived," or "I am powerful." Keeping a car impeccably neat sends a message that the person is tidy and orderly, whereas a messed-up car sends the opposite message. Keeping a well-maintained older auto might project a conservative, thrifty, attitude. 4. What type of voice quality do you think would be effective in most situations? A forceful, yet reassuring and comforting voice that includes a consistent tone without vocalized pauses would connote power and control. It would also be effective in many business and social situations. 5. Should a person use power words when he or she is not in a powerful job? Explain.
Using power words when one is not in a powerful job is a good idea because it might help one get promoted to a powerful job. Projecting a favorable image usually enhances a person's chance for promotion. 6. Why does giving employees training in listening often lead to increased productivity and profits? Better listening leads to increased productivity and profits in many ways. Not listening can result in costly errors and rework, such as taking an order incorrectly over the phone. Listening to what a customer really wants can lead to increased sales and profits. Showing empathy toward employees by listening can reduce turnover, thereby increasing organizational productivity. Listening to a ping in a machine can lead to quick repairs, saving on major repairs later on. 7. Why is summarization such a powerful communication technique? Summarization is a powerful communication technique because the process helps a person feel understood and recognized. Summarization is also powerful because it is part of supportive communication; the person's feeling well-being is enhanced. 8. Identify three scenarios in the workplace that are likely to result in stressful conversations. The workplace is the setting for many potentially stressful conversations. Among them are conversations about being placed on a downsizing list, being caught cheating on an expense account, being accused of sexual harassment, quitting, and receiving a very negative performance evaluation. 9. Suppose your manager does not listen to your suggestions for job improvements. how would you metacommunicate to deal with this problem? A group member who feels that her suggestions are virtually ignored by the team manager might say to the manager, "I'm concerned that when I make a suggestion for improvement, my ideas just get shrugged off. What is your opinion about my concerns?" 10. What are the implications of gender differences for conducting meetings? Given that meetings are a natural setting for communication to take place, understanding gender differences may help facilitate communication. An obvious example is that men have a tendency to hog too much of the meeting. It would therefore be important for the meeting leader to solicit the opinion of women. A more subtle difference is that during a meeting women may want to invest more time is talking about problems without necessarily pushing toward making a decision immediately.
ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS Karl Walks Around
A major point this case illustrates is that implementing a communication technique may not always go so smoothly, particularly if the implementer needs better listening skills. 1. How successful is Karl in using his walk around to uncover useful information? Karl is meeting with mixed success. He didn’t give Mandi much of a chance to talk; he didn’t listen to Pete’s problems; he did not ask Brittany about work; and he dismissed Derek’s problems. Yet at least Karl heard that problems existed. 2. What can Karl do to increase his questioning effectiveness? Karl needs to ask open-ended questions, instead of asking questions in a form that shuts off communication. A good example of a poor question is the one he asked Mandi: “I take it everything is going fine, and that you have no problems. Am I right?” Karl’s question to Derek, was too general to be effective. Karl asked, “How goes it?” 3. How can Karl increase his listening effectiveness? Karl should focus on training himself to listen, and not dismiss the statements of his workers. Karl treated Pete rudely by checking his BlackBerry rather than listening to Pete. Karl’s limited listening to Derek shut out conversation. Instead of digging for more details about Derek’s problems, Pete replied, “Don’t worry much about that.” The Dental Floss Communication Challenge This case illustrates the communication challenges faced in a service profession, particularly when the message delivered creates some uncomfortable changes in the habitual way people do things. 1. What communication problems is Claudia Telfair facing in her role as a dental hygienist? Telfair faces the problem of sending a message that many people do want to hear. She is asking them to acquire a few new habits and incorporate these habits into their daily routine. Her patients all hear Telfair, but many of them are not listening. 2. What communication errors might Telfair be making? Perhaps she is delivering her message, but then not listening for feedback to assess the likelihood that the message is being received, and will be acted upon. We do not know if Telfair is communicating persuasively. 3. Offer Telfair a couple of suggestions to help her accomplish her goal of being more effective at preventing dental and gum problems based on your knowledge of interpersonal communications. As mentioned above, Telfair might make more use of benefit selling. She should present graphic descriptions of the time and money people have to invest in oral surgery later in life 46
they do not engage in prevent activities now. Maybe multiple channels of communication would be helpful. In addition to talking, how about as few graphics of patients in later life who neglected good dental hygiene earlier in life? A few power words might help, such as “expensive, painful tooth implants,” “ugly, unsightly teeth in your old age.” COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES Voice Quality Check Up Taken seriously, this exercise can point the way toward self-improvement that can benefit the student both personally and professionally. Voice quality is an often overlooked part of impression management. The Mirroring Technique Attempting the mirroring technique is an effective way of learning how much skill is required. After students have conducted the field experiments, they might be encouraged to give a classroom demonstration through role-playing. I Want a Raise “How to get a raise” is a topic that makes its way frequently into articles and news columns. It will be instructive to see which persuasive techniques the students use. The more persuasive arguments will relate to how much the worker is contributing to the company. Sad stories about financial difficult are much less convincing. A side benefit of this exercise is that it presents another opportunity to practice communicating in front of a group. Another area for observation is how effectively students use humor in relation to this serious topic. Listening Traps The listening traps presented in this exercise get at typical listening problems in an informative, interesting manner. Notice, however, that being a mind reader (at least to some extent) is recommended for active listening. Listening to a Coworker This role-play is valuable because it demonstrates that listening is not a natural behavior pattern. The listener in this role-play will often talk more than the target person. The student playing the role of listening to the discouraged coworker has to guard against giving too much advice and listening too little. The Dental Hygienist and Dental Patient Role Play Most students are familiar with this potentially humorous scenario, so they will have some good background material to work with. One of the communication barriers this role play might illustrate is how difficult it is for the dental worker to obtain clear answers to questions while a scraper is in the patient’s mouth. The patient might want to explain something subtle, but is hard 47
pressed to do anything but grunt yes or no. The comments about benefit selling and multiple channels are relevant here also. EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (a)
1. The three major components of communication are a. sending, receiving, and understanding. b. listening, hearing, and understanding. c. sending, creating interference, and receiving. d. speaking, writing, and questioning.
2. A major purpose of feedback in interpersonal communication is to a. know whether a message has been received and understood. b. prevent noise from taking place. c. make the sender appear more impressive. d. size up the climate for communication.
3. Brandy and Melissa are warm acquaintances, so when they communicate they a. are likely to compete to subordinate. b. emphasize nonverbal rather than verbal communication. c. presume a relationship of equals. d. are likely to compete to dominate.
4. The purpose of nonverbal communication is to a. convey the feeling behind the message. b. clarify the spoken word. c. repeat the spoken word. d. prevent the spoken word from being interpreted too literally.
5. When you neatly organize your work area to appear efficient, you are using the form of nonverbal communication called a. personal space. b. public distance. . c. environment or setting. d. work signals.
6. Getting physically close to another person is usually interpreted as conveying a. a positive attitude. b. a negative attitude. c. apprehension or fear. d. readiness to enter into conflict.
7. The aspect of nonverbal communication offering the clearest indication of interpersonal attitudes is a. facial expressions. 48
b. gestures. c. interpersonal distance. d. posture. (c) 8. To get a quick read based on nonverbal cues, of a person’s happiness, look carefully at his or her a. hand gestures. b. communication setting. c. face. d. physical distance from you. (d)
9. Supervisor Barney often consults his BlackBerry while coaching people in his department. Most employees are likely to think that Barney a. cares about them enough to electronically record their conversation. b. is on the fast track to the executive suite. c. dislikes being a supervisor. d. does not think they are very important.
(a) 10. Which one of the following characteristics of a message is the least likely to encounter barriers? a. factual b. complex c. emotionally arousing d. clashes with the receiver's mental set. (b) 11. A key component of understanding the receiver is to a. engage in one-way communication. b. recognize his or her emotional state. c. offer him an incentive for listening. d. summarize your key points. (c) 12. With respect to having empathy, brain research suggests that a. women are hard-wired to show empathy. b. men are hard-wired to not show empathy. c. mirror neurons help us empathize. d. receptors in the retina of the eye tell us when to show empathy. (d) 13. Defensive communication often occurs because the receiver is attempting to a. create communication barriers. b. confuse the sender. c. impress the sender. d. protect his or her self-esteem. (a) 14. Your manager discusses your job performance with you. She says, "Could you summarize for me what I've told you?" Your manager is attempting to overcome communication barriers by the method of a. asking for feedback. b. appealing to human motivation. 49
c. being a positive person. d. using multiple channels. (a) 15. To help overcome communication barriers, after you receive a message a. check for the feelings related to the message. b. take the message at face value to avoid communicating distrust. c. ask the sender to repeat the message twice. d. immediately respond, “Are you telling me the truth?” (b) 16. In regard to communications, it has been observed that a positive attitude a. decreases a person's credibility. b. helps reduce communication barriers. c. is often interpreted by the receiver as manipulation. d. creates subtle barriers to communication. (d) 17.
To become a persuasive communicator, a. be adamant about selling your proposal. b. speak in the second person. c. do not listen to people's objections. d. establish a yes pattern at the outset.
The least useful of the following for communicating persuasively is to a. establish goals as you go along in your presentation. b. explore the reasons for a person's objections. c. use power words. d. develop fallback positions.
A recommendation for improving listening skills is a. judge delivery, not content. b. restate what you hear. c. let listening come more naturally. d. listen for facts.
Repeating in your own words what a person said is an example of a. an open-ended question. b. summarization. c. verbal following. d. communication overload.
A recommended technique for dealing with a stressful conversation is to a. rehearse in advance what you intend to say. b. use intimidation tactics during the conversation. c. hold the conversation on Monday. d. hold the conversation on Friday.
Temperate phrasing during a stressful conversation deals with a. avoiding the real issues. b. being tactful while delivering negative feedback. 50
c. warming up by talking about the weather. d. expressing your temper openly. (d) 23.
When two people metacommunicate, they a. misinterpret what each other is saying. b. agree to disagree. c. agree to agree. d. communicate about how they are communicating.
A communication style difference noted between men and women is that men are more likely to a. use conversation for rapport building. b. want empathy more than solutions. c. use talk to display knowledge and skill. d. compliment the work of a coworker.
(a) 25. A communication style difference noted between men and women is that women are more likely to a. talk out solutions to problems with another person. b. want solutions rather than empathy when talking about problems. c. be directive in conversation. d. be critical of the work of coworkers. True/False (T)
1. Communication includes the sending, receiving, and understanding of messages.
2. Relationships are established on the basis of two primary dimensions: dominate-subordinate, and cold-warm.
3. The typical communication pattern is for a person who sends a cold message to receive a warm message in return.
4. According to a psychologist cited in the human relations text, when warm acquaintances communicate they tend to take turns being dominant and subordinate.
5. The general purpose of nonverbal communication is to communicate the facts behind a message.
6. Dominant people tend to direct their gestures outward.
7. An accurate way to judge the current state of happiness of a person is to study his or her face.
8. A research study came up with the surprising finding that a whining, complaining, or nagging tone was well liked because it caught the attention of 51
9. Voice quality is even more important over the phone because other nonverbal indicators are absent.
(F) 10. Wearing formal attire to the office now communicates the message that you are obsolete and somewhat phony. (F) 11. An effective way to make another person feel important when you are communicating with him or her is to multitask. (F) 12. Subtly imitating another person usually communicates the message that you are mocking him or her. (T) 13. Communication barriers are likely to be erected when a message has a high emotional content. (T) 14. Empathy involves imagining yourself in the other person's role and assuming the viewpoints and emotions of that person. (T) 15. Brain research suggests that we receive help in empathizing with others because certain brain circuits reflect the actions and intentions of others as if they were our own. (T) 16. A major purpose of defensive communication is to protect one's self-esteem. (F) 17. Having a positive attitude typically creates a communication barrier because most people will think you are hiding the truth. (T) 18. Establishing a yes pattern early in a sales session helps set up a climate to persuade the other person. (F) 19. Raising your voice at the end of most sentences adds to your persuasiveness. (F) 20. A key component of active listening is to ask closed-ended questions like, “Do you agree with me?” (T) 21. Julio wants to be an effective active listener, so he checks to see if the sender’s nonverbal communication fits his or her verbal communication. (F) 22. To help prepare for a stressful conversation, it is recommended that you practice delivering negative feedback in a forceful, no-nonsense manner. (T) 23. You engage in metacommunications when you communicate with another person your perception of how well you two are communicating. (F) 24. A gender difference in communication styles is that men prefer to use communication for rapport building.
(T) 25. A gender difference in communication styles is that women want empathy more than solutions when talking about problems.
CHAPTER 5 DEVELOPING TEAMWORK SKILLS The purpose of this chapter is to present information and self-assessment and skilldevelopment exercises that will assist the reader to develop teamwork skills. Being an effective team player is one of the most important sets of behaviors in the modern workplace. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. I. TYPES OF TEAMS All workplace teams have the common element of people working together cooperatively and members possessing a mix of skills. A. Self-Managing Work Teams The best known work team is a group of workers who take over much of the responsibility for managing their own work. A self-managing work team is a small group of employees responsible for managing and performing technical tasks to deliver a product or service to an external or internal customer. The vast majority of large- and medium-size firms make some use of self-managing work teams. Such teams perform a wide variety of manufacturing and service activities. B. Cross-Functional Teams A cross-functional team is a work group composed of workers from different specialties, at about the same organizational level, who come together to accomplish a task. The people from different specialties are supposed to blend their talents. Crossfunctional teams are widely used in product development. C. Virtual Teams Some teams conduct most of their work by sending electronic messages to each other rather than conducting face-to-face meetings. A virtual team is a small group of people who conduct almost all of their collaborative work by electronic communication rather than face-to-face meetings. Establishing trust is a major challenge in a virtual team because the team members have to rely on people they never see to carry out their fair share of the workload, and to exchange reliable information. D. Crews A crew is a group of specialists each of whom have specific roles, perform brief events that are closely synchronized with each other, and repeat these events under different environmental conditions. Among the criteria for a group to qualifying as a crew, are (a) clear roles and responsibilities, (b) work flow well established before anyone joins the team, and (c) different people can join the group without interfering with its operation or mission. Team members should be technically excellent and also have good personal chemistry with each other.
II. THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF TEAMS AND TEAMWORK Teams, as well as groups in general, should not be regarded uncritically; they have both advantages and disadvantages. A. Advantages of Group Work and Team Work A group of knowledgeable people can bring about synergy, whereby the group's total output exceeds the sum of each individual's contribution. Groups help gain acceptance and commitment. Team members often critically evaluate each other's thinking, thus avoiding major errors. Working in teams and other groups also enhances job satisfaction and need satisfaction, such as the need for affiliation. Under the right circumstances, teams can enhance productivity and profitability. B. Disadvantages of Group Work and Teamwork Groups and teams often talk too much and act too little. A major problem in groups is pressure toward conformity to group standards of performance and conduct which could hurt the organization. Social loafing is the shirking of individual responsibility in a group setting. At their worst, groups foster conflict, with people bickering about matters such as doing a fair share of work. Groups can become xenophobic, thus entering into conflict with other groups. A key potential problem is groupthink, a deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment in the interest of group solidarity. Groupthink is extreme consensus. Related to groupthink is the idea that groups often breed conformity in thinking and behavior. Two conditions are important for overcoming the potential disadvantages of teams and groups. First, the members must strive to act like a team. Second, the task given to the group should require collective effort instead of being a task that could be better performed by individuals. III.
TEAM MEMBER ROLES A major challenge in becoming an effective team member is to choose the right roles to occupy. A role is a tendency to behave, contribute, and relate to others in a particular way. According to the role theory developed by Meredith Belbin, there are nine frequent roles. 1. Creative problem solver (creative, imaginative, and unorthodox, but may ignore fine details). 2. Resource Investigator (extroverted, enthusiastic, and communicates freely but can be overly optimistic). 3. Coordinator (mature, confident, and a natural team leader but might be seen as manipulative and controlling). 4. Shape (challenging, dynamic, and thrives under pressure but can be easily provoked and may ignore the feelings of others). 5. Monitor-Evaluator (even tempered, engages in strategic [big picture and long
term] thinking, and makes accurate judgments but might lack drive and the ability to inspire others). 6. Team Worker (cooperative, focuses on relationships, and is sensitive and diplomatic, but can be indecisive in a crunch situation or crisis). 7. Implementer (disciplined, reliable, conservative and efficient, but can be inflexible and slow to see new opportunities). 8. Completer-Finisher (conscientious and anxious to get the job done, but can be a worrier and reluctant to delegate). 9. Specialist (single-minded self-starter, dedicated and provides knowledge and skill in rare supply, but can be stuck in a niche with little interest in other knowledge and may dwell on technicalities). The weaknesses in the first nine roles point to problems the team leader or manager can expect to emerge, and therefore an allowance should be made. Also, team members will sometimes engage in self-oriented roles—focusing on their needs instead of the needs of the group. Students should not be concerned about overlap in the above roles. Instead, they should pick and choose those roles most appropriate for the situation. IV. GUIDELINES FOR THE INTERPERSONAL ASPECTS OF TEAM PLAY Effectiveness as a team player can be enhanced by understanding the skills, actions, and attitudes required to be an effective team player. A convenient method for classifying team activities in pursuit of goals is people-related versus task-related. A. Trusting Team Members The cornerstone attitude of an outstanding team player is to trust team members including the leader. Working on a team is akin to a small business partnership. Trusting team members also includes believing that their ideas are technically sound and rational until proven otherwise. B. Displaying a High Level of Cooperation and Collaboration Cooperation and collaboration are synonymous with teamwork. Collaboration at a team level refers to working jointly with others to solve mutual problems. Achieving a cooperative team spirit is often a question of making the first move. C. Recognizing the Interests and Achievements of Others A fundamental tactic for establishing oneself as a solid team player is to actively recognize the interests and achievements of others. Let others know that you care about their interests. Be prepared to compliment any tangible achievement. D. Giving and Receiving Helpful Criticism The outstanding team player offers constructive criticism when needed, but does so diplomatically. A high-performance team demands sincere and tactful criticism among 56
members. Use the time-tested principle: Attempt to criticize the person’s work, not the person. Criticism works both ways, so the effective team player is willing to accept helpful criticism. D. Sharing the Glory An effective team player shares praise and other rewards for accomplishment even if he or she were the most deserving. Shared praise is usually merited to some extent because teammates have probably made at least some contribution to the achievement that received praise. E. Taking Care Not to Rain On Another Person's Parade We all have achievements and accomplishments that are sources of pride. Belittling the achievements of others for no legitimate reasons brings about tension and anger. Suppress your feelings of petty jealousy. V. GUIDELINES FOR THE TASK ASPECTS OF TEAM PLAY The task aspects of team play also make a key contribution to becoming an effective team player. A task aspect usually has interpersonal consequences. A. Providing Technical Expertise (Or Knowledge of the Task) Technical refers to the intimate details of any task, not just tasks in engineering, physical science, and information technology. To be used to advantage, the expertise must be shared. The technical expert must be able to communicate with team members in other disciplines who lack the same technical background. B. Assuming Responsibility for Problems The outstanding team player assumes responsibility for problems. If a problem is not yet assigned, he or she says, "I'll do it." C. Seeing the Big Picture Effective team players need to think conceptually, or see the big picture. The team leader who can help the group focus on the broader purpose plays a vital role. D. Believing in Consensus A major task-related attitude for outstanding team play is to believe that consensus has merit. Consensus is the general acceptance by the group of a decision, including a willingness to support the decision. E. Focusing on Deadlines People vary in their attitudes towards the importance of deadlines. Keeping the group focused on deadlines is valuable because meeting deadlines is vital to team success. F.Helping Team Members Do their Jobs Better A person's stature as a team player will increase if he or she takes the initiative to help coworkers make needed work improvements. Identify a problem a coworker is having, and then suggest alternatives he or she might be interested in exploring.
G. Be a Good Organizational Citizen A comprehensive way of carrying out the task aspects of team play (as well as relationship aspects) is to help beyond the requirements of your job description— organizational citizenship behavior. Two studies showed that organizational citizenship behavior is even more important when people depend on each other to accomplish a task. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1. Part of being a good team player is helping other members. How can members of a workplace team help each other? Helping teammates can take several forms including giving assistance in solving problems, offering advice, and giving emotional support. Workload sharing when teammate is overloaded is another important vehicle for help. 2. How do team members know when they have achieved synergy? Team members would know they have achieved synergy when it is apparent to them that something substantial has been accomplished that they could not have achieved working independently. Each member might think, "I could never have produced this myself." 3. What should the other team members do when they uncover a social loafer? A starting point would be for several, or all, the other members to discuss their perceptions of his or her social loafing with the loafer. If confrontation and problemsolving does not work, the manager to whom the team reports might be asked to intervene. 4. What is the potential downside of heavily emphasizing the specialist role? A team member who heavily emphasizes the specialist role can potentially annoy others by being a "know it all." If the group comes to depend on one person as a knowledge contributor, other members of the group may neglect to think for themselves. 5. How can the monitor/evaluator role backfire for a person? The monitor/evaluator would have to be intelligent to critically review the work of others. As stated in the text, this type of person might lack the drive and ability to inspire others. Furthermore, this type of person might be viewed as having an auditor’s mentality of checking up on the work of others. 6. Assume that you are a team member. What percent of your pay would you be willing to be based on a group reward? Explain your reasoning. A student who was highly committed to teamwork might be willing to go with a high percent of pay being based on team performance. Companies that use a combination of individual and group incentives are likely to allocate about 10 to 20 percent of incentive pay on group performance, and the rest individual performance. 58
7. Many retail companies, banks, and medical offices require customer-contact employees to wear the same uniform. In ways might these uniforms enhance teamwork? The uniforms become a symbol of working on the team, and symbols can shape attitudes. Uniforms also enhance identification with the team because all team members share something important about appearance. The possibility also exists that the uniforms could enhance pride, leading to more feelings of teamwork. 8. A number of companies have sent employees to a team building exercise in which they prepare a gourmet meal. Why would preparing a gourmet meal help build teamwork? Preparing a gourmet meal provides a shared experience of significance for team members. As a result they have something in common to relate, and are more likely to bond with each other. Equally important preparing the mean requires considerable cooperation, particularly because the participants usually need to share skills. Asking each other questions about how to carry out certain activities also enhances cooperation. 9. The "little picture" in studying this chapter is learning details about teamwork skills. What is the "big picture"? The big picture is acquiring knowledge and skills that will help one make a contribution to the modern, team-based organization. Right up to the executive suite, some degree of teamwork is essential. 10. How can a person achieve individual recognition yet still be a team player? A strategy for achieving individual recognition in the context of being a team player is to be an outstanding contributor to the team. One approach would be to contribute outstanding alternatives during group problem solving. It also helps to tactfully inform key people outside the group of your accomplishments. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS Mark Wants to Look Good This case illustrates the delicate challenge of how to be a good team player yet also receive recognition for making an important contribution to the team. 1. What is your evaluation of Mark as a team player? Mark seems to be okay as a team player yet he might be overly concerned about standing out from the team. In this way he is likely to be perceived as a poor team player by his teammates. 2. If Mark had asked your advice about sending the above e-mail, what would you have told him?
Students must project their own values into the answer to this question. Many students are likely to perceive Mark as being too obvious and perhaps a little tacky based on his sending the e-mail to the senior partners. 3. If you were a senior partner in Mark’s firm, how would you reply to his memo? A senior partner would probably be cautious about giving Mark effusive praise because the partner has received input from Mark only about the contribution. A cautious partner would also send a copy to Mark’s supervisor of any reaction to mark’s e-mail. At a minimum the senior partner might express his satisfaction that Mark enjoyed the assignment, and that he or she is pleased that the outcome was positive. Ruth Waves a Red Flag This case illustrates how team members occupy different roles in an effective team. Often these roles involve checks and balances. 1. What role, or roles, is Ruth occupying on the cost-reduction team? Ruth’s most notable role is that of monitor-evaluator. She is cautioning the group not to move too fast, and also questions the advisability of recommending that pensions be cut. Ruth also shows some specialist activity because she wants to study potential negative ramifications of pension cutting. 2. How effective does she appear to be in her role? Ruth appears to be effective in her role because team leader Carlos is willing to hold back on making a recommendation until the pension-cutting issue is explored further. 3. What role, or roles, is Jack occupying on the cost-reduction team? Jack has placed himself in the creative problem-solver role. He thinks he has found a solution to a difficult problem. We also see a hint of the completer-finisher role because Jack appears eager to get the job done. 4. How effective does he appear to be in his role? Jack appeared to be effective at first because several members of the team were willing to go along with his recommendation about cutting pensions. However, Ruth stepped in and Jack’s recommendation was cast aside at least temporarily. 5. How effective is Carlos in his role as a team leader? Carlos appears to be effective in his role as team leader. He listens to the team members, and he coordinates ideas. He also asks the team questions. He is a consensus-style leader. Perhaps Carlos would be even more effective if he shared his opinion about the pension-cutting alternative solution.
COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES Team Player Attitudes A benefit of this self-assessment quiz is that it may point toward areas for development if one is to become an outstanding team player. Team Skills This quiz is useful in specifying a representative set of skills that senior managers think are important for contributing to a team. The Conformity Quiz Students are likely to enjoy reflecting on how much conformity to group and team norms they display. A topic worth of exploration is whether people are defensive about being labeled a conformist. Many people like to conform but not so many people want to be perceived as a conformist. Team Player Roles (Quiz) A benefit of this self-assessment quiz is that it may help sensitize the student to the importance of playing positive roles within the group. Team Member Roles (Exercise) An important feature of this exercise is that it challenges the diagnostic skill of students. To be successful in this exercise, students should carefully study the various roles before watching the role players and making observations about the roles. The Scavenger Hunt Although this exercise might appear frivolous, students can be counted on to conduct it in a serious manner yet still have a few laughs. A lot of the humor depends on how outrageous the items are on the list. My experience is that the exercise leads to sensible comments about cooperation, but does not lead to great revelations. It is helpful to discuss jobs for which trust in the cooperation and physical capabilities of teammates is extraordinarily important. Examples include mountain climbers, divers, and fishers who take out after dangerous prey while being tethered to the boat. Habitat for the Homeless An advantage of this activity is that it showcases the importance of teamwork. Many students will enjoy the activity because they believe strongly in supplying housing for the homeless. However, they may need prodding to make astute comments about the level of teamwork displayed. My experience has been that the vast majority of students participating in this exercise find it to be socially relevant, and their positive attitudes are displayed in the quality of their output. 61
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (a) 1. With a true team, the skills of members a. are complementary. b. duplicate each other's. c. are rated on a one-to-ten scale. d. are opposite to those of the leader. (d)
2. A distinguishing feature of a self-managing work team is that the a. team is appointed a leader. b. team has two or more members. c. members cooperate with each other. d. members manage their own activity to a large extent.
3. A cross-functional team is composed of a. three different project groups. b. two supervisors along with other team members. c. members from different units of the organization. d. members from the same unit of the organization.
4. A cross-functional team is particularly well suited to a. developing a new product. b. working on an assembly line. c. several specialists from the same field collaborating. d. the work of supermarket or department store cashiers.
5. A typical work process of a virtual team would be for members to a. take refreshment breaks together. b. send messages to each other by e-mail. c. meet once per day in a conference room d. argue over who gets the best cubicle.
6. A key communication challenge for virtual teams is to a. find a nick name for the team that all members accept. b. motivate team members to check their e-mail. c. ensure that team members have precise information about work responsibilities. d. minimize team members surfing the Internet most of the workday.
7. A distinguishing characteristic of the crew type of team is that a. the crew members rarely rotate specialties. b. the crew members are all of the same sex. c. each member must be a certified swimmer. d. the events performed are usually for the long term. 62
8. A factor that contributes to effective teamwork in business is a. an atmosphere that encourages individual accomplishment. b. financial bonuses for high-performing individuals in the team. c. financial bonuses for high-performing teams. d. a firm commitment to groupthink.
9. A group has achieved synergy when a. all members agree on a course of action. b. each member agrees with a problem solution. c. members are solving problems at an above-average rate. d. the total output exceeds the sum of individual contributions.
10. Group decision making is particularly helpful in a. gaining acceptance and commitment for a decision. b. avoiding conformity in thinking. c. arriving at quick decisions. d. ensuring that everybody makes a fair contribution.
(b) 11. Groupthink takes place because group members a. dislike individual problem solving. b. strive extra hard to achieve consensus. c. attempt to avoid conformity. d. have feelings of inferiority. (a) 12. A potential disadvantage of groups in organizations is that they a. often breed conformity in thinking and behavior. b. encourage a spirit of teamwork. c. encourage individuality in thinking and behavior. d. discourage consensus thinking. (d)
13. Suzy often occupies the plant role in a group, so she emphasizes a. achieving harmony. b. challenging faulty ideas. c. conducting research. d. solving difficult problems.
(c) 14. Chuck occupies the coordinator role in a group, so he is likely to a. carefully examine the group process. b. seek ways to hog recognition. c. clarify goals and promote decision making. d. form alliances with the group leader. (c) 15. A major contributor to the team worker role is to a. screen new members for the group. b. spark the creativity of group members. c. build relationships within the group. d. challenge the thinking of the group. 63
(d) 16. The cornerstone attitude of an outstanding team player is to a. make sure he or she gets individual recognition. b. have competitive attitudes toward other team members. c. aspire to be the team leader. d. trust team members. (a) 17. ______________ and ______________ are synonymous with teamwork. a. Cooperation, collaboration b. Independence, initiative c. Competition, conflict d. Assertiveness, satisfaction (c) 18. An important suggestion for criticizing another person on the job is to a. disguise the criticism so it appears to be a compliment. b. make joke’s about the other person’s problems. c. criticize the work, not the person. d. criticize the person, not the work. (c) 19. The team tactic, sharing the glory is usually justified because a. team-based pay has replaced individual pay. b. glory sharing fits the WIIFM principle. c. most team accomplishments require input from several members. d. most team members are self-centered. (a) 20. An example of "raining on the parade" of a teammate would be to a. tell the person that his recent accomplishment really wasn't a big deal. b. invite the person to jointly solve problems with you. c. tell the person he or she should replace the team leader. d. refuse to cooperate with him or her. (b) 21. A suggestion for making outstanding use of technical expertise as a group member is to a. keep your expertise to yourself. b. share the expertise. c. impress other members with how smart you are. d. make your best suggestions at the end of meetings. (c) 22. With respect to criticism, an effective team player is supposed to a. avoid both giving and accepting criticism. b. enjoy criticizing the team leader during meetings. c. be willing to accept as well as give criticism. d. be willing to give but not accept criticism. (a) 23. Seeing the big picture in a group setting involves a. understanding what the group is attempting to accomplish. b. assigning work roles to team members. c. examining the history of the team. 64
d. criticizing group members who step out of line. (b) 24. Consensus comes about when a. every member agrees completely on the decision. b. group members generally accept a decision and then give it their support. c. group conformity reaches a peak. d. group members practice individual decision making. (b) 25. Team member Roger goes beyond his or her job description regularly. He is said to be engaging in a. believing in consensus. b. organizational citizenship behavior. c. sharing the glory. d. taking care not to rain on another person’s parade. True/False (F)
1. An important requirement for a true team is that all members possess virtually the same skills.
2. A common characteristic of all workplace teams is that the members cooperate with each other and have a complementary set of skills.
3. Self-managing work teams are groups that come together for a brief period of time to solve a problem, then disband.
4. A cross-functional team is composed of members from different parts of the organization.
5. Members of a cross-functional team usually represent the same functional specialty such as manufacturing or information technology.
6. A virtual team gets almost all of its collaborative work done by staying in touch with the other members electronically.
7. Mutual trust is a low priority in a virtual team because the team members do not have to deal with each other face to face very often.
8. A crew is identified by the technology it handles.
9. A characteristic of an effective team is when each member checks the quality of the work produced by all the other members.
(T) 10. The size of an effective work group is usually around 6, rather than10 or more. (T) 11. Social loafing within a group means about the same thing as being a free rider.
(F) 12. Groupthink comes about because many of the group members strive so hard to preserve their individuality. (T) 13. An important contributor to groupthink is when the group loses its power of critical analysis. (T) 14. Bruce is a resource investigator within a group, so he will explore opportunities and develop valuable contacts. (F) 15. The monitor-evaluator within a group has a special knack for showing drive and inspiring other team members. (F) 16. The person who plays the shaper role is unchallenging, dull, and weakens under pressure. (T) 17. Jackie occupies the completer-finisher role so she is conscientious and anxious to get the job done. (T) 18. Bruce focuses on what is best for the group so he is said to be engaging in a self-serving role. (T) 19. Part of trusting team members is to be willing to submit an unproved idea to them for their inspection. (F) 20. When criticizing a teammate it is generally better to make a declarative statement than to ask a question such as, "Do you think that your idea could use some more research?" (F) 21. Billy Joe is an effective team player, so he changes the topic when he is about to be criticized. (T) 22. In order to implement the tactic, don't rain on another person's parade, it may be necessary to suppress your feelings of petty jealousy. (T) 23. Part of believing in consensus is to believe that an ideal solution is not always possible. (F) 24. Meeting deadlines in a group takes place naturally because the vast majority of workers regard deadlines as a moral necessity. (T) 25. Organizational citizenship behavior is even more important when the group members depend on each other to complete a task.
CHAPTER 6 GROUP PROBLEM SOLVING The purpose of this chapter is to present practical information about group problem solving, thus enabling the reader to contribute more effectively to group decisionmaking. Group problem solving requires considerable interpersonal skill. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES Groups solve many key problems in organizations. Part of having highlevel interpersonal skills is the ability to work closely with others in solving problems and making decisions. I. RATIONAL VERSUS POLITICAL DECISION MAKING IN GROUPS Group decisionmaking is the process of reaching a judgment based on feedback from more than on individual. Two different approaches to group decision-making are the rational model and the political model. The rational decisionmaking model is the traditional, logical approach to decision making, based on the scientific method. The search for optimum results is based on an economic view of decision-making—people hope to maximize gain and minimize loss. Each alternative is evaluated in terms of how well it contributes to the goals involved in making the decision. The political decisionmaking model assumes that people bring preconceived notions and biases into the decision-making situation. Self-interest may block people from making the most rational choice. People who use the political model may operate on the basis of incomplete information. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if a decision maker is being rational or political, such as the example about the lack of a 13th floor in most hotels. II. GUIDELINES FOR USING GENERAL PROBLEMSOLVING GROUPS Group decision making frequently leads to better acceptance of the decision and stronger commitment to the implications of the decision. A. Working through the Group ProblemSolving Steps When team members get together to solve a problem, they typically hold a discussion rather than rely on a formal problem-solving technique. A more systematic approach would be to use the following steps: 1. Identify the problem. (What is the underlying problem?) 2. Clarify the problem. (Group members should see the problem in the same way.) 3. Analyze the cause. (The group must understand the cause of the problem and find ways to overcome the cause.) 4. Search for alternative solutions. (The alternative solutions chosen will depend on the analysis of the causes.) 5. Select alternatives. (Identify the criteria that solutions should meet, and then
discuss the pros and cons of the proposed alternatives.) 6. Plan for implementation. (Decide what actions are necessary to carry out the chosen solution to the problem.) 7. Clarify the contract. (Restate agreements on what to do and deadlines for accomplishment.) 8. Develop an action plan. (Who does what and when to carry out the contract) 9. Provide for evaluation and accountability. (After the plan is implemented, reconvene to discuss progress and hold people accountable for results that have not been achieved.) B. Managing Disagreement about Group Decision Making The idea is to manage disagreement so the decisionmaking process does not break down, and dissenters are not squelched. A study of 43 product development teams found that disagreement about major issues led to positive outcomes for team performance under two conditions: The dissenters have to feel they have the freedom to express doubt, and doubts were expressed collaboratively rather than contentiously. A study about hiring pilots for longdistance flights found that when groups disagreed over who to hire, there was more information sharing. Strong disagreement also led to more intense discussion. C. Inquiry versus Advocacy in Group Decision Making Inquiry involves looking for the best alternative. Advocacy is fighting for one position. Decision makers who care more about the good of the firm are the most likely to engage inquiry. An inquiryfocused group carefully considers a variety of alternatives and collaborates to discover the best solution. III. GUIDELINES FOR BRAINSTORMING When the organization is seeking a large number of alternatives to the problem, brainstorming is often the technique of choice. Brainstorming is a group problemsolving technique that promotes creativity by encouraging idea generation through noncritical discussion. Brainstorming is used both as a method for finding alternatives to reallife problems and for creativity training. Eight rules for brainstorming are worth considering: 1. Group size should be about five to seven people. 2. Everybody is given the chance to suggest alternative solutions. 3. No criticism is allowed. 4. Freewheeling is encouraged. 5. Quantity and variety are very important. 6. Combinations and improvements are encouraged. 7. Notes must be taken during the session by a person who serves as the recording secretary. 68
8. Invite outsiders to the brainstorming session. 9. Do not overstructure by following any of the ideas too rigidly. Brainstorming by individuals working alone is referred to as brainwriting, and typically produces more useful ideas than does working in a group. The full potential of brainstorming has been held back by three forces that block production of ideas. Evaluation apprehension means that many people are unwilling to come forth with some of their ideas because they fear being critically evaluated. Freeriding is just about the same behavior as social loafing. Free riders do not work as hard in a group as they would if they worked alone. An inhibiting procedure in verbal brainstorming is that only one person can speak at a time. This limits the idea generation and production time available to group members. IV. GUIDELINES FOR THE NOMINAL GROUP TECHNIQUE A leader sometimes need to know what alternative solutions are available to a problem and how people would react to them. The nominal group technique (NGT) has been developed to fit the situation. The NGT is a group problemsolving technique that calls people together in a structured meeting with limited interaction. Group discussion, however, does take place at a later stage in the process. The nominal group technique uses a sixstep decision process: 1. Work team members are assembled to work on the problem. 2. The team leader presents a specific question. 3. Individual team members write down their ideas independently, without speaking to other members. 4. Each team member, in turn, presents one idea to the group, but the group does not discuss the ideas. The ideas can be submitted anonymously. 5. After each team member has presented his or her idea, the group clarifies and evaluates the suggestions. 6. The meeting ends with a silent, independent rating of the alternatives on a 1to10 scale. Ratings are then pooled to select the best alternative. V. USING STANDUP MEETINGS TO FACILITATE PROBLEM SOLVING Problem solving and decision making can sometimes be improved by conducting meetings while standing up instead of sitting down. Some people are more alert when standing, and most people do not want to stand for too long so they reach a decision quickly. UPS makes frequent use of standup meetings of 180 seconds duration. A study with the Lost on the Moon exercise suggested that people make decisions more quickly when standing up, without sacrificing decision quality. VI. USING EMAIL AND GROUPWARE TO FACILITATE GROUP DECISION MAKING
Appropriate use of email and groupware can facilitate interaction among team members and group decision making, while at the same time minimize the number of meetings. Such use of e mail and groupware makes virtual teams possible. A. Using EMail to Facilitate Meetings By using email, team members can feed important information to all other members of the team without the ritual of entering a meeting and passing around handouts. An advanced use of email is to distribute word processing documents as well as spreadsheets and graphics. Using email, a group can cut down substantially on the amount of time they would have to spend in a group meeting. They might even be able to eliminate a group meeting. Much of the nominal group technique can be conducted through email. For example, team members could send their ratings and explanations to each other electronically. A caution is that the use of email too far can inhibit rather than enhance group decision making and teamwork. If people communicate with each other almost exclusively by email, the warmth of human interaction and facial expressions is lost. Winks, shared laughter, and smiles all facilitate group effort. B. Using Groupware to Facilitate Group Problem Solving E-mail and electronic brainstorming rely on groupware. (Groupware is technology designed to facilitate the work of groups.)At its best, groupware offers certain advantages over single-user systems. For example, groupware can make communication faster, clearer, and more persuasive; enable telecommuting; reduce travel costs; and facilitate group problem solving. Another example of groupware is a shared whiteboard that allows two or more people to view and draw on a shared drawing surface even whey they are at a distance. Despite all the potential benefits of groupware, the system will break down unless all parties involved use the software successfully. VII. SUGGESTIONS FOR BEING AN EFFECTIVE MEETING PARTICIPANT Except for when using groupware, group problemsolving involves facetoface meetings. One study showed that the more meetings accomplishmentoriented workers attended, the worse they felt about their jobs and the lower their feelings of wellbeing. When meeting participants conduct themselves in a professional, taskoriented manner, meetings might be more productive. A few suggestions follow: Arrive prepared; arrive on time and stay for the entire meeting; do not be a hog or sit silently; use constructive nonverbal communication; avoid sidebar conversations; offer compromise solutions when needed; and use data to support your opinion. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW
Why are group decisions more likely to lead to commitment than decisions made by a manager acting alone? Group members who participate in decisionmaking will typically experience a feeling of ownership in the decision. Because the decision is partly their responsibility, they will be more eager to help in implementation.
Based on any experience you have had at school or at work, what process or method is usually followed in making group decisions? The most frequent group decisionmaking experience is probably one of two types: general problemsolving groups, or brainstorming. The general problemsolving group is usually a straightforward discussion without following the decisionmaking steps.
Which personality characteristics described in Chapter 2 do you think would help a person be effective in group problem solving? Extraversion would be important for even wanting to work toward group problem solving. Being conscientious would facilitate a person making an honest contribution to the group, and doing whatever homework was required. Being agreeable would facilitate working well with the group and arriving at consensus. High selfmonitoring would also predispose a person toward arriving at consensus.
Identify several problems on or off the job for which you think brainstorming would be effective. Brainstorming is ideally suited to generating alternatives to problems not calling for complicated solutions, yet such problems should not be excluded. Problem situations especially suited for brainstorming include, identify new markets for a product, making product or service improvements, developing a theme for a party, or identifying new ways of meeting people for dating. Be aware, however, that even sophisticated technical companies use brainstorming extensively.
What is your opinion of the importance of the physical setting (such as sunlight and refreshments) for stimulating creative thinking during brainstorming? Recent opinion suggests that sunlight, food, and beverages enhance brainstorming. Considering that brainstorming takes place so often in a windowless conference room, the observations about sunlight are important.
Identify two workrelated problems for which the nominal group technique is particularly wellsuited? Complex problems involving many potential choices are good candidates for the nominal group technique. Among such scenarios are deciding on which plant or office
to close, where to relocate a company facility, developing a fund raising campaign, or choosing which piece of capital equipment to purchase. If you were a UPS manager, how would you deal with the situation of an employee who was consistently one-minute late for the three-minute meetings? Being oneminute late for a meeting might not seem like much, yet being oneminute late for a threeminute meeting means the worker missed onethird the meeting. An astute answer here would be that the manager has to fit the UPS corporate culture which emphasizes discipline and time consciousness. The tardy employee would therefore have to be counseled to arrive on time, and disciplined if tardiness continues.
How can a team leader apply groupware to help the group become more productive? The team leader can enhance group productivity with groupware through such means as collecting information quickly, and reducing the number of facetoface meetings.
What annoys you the most about how some people conduct themselves in problemsolving meetings of any type? What changes in behavior would you recommend? The answer to this questions depends a lot on such factors as what the student interprets as rudeness, as well as his or propensity for solving problems quickly. Today many people find it rude that meeting members consult their BlackBerrys as well using cell phones and laptop computers during a meeting. Yet in some companies such electronic distractions are acceptable, and even encouraged. A major source of annoyance for some people is how some members go off on tangents during a meeting. In days of old, people would delay meetings as they fiddled with their pipes while pondering answers to a question. Most of these meeting behaviors could be modified by selfdiscipline.
10. Which group decisionmaking technique described in this chapter do you think members of a professional sports team are the most likely to use? Why? A sports team is the most likely to use a general problem solving group, even if they do not go through all the steps. The reason is that athletes and their coaches may not be willing to invest the time to use structured problemsolving techniques. Also they might feel they are beyond using such techniques. An exception is that sports teams are likely to engage in brainstorminglike discussionseven if they do not use all the brainstorming rules. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS Struggling to Make a Decision at BMI This case illustrates the commonly observed problem of a business meeting not accomplishing its purpose of reaching a conclusion on an important issue.
1. How effective is the BMI team as a problem-solving group? The BMI team is not effective as a problem-solving group, at least in this instance, because they did not make much progress on the office-relocation decision. 2. What recommendations can you make to the BMI team to better solve the problem it is facing? A starting point would be to stick with the agenda. Issues about such topics as customer service and the office party are important, but they should be reserved for another meeting. Another problem is one of commitment. Marty could not stay for the conclusion of the meeting because of a customer meeting. The meeting might have been scheduled during a time that would not conflict with any potential sales call. 3. How might the team have used the nominal group technique to help solve the problem of office relocation? Before the meeting, each participant might have developed a preferred alternative for office relocation. The proposal would have ample detail and documentation. During the meeting, each proposal would be discussed and then ranked, following the nominal group technique format. The Picnic Committee Brainstorms This curious case illustrates a basic application of brainstorming, and therefore represents a first-hand look at how brainstorming might be applied to solving a perennial office problem. 1. How would you evaluate the effectiveness of the facilitator in this brainstorming session? The facilitator appears to know how to facilitate a brainstorming session. He kept people on track, and he was encouraging. Also, he avoided jumping in with his own opinions. 2. In what way was the picnic theme chosen a synthesis of a straight suggestion with an idea that was sparked by humor? The humorous suggestion was about sky-blue pink with purple dots, which led to the suggestion about airplanes. The airplane suggestion followed and could be regarded as a serious suggestion. 3. What technique did the facilitator use that resembled the nominal group technique? The facilitator adroitly said, “Now, it’s time to find the best ones. Can you all come up and put three crosses against your favorite idea…..” In essence, the group ranked the ideas. 4. What is your guess as to the success of the picnic?
My guess is that the theme would be a big success. The fun-in-the-air theme is highly original for a picnic, yet something everybody could visualize. It would certainly require creativity for attendees to find the right outfit for the picnic.
COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES My Problem- Solving Tendencies An important feature of this exercise is that it sensitizes students to the importance of group decision making in organizations. At the same time it does not dismiss the relevance of individual decision making. A General Problem- Solving Group Students are likely to enjoy this exercise. Students may need a reminder, however, to pay attention to all the decision making steps, not simply begin to generate alternative solutions. Choosing an Effective Domain Name Students can be counted on to find amusing and creative solutions to the domainname challenge. Comparisons across groups are useful because the results demonstrate that many groups will recommend the same catchy names, such as www.wreckforyou.com for the auto chain. A novel feature of this exercise is that many people earn a substantial living as cybersquatters. Misspelled names such as “WallMart.com” are also invented or purchased by cybersquatters. Brainstorming versus Brainwriting The students who participate in this exercise will shed light on one of the most interesting research issues in brainstorming: the relative effectiveness of groups and individuals in generating creative alternatives. Several experiments have concluded that individuals are superior to groups, and the student demonstration can put this conclusion to a test. The Nominal Group Technique Welltraveled students will have more content to offer here, but all can enjoy the rigor of the nominal group technique. As with the other exercises in this chapter, attempting the nominal group technique is a valuable experience in group decisionmaking.
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (a)
1. An important connection between interpersonal relations and problem solving is that a. many key problems are solved by groups. b. interpersonal relations must be set aside during problem solving. c. most key problems are solved using the rational decision model. d. interpersonal relations inhibit problem solving.
2. The political decision model assumes that when making a decision, people a. try to satisfy the demands of as many people as possible. b. follow the scientific model closely. c. inevitably make poor decisions. d. are trying to satisfy their self-interests.
(c) 3. You know that you are using the political decision model during group decision making when you a. search for the most democratic solution to the problem. b. search for the most technically correct solution to the problem. c. attempt to satisfy your own interests. d. attempt to do what is best for the group. (a)
4. An advantage of group problem solving is that if often leads to a. better acceptance of the decision. b. more rapid decisions than individual problem solving. c. political approaches to decision making. d. low commitment to implementing the decision.
5. The probability of a group solving a problem well increases when the group a. reduces the use of brainstorming. b. follows a systematic procedure. c. encourages social loafing. d. engages in groupthink.
6. The decision-making step in which the group comes to agreement on the nature of the problem is called a. identify the problem. b. analyze the cause. . c. search for alternative solutions. d. clarify the problem.
7. The last step for effective group decision making is 75
a. b. c. d.
select alternatives. analyze the cause. provide for evaluation and accountability. develop an action plan.
8. Which one of the following is not a recommended step for effective group decision making? a. Assign blame for the cause of the problem. b. Analyze the cause. c. Plan for implementation. d. Provide for evaluation and accountability.
9. A study showed that disagreeing about major issues can lead to positive outcomes for the group when the a. team leader explains that disagreement will not be tolerated. b. dissenters feel they have the freedom to express doubt. c. dissenters are paid a small bonus to keep quiet. d. the rest of the group pokes fun at the dissenters.
Dissension within the group tends not to lower group performance when a. the dissenters play the devil’s advocate. b. rest of the group quickly votes on the best alternative. c. team leader instructs the dissenters to be quiet. d. the dissenters want to work collaboratively despite their disagreement.
A study indicated that when a team takes the time to debate the issues a. team leadership usually changes hands. b. considerable conflict arises within the group. c. a suboptimal decision is more likely to be reached. d. an optimal decision is more likely to be reached.
Melissa takes an advocacy approach to group decision-making. During a problem-solving meeting she is likely to a. advocate whatever is best for the company. b. be extra courteous toward the other team members. c. do whatever she can to get her alternative selected by the group. d. be the first to offer constructive suggestions.
A distinguishing characteristic of brainstorming is that participation by group members a. takes place in a predetermined sequence. b. follows the decision-making steps. c. is spontaneous and unrestrained. d. is discouraged by the group leader.
A recommended group size for brainstorming is about how many members? a. 2 to 4 b. 5 to 7 76
c. 8 to 14 d. 15 to 20 (b) 15.
In brainstorming, how should the group handle a seemingly outlandish idea? a. Loudly discourage its originator. b. Welcome it. c. Ask for clarification. d. Ask that it be put in writing.
One of the production-blocking mechanisms noted in brainstorming is a. synergy. b. social loafing. c. evaluation apprehension d. spontaneous expression
An inhibiting procedure in brainstorming is that a. only one person can speak at a time. b. several people can speak at a time. c. spontaneous comments are discouraged. d. the group leader gets to make the major suggestions.
(d) 18. Which one of the following techniques is particularly recommended when you need to know how people would react to the alternatives to the problem at hand? a. group brainstorming b. private brainstorming c. general problem-solving group d. nominal group technique (c) 19. A key feature of the nominal group technique is that the members first present their ideas a. after engaging in group brainstorming. b. in private to the group leader. c. without interacting with group members. d. after group problem-solving has taken place. (d) 20. Alternative solutions developed by members in the nominal group technique are a. submitted to a brainstorming group. b. submitted to the leader who performs the evaluation. c. evaluated in group discussion. d. evaluated independently by group members. (a) 21.
A conclusion reached about stand-up meetings is that a. people can reach high-quality decisions in a short time period. b. these meetings should be at least 75 minutes for best results. c. decision quality suffers when these meetings are brief. d. they work more effectively when people wear athletic shoes rather than dress shoes.
An executive from the Ritz-Carlton Hotels justifies the use of stand-up meetings because, a. “It’s usually difficult to find an empty conference room in a hotel.” b. “You need a strong back to be a hotel worker.” c. “Employees need to know how to think on their feet to solve a problem.” d. “A lazy hotel worker is an ineffective one.”
A frequent reason for using groupware is to a. minimize written and spoken contact among group members. b. communicate when it would not otherwise be possible. c. eliminate the need for team leaders. d. create more travel opportunities for group members.
Josh is an effective meeting participant, so during a meeting he is likely to a. sit silently and let others do the talking. b. avoid compromise solutions. c. engage in sidebar conversations quietly. d. be prepared, having studied support materials in advance of the meeting.
Ashley is an ineffective meeting participant, so during a meeting she is likely to a. study support material including e-mails during the meeting. b. stay to the end even if she has already contributed. c. use constructive nonverbal behavior. d. rely much more on intuition than data in defending her point.
1. An important aspect of interpersonal relations in organizations is working closely with others in solving problems and making decisions.
2. The rational decision-making model would be well suited to discovering the cause of a technical problem.
3. People who use the political decision model are usually fully aware of their biases which allows them to make objective decisions.
4. A frequent problem noted with group decision making is that it leads to low commitment about implementing the decision the group agreed upon.
5. In the problem-solving process, the step following "provide for evaluation and accountability" is to "develop an action plan."
6. A problem with disagreement within a decision-making group is that the disagreement encourages groupthink.
7. A study showed that disagreement among members of cross-functional groups led to positive outcomes for the group when the dissenters felt they had the 78
freedom to express doubt. (T)
8. A study about hiring pilots for long-distance flights suggested that when groups disagreed over whom to hire, the members were more likely to share information.
9. Using an advocacy approach, disagreement by group members tends to be positive and unify the group.
(T) 10. You are using the advocacy approach in group decision making when you approach group decision making like a contest to see whose idea wins. (T) 11. The brainstorming technique is well-suited to generating a large number of alternative solutions to problems. (F) 12. An important feature of brainstorming is critical discussion of alternative solutions as they surface. (F) 13. During brainwriting, group members pass along ideas to each other in silence. (T) 14. Evaluation apprehension tends to be a much bigger problem when people are working in groups than alone. (F) 15. Continuous interaction among group members is a key feature of the nominal group technique. (T) 16. In an early phase of the nominal group technique, group members write down their ideas independently without speaking to other members. (T) 17. In the nominal group technique, the idea chosen as the best idea is determined by a rating procedure. (T) 18. The output from the nominal group technique is an alternative solution to a problem that is typically passed along as a recommendation to management. (F) 19. Standup meetings typically last about one-and-one half hour in order to test the physical stamina and commitment of group members. (F) 20. Beth is a manager at UPS, so she finds that standup meetings fit the need for the type of quick and decisive action that the company demands. (F) 21. Conducting meetings through e-mail has made person-to-person contact almost superfluous for group tasks. (F) 22. A problem noted with groupware is that it makes telecommuting quite difficult. (T) 23. An important purpose of using groupware is to bring together multiple 79
perspectives and expertise. (T) 24. Priscilla is a first-rate meeting participant, so she is likely to offer a compromise solution when two other members in dispute over an issue. (F) 25. Pete is a first-rate meeting participant, so he is likely to carefully study support materials during the meeting.
CHAPTER 7 CROSS-CULTURAL RELATIONS AND DIVERSITY The purpose of this chapter is to provide the reader with insight into, and skills for, relating effectively to people from other cultures. Relating effectively to diverse people within one's own culture or from other cultures requires similar knowledge and skills. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES As is well known, today's workplace is diverse. Cultural diversity is also reflected in the increasing internationalization of business. To succeed in today's workplace one must be able to relate effectively to people from different cultural groups from within and outside his or her country. I. THE DIVERSITY UMBRELLA To appreciate diversity, a person must go beyond tolerating and treating people fairly from different racial and ethnic groups. The true meaning of valuing diversity is to respect and enjoy a wide range of cultural and individual differences. To be diverse, is to be different in some measurable way even if the difference is not apparent on the surface. The diversity umbrella is supposed to include everybody in an organization. To value diversity is to appreciate individual differences among people. In recent years, much attention has been paid to employees in the group GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual). The goal of a diverse organization is for persons of all cultural backgrounds to achieve their full potential, not restrained by group identities such as sex, nationality, or race. Cultural as well as individual factors contribute to cultural diversity. For example, people can be diverse because of ethnicity or their height-to-weight ratio. II. UNDERSTANDING CULTURAL DIFFERENCES The male-female differences in communication patterns described in Chapter 3 represent one aspect of cultural differences. The groundwork for developing effective cross-cultural relations is to understand cultural differences. A. Cultural Sensitivity and Political Correctness To relate well to a person from a foreign country, a person must be alert to possible cultural differences. When working in another country, one must be willing to acquire knowledge about local customs, and learn how to speak the native language at least passably. Cultural sensitivity is an awareness of and a willingness to investigate the reasons why people of another culture act as they do. Good cultural sensitivity enhances interpersonal relationships. Another aspect of cultural sensitivity is political correctness—being careful not to offend or slight anyone, and being extra civil and respectful. Too much political correctness can lead to blandness and imprecision in language. Empathy facilitates both cultural sensitivity and political correctness. Two diversity specialists said, “We want to try to develop an understanding for the majority of what it might be like to be the minority, and help the minority understand what it is like to be the majority.” 81
B. Cultural Intelligence An advanced aspect of cultural sensitivity is cultural intelligence (CQ), an outsider’s ability to interpret someone’s unfamiliar and ambiguous behavior in the same way that person’s compatriots would. With high cultural intelligence a person can figure out what behavior is universal, peculiar to the group, or neither universal nor peculiar to the group. The three sources of cultural intelligence are: 1. Cognitive (the head), referring to what a person knows and how he or she can acquire knowledge. 2. Emotional/motivational (the heart), referring to energizing one’s actions and building personal confidence. 3. The body (physical), referring to the element for translating intentions into actions and desires. To practice high cultural intelligence, the mind, heart, and body would have to work together. C. Respect for All Workers and Cultures An effective strategy for achieving cross-cultural understanding is to respect all others in the workplace (white males included). Respect comes from valuing differences. Company policies that encourage respect for the rights of others are likely to create a positive influence on tolerance throughout the firm. Respect also comes from employee network (or affinity) groups. Such a group is composed of employees throughout the company who affiliate on the basis of group characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or physical ability status. D. Cultural Fluency A high-level goal in understanding cultural differences is to achieve cultural fluency, the ability to conduct business in a diverse, international environment. Achieving cultural fluency includes a variety of skills such as relating well to people for different cultures, and knowing a second language. E. Dimensions of Differences In Cultural Values One way to understand how national cultures differ is to examine their values. Here we deal with eight key values most directly related to interpersonal skills. 1. Performance orientation is the degree to which a society encourages, or should encourage, and rewards group members for performance improvement and excellence. 2. Assertiveness is the degree to which individuals are (and should be) assertive, confrontational, and aggressive in their relationships with one another. Assertive people enjoy competition in business, in contrast to less assertive cultural groups who prefer harmony, loyalty, and solidarity. 3. Time orientation is the importance nations and individuals attach to time. People with an urgent time orientation perceive time as a scarce resource and tend to be impatient. People with a casual time orientation view time as an unlimited and unending resource and tend to be patient. Americans are noted for their urgent time orientation. 82
4. 5. 6. 7.
Humane orientation is the degree to which a society encourages and rewards, and should encourage and reward, individuals for being fair, altruistic, caring, and to others. In-group collectivism is the degree to which individuals express, and should express, pride, loyalty, and cohesiveness in their organizations and families. Asian societies emphasize collectivism, as do Egypt and Russia. Gender egalitarianism is the degree to which a culture minimizes, and should minimize, gender inequality. Acceptance of power and authority is the degree to which members of a society expect, and should expect, power to be distributed unequally. Individuals who accept power and authority expect the boss to make the major decisions. These same individuals are more formal; however being formal toward people in positions of authority has decreases substantially throughout the world in recent years. Work orientation is the number of hours per week and weeks per year people expect to invest in work versus leisure, or other non-work activities. Americans tend to have a stronger work orientation than Europeans but a weaker one than Asians.
A starting point in using information about cultural differences would be to recognize that a person's national values might influence His or her behavior. Two dimensions of cultural differences that influence job behavior considerably are attitudes toward hierarchy and status, and time-consciousness and acceptance of power and authority. For example, a person who values deference might not want to collaborate in decision making with a manager of long experience. F. Cultural Bloopers An effective way of being culturally sensitive is to minimize actions that are likely to offend people from another culture based on their values. In attempting to avoid cultural mistakes, remember that members of any cultural group show individual differences. Remember also that one or two cultural mistakes will not peg one permanently as a boor. Skill-Building Exercise 7-2 (text) lists cultural mistakes to avoid. English has become the language of business and science throughout the world, yet communicating in a customer’s native tongue has its advantages particularly when you attempting to sell. Some telemarketing, banking, engineering, and financial service companies search for bilingual workers. III. OVERCOMING CROSS-CULTURAL COMMUNICATION BARRIERS Cross-cultural differences can create communication barriers. To minimize the problem, follow these guidelines: 1. Be sensitive to the fact that cross-cultural communication barriers exist. If you are aware of these potential barriers, you will be ready to deal with them. 2. Show respect for all workers. 3. Use straightforward language and speak slowly and clearly. 4. Observe cultural differences in etiquette. 5. Be sensitive to differences in nonverbal communication. 6. Do not be diverted by style, accent, grammar, or personal appearance. 7. Be sensitive to individual differences in appearance. 83
IV. TECHNIQUES FOR IMPROVING CROSS-CULTURAL RELATIONS Many training programs have been developed to improve cross-cultural relations and to help employees value diversity. Often they include some of the information already presented in this chapter. A. Cultural Training Cultural training is a set of learning experiences designed to help employees understand the customs, traditions, and beliefs of another culture. Many industries train employees in cross-cultural relations. Cultural training is also important for helping people of one culture understand their customers from another culture in particular, such as Chinese people learning to deal more effectively with their American customers. B. Cultural Intelligence Training Cultural intelligence training is a program based on the principles of cultural intelligence. A key part of training is to learn the three contributors to CQ—head, heart, and body. The trainee is taught strategies for sizing up the environment to determine which course of action is best. C. Language Training Learning a foreign language is often part of cultural training, yet can also be a separate activity. Knowledge of a second language builds better connections with people from other cultures than does relying on a translator. Companies invest heavily in helping employees learn a target language because it facilitates conducting business in other countries. D. Diversity Training The general purpose of cultural training is to help workers understand people from another culture. Diversity training attempts to bring about workplace harmony by teaching people how to get along better with diverse work associates. All such training programs center on increasing people's awareness of and empathy for people who are different in some noticeable way from oneself. Learning to empathize with the point of view of people from a diverse group is an essential part of improving relations. To help participants develop empathy, representatives of various groups explain their feelings related to workplace issues, including how they have felt different in a way that made them feel uncomfortable. . A recent trend in diversity training is cross-generational diversity, or relating effectively to workers much older or younger than you. Diversity training often works, yet these programs can also create ill will and waste time. Another problem is that diversity training sometimes results in perpetuating stereotypes about groups, such as Latinos not valuing promptness. E. Cross-Cultural and Cross-Gender Mentoring Programs An advanced method of improving cross-cultural relations is mentoring members of targeted minority groups. The mentoring demonstrates the company’s interest in enhancing cross-cultural relations, and at the same time enhances the minority group member’s opportunities for advancement.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1. How can a person demonstrate to others on the job that he or she is culturally fluent (gets along well with people from other cultures)? One approach would be seen working with culturally diverse members of the workforce, and also with customers. Making occasional mention of people from other cultures would also project the image of cultural fluency. 2. What can you do this week to sharpen your cross-cultural skills? You don’t have to take an overseas voyage to gain some cross-cultural exposure that could lead to cross-cultural skill. Among the actions the person might take this week for skill enhancement are visiting Websites of as target country, eating in a restaurant with foreign cuisine, speaking to fellow students and store associates from a different culture, and conversing over the phone with people of another culture. Even watching an athletic event on television filed in another county (such as a soccer or rugby match) can lead to a little cross-cultural insight. 3. Some companies, such as Singapore Airlines, make a deliberate effort for customer contact personnel to all be of the same ethnic group (Singapore natives). How justified is this practice in an era of cultural diversity and valuing differences? Here is a touchy argument. Some people would argue that hiring people of the same ethnic group for a specialized service like Singapore Airlines is close to being a bone fide occupational qualification. Also, the Singapore natives contribute ambiance to the Airline. Others would argue that hiring only one ethnic group for whatever reason is job discrimination. 4. Provide an example of cultural insensitivity of any kind that you have seen, read about, or could imagine. After studying the topic briefly, students should be able to furnish a number of examples. A woman from Reston, Virginia reported that an Indian management analyst was the leading performer in his workgroup. As a reward, his manager bought a gift certificate for him and his wife to a steakhouse restaurant. The Indian, whose culture forbids the eating of beef, was appalled by the incident. 5. Why is knowing the language of the other person more important when selling rather than buying from that person? In a selling-buying exchange, the buyer holds more power, and must therefore be pleased. If you are buying, the other person goes out of his or her way to please you. Yet, people in many cultures will not tolerate an insensitive, or bullying buyer. 6. How could the information comparing U. S. values to other countries help you succeed in business?
A person who is sensitive to differences in cross-cultural values will be able to make adjustments that will enhance interpersonal relationships. The improved relationships will in turn lead to more effective business transactions. One of many examples is that after studying this table, an American might move cautiously in being informal with a European business contact he or she had met for the first time. 7. How useful is the adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” for someone who wants to work in another country for a while? The old adage about Rome is an enormously perceptive piece of advice, and it embraces the concept of cultural sensitivity. Instead of relying on the cultural traditions of your own country, you adapt the best you can to the cultural traditions of the country in which you are working. For example, the American might cheer like crazy at a rugby match while working in France even if he or she much prefers American football (rugby with helmets and pads!). 8. If you were a supervisor, how would you deal with a group member who had a very low acceptance of power and authority? It would be important to explain to a worker with low acceptance for power and authority that in this organizational and national culture, the supervisor has some formal authority that must be respected. A discussion could then be held about the areas in which accepting power and authority was important, such as the supervisor having the authority to enforce working hours and conduct the performance evaluation. 9. The cultural bloopers presented in Skill-Building Exercise 7-2 in the text all deal with errors people make with people who are not American. Give an example of a cultural blooper a person from another country might make in the United States. One example would be kissing and hugging the babies of strangers, as the some cultures allow. Another might be a Scandinavian worker in a U. S. company who is so casual about rank that he or she would drop by the CEO's office just to chat. 10. Many people speak loudly to deaf people, blind people, and to those who speak another native tongue. Based on the information presented in this chapter, what mistakes are these people making? A major mistake committed by speaking loudly to the groups just mentioned is that of cultural insensitivity. If the loud-speaking person empathized with people who are deaf, blind, or foreign, he or she might realize that speaking loudly in these circumstances is insensitive. A greater appreciation for cultural differences would also reveal that speaking loudly is not an effective tactic with any of these groups. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS The Multicultural Dealership
This case illustrates the delicate issue of how far a business should go in being culturally sensitive. Forced cultural sensitivity can sometimes back fire. 1. What is your opinion of the merits of a vehicle dealership attempting to match the demographic group of a customer with a sales rep of the same demographic group? Attempting to match the demographic group of a customer with a sales rep of the same demographic group for every customer might be going too far. In situations where the customer prospect appears to be uncomfortable speaking English, matching the ethnic group of the prospect with a sales associate would make more sense. A hedge here would be to let the customer prospect make the first approach toward a sales associate by asking for help. 2. What do you recommend Ortiz and his management team do about the several complaints the Futura dealership has received? Customers who complained might receive a telephone apology from a manager, but not speaking the customers’ native tongue. For the future, a courageous approach here would be for a receptionist to ask the customer prospect if he or she had an ethnic (or language) preference in choosing a sales associate. The receptionist might say, “We have associates who speak different languages. Do you have a language preference?” However, this approach would be considered highly discriminatory when asking about race or sex preferences and would probably be illegal with respect to employment legislation. 3. To help you analyze this case, get the input from a few people in your network about how they would feel about having a person from their demographic group approach them when they visited a dealership. (Perhaps a few classmates representing different ethnic groups can provide useful input.) Students will most likely obtain two sharply different responses here. Many people wanted to be treated as Americans when shopping in America, and not be assigned a sales associate from their ethnic or racial group. Yet others might feel strongly in the other direction. The dealer on which this case is based has met enormous success by matching the demographic group of the sales associate with the customer prospect. Akia Wants to Fit In The major theme of this case is that working well with people from a dramatically different culture requires cultural sensitivity, and perhaps not to quickly express the stereotypes one might have about people from another culture. 1. What does this case tell us about cultural sensitivity? A key lesson this case reveals is that it might be better to ask questions about the preferences of a person from another culture, rather than imposing one’s stereotypes. For example, the timing of the comment about ice fishing and seal hunting was insensitive. 2. How might have Akiak’s coworkers related better to him during the orientation? 87
The coworkers focused too much on Ariak being an Eskimo or Inuit. Ariak would probably have been happier if the coworkers did not place so much emphasis on his cultural background, but upon his personal characteristics and capabilities. 3. How might have Akiak done a better job of relating to his new coworkers? Akiak had a reputation for being impatient. He might have been more tactful in pointing out that he had enough of Eskimo or Inuit questions. He could have answered questions, and then gently changed the topic with a warm plea about wanting to fit in with the group. 4. Does Akiak have an attitude (meaning negative attitude problem)? Akiak may be too impatient, and perhaps has an attitude problem. However, he has been triggered by too much focus on his cultural heritage, even to the point of being insulting. In defense of the coworkers, very few people from the 48 contiguous states have worked with, or even know personally, an Eskimo. They are therefore likely to be curious. COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES Cross-Cultural Skills and Attitudes Most people perceive themselves to have good cross-cultural skills. This quiz points to specific behaviors suggesting how much progress a person has actually made in becoming cross-cultural. Developing Cultural Sensitivity A possible conclusion these exercise might point toward is that some products and services might have to be marketed differently in certain cultures. For example, American jeans are a luxury item in Russia and therefore might not be marketed as everyday work clothing. Charting Your Cultural Value Profile Charting this profile reinforces the existence of these eight dimensions of cultural differences. A good topic for class discussion is to hypothesize about the typical American (or Canadian or Mexican) profile. At the same time the exercise illustrates the important point that considerable individual differences exist within a culture. Cultural Mistakes to Avoid with Selected Cultural Group Reading about these cultural mistakes alone will not lead to skill development. Most students should be able to find at least one opportunity to behave in a manner opposite to one of the cultural mistakes described. Cross- Cultural Relations Role Play
This role play deals with one of the most difficult issues in cross-cultural outsourcing—having a person from one culture help another. Students have received call-center assistance from someone from another culture will have a personal awareness of the issues involved. Using the Internet to Help Develop Foreign Language Skills Most students who follow through with this daily drill in foreign language and culture will be pleasantly surprised about their progress. Also, Americans will receive the double benefit of obtaining news about their own country in their target language. Developing Empathy for Differences Repeated application of this exercise with various groups demonstrates that it is a meaningful experience. The backup title to the exercises, “When I Felt Different,” may prove useful in providing structure for students. The sources of being different are so varied, including being perceived as very short, very tall, and an African-American person being perceived as “too white” or “not black enough.” After the presentations have been completed, a class discussion ensues about the contribution of this exercise to interpersonal relations. Building a Relationship with an Eskimo Electronics Technician One of my former students asked “Akiak” a question that made other class members laugh, yes showed a lot of insight. The question was, “Akiak, what kind of girls do you like to date?” Some might argue that the question is a little forward, yet the person asking the question wanted to get to know Akiak without asking yet another Eskimo-related question. A subtle point about the group role play is the best way to make a coworker feel comfortable is to minimize attention to his or her culture, after a couple of questions. Gentle questions about the other person’s culture reflect a healthy interest. Too much questioning can make the person from the other culture feel uncomfortable. EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (d) 1. The true meaning of valuing diversity is to a. tolerate and treat fairly people from many different groups. b. establish quotas for hiring and promoting minority group members. c. be able to joke about how others are different than you. d. respect and enjoy a wide range of cultural and individual differences. (b) 2. The diversity umbrella is supposed to include a. men as well as women. b. everybody in an organization. c. all members of the work force except top management. d. members of all groups who have been discriminated against in the past. (c)
3. The goal of a diverse organization is for a. minority group members to be promoted more frequently than others. 89
b. the employee mix to match the census data mix. c. persons of all cultural backgrounds to achieve their full potential. d. all employees to receive training in cultural sensitivity. (a)
4. An important implication of the diversity umbrella is that a. many types of differences should be understood and appreciated. b. job discrimination is widespread in the workplace. c. some differences should be tolerated, whereas others should be appreciated. d. individual factors do not require as much respect as group factors.
A major aspect of cultural sensitivity is a willingness to investigate a. the reasons why people from another culture act as they do. b. why one dislikes people from another culture. c. opportunities for overseas work. d. opportunities for overseas travel.
A person with high cultural sensitivity is likely to a. regard people from different cultures as pretty much the same. b. be too sensitive to criticism from people from different cultures. c. recognize nuances in customs among cultures. d. overlook nuances in customs among cultures.
7. Larry wants to be politically correct, so when introducing Janis Stewart, the vice president of marketing in his company to friends at a party, he says, “I would like you to meet Janis Stewart, “ a. our woman vice president of marketing.” b. the highest placed girl in our company.” c. one of the best female minds in marketing.” d. our vice president of marketing.”
8. A concern about political correctness is that it often leads to a. creating too many categories of people. b. blandness and imprecision in language. c. making many people feel inferior. d. conflict between majority- minority-group members.
People with high cultural intelligence are able to a. learn foreign languages quickly. b. observe subtle cues about how to act in another culture. c. quickly pick up facts bout a different culture. d. get through airport customs inspection without arousing suspicion.
Which one of the following is not an aspect of cultural intelligence? a. personality (the psychological) b. cognitive (the head) c. emotional/motivational (the heart) d. the body (physical)
(d) 11. A basic strategy for achieving cross-cultural understanding is to a. ignore differences in cultural customs. b. establish a ranking of preferred cultures. c. hire people from different cultures. d. respect others in the workplace. (a) 12.
Rhonda is culturally fluent, which means that she can a. conduct business in a diverse, international environment. b. speak three languages fluently. c. make friends with people from different cultures. d. conduct business in different regions of her own country.
Cultural fluency includes a. using a computer program to translate from one language into another. b. wearing latex gloves to avoid germs when visiting other countries. c. getting homesick on long visits overseas. d. knowledge of the international business environment.
(c) 14. Manager Reggie comes from a culture with a high performance orientation so he is likely to reward group members who a. have well-developed outside interests. b. share credit for their accomplishments with the work group. c. improve their performance and are excellent performers. d. know how to make him feel like an important manager. (b) 15.
Which one of the following values is likely to be strongly held by Americans? a. casual time orientation b. urgent time orientation c. emphasis on gender inequality d. acceptance of power and authority
(a) 16. Workers from cultures with a strong work orientation are likely to a. spend relatively less time on vacation. b. spend relatively more time on vacation. c. retire at a relatively early age. d. be quite formal in dealing with each other. (d) 17. Helen’s attitude toward power and authority is most likely to influence whether she a. will accept full-time employment. b. feels comfortable working with opposite-sex coworkers. c. is willing to work overtime regularly. d. offers suggestions to an elder manager. (a) 18.
An example of a cultural blooper would be for an American to a. pressure an Asian job applicant to bring about personal 91
accomplishments. b. deemphasize organizational rank when conducting business in Scandinavia. c. upon first contact, address a French executive by title and last name. d. give a small gift to a Japanese business associate. (c) 19.
Consumers are four times more likely to purchase a product online if the Website a. has links to a foreign Website. b. contains ample cartoons. c. is written in their preferred language. d. includes photos of people from different races and ethnic groups.
A recommended tactic for overcoming cross-cultural communication barriers would be to a. use the same nonverbal communication behaviors from one culture to another. b. make extensive use of idioms and figures of speech. c. use complicated language to capture the attention of the person from another culture. d. be sensitive to differences in nonverbal communication.
In cross-cultural relations, being attentive to individual differences in appearance helps overcome the problem of a. confusing the identity of people from the same racial or ethnic group. b. being politically correct. c. appearing cold and distant to people from a different culture. d. being too informal toward people of another culture.
A key part of cultural intelligence training is to a. learn a second language the way the natives speak it. b. understand the history and culture of another culture. c. learn how to size up the environment to determine which course of action is best. d. forgive people from other cultures for their mistakes.
(b) 23. An important goal of a diversity training program is to a. achieve minority hiring quotas. b. help employees deal more effectively with people of different cultures. c. move women and minorities into managerial positions more quickly. d. market products to ethnic groups more effectively. (d) 24.
The major purpose of cross-generational awareness training is to a. teach younger workers to become more patient about promotions. 92
b. teach older workers to adapt better to information technology. c. develop mentoring relationships between younger and older workers. d. help older and younger workers get along better with each other. (a) 25.
Maria joins the Hummer division of General Motors, as is placed in a cross-gender mentoring program. She is likely to be mentored by a. an experienced manager who is male. b. a coworker who is female. c. two women from the human resources department. d. an experienced manager who is transsexual..
1. According to the idea of valuing diversity, everybody is different in at least one important way.
(T) 2. The goal of a diverse organization is for all workers to achieve their potential, not held back by group identities such as sex, nationality, or race. (F)
3. The diversity umbrella includes mostly people who have been discriminated against in the past.
4. The differences between men and women in speech patterns are thought to be inherited rather than cultural differences.
(T) 5. A person with cultural sensitivity is willing to investigate the reasons why people of another culture act as they do. (F)
6. A person with high cultural intelligence typically ignores a foreigner’s unfamiliar and unambiguous behavior.
7. The emotional/motivational source of cultural intelligence gives a person the confidence necessary to adapt to another culture.
8. Company policies that encourage the respect for the rights of others are likely to backfire in terms of encouraging tolerance throughout the firm. (F) 9. The term cultural fluency refers generally to having a working knowledge of two languages in addition to one's native language. (T) 10. American workers are noted for their urgent time orientation. (F) 11. CEO Mike is an American who believes strongly in gender egalitarianism, so in his company he is likely to promote very few women to key positions.
In a culture that accepts power and authority, managers are likely to make many decisions by themselves simply because they are the boss.
(T) 13. Pascal comes from a culture that high values in-group collectivism, so he is likely to be quite proud of his company and his family members. (T) 14. The importance of avoiding cultural bloopers has multiplied because of e-commerce and other forms of Internet communication. (F) 15. Now that English is the universal language of business, communicating in the native tongue of your customers offers very little advantage. (F) 16.
An example of a cultural blooper would be for an American selling in China to attempt to cultivate a personal relationship before asking for the order.
When relating to people from other cultures, it is recommended that you make extensive use of idioms and analogies specific to your language.
Fortunately for the international worker, nonverbal communication signals tend to be the same from one country to another.
Most people have such ethnic and racial pride that confusing the identity of people from the same ethnic or racial group is considered to be a compliment.
Cultural intelligence training would help a person develop the right strategy for figuring out how to behave in a given situation in a foreign culture.
When people are experiencing heavy stress, such as facing a medical emergency, they are likely to revert to their native tongue.
The major purpose of diversity training is to bring about workplace harmony.
The most successful diversity training programs are those that heavily emphasize confrontation and angry feelings.
Sara, an accountant who is African American, is assigned to a crosscultural mentoring program at a large consumer products company. So her mentor is most likely to work overseas, with mentoring sessions being conducted over e-mail and by Webcam.
One of the purposes of a cross-cultural mentoring program is to facilitate the career advancement of targeted minority groups.
CHAPTER 8 RESOLVING CONFLICTS WITH OTHERS The major purpose of this chapter is to provide insights and skills into resolving interpersonal conflict in the workplace. Sexual harassment receives special attention because of its prevalence as a type of job conflict. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES I. SOURCES OF INTERPERSONAL CONFLICT IN ORGANIZATIONS A conflict is a situation in which two or more goals, values, or events are incompatible or mutually exclusive. A conflict is also a strife, quarrel, or battle. Understanding the sources, or causes, of conflict can help resolve the present conflict and help prevent a similar occurrence. All conflict includes the underlying theme of incompatibility between one's goals, values, or events and those of another person. A. Competition for Limited Resources Conflict arises when two or more people squabble over who should get the limited resources, with resources usually being limited. B. Role Conflict Being placed in a predicament can lead to conflict and stress. Role conflict is having to choose between two competing demands or expectations. Compliance with one aspect of a role makes compliance with the other role difficult or impossible, such as receiving contradictory offers. Role conflict can take various forms such as attempting to complete two objectives that are in apparent conflict. An example is being pushed for both speed and quality. C. Competing Work and Family Demands Balancing the demands of career and family has become a major role conflict facing today’s workforce. The challenge is particularly intense for employees who are part of a twowage-earner family. Work-family conflict occurs when an individual’s roles of worker and active participant in social and family life compete with one another. Work can interfere with family responsibilities, and family responsibilities can interfere with work. Work-family conflict can be a major stressor, and can lead to emotional disorders as revealed by a study of 2,700 employed adults. Another study found that work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict led to guilt and hostility at work and at home respectively. Companies can often avoid or minimize serious work-family conflict among employees by implementing equitable time-off policies. D. Personality Clashes Many workplace disagreements arise because people simply dislike each other. A personality clash is an antagonistic relationship between two people based on differences in personal attributes, preferences, interests, values, or styles. The most commonly reported office problem is the personality conflict. One of the most frequent conflicts is between the sweeping big picture person, and the cautious detail-oriented person.
E. Aggressive Personalities Including Bullies Some people convert disagreement into an attack on the other person. Aggressive personalities are people who verbally, and sometimes physically, attack others frequently. Verbal aggression takes the form of insults, teasing, ridicule, and profanity. Aggressive personalities are also referred to as workplace bullies. Among their typical behaviors are interrupting others, ranting in a loud voice, and making threats. Aggressiveness can also take the extreme form of shooting and knifing a former boss or colleague by a mentally unstable worker recently dismissed from the company. Homicide is the fourth leading cause of workplace deaths, with about 600 workers murdered each year in the United States alone. F.Incivility and Rudeness A milder form of aggressiveness in the workplace is rudeness or incivility toward work associates. Incivility (employees’ lack of regard for one another) has gained attention as a cause of workplace conflict. Uncivil treatment can lead to counterproductive behavior such as being rude to customers. In perspective, rudeness and incivility may be simply part of modern life where self-expression counts for everything and manners nothing. II. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STYLES A well-known classification scheme identifies styles of conflict management based on different combinations of satisfying one's concerns (assertiveness) and satisfying the concerns of others (cooperativeness). A. Competitive. A competitive person desires to win his or her concerns at the expense of the other party. B. Accommodative. The accommodative type favors appeasement, or satisfying the other's concerns without taking care of his or her own. C. Sharing. The sharing style prefers moderate but incomplete satisfaction for both parties, resulting in compromise. D. Collaborative. The collaborative style reflects a desire to fully satisfy the desire of both parties (win-win). The option chosen results in a mutual gain. E. Avoidant. The avoidant style is a combination of uncooperative and unassertive. III. GUIDELINES AND TECHNIQUES FOR RESOLVING CONFLICTS The techniques described here are based somewhat on the underlying philosophy of winwin. A. Confrontation and Problem Solving The ideal approach to resolving any conflict is to confront the real issue, and then solve the problem. Confrontation means taking a problem-solving approach to differences and identify the underlying facts, logic, or emotions that account for them. Confrontation can proceed gently in a way that preserves a good working relationship. As with all methods of
resolving conflict, it is helpful to bring closure by shaking hands, restating commitments, and saying “thank you.” B. Constructive Handling of Criticism Learning to profit from criticism is an effective way of benefiting from conflict. People who benefit from criticism are able to stand outside themselves while being criticized. Suggestions for dealing constructively with criticism include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
See yourself at a distance. Ask for clarification and specifics. Decide on a response. (Respond appropriately to the critic.) Apologies are effective. Look for a pattern in terms of other criticism. Disarm the opposition. (If you agree with the criticism, the criticizer no longer has reason to use his or her armament.)
C. Reframing Reframe the conflict by looking at it in a different light. 1. Reframing through Cognitive Restructuring The conflicting elements in a situation can be lessened by viewing them more positively. According to the technique of cognitive restructuring, you mentally convert negative aspects into positive ones by looking for the positive elements in a situation. If you search for the beneficial elements in the situation there will be less area for dispute. 2.Reframing by Asking Questions Step back, take a deep breath, and ask a few questions including the following: “Do I fully understand the situation?” Is the person really angry with me or just worried and anxious?” “What is the real issue here?” D. Negotiating and Bargaining Conflicts can be considered situations calling for negotiating, or conferring with another person to resolve a problem. A new perspective on negotiation is that people are not jut negotiating for the economic value of the negotiation, but for intangibles, such as feeling good about the negotiation process and themselves. Six useful negotiating tactics are presented here: 1. Understand the Other Party’s Perspective. To obtain a good deal, or sometimes any deal, negotiators have to dig for information about why the other side wants its demands. Also, look for common ground. 2. Focus on Interests, Not Positions. Rather than clinging to specific negotiating points, keep your overall interests in mind and try to satisfy them. 3. Compromise. The most widely used negotiating tactic is compromise, the settlement of differences by mutual concessions. One party agrees to do something if the other party agrees to do something else. 4. Begin with a Plausible Demand or Offer, Yet Allow Room for Negotiation. A plausible demand shows that you are bargaining in good faith. If a third party has to resolve a conflict, a plausible demand will receive more sympathy. A plausible demand does not preclude beginning with a demand that allows room for compromise and concession. 5. Make Small Concessions Gradually. Making steady concessions leads to more mutually satisfying agreements in most situations. 97
6. Know Your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). The goal of negotiating is not just to agree, but to reach an agreement more valuable than nonagreement. When you are aware of your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, it sets a floor to the agreement you are willing to accept. 7. Use Your Anger to Advantage. When a person becomes genuinely angry, the anger can energize him or her to be more resourceful and creative while bargaining. Yet anger can degenerate into incivility and personal insults. A major theme running through the various approaches to conflict resolution, including negotiating and bargaining, is that cooperating with the other side is usually preferable to competing. IV.
COMBATTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT: A SPECIAL TYPE OF CONFLICT
Sexual harassment is generally defined as unwanted sexually-oriented behavior in the workplace that results in discomfort and/or interference with the job. It can include an action as violent as rape or as subtle as a sexually-oriented comment about a person's body or appearance. A. Types and Frequency of Harassment The courts recognize two types of sexual harassment: (a) quid pro quo harassment is receiving an unfavorable employment action because sexual favors are refused, (b) hostile environment harassment created by sexually-oriented conduct. Women perceive a broader range of social-sexual behaviors as harassing. Sexual harassment is also regarded as an expression of power by one individual over another because the harasser has more formal power than the harassed. Sexual harassment is widespread in the U. S. and other countries. According to one compilation of figures, at least one-half of all women have been harassed at some point in their career. At least 10 percent of women workers have quit their jobs because of being harassed. Recent data suggest that sexual harassment directed at professional women by clients and customer is more frequent than harassment within the company. Sexist hostility was the most frequent. Women in nontraditional jobs (such as a welder) are especially likely to be harassed. Also, working in a male-dominated organization predisposes a woman to harassment. B. The Adverse Effects of Sexual Harassment Aside from being unethical, immoral, and illegal, sexual harassment is widely thought to have adverse consequences including job stress, lowered morale, severe conflict, and lowered productivity. Table 8-1 summarizes a synthesis of many studies about the adverse effects of sexual harassment. C. Guidelines for Preventing and Dealing with Harassment A starting point in dealing with sexual harassment is to develop an awareness of the types of behaviors that are considered sexual harassment. Often the difference is subtle. Behaviors that might be interpreted as environmental harassment include the following: 1. Inappropriate remarks and sexual implications. 2. Terms of endearment. 3. Suggestive compliments. 98
4. Physical touching. 5. Work-related kissing (but take into account cultural differences) Several actions by management are the most critical in preventing and dealing with harassment. A building block is to create and widely disseminate a policy about harassment. Zero tolerance should be emphasized, and the company should have an open-door policy about sexual harassment. Frequent discussion about the problem is helpful. Two key strategies for the sexual harassment victim are to use either a formal complaint procedure or to resolve the problem on his or her own. Text Exhibit 8-4 provides the details. A major recommendation for documenting acts of sexual harassment is to keep a running diary of incidents against you. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1. Several large companies dismiss each year the five percent of their workforce receiving the lowest performance evaluations. What kind of conflicts do you think this practice leads to? The “rank-and-yank” system leads to conflict between the manager and the evaluee if the latter is informed of the ranking. The low-rated person is likely to defend himself or herself against the ranking. Employees are also likely to compete with each other to avoid the low ranking, and intense competition usually leads to conflict. 2. Why is being able to resolve conflict well such an important skill for career success? Being able to resolve conflict well helps the career-minded person get through many difficult situations, looking good and performing well in the process. If you resolve a conflict well with a subordinate, the problem is not likely to haunt you by the person going over your head for resolution. If you resolve a conflict well with your own boss you might avoid a poor performance evaluation. Resolving a conflict can also help you get the go ahead on a project that if successful will boost your career. 3. What are the disadvantages of having an accommodative style of handling conflict? A person who is accommodative will usually wind up as the loser in conflict situations, sometimes giving away so much that it is to the person's detriment. For example, a small business owner might give a demanding employee such a large salary increase that profits suffer. 4. Remember the hypothetical conflict between "Bill Budweiser" and the Anheuser Busch Company? What solution do you propose to satisfy the underlying interests of both parties? A key interest of Bill Budweiser is to earn money as a brewery, and a key interest of Anheuser Busch is to protect its brand name. How about this for a solution? If Bill Budweiser agrees peacefully to choose another name for his brewery, Anheuser Busch will agree to hire his brewery to make a defined amount of beer each year for one of Busch's minor labels. The Anheuser Busch contract will help the fledgling brewery meet expenses. Neither party's best interests will be served by fighting a legal battle over the brand name.
5. Several school systems in recent years have requested that teachers correct student work with a purple maker rather than a red one because the color red is associated with harsh criticism. What is your opinion of the merits of a shift from red markers to purple? A few colorists might argue that the color red incites strong emotion, and therefore breeds conflict. A reinforcement-theory analysis suggests, however, that in time purple will become associated with harsh criticism and therefore will anger students. (Or students will see red when they see purple!) 6. Have you ever attempted to disarm the opposition? How effective was the tactic? Usually one or two class members can provide excellent examples of how disarming the opposition worked. An entertaining example is agreeing with a police officer after being pulled over for a traffic violation. Quite often the officer will not give a ticket. Instead the officer will say, "Just be careful next time." 7. How might a student use cognitive restructuring to get over the anger of having received a low grade in a course? The student who uses cognitive restructuring to the extreme might say, "I'm thankful for this wake-up call. Now I know that I have urgent developmental needs in this subject. I will study on my own to improve my deficiencies." 8. Visualize yourself buying a new vehicle of your choice. Which negotiating technique (or techniques) would you be the most likely to use? Buying a new or used vehicle is a wonderful laboratory for practicing most negotiating techniques. An especially powerful technique is to begin with a plausible demand or offer. The seller then takes you seriously and will work extra hard to accommodate you because you are a valid prospect. Although your offer is plausible, allow room for compromise. Internet information about vehicle prices has made it easier for customers to make a plausible offer. In general, offering about 12 percent below the sticker price is will placed a person in the plausible-offer zone, and pique the interest of the seller. 9. Studies have shown that women working in male-dominated positions, such as a female construction supervisor or bulldozer operator, are more likely to experience sexual harassment than women in other fields. What explanation can you offer for this finding? One possibility for the elevated frequency is that men resent women invading their territory, so they express their resentment through the intimidation of sexual harassment. Another possibility is that men working in male-dominated occupations tend to be more macho, and part of being macho is to demean women. 10. Imagine yourself as a human resources professional who wants to alert top-level management to the importance of a policy against sexual harassment. What interpretations could you make of Table 8-1 to help you emphasize the importance of such a policy? A straightforward interpretation of these data is that sexual harassment has a host of negative that could hurt profits, create morale problems, and lead to worker compensation 100
claims in many instances. For example, imagine how much work withdrawal and decreased workgroup productivity might cost the company. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS The Refrigerator Caper This case illustrates how conflict over seemingly petty issues can arise in the workplace. 1. What is the exact conflict in this situation? What is the source of the conflict? The conflict in this situation is that one person believes that the lunch is personal property to be eaten only by her; the other person believes that he or she has a right to eat another person’s lunch (literally). The source of the conflict is limited resources. 2. What is your evaluation of Jenna Nestor’s method of resolving the conflict over the stolen lunch? Jenna has a right to be sarcastic and angry, yet her approach might lead to her being perceived as petty and immature. He reference to spitting might bring about counter-hostility. Maybe she should have made an appeal to reason, such as being willing to pack an extra lunch for a needy person. 3. How can professional adults act in this manner? It may appear bizarre that professional adults act in this manner, yet many people do have a petty side to them resulting in human relations problems. Another example of immature, annoying behavior is how so many people behave on Black Friday, the celebrated retail day following Thanksgiving. They push, shove, and literally stampede others to gain entrance to the store and snatch up bargains. Caught In a Squeeze This case illustrates some of the real issues that surface in work-family conflict. 1. What type of role conflict Heather facing? Heather faces interrole conflict in which two of her important roles (professional versus family person) are competing for her time. Interrole conflict in this form is referred to as work-family conflict. 2. What should Heather do to resolve her conflicts with respect to family and work responsibilities? On the family side, Heather needs to develop a better support system, such as a retired person to act as a backup for taking care of her son when neither Heather nor her husband are tied up with work responsibilities. On the work side, perhaps Heather can arrive at an informal contract with her manager about the limits to her availability with respect to non-standard work hours. 101
3. What should the company do to help deal with the type of conflict Heather is facing? Or, should the company not consider Heather’s dilemma to be their problem? The company needs to think through what constitutes reasonable demands on the time of working parents. Though careful planning, managers might be able to reduce emergency meetings. The modern company does think consider the work/personal life conflicts of employees to be partly their responsibility.
COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES Styles of Conflict Management This exercise sets the stage for learning about conflict resolution. The results from this questionnaire can be related to the information about conflict management styles presented later in the chapter. Win-Win Conflict Resolution Finding win-win solutions to conflicts (or options for mutual gain) is a cornerstone skill for conflict management. Here is one possibility for each option: 1. Luncheon problem. You and your coworkers arrive at a fixed luncheon schedule, such as each Thursday, to which you will commit. You will then be able to satisfy your work schedule and their demands. You can work an extra hour on Thursday to make up for lost time. 2. "William" problem. The workmates might prefer the diminutive "Will" of “Bill” because it is more informal, yet William prefers to be called "William." The coworkers might agree to call him "William" yet still use a nickname of their choosing from time to time that William finds acceptable. They might use the diminutive "W" occasionally. In this way William is not called Bill or Will, yet informality is preserved. 3. Transfer problem. You reach a win-win solution by training a replacement for yourself. You win by obtaining a transfer, and your manager wins by retaining your valuable skills. 4. Giant-screen television set problem. The business owner might strike a bargain with the employees. To pay for the giant-screen television set, or for a large part of the price, the employees can come up with equivalent amount of cost savings for the employer. Among the potential cost savers would be cutting back on energy costs until the set is paid for; decreasing waste; and cutting back on absenteeism that requires hiring a temporary worker. Finding a way to boost productivity would be another way to pay for the TV receiver. For the business owner, the TV set becomes cost neutral. Disarming the Opposition
The essential skill here is to agree with the criticizer and then work on a solution to the problem. The role-plays can be illuminating because people have to combat their natural tendency to simply enter into a debate. Reframing through Cognitive Restructuring Imagination and tolerance are required to do an effective job of cognitive restructuring. Possible positive responses to the two scenarios follow: Nancy. "Nancy is so thorough that it takes her two extra weeks to provide her input. Maybe I can work with Nancy to help her become less of a perfectionist." Boss. "My boss is such a devoted, dedicated person. He wants to make sure that I do every little detail correctly. Maybe I can find a way to prove to him that I am very thorough." The Negotiator Quiz Students might want to discuss the significance of individual items such as Number 15, "It's fun to haggle over price when buying a car." My experience is that this quiz adds value to the study of negotiation. A side discussion with possibilities is whether retail outlets with non-negotiable prices, such as CarMax and Sears have a firm policy of non-negotiable prices. Negotiating a Starting Salary A person would usually have to feel in strong demand to negotiate a starting salary. One of the key behaviors to observe in the negotiation is whether the job applicant begins with a plausible demand, keeping in mind the salary data presented in the exercise. Visiting www.salalry.com will give the serious student more ammunition. We suspect that most students will use compromise to help complete the negotiations. Combating Sexual Harassment Encouraging volunteers of different ages and work experience to enter into these role plays can be illuminating. (Having a woman in her 40s play Bertha, and a man in his 20s play Bert will work especially well.) These roles plays are likely to be effective because the content is inherently interesting, and they integrate many of the techniques of conflict resolution. My experience is that modern students are not particularly titillated by sexual content of exercises, and can therefore conduct these role-plays professionally. Conflict Resolution Role Play A sophisticated approach to this role-play would search for a win-win solution to this situation of work-family conflict. An option for mutual gain might be to allow Heather to do some of the analytical portion of her work at home—such as on Sunday night after Christopher is in bed! The team leader and company also win, because Heather accomplishes her work goals.
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (b)
1. Conflict occurs whenever a. you are experiencing stress. b. two sets of demands are incompatible. c. you deal with coworkers. d. your job is demanding.
2. Sam and Muriel argue over who gets to use the new wireless laptop computer. Their conflict is best classified as a. differences in goals. b. personal differences. c. competition over limited resources. d. conflict-prone job duties.
3. A review of many studies about work-family conflict found that a. emotionally stable people are unlikely to experience such conflict. b. work demands rarely create problems at home. c. work life and personal life have almost no impact on each other. d. personal demands can create some work stress.
4. Research suggest that hostile people a. suffer less conflict because they are so angry. b. tend to suffer more conflict at home and on the job. c. enjoy work-to-home conflict because it matches their personality. d. enjoy home-to-work conflict because it matches their personality.
5. A personality clash refers to the fact that sometimes people a. basically dislike each other. b. are violent on the job. c. have different goals. d. are too much alike.
6. A type of personality conflict frequently noted at work is between people who prefer a. light-colored walls versus dark-colored walls. b. warm supervision versus cold supervision. c. a sweeping big picture versus details. d. self-monitoring versus extraversion.
7. A manager who says to a group member, "Are you going to be stupid for the rest of your life?" is most likely engaging in a. competition over limited resources. b. win-win conflict resolution. c. negotiating. d. bullying. 104
(d) 8. Incivility in the workplace has become a significant a. reason for filing as worker compensation claim. b. way to get promoted. c. source of workplace homicide. d. source of conflict. (b)
9. Linda Yang, a labor relations specialist, wants each side to leave the negotiating table well satisfied. Yang is best advised to use which style of conflict management? a. competitive b. collaborative c. accommodative d. sharing
(c) 10. The method of identifying the true source of conflict and resolving it systematically is called a. frame the outcome in positive terms. b. disarm the opposition. c. confrontation and problem solving. d. begin with a plausible offer, but allow room for negotiation. (d) 11. A police officer says to you, "Pull over, you've been driving ten miles per hour beyond the speed limit." Following the principle of disarm the opposition, you should respond in this manner: a. "Officer, there has been some mistake." b. "How would you like to deal with me when you are out of uniform?" c. "You must have been speeding in order to catch me." d. "You're right, I was speeding." (a) 12. A major component of reframing through cognitive restructuring is to a. search for the positive elements in a situation. b. play a mind game. c. change the cognitions of the opposing side. d. agree that you have been in the wrong. (b) 13. Jud is involved in conflict within his work group. A useful question for him to reframe the situation would be a. “Why am I forced to work with fools?” b. “Am I sure what my coworker is saying?” c. “Why has life dealt me such a terrible hand?” d. “How do I get even?” (c) 14. Alex has been severely criticized by his boss. He deals with the problem by saying to himself, "The criticism I received is good because it will prevent me from repeating that mistake." Alex is engaging in a. accommodation b. disarming the opposition. 105
c. cognitive restructuring. d. a self-defeating mind game. (d) 15. The negotiating strategy, focus on interests, not positions, calls for the negotiator to a. quickly uncover the interests of the other side. b. stick to his or her demands until the last. c. find mutual interests with the other side. d. strive to satisfy his or her overall interests. (b) 16. A key advantage of making a plausible demand in a negotiating session is that it a. prevents the other side from making a counteroffer. b. shows you are bargaining in good faith. c. prevents the other side from making an extreme demand. d. gets you about one-half of what you really want. (a) 17. You are interested in purchasing a speedboat, on sale for $35,000. You make an offer of $29,500, thereby using the negotiating tactic, a. begin with a plausible demand or offer, yet allow room for negotiation. b. compromise. c. make small concessions gradually. d. know your best alternative to a negotiated agreement. (d) 18. Knowing one's best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) is designed to help a person a. prevent the opposing side from gaining any advantage. b. block a win-win solution. c. choose creative alternative solutions. d. prevent accepting unfavorable terms. (a) 19. A recommended way of using anger to your advantage while negotiating is to a. show genuine anger, but do not overdo it. b. get red in the face and clench your fist while attempting to win your point. c. not give the other side any indication that you are angry. d. always be angry while negotiating. (b) 20. In quid pro quo sexual harassment, the harassed person a. is intimidated with sexually-toned language. b. loses out because of refusal to grant a sexual favor. c. receives favorable treatment because of refusal to grant a sexual favor. d. gets even with harasser by harassing him or her. (d) 21. In the hostile environment form of sexual harassment, the harassed person a. does not get a fair hearing for his or her complaint. b. suffers a job loss for having filed a complaint. c. suffers a job loss for having refused to grant sexual favors. 106
d. may not necessarily suffer a job loss. (d) 22. An analysis of many studies about perceptions of what constitutes sexual harassment found that a. men and women disagreed as to the meaning of sexual coercion. b. men were much more prudish than women. c. men perceived a broader range of behaviors to be harassing. d. women perceived a broader range of behaviors to be harassing. (a) 23.
Recent data about the incidence of sexual harassment found that professional women were more likely to be harassed, a. by clients and customers than within the company. b. in the company parking lot by strangers than within the company. c. by women superiors than by men superiors. d. in the cafeteria than in the cubicle or office.
(b) 24. A major recommendation for combating sexual harassment is to a. post any sexually-toned comments you hear on the company Website. b. keep a running log of incidents against you. c. embarrass anyone who tells a sexually-oriented joke by post his or her photo and the comment on a blog. d. wear a button that says, ‘Not me, not now.” (d) 25.
A study of how personality factors influenced the negative effects of sexual harassment indicated that a. conscientious workers had few negative effects. b. introverted workers suffered the most. c. neurotic workers actually benefited from sexual harassment. d. personality factors did not influence the negative effects.
1. One meaning of conflict is that one side attempts to block the other from achieving its goals.
2. The more you care about work and family responsibilities, the less likely you are to experience work-family conflict.
3. The psychological symptoms of work-family conflict tend to be confined to minor problems such as an occasional bad dream or skin twitching.
4. An analysis of many studies indicated that personal demands can create both work stress and low job satisfaction.
5. A personality clash between two individuals usually comes about because one person has a fancier job title than the other.
6. Big-picture-thinking Annie works for detail-thinking Gus, so the two will 107
rarely have a personality clash because they complement each other nicely. (T)
7. Office manager Keith is an office bully so he will often make statements to the effect, “My way or the highway.”
8. Treating others rudely and with incivility is has become a frequent source of workplace conflict.
9. To use the competitive style of conflict management, a person must give primary concern to the needs of the other party.
(F) 10. In the sharing style of conflict management, the agreements reached are typically options for mutual gain. (T) 11. Confrontation and problem solving is considered the ideal approach to conflict resolution because it leads to a resolution of the underlying issues. (F) 12. A key principle of benefiting from criticism is to take the criticism personally, so you will take it seriously. (T) 13. A recommended approach to dealing with criticism is to act as if you are a detached observer looking for useful information. (F) 14. Apologizing to your criticizer for what you did wrong is a poor tactic because it makes you appear to be a wimp. (F) 15. To effectively use reframing through cognitive restructuring, one must exaggerate the negative impact of the criticism. (T) 16. Your manager annoys you because she frequently corrects the most minor flaws in your work. To use reframing through cognitive restructuring, you would tell yourself something like, "I guess my boss is just trying to be a caring manager. Maybe I can profit from her small suggestions." (T) 17. Hanna is embroiled in office conflict, and decides to deal with the situation by reframing through asking questions. A good question for Hanna to ask would be, “What is the real issue here?” (F) 18. A useful rule of thumb for negotiating is to minimize empathy because it introduces emotion into the negotiating process. (F) 19. To focus on interests, not positions, the negotiator thinks of certain demands that he or she must absolutely have met. (T) 20. Knowing your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) helps you from accepting an offer that is smaller than you need to. (T) 21. A display of anger can be an effective negotiating tactic. 108
(T) 22. Quid pro quo harassment takes place when a person's job is in jeopardy for not submitting to a boss's sexual advances. (F) 23. A study indicated that women who work in male-dominated manufacturing plants are more likely to be sexually harassed than women who work in female-dominated community-service centers. (T) 24. The easiest way to deal with sexual harassment is to speak up before it becomes serious. (F) 25. Keeping a log of sexually harassing incidents against you is considered a bad idea because there is a good chance you will be sued for libel.
CHAPTER 9 BECOMING AN EFFECTIVE LEADER The purpose of this chapter is to present information about leadership that students can apply to developing their leadership skills. As a consequence, we omit from consideration here the underlying leadership research and theory. Advanced students may want to read the underlying knowledge base on their own. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES To develop leadership capability a person needs the right personal characteristics, and must carry out the right actions. Leadership is the ability to inspire support and confidence among the people who are needed to achieve company goals. Leaders make a difference. Leadership status can be derived from being appointed to a formal position or inspiring others through personal characteristics and actions. I. KEY LEADERSHIP TRAITS TO DEVELOP An important part of being an effective leader is to have the right stuff. Yet different situations may require a different set of personal characteristics for leadership effectiveness. Each of the nine leadership traits described next can be developed. A. Self-confidence Realistic self-confidence is required in virtually every leadership situation. The leader must also project self-confidence to the group. Self-confidence is also a behavior, such as being cool under pressure. Developing self-confidence is a life-long process of performing well in a variety of situations. B. Assertiveness A widely-recognized leadership trait is assertiveness, being forthright in expressing demands, opinions, feelings, and attitudes. Assertiveness helps leaders perform tasks and achieve goals such as confronting people about their mistakes, and setting high expectations. Assertiveness stands in contrast to aggressiveness and passivity. A series of three studies indicated that leaders with moderate assertiveness were the most effective. Developing assertiveness is much like attempting to become less shy. People must force themselves to take the opportunity to express their feelings and demands. Expressing demands is easier for most people than expressing feelings. C. Trustworthiness and Morality Group members consistently believe that leaders must display honesty, integrity, and credibility—and therefore be trustworthy. A survey of 570 employees found that white collar workers value honesty and integrity in a manager more than any other trait. Honesty with team members helps to build trust, which in turn leads to good cooperation and team spirit. Being moral is closely linked to trustworthiness because a moral leader is more likely to be trusted. A leader with high morality would perceive that he or she had an ethical responsibility to group members as well as outsiders. D. Emotional Stability 110
Emotional stability is important for a leader because group members expect and need consistency in the way they are treated. Emotional stability is difficult to develop, but people can learn to control many of their emotional outbursts. E. Sense of Humor Whether a trait or a behavior, the effective use of humor is considered an important part of a leader's role. Self-effacing humor is the choice of comedians and organizational leaders alike. Humor requires creativity. F. Self-awareness and Self-Objectivity Effective leaders are aware of their strengths and limitations, enabling them to capitalize upon their strengths and develop their weaknesses. Self-awareness and self-objectivity help a person become an authentic leader, and authenticity helps the leader be perceived as trustworthy. Self-awareness and self-objectivity can be developed by asking for feedback from others regularly. Taking self-examination exercises is also helpful. G. Cognitive Skills and Clarity Mental ability as well as personality is important for leadership success. Problem-solving and intellectual skills are referred to collectively as cognitive factors. Knowledge of the business, or technical skill, is another cognitive skill of major importance. Closely related to cognitive skills is the leader’s ability to be clear about what needs to be accomplished to build a better future. People can develop their cognitive skills by continuous study and by working on challenging problems. H. Emotional Intelligence Emotional intelligence also refers to being able to work effectively with the emotions of others and to resolve problems, including listening and empathizing. Research by Daniel Goleman suggests that superb leaders all have superb emotional intelligence. Leaders with emotional intelligence are in tune with the thoughts and emotions of their own and those of other people. To develop emotional intelligence, look to understand the feelings and emotions of people around you. I. Passion and Enthusiasm A prominent characteristic of effective leaders is the passion and enthusiasm they have for their work, much like the same quality in creative people. The passion is directed toward the business, customers, and employees. To display passion and enthusiasm for your work, you must first find work that creates an inner spark. II. SUGGESTIONS FOR DEVELOPING CHARISMA Much attention is being paid to the importance of inspirational leaders who guide others toward great heights of achievement. Charisma is a special quality of leaders whose purposes, powers, and extraordinary determination differentiate them from others. Charisma reflects a subjective perception on the part of the person being influenced. Leaders at all levels can project charisma. Following are suggestions for behaving in a charismatic manner: 1. Communicate a vision. (A vision describes an ideal version of the future.) 2. Make frequent use of metaphors and analogies. 111
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
Inspire trust and confidence. Be highly energetic and goal oriented. Be emotionally expressive and warm. (Smiling helps here.) Make ample use of true stories. Be candid and direct. Make everybody feel that he or she is quite important. Multiply the effectiveness of your handshake. Stand up straight and also use other nonverbal signals of self-confidence. Be willing to take personal risks. Be self-promotional. (Charismatic leaders toot their own horns.)
Caution: being excessively and flamboyantly charismatic can backfire because others may perceive you as self-serving. In recent years some overly-charismatic, rock-star-like leaders have been replace with those who concentrate more on the business. III. DEVELOPING TEAM LEADERSHIP SKILLS With the use of teams being so widespread, team leadership opportunities have increased. The team leader acts as a facilitator and coach who shares decision making with team members. A team leader practices participative leadership, or sharing authority with the group. However, research supports the idea that danger lurks in the hands of leaders who turn over all responsibility to the group. Suggestions for developing team leadership skills follow. A. Build a Mission Statement A mission should contain a specific goal, purpose, and be optimistic and uplifting. The leader can help develop the mission when the team is first formed or at any other time. Developing a mission for a long-standing team breathes new life into its activities. B. Show Your Team Members that they Are Trusted An effective leader trusts team members, and recognizes and rewards ethical behavior particularly when there is a temptation to be dishonest. Avoid being a micromanager, one who closely monitors most aspects of group members’ activities, sometime to the point of being a control freak. C. Establish a Sense of Urgency and High Performance Standards To build teamwork, members need to believe that the team has urgent, constructive purposes. A demanding performance challenge helps create and sustain the team. D. Hold Question-and-Answer Sessions with the Team An effective way of demonstrating participative or team leadership is to hold questionand-answer sessions with team members. Both leaders and group members ask and answer questions. E. Encourage Team Members to Recognize Each Other’s Accomplishments Members of a high-spirited team look for ways to encourage and praise each other, including the traditional “high five” signifying and important contribution to the team.
F. Encourage Honest Criticism Being a good team player includes offering honest feedback on mistakes and flawed ideas. The team benefits from mutual criticism. G. Use Team Symbols Symbols can be an effective team builder in sports as well as in business. The team leader, might therefore invest part of the team’s budget in an appropriate symbol. H. Use Peer Evaluations With peer evaluations systems the team members contribute to the evaluation by submitting evaluations of each other. Peer evaluations contribute to teamwork because team members realize that helping each other becomes as important as helping the boss. I. Help Team Members See the Big Picture The team is likely to work together more smoothly when members have a clear understanding of how their work contributes to the company. J. Minimize Formation of In-Groups and Out-Groups According to the leader-exchange model, leaders establish unique working relationships with group members. Avoid allowing these relationships to develop into in-groups and outgroups, thereby hurting morale for some. IV. DEVELOPING YOUR LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL Here we describe five strategies for developing your leadership potential in addition to studying and participating in formal programs. We assume that leaders are both born and made, meaning that certain cognitive and personality characteristics are required, but the potential leader also needs experience and practice. 1. Acquire broad experience. (Because leadership varies somewhat with the situation, leadership effectiveness can be improved by gaining supervisory experience in different settings.) 2. Model effective leaders. (Observe capable leaders in action and then model some of their approaches.) 3. Self-develop leadership traits and behaviors. (Identify several traits and behaviors that need development, and then work on them with a combination of determination and training.) 4. Become an integrated human being. (The model leader is first and foremost a fully functioning person. The process of becoming a leader is the process of becoming an integrated human being. Also, self-understanding is a major vehicle for leadership development.) 5. Practice a little leadership. (Look for opportunities to exert a small amount of helpful leadership in contrast to waiting for opportunities to accomplish extraordinary deeds.)
6. Help your leader lead. (When you help people above you avoid a mistake or capitalize upon an opportunity, you help the entire company. At the same time, you are developing your ability to take the initiative and lead.) ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1. Informal observation suggests that people who were voted “the most likely to succeed” in high school are frequently found in leadership positions later in life. What explanation can you offer for these predictions about success so often being true? One strong possibility is that a person’s leadership traits have already started to develop in high school, such as being self-confident and passionate. Another is that being voted the most likely to succeed is a big self-confidence booster that helps propel the person into leadership positions later on in life. 2. What is your reaction to Rudy Giuliani’s statement that the leader should tell people what is right, rather than the people telling him or her what is right and the telling them what they want to hear? The answer to this question depends on a person’s perception of the role of a leader. If one believes that a leader should be strong, decisive, and creative, then Giuliani is correct. On the other hand, if one perceives the leader’s key role as helping constituents attain what they want, then Giuliani has got it backwards. 3. What does it mean to say that a person has the “right stuff” for being a leader? Having the right stuff for being a leader refers to having the right personal characteristics and traits to become a leader. For example, without appropriate self-confidence, intelligence, and personal appeal, it would be difficult for a person to function effectively as a leader. 4. How can a person demonstrate to others in the community that he or she is trustworthy enough to be considered for a leadership position? The person should develop a positive reputation in such areas as following through on commitments, telling the truth, and not betraying confidences. Equally important the person who wants to become a leader should not be caught doing the opposite of the behaviors just mentioned. 5. Why does a leader need good emotional intelligence? Shouldn’t a leader be a take-charge person focused on obtaining results like many money or winning ball games? A leader needs good emotional intelligence because in order to obtain results like making money or winning ball games, you have to work effectively with the emotions of others was well as those of your own. One example is that if a leader has empathy for subordinates, they will perform better. Another is that dealing effectively with the anger of people will help them perform better.
6. What does the term self- objectivity mean to you, and why is it important for leadership? Students may have difficulty understanding that self-objectivity means the ability to be objective about one's strengths and limitations. Self-objectivity is important for leadership because it helps a person capitalize on strengths and develop weak areas. 7. What can you do this week to increase your charisma? The student can get started with any of the suggestions for developing charisma described in the text, even as modest as developing a self-confident handshake. Becoming more charismatic involves dozens of small, as well as large, habits and skills. The sooner a person starts working on charisma development, the better. This week is good, and today is even better. 8. What kind of clarity could your instructor provide you in his or role as the leader of this course? A fabulous area of clarity would be to explain how the course will help a person’s career because clarity in this limited sense points people toward building a better future. (Again, we are faced with the problem of a management writer taking an everyday term and using it in a restricted or idiosyncratic sense.) 9. In what way do the concepts of charismatic leadership and participative leadership different substantially from each other? The charismatic leader inspires group members by his or her presence, vision, and many other behaviors. The participative leader, in contrast, works more closely with group members to involve them in decision making. The participative leader is more of a face-toface leader. 10. Assume that a student obtains a part-time job as an assistant store manager. What can this person do to capitalize on this position as leadership experience? To capitalize on the assistant manager position as leadership experience, the student should practice as many leadership behaviors as fit the situation. The student might also make an effort to exhibit leadership characteristics. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS Jim Press Wants to Steer Chrysler in the Right Direction This case illustrates how having knowledge of the business and being imaginative is part of the job for a top-level leader. 1. What leadership qualities and traits does Press appear to demonstrate? We note that Press has passion (he says so); he has excellent cognitive skills as revealed in his intense knowledge of automotive sales and marketing; he has vision, at least about vehicles; he 115
is quite detail-oriented; he is a good listener; and he intends to be an empowering leader as revealed in his plans to give engineers and designers more freedom of expression. 2. What does the cup holder incident tell you about Press’s approach to leadership? The cup holder incident indicates that Press thinks it is part of his role to contribute to design decisions, and apparently Cerberus hired him for this purpose. However, some people might criticize Press for being a micromanager. 3. How trustworthy can Press be if he would jump ship from Toyota to work for a rival? The response to this question would be based on the student’s ethical code. Most people would probably respond something to the effect, “You have to do what you have to do. Staying with one company for 37 years is loyal enough. Besides, it is not illegal to join a rival.” The contrary point of view is that although Press may not be bringing trade secrets from Toyota to Chrysler, many of the plans he had for Toyota vehicles will be implemented at Chrysler. My opinion is that Press does not merit an “A” for ethical behavior. So this Is How You Learn Leadership? We assume that many students can identify with this case. The leadership responsibilities given many assistant managers in a restaurant do not appear glamorous or worthy of the title, “leader.” Yet the problems alluded to must be resolved for the restaurant to run smoothly. 1. What is your opinion of the contribution of Olsen’s representative experiences to his development as a leader? Len Olsen may be neglecting to see the big picture. To be a successful high-level leader you need to understand first hand the problems that take place at the heart of the organization. Creating visions is but one part of leadership. Being able to effectively manage human relations problems makes a valuable contribution to leadership effectiveness, even if the problems deal mostly with supervisory leadership. The problem about the coffee spill could result in a several million dollar claim against the restaurant chain unless resolved satisfactorily. 2. What else can the restaurant chain do to help Olsen and others in the leadership program to develop as leaders? The company could provide the leadership trainees the opportunity to attend leadership seminars, including taking a brief course. It would also be helpful for the assistant managers to be invited to management meetings to understand the type of problems company leadership faces. It would also be helpful for the assistant managers to receive regular feedback about there performance including any leadership aspects of their work. COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES The Assertiveness Scale
Lengthy experience with this scale suggests that it reasonably measures behavior on the assertiveness continuum. The scores obtained by students frequently match their self-evaluation of their degree of assertiveness. The scale can be an effective developmental tool. The Witty Leader An important byproduct of this exercise is that it points to the high level of skill required to make effective witty comments. Here are illustrative witty comments for the three exercises: Scenario 1 (Store Manager): The store manager explains to the group, "Our business has been declining 20 percent a week for three consecutive weeks. You must be as discouraged as I am. But do not despair. We can not get any lower than no business at all, and if the trend continues, we will hit that in two weeks." Scenario 2 (Frozen Salaries): The leader says to the group, "I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that nobody will have to pay more taxes next year. The bad news is that nobody will get a salary increase either." Scenario 3 (Extra Hours): The manager says to the group, "As you may have heard we will all be working about 65 hours per week for the next ten weeks. I'm proud of top management. They have finally empowered us to display our strong work ethic." Scenario 4 (Downsizing the Downsizers): The company founder explains to the group, “Finally, the world can no longer say that our firm fails to practice what it preaches. We are going to follow our own advice, and start downsizing ourselves.” Creating a Vision Students enjoy developing visions, and can be counted on to derive sensible vision statements. The biggest problem is for the student groups to concisely state their visions. Some student groups develop vision statements of about 75 words. Another problem is that some student groups will develop vision statements that are simply sales forecasts. What Style Leader Are You or Would You Be? The quiz is designed to provide insights into the specific practices of participative management. Students carrying out leadership roles can practice some of these ideas. One reason a style quiz has relevance even for students without leadership experience, is that leadership style is based somewhat on personality traits. So natural inclinations in response to questions about leadership scenarios might be an accurate measure of style. Developing a Team Mission Statement The challenges of developing a mission statement are similar to those of developing a vision. My experience is that student teams consistently develop sensible mission statements in about 15 minutes. Students might be reminded that the mission statement identifies the team's place in the world, and describes what business the team is really in.
Recognizing Team Accomplishments Handing each other team member positive statements about his or her accomplishments can be both a real confidence builder, as well as a way to help bolster the self-esteem of classmates. A shrewd observer would make note of which compliments he or she did not receive, indicating that perhaps improvement is needed. For example, a student might say, “Nobody mentioned that I had some imaginative ideas. Do I have a problem here?” My Personal Leadership Journal Maintaining a leadership journal is widely used as a leadership development technique for students. The journal helps the developing leader recognize when he or she has practiced leadership, or failed to capitalize on a potential leadership opportunity. We suspect that this exercise will appeal to students who are serious about becoming leaders, or enhancing their leadership traits, behaviors, and skills. For other students, the leadership journal might be perceived as busywork.
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (b) 1. Leadership in the workplace is mostly concerned with a. controlling and giving orders. b. influencing and persuading others. c. taking care of business transactions. d. disciplining group members. (a) 2. In addition to occupying a formal position, leadership often stems from a. one's personal characteristics. b. job title. c. holding a top-level position. d. owning a business. (d) 3. The observation that leaders must have the right stuff means that effective leadership requires a. the right position. b. years of experience. c. effective behaviors. d. certain characteristics. (c) 4. Buck is self-confident, so he is likely to a. regard leadership positions as unimportant. b. have feelings of inferiority. c. be composed under pressure. d. have difficulties handling pressure.
(b) 5. An important part of being assertive is to a. manipulate people into doing what you want. b. confront people about their mistakes. c. think first of the demands of other people. d. be obnoxious when necessary. (c) 6. A recommended way of becoming more assertive is to a. practice yoga several times a week. b. practice insulting people with more power than yourself. c. force yourself to express your feelings and demands. d. say "time out" when another person begins to argue with you. (d) 7. A series of studies with a variety of workers indicated that leaders who were perceived to be the most effective were a. aggressive to the point of being hyper. b. passive to the point of being psychologically absent. c. moderately passive. d. moderately assertive. (a) 8. A survey of a large number of employees indicated that the trait they valued most in a manager is a. honesty and integrity. b. an in-your-face attitude. c. emotional intelligence. d. visionary perspective. (a) 9. Part of trusting group members is to a. give up some control over them. b. maintain tight controls over them. c. attend company picnics with them. d. establish detailed rules for expense accounts. (b) 10. A sense of humor is particularly valuable in the workplace because it a. is a good substitute for low wages. b. helps defuse hostility. c. increases tension, thus preventing workers from becoming too relaxed. d. takes some power away from leaders. (c) 11. The most effective form of humor on the job pokes fun at a. ethnic groups. b. top management. c. oneself. d. coworkers. (a) 12. The most effective technique for increasing self-objectivity is to a. ask for feedback from others. b. set objectives for self-improvement. c. take frequent vacations. 119
d. adopt a relaxed, casual attitude. (d) 13. Amanda has high self-awareness and self-objectivity, which should help her become a(n) _________________ leader. a. autocratic b. untrustworthy c. phony d. authentic (d) 14. A leader provides clarity to workers when he or she is clear about what needs to be done to a. eliminate the competition. b. get through the day’s struggles. c. get a raise. d. build a better future. (b) 15. According to research, superb leaders all have one trait in common: a. superb spatial intelligence b. superb emotional intelligence c. a below-average tolerance for risk taking. d. average imagination and creativity. (c) 16. The emotionally intelligent leader recognizes that a. emotions have no legitimate role in the workplace. b. emotions are for losers, facts are for winners. c. emotions such as optimism and pessimism are contagious. d. he or she is better of staying home on a bad day. (d) 17. Leadership passion often reflects itself in the leader a. playing video games for a diversion. b. disciplining employees who are late for work. c. pursuing external rewards such as stock options. d. having a relentless drive to get work accomplished. (a) 18. A distinguishing characteristic of charismatic leaders is that they a. guide others toward great heights of achievement. b. hug group members rather than shake their hands. c. turn leadership responsibility over to the group. d. are open to criticism. (b) 19. Which one of the following actions is the most likely to help a person develop charisma? a. Be emotionally reserved. b. Make other people feel important. c. Reserve saying thank you for special occasions. d. Be a conservative risk taker. (a) 20. Team leader Casey can best practice participative leadership by 120
a. b. c. d.
sharing authority with the group. being a micromanager. participating in group activities. participating in company-wide activities.
(c) 21. Which one of the following is the most likely to contribute to the development of teamwork? a. avoidance of criticism within the group b. all input for performance evaluations done by the team leader c. high performance standards d. more than enough time to accomplish goals (d) 22. Which one of the following is the most likely to contribute to the development of teamwork? a. keeping team members away from seeing the big picture b. having the leader be the one person to dispense recognition c. keeping performance standards low d. holding question-and-answer sessions with the team. (b) 23.Lucy, an office supervisor, practices micromanagement when she a. holds team meetings to discuss employee concerns. b. insists that her workers use a particular template for their PowerPoint slides. c. delegates all laboratory work to a designated employee. d. hugs group members at the start of the workday. (a) 24."Become an integrated human being" is considered to be a strategy for developing leadership potential because a. the model leader is a fully functioning person. b. leaders must integrate the work of others. c. a good family life is essential for leadership success. d. leadership is not supposed to be a full-time job. (b) 25. A recommended way of developing your leadership potential is to a. allow your leader to make a mistake. b. help your leader lead. c. aim for leadership breakthroughs and minimize small acts of leadership. d. be self-confident enough to ignore feedback about your traits and behaviors. True/False (T)
1.A worker can exhibit leadership even without the benefit of occupying a job that puts him or her in charge of the work activities of other people.
2.Self-confidence appears to be a much more important leadership characteristic in factory settings than in office settings.
3.Pointing the index finger outward will often be interpreted as a sign of self-confidence.
4.Being assertive helps a leader effectively confront people about their mistakes.
(T) 5. A series of studies suggests that a leader will most likely be perceived as effective when he or she is moderately assertive. (F)
6.A survey showed that workers believe that a sense of humor and cognitive intelligence are less important to workers than honesty and integrity..
7.Emotional stability is an important leadership quality because it leads to consistent treatment of group members.
8.Self-awareness and self-objectivity are important leadership traits because they help a leader capitalize upon strengths and ignore weaknesses.
9.Jennifer fits the definition of an authentic leader, meaning that she has the appropriate education credentials for her position.
(T) 10.One area of leadership responsibility requiring high cognitive skills is coming up with ideas for cost cutting. (T) 11.A leader provides clarity to the group when he or she explains carefully what needs to be done to build a better future for the group or the organization. (T) 12.Research conducted in several companies suggests that emotional intelligence is essential for being an effective leader. (T) 13.An emotionally intelligent leader recognizes that emotions such as optimism and pessimism are contagious in the workplace. (F) 14.Leaders in hot pursuit of external rewards such as bonuses and stock options are the most likely to be passionate about their work. (F) 15. A vision in terms of leadership refers to basically a five-year forecast of where the group is headed. (F) 16. Charismatic leaders tend to be shy about letting others know of their accomplishments. (F) 17.Ricardo is a socialized charismatic so he spends a good deal of his time pursuing personal interests such as having coffee with people in his network. (T) 18.Team leaders typically use participative leadership in working with the group. (F) 19.According to a study with Norwegian workers, an effective team leader stands out of the way and offers no guidance or encouragement to team members. 122
(T) 20.Team spirit is likely to increase when the team has an urgent, constructive purpose. (T) 21. A plausible tactic for enhancing teamwork within a work group is for the leader to hold question-and-answer sessions with the team. (F) 22. A key part of peer evaluations is that they get everybody in the group focused on pleasing the boss. (T) 23.Explaining the big picture to group members involves describing how their work contributes to the company. (T) 24.According to the leader-exchange model, a high level of teamwork exists within the in-group. (T) 25.According to one explanation of leadership, becoming a leader is much like the process of becoming an integrated human being.
CHAPTER 10 MOTIVATING OTHERS The purpose of this chapter is to provide the student with concepts and skills for motivating others, particularly in a work environment. Instead of presenting an overview of the many motivation theories in vogue, we concentrate on a few techniques. In this way, skill development is enhanced. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES Motivation has two meanings: (a) an internal state that leads to effort expended toward objective, and (b) an activity performed by one person to get another to accomplish work. To accomplish their work, people must motivate people who report to them, coworkers, bosses, or customers. I. MOTIVATION SKILL BASED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF "WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?" The most fundamental principle of human motivation is that people are motivated by self-interest, the principle of "What's in it for me?" or WIIFM. Even people who perform acts of social good receive the reward of feeling better about themselves, thus, satisfying their needs for nurturing others. To use the WIIFM principle you have to be aware of the intensity of the person's desire. You must also find out what needs, desires, or motives a person is attempting to satisfy. Needs are important because they lead to behavior, or what people actually do. A representative list of needs is as follows: achievement; power; affiliation; autonomy; esteem; safety and security; and equity. II. USING POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TO MOTIVATE OTHERS The most widely-used formal method of motivating people in the workplace is behavior modification, an attempt to change behavior by manipulating rewards and punishments. According to the law of effect, behavior that leads to a positive consequence for the individual tends to be repeated, whereas behavior that leads to a negative consequence tends not to be repeated. Positive reinforcement means increasing the probability that behavior will be repeated by rewarding people for making the desired response. Negative reinforcement (or avoidance motivation) means rewarding people by taking away an uncomfortable consequence of their behavior. Negative reinforcement is a reward, not punishment. Certain rules and procedures must be followed to use positive reinforcement effectively: 1. State clearly what behavior will lead to a reward. 2. Choose an appropriate reward. (An appropriate award is effective and feasible.) 3. Supply ample feedback. 4. Schedule rewards intermittently. 5. Make the rewards follow the observed behavior closely in time. 6. Make the reward fit the behavior. 7. Make the rewards visible. 8. Change the reward periodically. 124
9. Reward the group or team also. III.
USING RECOGNITION TO MOTIVATE OTHERS
Although part of positive reinforcement, recognition is such a powerful motivator that it merits separate attention. Recognition programs in organizations are standard practice. Recognition is a strong motivator because it is a normal need to crave recognition, yet most workers want more recognition. One estimate is that 79 percent of employees who quit, cite lack of appreciation as a key factor for leaving. To appeal to the recognition need of others, identify a meritorious behavior and then recognize the behavior with an oral, written, or material reward. Email and instant messaging can be useful for recognizing others. Apply the rules for positive reinforcement. An outstanding advantage of recognition, including praise, as a motivator is that it is no cost or low cost, yet powerful. Not everyone responds well to the same form of recognition, such as most technical people not liking general praise. IV. USING EXPECTANCY THEORY TO MOTIVATE OTHERS Expectancy theory is a comprehensive theory of motivation and is also helpful in diagnosing motivational problems. A. Capsule Overview of Expectancy Theory The expectancy theory of motivation is based on the premise that how much effort people expend depends on how much reward they expect to receive in return. The theory assumes that people are rational and logical, thus wanting to maximize gain and minimize loss. In a given situation, people choose an alternative with the biggest chance of a personal payoff. How intensely a person wants a given outcome is also important. B. Basic Components of Expectancy Theory All versions of expectancy theory have three major components. 1. Effort-to-Performance Expectancy. Effort-to-performance expectancy is the probability assigned by the individual that effort will lead to performing the task correctly. People want to know, "If I put in all this work, will I really get the job done properly?" Expectancies range from 0 to 1.0. The importance of having high expectancies for motivation fits the new thrust in work motivation that emphasizes the contribution of selfefficacy, the confidence in your ability to carry out a specific task. 2. Performance-to-Outcome Expectancy. Performance-to-outcome expectancy is the probability assigned by the individual that performance will lead to certain outcomes or rewards. People want certain rewards from engaging in a particular behavior. Performance-to-outcome expectancies also range from 0 to 1.0. Performance-to-outcome expectancies are closely linked to trusting your manager and the company. 3. Valence. A valence is the value, worth, or attractiveness of an outcome. In each work situation there are multiple outcomes, each with a valence of its own. In the version of
expectancy theory presented here, valences run from -100 to +100. A negative valence means a person will work to avoid an outcome. C. How Moods Influence Expectancy Theory Emotions play a key role in determining the impact of expectancies, instrumentalities, and valences. Moods are relatively long-lasting emotional states. A positive mood increases the perceived connection between effort and performance (EP), between performance and desired outcomes (PO), and in the valence attached to these outcomes. D. Diagnosing Motivation with Expectancy Theory Expectancy theory helps a person diagnose whether motivation is present, and the intensity of the motivation. Seek answers to the following questions: 1. Does the person I am attempting to motivate have the skills self-confidence to do the job? 2. What assurance does the person have that if he or she performs the work, the promised reward will be forthcoming? 3. How badly does the person want the reward being offered in the situation? 4. Are there any zeroes in the first three questions? (If there are, motivation will be absent because a zero will be entered in the expectancy theory equation.) E. Guidelines for Applying Expectancy Theory In addition to the information about expectancy theory already presented, here are a few more guidelines: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Train and encourage people. Make explicit the link between rewards and performance. Make sure the rewards are large enough. Understand individual differences in valences. Use the Pygmalion effect to increase effort-to-performance expectancies. (The Pygmalion effect refers to the phenomenon that people will rise (or fall) to the expectations another person has of them.) ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW
1. Explain whether the ability to motivate others is a soft skill or a hard skill. The ability to motivate others would be classified as a soft skill because it focuses on interpersonal relations, such as giving praise. Nevertheless, there are some hard skills in motivation such as calculating bonuses, and setting up a recognition program on a company Website. 2. A recent Google search identified 68,600,600 listings for the subject of “work motivation.” With all this information available, why is motivating workers still such a hassle for so many managers?
One reason motivation remains such a hassle for so many managers is that they do not have the right personality for motivating others, such as a manager who is cold and aloof. Another problem is that managers who take the time to study work motivation are relatively rare. A third key problem is that motivating others is a complex task, despite all the wisdom on the topic. I suspect even some of the world authorities on work motivation have some problems motivating some subordinates. 3. For what purposes would someone need to motivate his or her supervisor? A person might want to motivate the supervisor for such reasons as obtaining a better assignment, performance evaluation, or salary increase. A person might also want to motivate a boss to carry a bigger share of the group's workload. 4. If people really live by the WIIFM principle, how can a leader still achieve teamwork? The WIIFM principle does not exclude teamwork. Team members can be shown that by working hard as a team member, they will achieve important personal gains such as a group bonus and high job satisfaction. 5. What evidence can you suggest that people who do exciting and interesting work over exceptional financial rewards? Scientists, researchers, and professors focus on the internal rewards in their work, although many people in these job categories wind up making a lot of money as a byproduct of their interest in their work. More on the business side, many computer programmers are more excited about their work than financial rewards. 6. Identify several factors in text Figure 10-1 that you think would be particularly effective in motivating managers and professionals. Explain your reasoning. Managerial and professional workers would most likely be motivated by all the factors listed in Figure 10-1. Perhaps the most important factors would be (1) competitive salary, (2) flexible schedules, (3) good relationship with the boss, and (4) being treated with respect. Managers and professionals expect good pay. In addition, flexible schedules, good boss relationship, and receiving respect all appeal to high-level needs. 7. Answer question 6 for entry-level service workers such as supermarket cashiers. More basic factors would generally be best for entry-level service workers because they still have many basic needs to satisfy. The most suitable satisfiers would probably include competitive salary and healthcare coverage. Yet a compressed workweek and being treated with respect are also quite important to entry-level workers. A small advantage of the compressed workweek is that it cuts down on commuting time and costs. 8. How do individual differences show themselves in attempting to motivate others?
Individual differences in motivating others manifest themselves in the different valences people attach to rewards. A person with low needs for power and status, for example, would experience very little motivational thrust from the prospects of being promoted. A person with high needs for power and status would find the prospects of promotion to be highly motivational. 9. How might you use expectancy theory to improve your own level of motivation? Expectancy theory is well suited for self-motivation. First, a person could increase effort-to-performance expectancies (and self-efficacy) by getting the right training and using positive self -talk. Second, the person could increase the performance-to-outcome expectancies by investigating the track record of the employer in actually delivering promised rewards. Third, the person could pursue mostly those rewards to which he or she attached high valence. Also, the person might do things to put him or her in a good mood. 10. How might cultural differences affect the valence ratings in text Skill-Building Exercise 10-3? Cultural differences can affect the valence ratings for job factors because people in different cultures attach different values to certain type of job outcomes. An example is that Mexicans highly value warm interpersonal relationships. A Mexican worker might therefore attach a higher valence to a "warm smile and word of appreciation." A recognition-hungry American might give a higher rating to an "employee-of -the-month" designation. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS Motivating the Kitchen Staff at the Blue Gardenia This case illustrates that motivating workers is challenging, and also a major part of a manager’s job. 1. How effective do you think it was for Jimmy Gomez to interview members of the kitchen staff to investigate possible motivational problems? Interviewing the kitchen staff was a good idea because it helped identify the needs workers want to satisfy. Workers may not always be candid about their motivational factors, yet speaking to them about what they want from the job is a sensible approach. 2. What does the information revealed by the kitchen staff tell you about their valences? The staff is looking to satisfy basic needs to have more financial security. As a result they place a high valence on financial compensation. Also, the comment about the dead-end job suggests an interest in satisfying a higher need such as self-fulfillment—at least in a small way. Another point is that the staff attaches high valence to being respected, and is frustrated because they are not receiving enough. 3. Which needs among the people interviewed are not being satisfied? 128
The interviews reveal several needs that are not being satisfied enough. The comments about not making enough to pay for necessities suggest that the need for security is being frustrated. There is also evidence about the need for recognition and respect not being satisfied. A relevant interview response is, “My gripe is not with the work, but that we don’t get enough respect. The chef gets the glory…” 4. What recommendations can you make to Blue Gardenia management about decreasing the turnover and increasing the productivity of the kitchen staff? A program of financial incentives for longevity might help decrease turnover. If the program were effective, the increase in experienced workers might lead to increases in productivity because the skill level would increase. On Time at Prime Time This case illustrates that using positive reinforcement with even token rewards hold promise of bringing about constructive changes in behavior. 1. What do you predict will be the outcome of the horse-race motivation program if implemented? Based on experience in companies such as Dollar General, the horse-race motivation program will be effective. Many workers respond well to token rewards, and also will put in effort to avoid punishment. 2. Which approach, or approaches, to motivating people does this horse-race program represent? This case is almost a pure example of using positive reinforcement and punishments to modify the behavior of workers. The technique is therefore behavior modification. 3. What other program for improving punctuality might you recommend? A less complex program would be for supervisors to directly recognize punctuality with praise, written comments, or accolades such as designating workers as “On-time performer of the month.” Another approach would be giving small financial rewards for punctuality. COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES My Approach to Motivating Others An advantage of this self-assessment exercise is that it points toward the specific type of actions required to motivate others in a work environment. Background Work for the WIIFM
This group activity is essentially a needs analysis, thus reflecting a sophisticated approach to motivation. The lesson to be learned from this activity is that it is better to investigate what motivates people than to assume that the right motivators are known in advance. The exercise also highlights the importance of understanding individual differences and being a good listener. Positive Reinforcement An important lesson to be learned from this exercise is that implementing positive reinforcement requires several skills. The implementer must be able to hold candid discussions with another person, choose an appropriate reward, and then administer the reward. With the boss, the reward administered will have to be much more spontaneous because it would be awkward to interview the boss about desired rewards. Estimating Valences for Applying Expectancy Theory Students typically enjoy quantifying interesting aspects of human behavior. The across-group comparisons, and the comparisons with the class, can be particularly enlightening. Applying Expectancy Theory A key behavior expected from the manager in applying expectancy theory to a fledgling telemarketer is to help give him or her confidence or training needed to do a good job. The manager must also give assurances about rewards, and choose rewards of high valence. Working on My Own Motivators This exercise provides an opportunity for the student to apply motivation theory to selfmotivation. Too often the study of motivation is about motivating others not the self. Knowing what motivates a person can be a real boost to career success, and even choosing a career. EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (b) 1. The motivational principle of WIIFM means that people are motivated by a. concern for the welfare of others. b. self-interest. c. a need to avoid pain. d. a spirit of excitement and adventure. (a) 2. Jessica has a strong need to affiliate with other people. She is therefore likely to display the personality trait of a. extraversion. b. introversion. c. emotional instability. d. conscientiousness. 130
(c) 3. The desire for fair treatment is reflected in the need for a. safety and security. b. esteem c. equity d. autonomy (c) 4. To effectively use the WIIFM principle, it is especially important to be aware of the other person's a. age. b. effort-to-performance expectancy. c. intensity of desire. d. past history of rewards. (d) 5. To use negative reinforcement to motivate José, an office temporary, his manager would a. put José on probation if he performs poorly. b. ignore most of José's actions. c. give José a "worst employee of the month" award. d. promise to give José a permanent job if he performs well. (c) 6. An appropriate reward is one that a. is much bigger than previous rewards the person has received. b. does not create an addiction to rewards. c. is effective for the individual involved. d. puts a worker in a good mood. (a) 7. An important condition for something being rewarding is that a. the person being motivated thinks it is valuable. b. the person giving the reward thinks it is valuable. c. it has a tangible economic value. d. it relates in some way to recognition. (b) 8. Positive reinforcement cannot work without giving _______________ to individuals. a. generous prizes b. frequent feedback c. continuous reinforcement d. just punishments (b) 9. When intermittent rewards are used in positive reinforcement, the a. desired behavior fades quickly. b. desired behavior is sustained longer. c. undesired behavior fades quickly. d. undesired behavior is sustained longer. (a) 10. The best time to reward most people is 131
a. b. c. d.
shortly after they perform as desired. when they need a reward. at the end of the work day. shortly after they have been punished.
(c) 11. The purpose of a visible reward is to a. irritate those whose work did not qualify for a reward. b. keep coworkers from wanting the same reward. c. let other workers observe see what kind of behavior is rewarded. d. make the workers who did not receive the reward jealous. (d) 12. A general recommendation for choosing rewards and implementing them is to a. not deviate from what has worked in the past. b. attach a dollar value to each reward, even recognition. c. error on the side of being conservative. d. look for creative ways to apply behavior modification. (a) 13. Team leader Ray should be particularly aware of which of the following suggestions about the use of positive reinforcement? a. Reward the team or group also. b. Keep the reward the same almost all the time. c. External rewards usually back fire. d. Let the group decide what behavior will lead to a reward. (b) 14. An important reason that employee recognition programs are often effective is that a. most workers are greedy. b. most workers feel they do not receive enough recognition. c. collecting company souvenirs is a popular hobby. d. the need for economic security and safety is strong. (b) 15. Employees tend to regard compensation as an entitlement, whereas recognition is a. considered a condition of employment. b. perceived as a gift. c. perceived as an extension of the paycheck. d. considered an ordinary responsibility of the supervisor. (a) 16. Expectancy theory is based on the belief that people a. want to maximize gain and minimize loss. b. bet on the outcomes of a situation. c. strive to receive bigger rewards than others. d. are willing to endure pain to receive the right reward. (c) 17. Recognition statements tend to be the most effective when they a. play down the employee’s contribution. b. greatly exaggerate the employee’s contribution. 132
c. are quite specific about the positive behavior. d. sandwich a positive statement between two negative ones. (d) 18. Marilyn asks, "If I work hard, will I get the job done?" She is illustrating which aspect of expectancy theory? a. performance-to-outcome expectancy b. valence c. behavior modification d. effort-to-performance expectancy (a) 19. Having high self-efficacy contributes directly to which aspect of expectancy theory? a. effort-to-performance expectancy b. performance-to-outcome expectancy c. valence d. potential outcomes (c) 20. Todd asks the question, "If I get the job done, will I really get my reward?" He is illustrating which aspect of expectancy theory? a. valence b. effort-to-performance expectancy c. performance-to-outcome expectancy d. managerial effort (b) 21. Trusting the company and the manager will have the strongest impact on which component of expectancy theory? a. effort-to-performance expectancy b. performance-to-outcome-expectancy c. valence d. employee initiative (a) 22. How badly an employee wants a particular reward depends on a. the valence he or she attaches to the reward. b. the effort-to-performance expectancy. c. the performance-to-outcome expectancy. d. the employee's analytical intelligence. (d) 23. Which one of the following valences would lead to the highest degree of motivated effort? a. 0 b. +50 c. -50 d. -100 (c) 24. The impact of a positive mood on expectancy theory is that a. the person loses interest in rewards. b. the person loses interest in punishments. c. all three components are likely to be elevated in value. 133
d. all three components are likely to be lowered in value. (d) 25. Michelle is the worst performer in your group. To use the Pygmalion effect to motivate her, you should a. criticize her privately. b. increase her performance-to-outcome expectancies. c. lower your expectations of her performance. d. raise your expectations of her performance. True/False (T)
1.Motivational skills are useful in dealing with coworkers and customers as well as people reporting to you..
2.The WIIFM principle refers to the fact that most people are motivated by self-interest.
3.A need acts much like an external energy force, such as offering a cash bonus for finding a new customer.
4.One of the seven needs that alone or in combination appear to motivate the vast majority of employees is the need for escaping responsibility.
5.One of the seven needs that alone or in combination appears to motivate the vast majority of employees is the need for autonomy.
6.An example of negative reinforcement would be to assign a worker a piece of old, broken equipment because the person was late for work frequently.
7.An important characteristic of an appropriate reward is one that the person administering the reward enjoys giving.
8.A key point about rewarding employees is that effective rewards are usually quite costly.
(F) 9. An important principle of positive reinforcement is to make sure that all forms of accomplishment receive the same reward. (T) 10. To keep a desired response going for a long time, it is best to reward the person every once and awhile (not every time) for making the response. (F) 11.The purpose of a visible reward is to make employees appreciative of what the company has done for them. (F) 12.Department manager Tim rewards the group as a whole for a good job, thereby tends to violate basic rules for applying positive reinforcement.
(F) 13.Employees tend to perceive recognition as an entitlement, whereas compensation is regarded as a gift. (F) 14.According to one estimate, many employees who quit their job cited being smothered with too much recognition as a major factor. (F) 15.A recommendation for giving recognition is to be broad and general to avoid the employee asking for a raise about being a strong contributor. (T) 16.Recognition is highly recommended as a motivator because it is no cost or low cost, yet powerful. (T) 17. Expectancy theory generally refers to the idea that people will work hard to the extent that they expect to obtain a good return from their efforts. (T) 18. A high effort-to-performance expectancy means that the person believes strongly that if he or she attempts to do the task, the task will be performed. (T) 19.If you have high self-efficacy for a particular task, your are likely to have a high effort-to-performance expectancy. (T) 20.Performance-to-outcome expectancies are tied in closely with trusting your manager and the company. (T) 21. Carol attaches a valence of -95 to staying in her present job location. Carol will therefore put extra effort into working so hard that she will be recommended for a transfer. (F) 22. Chuck attaches a valence of 10 to learning how to search for information on the Internet. He will therefore work very hard at becoming skilled on the Internet. (F) 23.The components of expectancy theory tend to hold the same value whether or not the person being motivated is in a good mood. (T) 24.One way to increase a person's effort-to-performance expectancies is to communicate confidence in that person's ability to perform the task. (F) 25.To apply the Pygmalion effect, take the worst performing member of the group and give him or her a visible punishment.
CHAPTER 11 HELPING OTHERS DEVELOP AND GROW One purpose of this chapter is to convey information that will help students recognize their responsibility for the growth and development of others. A closely-related purpose is to provide concepts and skills to facilitate the process of developing the skills necessary for helping others in the workplace develop and grow. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES Although not specifically stated in most job descriptions, workers have a responsibility to help each other learn, grow, and develop. For example, much of job training occurs as coworkers instruct each other on work procedures and techniques. I. BE A NURTURING, POSITIVE PERSON A major strategy for helping others grow and develop is to be a nurturing, positive person. A nurturing person promotes the growth of others. Nurturing people are positive and supportive. A toxic person stands in contrast to a nourishing person because he or she dwells on the negative. Toxic people have been described as energy vampires because they suck all the positive energy out of you. Three nurturing attitudes and actions are as follows: 1. Recognize that most people have growth needs. 2. Team up with a coworker in your department or from another one so the two of you can form a buddy system. 3. Be a role model for others. Being a nurturing, positive person is a life-long process, rather than a tactic that can be used at will. II. BEING A MENTOR TO COWORKERS A mentor is generally defined as an individual with advanced experience and knowledge who is committed to giving support and career advice to a less experienced person. The less experienced person is the protégé (from the French word for protected). As long as a person is more experienced and wiser than a coworker in some important aspect of the job, he or she can be a mentor. Mentoring supports the team-based organization. Serving as a mentor is an excellent way of helping others on the job. Mentoring has also gained acceptance off the job. When the mentor and protégé communicate by e-mail, the process is referred to as virtual (or online) -mentoring. Many companies have established electronic matching programs for mentoring. Studies have shown that mentoring is more likely to be effective when both the mentor and the protégé have input into the matching. To be a mentor, a person engages in a wide range of helping behaviors, all related to being a trusted friend, coach, and teacher. Mentoring behaviors include the following: 1. Sponsoring. A mentor actively nominates somebody else for promotions and desirable positions. 2. Coaching. A mentor gives on-the-spot advice to the protégé to help him or her improve skills. 3. Protecting. A mentor might shield a junior person from potentially harmful 136
4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
situations or from the boss. Sharing challenging assignments. In some situations a fellow team member can request that the protégé help him or her on a difficult task. Acting as a referral agent. The mentor sometimes refers the protégé to resources inside and outside the company to help with a particular problem. Role modeling. An important part of being a mentor is to give the protégé a pattern of values and behaviors to emulate. Giving support and encouragement. A mentor can be helpful just by giving support and encouragement. Counseling. A mentor listens to the protégé's problems and offers advice. Providing friendship. A mentor is above all a trusted friend, and the friendship extends two ways. Encouraging problem solving. Mentors help their protégés solve problems by themselves and make their own discoveries. Explaining the ropes. A general-purpose function of the mentor is to help the protégé learn the ropes. Teaching the right skills. Mentors can help protégés develop skills such as those related to information technology, customer service, and achieving high quality. Encouraging continuous learning. Part of encouraging lifelong learning is to emphasize that formal education and an occasional workshop are not sufficient for maintaining expertise in today’s fast-changing workplace.
Mentoring is a complex activity. To develop mentoring skills, a person needs to offer help to several people for at least six months. A key way in which the company benefits from coworker mentoring is that the mentor passes along valuable knowledge to the protégé. As business has become more internationalized, mentoring people from different cultures has become more frequent. III. COACHING AND TRAINING OTHERS Two direct approaches to helping others in the workplace are coaching and training. In the new workplace, team members share responsibility for coaching and training. High tech firms such as Google and Microsoft, heavily emphasize workers sharing knowledge with each other. Open workspaces facilitate information sharing. A. Coaching Skills and Techniques In the workplace, coaching is a method of helping workers grow and improve their job competence by providing suggestions and encouragement. Coaching is mostly for managers, but with a helpful attitude, coworkers are likely to accept coaching. Eight suggestions for coaching follow. Note that they should be combined with active listening. 1. Build relationships. 2. Provide specific feedback. (Behavioral feedback pinpoints behavior rather than personal characteristics or attitudes.) 3. Make criticism pain-free and positive. 4. Encourage the person you are coaching to talk. 5. Ask powerful questions. 137
6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
Give emotional support. Give some constructive advice. Coach with "could," not "should." Interpret what is happening. Allow for modeling of desired performance and behavior. Applaud good results.
In contrast to being micromanaged, the majority of workers believe that they do not receive enough coaching and guidance on the job. One implication of the coaching suggestions just presented is that some people are more adept at coaching than others. B. Training Others A direct way of helping others in the workplace is to train them. Training is the process of helping others acquire a job-related skill. As organizations operate with fewer managers, coworkers have more responsibility to train each other. Certain time-tested principles facilitate learning, and, therefore, training. 1. Encourage concentration. Not much learning takes place unless the trainee concentrates carefully on what is being learned. 2. Use motivated interest. People learn best when they are interested in the problem facing them. Explain to the trainee how the material to be learned will benefit him or her. 3. Remind learners to intend to remember. We often do not remember something because we do not intend to commit it to memory. 4. Ensure the meaningfulness of material. The material to be learned should be organized in a meaningful manner. 5. Give feedback on progress. As a person's training progresses, motivation may be maintained and enhanced by providing knowledge on progress. 6. Ask the trainee to reflect on what he or she has learned. If you think carefully about what you have learned, your retention of the information increases. 7. Deal with trainee defensiveness. Training is sometimes retarded because the person being trained is defensive about information or skills that clashes with his or her beliefs and practices. 8. Take into account learning style. Another key factor that influences training is learning style, the way in which a person best learns new information. Two examples are passive learning and active learning. IV. HELPING DIFFICULT PEOPLE A difficult person is an individual who creates problems for others, yet has the skill and mental ability to do otherwise. The difficult person may meet or exceed attendance and performance standards, yet has a toxic personality. A. Types of Difficult People Dozens of types of difficult people have been identified, with considerable overlap among the types. Following is a sampling of the many type of difficult people. 1. Know- it- alls are experts on everything. 2. Blamers are workers who never solve their own problems. 138
3. Gossips spread negative rumors about other and attempt to set people off against each other. 4. Bullies cajole, and intimidate others, and are insulting. 5. Repulsives have poor personal hygiene, eating habits, and appearance, and also use foul language. 6. Yes- people agree to any commitment or deadline, yet rarely deliver. 7. No- people are negative and pessimistic, and quick to point out why something will not work. 8. Jekyll and Hydes are pleasant when dealing with superiors and customers, yet tyrannical as bosses. 9. Whiners gripe about people, processes, and company regulations. 10. Backstabbers pretend to befriend you and encourage you to talk freely about problems you face. Later they report this information to the person you mentioned in a negative light. 11.
High maintenance types require considerable attention from others in such forms as demanding much of the supervisor’s time. 12. Clods are master procrastinators, and they work slowly. 13. Minimalists are apathetic and low-performing, and do just enough work to avoid being fired. 14. Office cheats take claim for the ideas of others and benefit from the ideas. B. Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People How one deals most effectively with a difficult person varies somewhat with the type. Difficult people have been referred to collectively as office jerks. The following techniques have wide applicability for helping difficult people change to a more constructive behavior pattern. 1. Give ample feedback. The primary technique for dealing with counterproductive behavior is to feed back to the difficult person how his or her behavior affects you. Feedback will sometimes take the form of confrontation. 2. Criticize constructively. Criticize in private and begin with mild criticism. Base your criticism on objective facts rather than subjective impressions. 3. Help the difficult person feel more confident. Many counterproductive employees are low in self-confidence. Work with your team leader or manager to help the difficult person succeed on a task. 4. Use tact and diplomacy. Tactful actions can sometimes take care of annoying behavior by coworkers without having to confront the problem. Tact and diplomacy can also be incorporated into confrontation. 5. Use nonhostile humor. Non-hostile humor can often be used to help a difficult person understand how his or her behavior is blocking others. 6. Work out a deal. Negotiate a solution such as asking for reciprocity when the difficult person asks for help. 7. Reinforce civil behavior and good moods. When a generally difficult person is behaving acceptably, recognize the behavior in some way. 8. Have a job description that disallows difficult behavior. When prohibited by the job description, the difficult person can be reminded that his or her behavior is out-of- bounds.
The tactics for dealing with difficult people described above require practice to be effective. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1. Explain your position on whether workers have a responsibility to help each other grow and develop. The answer to this question depends to a large extent on the student's values. In a team-based organization, however, workers are supposed to help each other in many ways including growth and development. 2. What is your opinion of the potential effectiveness of the buddy system in your career? Students who are socially minded and who have at least average needs for affiliation will probably endorse the buddy system. Also, the buddy system is a natural relationship for many people at the beginning of their career. 3. Visualize yourself in a full-time professional job working for a company that believed strongly in mentoring. Explain whether you would prefer a mentor for yourself, or be assigned a mentor by the company. Again, here is an answer that depends on needs, values, and skills. A person who enjoys networking on his or her own, and is confident in his or her networking skills would probably prefer natural selection for mentoring. A person who did not want to risk not finding a mentor would prefer the formal system. Also, a formal mentor might prove to be better than one a person might find on his or her own. 4. In what way does a coach in the workplace function much like an athletic coach? Workplace coaches have much in common with athletic coaches. The workplace coach spots an incorrect move and makes a suggestion for improvement; he or she gives encouragement, and at appropriate times may discipline. At other times the workplace coach may "trade" a team member by transferring that person to another department, or may ask the person to leave the team (be fired). 5. Describe any constructive advice you have received from anybody who coached you. What was the impact of this advice? This question might elicit some useful data that could be shared with classmates. Many students can point to advice they received from a teacher or guidance counselor as to which major to pursue, or which school to attend. Many students will also have received constructive advice with respect to sports, car repair, or information technology.
6. Many career-minded workers today hire their own coach, much like a personal trainer for solving job problems and advancing. Explain whether you would be willing to invest money to hire a “business coach” for yourself. 7. Do you think trainee defensiveness is a bigger problem in teaching technical or interpersonal skills? Explain. Defensiveness is typically a much bigger problem when teaching interpersonal skills because most people are defensive about their interpersonal skills. For example, a person will readily admit that he or she needs help in producing a Website for the Internet. Yet the same person is less likely to admit to poor listening skills. 8. How would you know if people perceive you to be a difficult person? Most people have blind spots as to being perceived as a difficult person. A common defense is, “I know that some people object to my methods, but I just want things done right.” The individual would have to listen actively to feedback he or she has received from friends, coworkers, and bosses. Nicknames others have assigned you can also be valid feedback about being a difficult person. I knew a difficult person who was rightfully known as “Miss Pit Bull.” 9. How might humor help you deal with the repulsive type of difficult person? Supply an example of a witty comment you might use. Joking or kidding about the person's repulsive behavior might get across the point in a non-threatening manner. The person might then be in a better frame of mind to deal with constructive criticism. Developing a witty comment is another opportunity to practice creative thinking. Here's a sample comment, intended to be witty: The repulsive person is eating non-finger foods with his hands instead of using a fork. His behavior is grossing out his coworkers seated at the company cafeteria. You say, "I'm sure the cafeteria manager would be happy to know that you are saving on plastic forks. But we'd appreciate eating with you even more if you were less frugal with forks." 10. What did the project manager in the opening case mean by his statement that “management goes beyond numbers and charts”? The project in manager was reflecting on the workplace reality that some managers have become so enamored with analytical methods that they neglect the interpersonal aspects of managing. In recognition of this problem, many MBA programs now insist on soft-skills training for students. Managers need to recognize that although tools such as electronic dashboards and PowerPoint presentations are an important part of managing, dealing with people is primary. ANSWER TO CASE QUESTIONS The Demanding Protégé
This case has an important message for both mentors and their protégés: A mentoring relationship can sometimes develop into a dependency relationship, to the disadvantage of both parties. 1. How effective is Dawn as Marilyn’s mentor? Dawn has not been effective because intentionally or not, she has not helped Marilyn develop into a more independently thinking and acting adult. 2. In what way might Dawn be hindering her protégé’s development? Dawn might be hindering Marilyn’s development by submitting to too many of her demands for assistance. Perhaps she should have encouraged Marilyn to make a few of the big sales on her own, instead of accompanying her. 3. What should Dawn do about her relationship with Marilyn? Dawn should help Marilyn by establishing limits to their relationship. She might explain, for example, that her role is not to give advice about Marilyn’s personal life or do her work for her on the job. 4. What underlying issue might Dawn be neglecting in dealing with Marilyn? As already mentioned, Dawn is neglecting the hazards of forming a dependency relationship with Marilyn. Dawn needs to be sensitive to the difference between helping another person, and taking over his or her responsibilities. Dawn’s low self-confidence could be the factor explaining why she seeks to be dependent upon a figure stronger than herself. What to Do About Brian An important these of this case is that an outstanding individual performer can still be perceived as a poor team player by the rest of the group. The case also deals with the delicate problem of attempting to gain more cooperation for a worker who is perceived by the manager to be an outstanding performer. 1. Is Brian a difficult person? Explain. This question requires a judgment call because Brian is much less obnoxious than the majority of difficult people. Yet like many difficult people he is uncooperative. So let us label Brian as a poor team player, but not quite a difficult person. Whether or not Brian is a difficult person, he is still creating some morale problems within the group. 2. What steps should the refinance specialists take who object to Brian’s work style? The most effective step is likely to be frequent discussions about the problem with Brian, including giving him ample feedback as to why they interpret his actions to reflect poor team play. It will also be important for the coworkers not to give Brian the impression that they are
jealous of him. Brian appears to have a big ego, so it will be helpful in establishing rapport with him to express appreciation for his high production. 3. How might a system of peer evaluation (workers contributing to the evaluation of each other) help Nina in her supervision of the department? Under a system of peer evaluation, workers rate each others’ performance and behavior, and this feedback often serves as input to the performance evaluation given by the manager. A system of peer evaluation would give Nina a better understanding of the teamwork problems within the group. She might learn, for example, that Brian is experiencing some interpersonal relationship problems. Nina could then discuss the problem with Brian.Nina would also have to ascertain of the negative feedback about Brian was valid, or it represented envy or negative office politics. 4. Do you think Cindy is being a rotten team player? Brian appears to be falsely accusing Cindy of being a rotten team player. She might be willing to assist Brian if he reached out more to the group other than asking them to assist him with his major deals. The only evidence we have is that Cindy does not want to cooperate with Brian. If Cindy does not want to cooperate with other members of the team also, she would be a poor team player. COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES Attitudes Toward- Helping Others An intended value of this self-quiz is to sensitize students to the fact that attitudes contribute heavily to being a helpful, nurturing person. Students who choose to work in a team environment would do well to have a positive attitude toward helping others. Part of a team member's responsibility is to share knowledge and skills. The Nurturing, Positive Person A subtle message emerging from this role-play is that personality characteristics contribute heavily to one's ability to be nurturing. For example, if a person does not project warmth it will be difficult to be supportive. A person who is not naturally warm will have to work extra hard at being supportive and nurturing. Getting Started Mentoring Could this be the most valuable skill-building exercise in the entire text? The majority of students who take a course in human relations probably would like to mentor a younger person, and this activity might serve as a prompt. It will be instructive to discuss in class both mentoring successes and failures. Diagnosing both successes and needs for improvement will enhance mentoring skills. Selecting a Protégé
The purpose of this exercise is to help students think through the type of characteristics they would admire in a protégé. The exercise also highlights the fact that a mentoring relationship is one of friendship. Characteristics of an Effective Coach The major purpose of this exercise is to help students recognize that many of the characteristics that contribute to effective coaching can be developed. Also, the importance of action plans is reinforced once again. Coaching a Good Performer Here is an opportunity to practice coaching about an important workplace behavior: displaying poor teamwork. The coach must keep in mind that Chris is an outstanding performer, so Chris’s contribution to the Sir Speedy Store should be acknowledged. Designing a Training Program The point of this exercise is to help students appreciate the complexity of designing an adequate training program. The exercise also serves as a reminder that an effective training program incorporates principles of learning. Helping Difficult People Even if students do not agree entirely with the scoring of the alternatives, the scenarios and alternative solutions offered provide good discussion points about dealing with difficult people. Dealing with Difficult People Doing the role-plays required here will help students realize that dealing with difficult people is really a subset of conflict resolution. EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (b)
1. It is important to take the initiative in helping others in the workplace because there is a natural tendency for most people to a. ask for more help than coworkers are willing to give. b. be embarrassed or fearful of asking for help. c. associate asking for help with getting ready to be fired. d. regard receiving help as an entitlement.
2. A major characteristic of nurturing people is that they a. dislike most people. b. are late bloomers in their career. c. promote the growth of others. d. conduct serious negotiations over lunch. 144
3. The buddy system in a job setting refers to a pair of people a. sharing information that could affect their careers. b. recommending each other for good assignments. c. sharing career expenses and clothing. d. ganging up to downgrade the boss.
4. In a mentoring relationship, the mentor a. trains the protégé to be his or her replacement. b. gives support and career advice to a less experienced person. c. requests that the protégé recommend him or her for promotion. d. assumes administrative responsibility for the protégé.
5. You know you are engaged in virtual mentoring when a. your mentor purchases you a new computer. b. your mentor develops a Website publicizing his or her work. c. you and your mentor communicate frequently by e-mail. d. you and your mentor shop on eBay together.
6. Larry is assigned a mentor in a formal program of mentoring. Larry’s mentor is therefore a person a. who almost always wears a suit and tie to the office. b. who needs considerable help. c. he meets out of natural friendship. d. assigned to him by the company.
7. Which one of the following is the least effective mentoring behavior? a. counseling with the protégé b. being a role model for the protégé c. helping the protégé "learn the ropes" d. solving problems for the protégé
8. Which of the following behaviors is expected of a protégé in a mentoring relationship? a. Show the mentor the ropes. b. Be a role model for the mentor. c. Publicly support the mentor. d. Counsel the mentor.
9. A recommended starting point in being an effective coach is to first a. criticize coworkers so they will feel the need to be coached. b. build positive relationships with coworkers before coaching them. c. dig up some negative information about coworkers. d. be assigned to the same project as the person or persons to be coached.
(a) 10. Feedback in coaching should be a. specific about the area needing improvement. b. general to avoid pinpointing blame. 145
c. confined to the first coaching session. d. avoided unless requested. (b) 11. A recommended way of giving advice is to a. wait until the person has a bad day. b. put your advice in the form of a question. c. first make the person feel guilty. d. threaten a punishment for not accepting the advice. (c) 12.
A key role for the coach, in relation to the person being coached, is to a. create barriers to good performance. b. hold back on emotional support to teach self-reliance. c. ask powerful questions. d. telling the person what he or she should do.
Jack is coaching Suzy, so it is better to suggest what Suzy a. will do to improve. b. ought to do to improve. c. should do to improve. d. could do to improve.
(d) 14. An effective way to use modeling in coaching is for the manager to a. set high standards of performance. b. challenge the group member's ethical models. c. sketch a mathematical model of coaching. d. demonstrate how a task should be done correctly. (b) 15. Which one of the following is considered to be an important characteristic of an effective coach? a. confrontational style b. diplomacy and tact c. competitiveness with team members d. impatience (c) 16.
Cindy wants to be an effective coach, so she should a. do most of the talking during a coaching session. b. minimize asking powerful questions. c. applaud good results. d. coach with “should,” not “could.”
(a) 17. As a trainer, you explain to Pamela that if she learns how to find relevant information on the Internet well, she will be eligible for promotion. You are making use of the learning principle called a. motivated interest. b. concentration. c. meaningfulness of material. d. deal with trainee defensiveness.
(a) 18. Reflecting on what you have learned is likely to a. enhance retention of the information. b. decrease retention of the information. c. increase your defensiveness about learning. d. hamper the development of soft skills. (b) 19. Which one of the following is the best example of a learning style? a. Barney uses a laptop computer to take notes in class. b. Barry learns best when studying in a group. c. Barbara likes to acquire new skills while on vacation. d. Ben gets excited when he learns a new concept. (d) 20. A defining characteristic of the yes people type of difficult person is that he or she a. avoids promising to meet deadlines. b. says yes to the boss, but no to coworkers. c. says no to the boss, but yes to coworkers. d. rarely delivers on promises. (a) 21.
Martha is a high maintenance type of difficult person. On the job she is most likely to a. demand an unreasonable amount of her supervisor’s time. b. backstab her coworkers c. cajole and intimidate other workers. d. promise any deadline, but fail to deliver.
Which one of the following is a recommended way of dealing with difficult people? Give feedback a. in a group setting. b. about the person's characteristics. c. about the person's behavior. d. about the person's values.
(a) 23. When criticizing a difficult person, a. base your criticism on objective facts. b. base your criticism on subjective impressions. c. begin with harsh criticism, then shift to soft. d. conduct the criticism in a group setting. (a) 24. Which one of the following is a recommended way of dealing with difficult people? a. Use humor to point out a problem. b. Avoid any negotiations with the person c. Report them to the boss immediately d. Retaliate by being tactless and non-diplomatic. (b) 25. A job description can be used to combat difficult behavior when the job description 147
a. b. c. d.
states that the employee will be fired at the first show of difficult behavior. disallows difficult behavior. refers to an online database of difficult behaviors. provides inspirational messages for overcoming difficult behavior.
1.Workers have a natural tendency to feel embarrassed or fearful about asking for help.
2.A nourishing person attempts to take as much from other from people as feasible.
3.A recommended way of being a nurturing person is to recognize the growth needs of others.
4.A coworker can be a mentor as long as he or she is more experienced and wiser than another group member in some important aspect of the job.
5.Online-mentoring is designed specifically for mentors and persons being mentored in high-technology companies.
6.The online matching process for potential mentors and protégés resembles the model for online dating.
7.The defining aspect of informal mentoring is that the mentor gives guidance mostly over meals, beverage breaks, and in athletic settings.
(F) 8.A mentor is likely to discourage the protégé from continuous learning because such activity detracts from getting the job done. (T)
9.A key benefit to the company from coworker mentoring is that the mentor will often transfer useful job knowledge to the protégé.
(F) 10.Closed workspaces are frequently used by high-tech companies to encourage workers to coach each other by sharing ideas. (F) 11.It is important to avoid building relationships with people before coaching them because a personal relationship makes it difficult to act professionally. (F) 12. A recommended way of giving feedback in coaching is to deal in generalities rather than specifics. (T) 13.The coaching technique, make criticism pain-free and positive emphasizes following direct criticism with pointing out something positive the person being coached has accomplished. (T) 14.An effective coach asks open-ended questions of the person being coached. 148
(T) 15.The purpose of a powerful question in coaching is to help the other person see through the strengths and weaknesses of what he or she is doing or thinking. (T) 16.An effective way of giving advice is often to ask a question, such as "Have you explored enough alternative solutions to your problem?" (F) 17.An effective coaching technique is to emphasize what the person being coached should do, so to make him or her feel guilty. (T) 18.The effective coach encourages the people being coach to applaud their own good results rather than the coach providing the applause or cheering. (T) 19.An effective technique for creating motivated interest for the learner is to show how the material to be learned is related to the trainee's career goals. (T) 20.Training is sometimes held back because the person being trained resists information that clashes with his or her beliefs or practices. (F) 21.A difficult person is a worker who lacks the physical and mental ability to perform a task as required. (T) 22.Clyde is the clod type of difficult person, so you can count on him to procrastinate starting a project or work slowly after he has begun the project. (F) 23.High maintenance type employees are so named because of their ability and willingness to take care of their own work without placing many demands on others. (T) 24.A major strategy for dealing with difficult people is to give them feedback about what their behavior is doing to you. (F) 25.During a confrontation session with a difficult person it is recommended that you lose emotional control to demonstrate how serious you are.
CHAPTER 12 POSITIVE POLITICAL SKILLS The purpose of this chapter is to help students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to make positive use of organizational politics. Career advancement is difficult without developing at least moderate political sensitivity. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES A knowledge of positive political tactics helps build good interpersonal relationships. In turn, these good relationships can facilitate achieving career goals. Political skills are a supplement to, not a substitute for, job competence. Organizational politics refers to gaining power through any means other than merit or luck. Politics has also been defined as the art of trying to accomplish things in organizations. Politics are used to achieve power, the ability or potential to control anything of value and influence decisions. Political tactics power control and influence. I. POLITICAL SKILL AND SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE Political skill does not stand alone, separated from other human relations skills. Among others, political skill is directly related to social intelligence, an understanding of how relationships with bosses and colleagues, family, and friends, shape our brains and affect our bodies. Social intelligence tells us that good relationships act like vitamins, energizing us to perform well. In contrast, bad relationships are like poison that undermines our cognitive efficiency and creativity. A socially intelligent person recognizes that being arrogant or derisive toward others can cause emotional distress that impairs the brain’s ability to learn and think clearly. II. IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT AND ETIQUETTE To get ahead, it may be important to make others aware of one's capability. Impression management is a set of behaviors directed at enhancing one's image by drawing attention to oneself. The attention can be drawn to superficial aspects or to work accomplishments. A. Tactics of Impression Management Managing one's impression encompasses dozens of specific tactics, limited only by one's imagination of what will impress others. Impression management is most commonly found in attempts to please the manager. Five tactics of impression management are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Build Trust and Confidence. Project the authentic impression of a person who can be trusted to carry out responsibilities faithfully an ethically. Be Visible and Create a Strong Presence. Be perceived as a valuable contributor on the job. Attend meetings, company events, and be assigned to important projects. Admit Mistakes. A high level of political skills is to admit mistakes, therefore appearing more forthright and trustworthy. Minimize Being a Yes-Person. When working for an emotionally secure and competent manager, you are likely to create a better impression by not agreeing with all the boss’s ideas and plans. Instead, express constructive disagreement. Create a Healthy Image. A superficial yet important part of impression management is to project a healthy, physically fit appearance. Many business firms offer workers
rewards for being physically fit and avoiding smoking and obesity. Emotional fitness is also important. William L. Gardner III offers sage advice: "Make every effort to put your best foot forward-but never at the cost of your identity or integrity." A person needs good political skill (or sensitivity) to be effective at impression management, as demonstrated in a study with 204 employees. B. Business Etiquette A major component of impression management is to practice good etiquette. Business etiquette is a special code of behavior required in work situations. Both manners and etiquette generally refer to behaving in a refined and acceptable manner. The general principle of being considerate of the feelings of work associates is more important than any one act of etiquette or courtesy. 1. Etiquette for Work Behavior and Clothing. General work etiquette includes all aspects of the work environment such as timely completion of work, punctuality, being a good team player, listening to others, and following through. A caution about casual business clothing is that being neat and clean is part of being casual. 2. Introductions. The basic rule for introductions is to present the lower-ranking person to the higher-ranking person regardless of age or sex. Provide a little amount of information about the person. It is good manners to remember names and to pronounce them correctly. Men and women are now both expected to extend their right hand when being introduced. 3. Relationships between Men and Women and People of Different Ages. Women should no longer be treated differently when approaching a door, riding in an elevator, or walking on the street. The person in the lead (no matter the sex or age) should proceed first and hold the door for the others following. However, a man should still follow a woman when using an escalator. Older people should be treated with respect. Avoid touching others of the same or opposite sex except for a handshake. 4. Use of Wire and Cell Telephones. Most business communication over the phone requires live interaction between people. Guidelines for proper business etiquette include identifying your company, your department, and yourself. Avoid call waiting when possible. The general point about cell phones is not to annoy or irritate others with your cell phone, particularly by being loud and rude. Do not answer your cell phone while talking to customers or manager. 5. Dining. Etiquette surrounding meals involves planning for the meeting, seating arrangements, bill paying, tipping, using proper table manners, and appropriate drinking of alcoholic beverages. For example, order an alcoholic beverage only when invited to by the host. 6. E -mail, Instant Messaging, and Text-by-Phone Correspondence. E-mail messages including instant messaging should be proofread, be sent only when necessary, and should generally be no longer than one screen—not including attachments. Avoid the informality of personal e-mail messages when corresponding for business purposes. Be careful not to forward an e-mail message that has negative comments about the recipient. Text messaging can be more informal than e-mail. 7. Use of Electronic Devices Other than Phones. Electronic devices such as Internet access devices, PDAs such as the BlackBerry, and photocopiers create opportunities for 151
good and poor etiquette. Surfing the Internet on company time is one problem. A growing etiquette problem is workers at meetings using their notebook computers to do other work—when such behavior is not encouraged by the company. The BlackBerry has created a culture of rudeness of its own. Hogging the photocopying machine is another problem. 8. Working in a Cubicle. The lack of privacy of cubicles can create etiquette challenges because a variety of coworkers and superiors can observe your everyday work behavior. Among the many problems are speaking too loudly, allowing a cell phone to ring, displaying offensive Websites, and poor personal hygiene. 9. Cross-Cultural Relations. Be alert to cross-cultural differences in etiquette in such areas as gift giving, dining, drinking alcoholic beverages, and where and when to discuss business. Watch out for differences in nonverbal communication. 10. Interacting with People with Disabilities. Be as natural and open as you can. Keep in mind specifics such as speaking directly to a person with a disability, not to the person’s companion. III. BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH MANAGERS AND OTHER KEY PEOPLE The political purpose of building good relationships with superiors is to gain power through such means as being recommended for promotion and key assignments. Building these good relationships is also important because it helps create a positive, supportive work environment. A group of useful tactics is described next. A. Network with Influential People A basic success strategy is to develop contacts, or networking, with influential people. You have to identify influential people and then think of a sensible reason to contact them. Provide a benefit statement to your contact. For example, send an e-mail message to a highranking manager, offering a money-saving or revenue-producing suggestion. Social networking sites now play a major role in networking. B. Help your Manager Succeed The primary reason a person is hired is to help the manager to achieve the results necessary to succeed. Perform your job superbly, and your manager will share in your success. C. Understand Unwritten Boundaries A person skilled at positive organizational politics is able to read unwritten rules about who has the authority to do what there by following unwritten boundaries, or dividing lines of behavior appropriate to different roles. D. Volunteer for Assignments By volunteering to take on assignments which do not fit neatly into your job description, you display the kind of initiative valued by employers. E. Flatter Influential People One of the most effective relationship builders is to flatter people sensibly and credibly. A study indicates that even at the highest positions in business, flattery helps a person get ahead. Flattery even helped CEOs get board appointments. Recent evidence reinforces the idea that constructive compliments are not overblown. Also, listening attentively is flattering. 152
F. Use Information Power Power accrues to those who control vital information. At the same time, being a source of useful information helps build constructive working relationships with managers. Information power is closely related to expert power, such as being able to use social networking sites to gain publicity for products and to recruit employees. G. Appear Cool under Pressure. Maintaining emotional control under chaos conditions shows that one is ready for additional responsibility. Being cool under pressure is party of emotional stability, and it is a key leadership characteristic. H. Laugh at Your Boss's Humor. Sharing humor is a rapport builder, and also indicates good two-way humor between a person and his or her boss. I. Express Constructive Disagreement. Be ready to disagree in a constructive manner when you sincerely believe the boss is wrong, instead of being a yes person. Do not confront the manager loudly in public. If you disagree with your boss, use carefully worded, inoffensive statements. IV. BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH COWORKERS AND OTHER WORK ASSOCIATES Another strategy for increasing one's power is to form alliances with coworkers and other work associates. These individuals help one get work accomplished, and their input might be solicited when a person is being considered for promotion. The increasing use of peer evaluation systems makes coworker relationships even more important. Research conducted by the Gallup Organization emphasizes the contribution of friendships and alliances in the workplace, including productivity gains and better interaction with customers. In addition to the following list, the teamwork skills described in Chapter 4 are also relevant. A. Maintain Honest and Open Relationships Being open is representative of nature of positive politics. Giving coworkers frank but tactful answers to their requests for your opinion is one way of development open relationships. B. Make Others Feel Important Visualize that everyone in the workplace is wearing a small sign around the neck that says, “Please make me feel important.” Expressing an interest in the work of others is an effective tactic because so many people are self- centered. C. Be Diplomatic The egos of most people are too tender to accept the raw truth when faced with disapproval of their thoughts or actions. Translated into action, diplomacy means finding the right phrase to convey disapproval, disagreement, or discontent. D. Exchange Favors
Reciprocity is a key part of human interaction. Exchanging favors with others can make it easier for people to accomplish their work because they are able to call on assistance when needed. E. Ask Advice Asking another person for advice will usually be perceived as a compliment. Asking advice is a subtle form of flattery because it shows you value the person’s judgment. F.Share Constructive Gossip An effective way of building workplace relationships is to share constructive gossip. Constructive gossip is unofficial information that does not attack others, is based on truth, and does not leak confidential information. G. Minimize Microinequities A potent way of alienating coworkers is to snub them, or put them down, in a small way without being aware of your behavior. A microinequity is a small, semiconscious message we send with a powerful impact on the receiver. [A good class exercise here might be to ask for volunteers to share microinequities they have received.] H. Follow Group Norms A summary principle to follow in getting along with other employees is to heed group norms, the unwritten sets of expectations for group members. Group norms also take the form of social cues about how to act, and therefore contribute to the organizational culture. Some of the relationship building described above is not being done on company social networking sites. The company social networking sites are often supplemented with Websites such as Facebook and MySpace because so many employees from the same firm might be members. V. AVOIDING POLITICAL BLUNDERS A strategy for not losing whatever power you have accumulated is to refrain from making power-eroding blunders. A sampling of these blunders follows. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Criticizing the boss in a public forum. Bypassing the manager. Overt displays of disloyalty (such as criticizing the company publicly). Being a pest. (Over-persistence can backfire.) Being (or being perceived as) a poor team player. Burning your bridges (such as being angry on your way out of the company). 7. Indiscreet behavior in private life (embarrassing the company will lead to dismissal and a negative reputation). ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1. To what extent are office politics skills important for a person who is technically competent and hard working?
Keeping your nose to the grindstone works as a career-advancement strategy to some extent. To gain the power you might want and need, however, it pays to engage in positive politics such as cultivating a network of influential people. The hard-working, talented person may get recognized but it is worthwhile to increase the odds of getting noticed and acquiring power. 2. Many people have said that a major reason for wanting to work out of their home is to avoid office politics. What type of behaviors do they think they are really trying to avoid? Among the behaviors these telecommuters or potential telecommuters are trying to avoid include backbiting by coworkers, backstabbing, kissing up the boss, and competing for the boss’s attention. Many workers who want to work at home also dislike the favoritism that sometimes takes place in the office. 3. Identify three jobs in which you think practicing good business etiquette would be the most important. High-level jobs with extensive business contact require the highest degree of practicing etiquette. Among them would be public affairs specialist, industrial sales representative, and executive secretary or executive assistant. 4. Etiquette training for people in high-level business positions is more popular than ever. How would you explain the popularity of such training in the recent era? Many people in high-level business positions need etiquette training because etiquette is de-emphasized in families and among peers. One example is that family sit-down dinners in which etiquette is demanded are less frequent today. Also, rudeness has become the norm in dozens of situations including telemarketers addressing strangers by their first name, and people interrupting meetings and casual conversations to address a cell-phone caller. 5. A physically able man encounters his vice president, a frail woman as they are both entering an airport. Explain from an etiquette perspective, if the man should ask to carry the woman’s bags to the check-in counter. (The man dos not have a valise with him.) From the standpoint of strict business etiquette, the man should not offer to carry the vice president’s bags. Yet, in this situation general considerations of chivalry should trump business etiquette—and social etiquette kicks in. The man might say something to the effect, “Might I carry your bags? I could use the exercise.” 6. It has been said that although most people can see through flattery, the technique still works. How would you explain this observation? Whether or not flattery is transparent, it still works with most people for several reasons. One reason is that many people have such strong needs for recognition that they do not care if the recognition is genuine. Another reason is that most people do not receive enough compliments, and are therefore predisposed to accept any flattery that comes along.
7. How ethical is it to ask a person for advice about a problem even if you already know which solution you will use? Some students would regard this tactic as manipulative, and therefore unethical. Yet others would argue that this is what many managers do when they pretend to be practicing group decision-making—so the tactic is ethical. 8. Describe how e-mail and instant messaging can be used to play positive office politics, as well as for unethical purposes. E-mail is a widely used political tool. An ethical approach would be to send an e-mail message complimenting an influential person, or compliment a coworker with a copy to an influential person. An unethical approach would be to criticize somebody by e-mail, with distribution to key people. Also, some people send many messages advising people against a particular course of action. If the course of action fails, the sender of the e-mail re-sends the warning message with copies to influential people. 9. In what way might being politically incorrect be a political blunder? Being politically incorrect is really a blunder because the object of political incorrectness is insulted, and therefore the relationship or potential relationship is damaged. Political incorrectness has the potential of being a cutting insult. An example would be saying to the vice president of marketing, who is Latino, “You are the vice president of marketing? Is your job to develop marketing strategy to reach Hispanics?” The person who made this comment has most likely not created an ally in the vice president. 10.
Why might a study of organizational politics seem more relevant to people with at least several years of work experience than to career beginners? Career beginners are typically idealistic, thinking that their talent and knowledge is all that is needed to have their ideas accepted and to gain momentum in their careers. However, with experience, people see that organizations are highly political and that even the most talented people have to cultivate allies and avoid creating enemies. The presence of favoritism becomes especially evident with a few years of experience. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS
What Do My Table Manners Have to Do With the Job? The theme of this case is quite important for job hunters as well as in other situations involving a business meal—the person’s etiquette might be carefully observed by influential people. 1. How justified were the company managers in turning down Suzanne based on their perceptions of her table manners?
Given that the human resources position might involve considerable contact with different stakeholders, the company could require having good table manners as part of the job qualifications. The company has a right to demand a refined, polished person for this position. 2. Should Steve Adams have warned Suzanne Chavez that her table manners would be a factor in evaluating her job qualifications? If Adams informed Chavez in advance that her table manners would be observed, there is a small chance that she might have improved her manners just for the occasion. However, people with poor table manners often do not know what they are doing wrong, so advance notice might not have changed Suzanne’s behavior. Because spontaneous behavior is usually an accurate indicator of future behavior, and employer should not be under obligation to warn candidates in advance what behavior will be measured. 3. How might Suzanne benefit from the time she invested in her interviews with AutoPay? Suzanne is understandably disappointed, but she now knows what must be done to help her obtain a key position in the future. Refining her table manners will probably help her career in other ways also because of the frequent opportunities for business meals in her line of work as a human resource professional. Lunch 2.0 for Free This story illustrates the importance of networking, and the effort many professionals will put into networking. 1. How might you use Lunch 2.0 events to assist your career? (Note that these lunches have expanded to other occupations as well as information technology workers?) Events such as Lunch 2.0 provide an excellent opportunity for networking because such large percentage of the people present are contacts of potential value. Many networking events suffer from containing too many contacts of little use to the person attending. 2. What do you think of the ethics of people who attend a Lunch 2.0 gathering just to get a free lunch? Here we have an ethical problem of low intensity. Perhaps it is not ethical to cop a free lunch but not many students are going to think that squeezing a lunch out of a large information technology company represents poor ethics. Nevertheless, we are dealing with the ethical concern of taking something of monetary value not intended for you. 3. If you were your company’s organizer of Lunch 2.0, what steps would you take to keep recruiting firms and recruiting vendors off the premises? Here is a situation where top-level management must use political judgment. Among the heavy control steps would be to screen people at the door, demanding proper company identification including proof of job title. People who did not qualify for admittance could be excluded from entering, perhaps through use of a security guard. However, exerting strict 157
controls might conflict with the open, welcoming atmosphere of this effective social networking event. Perhaps slightly amusing signs could be posted about who is qualified for admittance. COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES The Organizational Politics Questionnaire Students typically enjoy comparing their scores to normative data. One finding that occurs regularly is that many students who receive relatively high scores do not perceive themselves to be very political. The Political Skill Inventory The intent of this quiz is to measure political skill. However, the skill measurement is limited in accuracy unless the student is able to provide accurate answers. Observe that the quiz is not measuring attitudes and behaviors, but actual skill. Several of the questions are less subject to blind spots than others. An example is Number 11, “I spend a lot of time at work (or school) developing connections with others.” The Elevator 30-Second Speech The elevator-speech is excellent for reinforcing the idea of making a good first impression, and simultaneously yet another opportunity to sharpen communication skills. We have found that many students find this exercise to be extremely valuable and practical. One application is to keep the presentation in mind for job interviews. Business Etiquette Students who are willing to invest the time in these roles-plays will find them useful. Under the pressure of a live interaction, people often neglect to practice the etiquette they know should be practiced. Flattering an Influential Person A beneficial aspect of doing a role-play about flattery is that students come to realize that being an effective flatterer requires skill. However, the students who volunteer are usually pretty effective flatterers. For an added kick to this role-play, ask a few students to flatter the role players. How Important Do I Make People Feel? To the extent that the self-assessments are accurate, a person with a high score on this quiz would be politically astute with respect to making others feel important. A low-scorer would have poor political skills in dealing with peers. The reason is that making others feel important is a major political skill. Getting Along with Coworkers
A feature of the two role-plays in this exercise is that students have an opportunity to practice basic human relations skills. Many students fumble a bit when trying to express an interest in the work of the store associate, thus pointing to the need for skill development. The Blunder Quiz Taking the blunder quiz can alert students to potential areas for career self-sabotage. A fruitful discussion item is to explore the meaning of an affirmative response to Number 10, "1 avoid office politics of any kind." EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (b)
1. The position taken in the human relations text is that organizational politics refers to gaining advantage by a. dirty tricks. b. any means other than merit or luck. c. the formal use of power. d. hard work and good performance.
2. You can tell that Janis has good social intelligence because she a. understands that good relationships give her energy. b. people can be manipulated when they are needy. c. is only hostile toward people she perceives to be stupid. d.being arrogant toward others helps them think more clearly.
3. You can tell that Ralph has good social intelligence because he a. tells great jokes during business meetings. b. believes that a friendly atmosphere lowers productivity. c. gives constructive criticism instead of angry attacks. d. give angry attacks toward lazy coworkers.
(b) 4. Steve is not effective at impression management so he is likely to a. admit his mistakes. b. be low key and maintain a low presence c. minimize being a yes-person. d. build trust and confidence. (a)
5. A study showed that impression management was the most likely to be effective when the person managing his or her impression a. had good political skill. b. had poor political skill. c. was highly introverted. d. was emotionally unstable.
6. A general principle of etiquette in the workplace is to a. be considerate of the feelings of work associates. 159
b. look sharp at every available opportunity. c. criticize others gently. d. smile and be positive even when in a down mood.
7. When introducing people of different rank, proper etiquette is to a. introduce both by first name only. b. state the name of the youngest first. c. state the name of the person of lower rank first. d. state the name of the person of higher rank first.
(c) 8. Emily and Derek both work in the same bank. While at the bank, they head toward a long flight of stairs. Proper etiquette is for a. Emily and Derek to hold hands going down the stairs. b. Derek to ask, “Whose turn is it to go down stairs first?” c. Derek to go down the stairs in front of Emily. d. Emily to go down the stairs in front of Derek. (b) 9. A point of etiquette to keep in mind when sending e-mail is that a. rules of etiquette do not apply to e-mail. b. the way in which you send a message tells something about you. c. using line justification is a heavy insult. d. salutations such as "Dear ____________" are now regarded as poor etiquette. (d) 10. With respect to etiquette, the person working in an office cubicle should recognize that a. whatever is displayed on his or her computer monitor is private. b. dress codes do not apply while in the cubicle. c. rules of etiquette are not important while in the cubicle. d. several etiquette challenges are present. (c) 11. When in doubt about proper etiquette in a given situation, a general guide is to a. imagine how a member of royalty would behave. b. trust your hunches. c. observe how a successful person in the group behaves. d. ask others, "Am I being a boor?" (d) 12. A key aspect of using networking as a career tactic is that a person should a. save networking for weekends. b. do most networking by e-mail to save time. c. network with people mostly outside of the company. d. develop contacts with influential people. (b) 13. Max, and inventory control specialist, has most likely broken through an unwritten boundary when he 160
a. b. c. d.
attends the company picnic in jeans and a tank top. invites the CEO to visit his cubicle and discuss company goals. invites another inventory control specialist to dinner. sends the tech center a request for help.
(c) 14. For flattery to work effectively, it is important to a. use it sparingly. b. combine it with a sprinkling of criticism. c. include an element of credibility. d. tell the other person you will be using flattery. (a) 15. To use information power effectively, the person must a. control information not readily available to others. b. specialize in the marketing or financial side of business. c. become an information systems specialist. d. develop exceptional skill in using the Internet. (d) 16. Admitting your mistakes is a useful political tactic because a. admitting mistakes is a frequent corporate policy. b. workers are expected to make their fair share of mistakes. c. perfect people are not considered to be eligible for promotion. d. it shows you are honest enough to take responsibility for a negative event. (c) 17. Laughing at your boss's humor tends to be an effective political tactic because a. kissing up is a standard part of most jobs. b. most managers are emotionally insecure. c. the shared laughter helps build rapport. d. a boss who laughs gives generous salary increases. (b) 18. A recommended method of expressing constructive disagreement is to a. send an anonymous letter to your boss explaining your position. b. use carefully worded, inoffensive statements. c. express the disagreement during a staff meeting. d. joke about your boss’s limited understanding of the problem. (b) 19. Long-term research conducted by the Gallup Organization suggests that friendships on the job a. lead to many complaints of sexual harassment. b. tend to enhance productivity. c. tend to lower productivity. d. create so many cliques that morale is likely to suffer. (c) 20.
The tactic, make others feel important, is a. considered to be a political blunder. b. used primarily in building relationships with superiors. c. valuable for building coworker relationships. d. too old fashioned to be effective in most situations. 161
(d) 21. A key characteristic of positive gossip for relationship building is that it a. does not identify the people involved in the gossip scenario. b. does not involve company personnel. c. focuses on the social life of key personnel. d. does not attack others. (c) 22. Office manager Carlos is introducing his department members to a visiting executive from the home office. Carlos says to the executive, “I would like you to meet the members of my outstanding team.” Carlos commits a microinequity when he a. introduces the team in alphabetical order, and Ziggy Zigfried is introduced last. b. introduces the team in reverse alphabetical order, and Alice Adams is introduced last. c. neglects to introduce Megan, one of the team members. d. asks the team members to introduce themselves to the executive. (d) 23.
An important purpose of social networking sites on the job is for workers to a. exchange gossip about each other. b. have an alternative to the tech center when they need help. c. relieve stress by contacting “friends.” d. build workplace relationships with each other.
Diana, a resident in heart surgery, brings her complaint directly to the top administrator of the hospital. She is committing the political blunder called a. criticizing the boss in a public forum. b. being a pest, c. burning your bridges. d. bypassing the boss.
The most common form of bridge burning is to a. express anger toward an employer as you are leaving the firm. b. invite all your enemies to a party at your home or a restaurant. c. tell your new employer in advance your code of ethics. d. not having a going-away party when you leave a firm.
1. Political tactics power control and influence.
2. Sam is a kindly middle manager who is an excellent coach for younger employees. He believes that developing others is much more important than advancing his own career. Sam would most likely achieve a top score on the Organizational Politics Questionnaire.
3. According to the idea of social intelligence, good personal relationships act like vitamins, giving us the energy to perform well.
4. Vice president Laurie has above-average social intelligence, so she deliberately establishes poor relationships with subordinates to motivate them to be creative and perform well.
5. Lisa is skilled at impression management so she rarely ever admits mistakes on the job.
6. Billy is skilled at impression management so he expresses constructive disagreement when he thinks his boss is making a major error.
7. A personal usually has to have good political skill in order to manage his or her impression well.
8. One advantage of practicing good business etiquette is that it gives you enough polish to be taken seriously.
(F) 9. You are taking the marketing vice president, Miguel Ortiz, on a tour of the office. You run into office assistant, Ann Osaka, and you decide to introduce the two people. You are following proper etiquette when you say, "Ann, I would like you to meet our new marketing vice president, Miguel Ortiz." (F) 10. In an office setting, when two coworkers are walking up the stairs, the man should precede (walk in front of) the woman going up the stairs. (T) 11. An etiquette guideline for e-mail is that messages should be no longer than one screen, not including attachments. (F) 12. Margot, a bookkeeper, works in a cubicle, so she does not have to worry about business etiquette so long as she stays in her cubicle. (F) 13. When communicating with a physically-disabled person, speak to the companion who will then send your message to the disabled person. (T) 14. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Linkedin have become an acceptable tool for workplace networking. (T) 15. Clancy, a purchasing assistant, asks the CEO to go to movie with him, so Clancy probably does not have a clear understanding of unwritten boundaries. (F) 16. The more layers in a company (the steeper the hierarchy) the more likely it is to be acceptable to cross unwritten boundaries. (T) 17. One reason flattering others is an important tactic for career advancement is that it helps build constructive relationships with superiors. (F) 18. A recommended political tactic is to never admit a mistake, but instead blame someone else who is too innocent to fight back.
(T) 19. One reason that appearing cool under pressure is an effective political tactic is because it shows that the person is capable of handling additional responsibility. (F) 20. The idea behind the tactic of expressing constructive disagreement is to be a yes-person with your boss in a meeting, but later sending a memo describing your disagreement. (T) 21. Long-term research conducted by the Gallup Organization indicates that having a best friend on the job is likely to increase your productivity. (T) 22. Nursing supervisor Sara says to a group of doctors during a staff meeting, “The nurses in my department of some of the finest, most dedicated women you will find in our healthcare system.” A male nurse in the department feels hurt because only the women were mentioned. Sara has committed a microinequity. (T) 23. A new practice in organization is to construct social networking sites so employees can build work relationships with one another. (F) 24. A recommended way to handle a dispute with one's manager is to quickly threaten to bring the problem to the attention of the manager's boss. (T) 25. Being a poor team player, or being perceived as one, is usually a serious political blunder.
CHAPTER 13 CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SKILLS The key purpose of this chapter is to help students enhance their ability to satisfy customers, both external and internal. Customer satisfaction receives the highest priority in today's business environment. Companies that take customers for granted often regret their mistake. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES Outstanding customer satisfaction leads to good will, repeat business, and referrals. External customers are paying customers including clients, guests, and patients. Internal customers are the people one serves within the organization, or those who use a person's job output. All workers in contact with customers are required to have customer satisfaction skills. Workers in a wide variety of jobs need good customer satisfaction skills. I. THE THREE COMPONENTS OF CUSTOMERS EXPERIENCE (SERVICE) Customers form three clues about the service experience based on its presence or absence. A clue is anything the customer can see, hear, taste, or smell. Functional clues are derived from the technical performance of the service, such as a broken machine now working. Mechanical clues stem from the sensory presentation of the service, including sights, smells sounds, tastes, and textures. Human interaction clues are detected from the behavior and appearance of the service providers. Human interaction in the service experience offers the biggest opportunity to deepen customers’ emotional connection to the company. II. FOLLOWING THE GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Certain general principles will sharpen a person's ability to satisfy customers and thereby improve customer retention. Without satisfying customers, a business would cease to exist. Satisfaction, however, is considered a minimum expectation. Customer delight should be the ultimate goal. Customer satisfaction is also highly valued because it breeds customer loyalty, which in turn is very profitable. A set of key principles follows. A. Be Satisfied So You Can Provide Better Customer Service Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are the most likely to satisfy customers. Treating employees well puts them in a better frame of mind to treat their customers well. Employees can control some attitudes and beliefs related to customer satisfaction. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Interest in the work itself A feeling of self-esteem Optimism and flexibility Positive self-image Positive expectations about the job Effective handling of abuse from customers.
Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are also more likely to engage in service-oriented organizational citizenship behavior.
B. Receive Emotional Support from Coworkers and Management to Give Better Customer Service According to a research study, the support of workers is even more important than supervisory support. Employees who perceived their coworkers to be supportive had a higher level of commitment to their customers. The study also found customer satisfaction was positively related to the strength of the service worker’s customer orientation. Research also supports the idea that the type of leadership sales representatives receive influences the type of relationships reps build with customers. Sales managers who were charismatic and good at setting visions strongly affected the use of customer-oriented selling behaviors, such as building good relationships. A study with hair stylists found that charismatic and visionary leaders enhanced customer service. (It might be fun to discuss how a hair stylist in a salon can be visionary.) C. Understand Customer Needs and Put Them First The most basic principle of selling is to identify and satisfy customer needs. To help identify customer needs, the customer service worker may have to probe for information. Customers now have more power because of the availability of information and more competition. Satisfying customer needs adds value for them. After customer needs have been identified, the focus must be on satisfying them rather than on personal needs or those of the company. D. Focus on Solving Problems, Not Just Taking Orders Effective selling uses sales representatives to solve problems rather than merely taking orders. The focus on problem solving enables sales representatives to become partners in the success of their customers' businesses. Using this approach, the customer is receiving consulting services in addition to the merchandise or services being offered. E. Respond Positively to Moments of Truth An effective customer contact person performs well during situations in which a customer comes in contact with the company and forms an impression of its service (a moment of truth). If the customer experiences satisfaction or delight during a moment of truth, the customer is likely to return when the need for service arises again. The customer who is angered or frustrated during a moment of truth will not return. One way to track moments of truth is to prepare a cycle of service chart. Such a chart summarizes the moments of truth encountered by a customer during the delivery of a service. F. Be Ready to Accept Empowerment A major strategy for improving customer service is to empower customer-contact employees to resolve problems by themselves. Empowerment refers to managers transferring, or sharing, power with lower-ranking employees. In terms of customer relations it means pushing decision-making and complaint resolution down to customer-contact employees. For empowerment to work, the company must grant decision-making latitude to employees, who in turn must be willing to accept empowerment. Employees at Hampton Inn hotels have the authority to offer a guest a free night of lodging to compensate for a service problem. G. Enhance Customer Service Through Information Technology 166
Information technology can play an important role in recording customer preferences and individualizing service. One such application is to use databases to have information on hand about customer preferences. Sending customers information they are likely to use is another way of enhancing customer service through information technology. Developing individualized appeals to customers is likely to be included in customer relationship management (CRM) software. A major challenge in providing good customers service when using information technology is to preserve the human touch. For example, (a) when you respond to a voicemail outgoing message, leave specific, relevant information, and (b) use the customer’s name when sending e-mail messages. H Avoid Rudeness and Hostility toward Customers Although rudeness to customers is obviously a poor business practice, the problem is widespread. Rude treatment creates more lost business than does poor product quality or high prices. A widely practiced form of rudeness is for two store associates to converse with each other about non-work matters while a customer waits for attention. Rudeness is sometimes a form of hostility because rudeness, such as grimacing at a customer stems from anger. One study in a bank showed that when the technical performance was low, hostility be the service provider lowered customer satisfaction considerably. With good technical performance, hostility had a lesser impact on service quality. III. CREATING A BOND WITH YOUR CUSTOMER Creating a bond or emotional relationship with a customer helps bring about customer satisfaction and delight. Warm, constructive customer relationships enhance customer retention. A strong customer orientation is a set of basic individual predispositions and an inclination to provide service, to be courteous and helpful in dealing with customers and associates. Creating a bond is aimed at increasing sales, but also enhances service. If the customer relies on and trusts the sales representative, the customer will perceive the service to be of high quality. Six key principles are as follows: A. Create a Welcoming Attitude, Including a Smile Use enthusiastic expressions, including a smile, when greeting customers. Attempt to show a sincere, positive attitude that conveys to customers and prospects, “I’m here to make you happy.” A potential problem, however, is that a smile might be interpreted as a social invitation. A study with college students showed that employee smiling made customers smile in return, and feel satisfied with their encounter. Yet phony smiles tended to backfire. B. Provide Exceptional Service (or Experience) Many successful companies contend that their competitive advantage is good service or experience. As at Burger King, give customers what they want, not what others think they should have. (The ethics of offering the Enormous Omelet Sandwich might be discussed in class.) Exceptional service includes dozens of customer transactions, including prompt delivery and accurate billing. An interesting perspective on customer service is that some industries are more successful than others in receiving high customer satisfaction scores, with the highest ratings attained in express delivery and Internet retail.
C. Show Care and Concern During contact with the customer, the sales representative should show concern for the customer’s welfare. Microsoft is one of many companies that asks about the quality of customer service, and their inquiries are pointed and specific rather than canned. D. Make the Buyer Feel Good A fundamental way of keeping a relationship going is make the buyer feel good about himself or herself. It is helpful to point out how well the product fits the customer. An effective feel-good line is, “I enjoy doing business with you.” E. Build a Personal Relationship through Interaction with Customers Interacting with customers in a personal way often enhances the customer experience, leading to repeat business. Instead of providing loads of amenities, Staybridge Suites concentrates its customer service on staff members interacting with guests. A high tech way of building relationships with large numbers of customers is to interact with them through blogs or web logs. Company-approved blogs are widely used as customers demand information presented in more unvarnished form. F.Invite the Customer Back The southern U.S. expression “Y’all come back, now!” is well suited for bonding with customers. Specific invitations to return may help increase repeat business. Despite the importance of forming a bond with your customer, getting too personal can backfire. Most people want a business relationship, not a personal one, with the company. IV.
DEALING WITH CUSTOMER DISSATISFACTION
Most customers put honest effort into preventing customer dissatisfaction. Despite the many efforts to achieve total customer satisfaction, some customer dissatisfaction is inevitable. One reason for this dissatisfaction is that mistakes in dealing with customers are inevitable. One study showed that give a chance to complain and have their problem resolve 90 percent will remain loyal customers. A challenge is that the negative personality traits of customers can bring down a person’s level of customer service. A. Deal Constructively with Customer Complaints and Anger Customer satisfaction specialists recommend the following techniques for dealing with angry customers: 1. Acknowledge the customer's point of view. 2. Avoid placing blame on the customer. 3. Use six magic words to defuse anger. (I understand [that this is a problem]; I agree [that it needs to be solved]; I'm sorry [that this happened to you].) 4. Apologize for the problems created by you or your company. 5. Take responsibility, act fast, and be thorough. 6. Tell the difficult customers how much you value them. 7. Follow up on the resolution of the problem.
B. Involve the Customer in Working Out the Problem To minimize the perception of poor service, the customer should be involved in deciding what should be done about the problem. By involving the customer in the solution to the problem, the customer is more likely to accept a deviation from the service promised originally. C. Anticipate How to Handle an Unreasonable Request The customer who makes an unreasonable demand is usually aware of the unreasonableness, and therefore may not expect to be fully granted the request. A few of the suggestions for dealing with an unreasonable request are as follows: 1. Let your customers retain their dignity by stating your position politely and reasonably. 2. Avoid arguing with an upset customer. 3. Appeal to your customer's sense of fair play and integrity. 4. Be firm by repeating the facts of the situation, but keep your temper under control. 5. Accept responsibility for your decision. 6. Be willing to say no to a customer when it is justifiable. D. Maintain a Realistic Customer Retention Attitude Some customers are too unreasonable, and therefore may not be worth keeping. A realistic goal is to retain as many profitable customers as possible. Airline passengers who engage in air rage are not worth keeping. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1. Assume that you find it necessary to telephone a call center to help you with a technical problem with your cell phone or computer. Identify the functional, mechanical, and humaninteraction clues that you are likely to encounter in the resolution of your problem. The functional aspects relate to whether the device was fixed, such as overcoming the problem of documents freezing on the computer screen. The mechanical aspects would focus on the sounds such as the clarity of the phone reception while talking to the service technician. The behavior of the technician such as being polite and interested in the problem, and being supportive, would constitute the human interaction clues. 2. For what reason is a satisfied employee more likely to provide better customer service? A satisfied employee is less likely to be harboring discontent that he or she might take out on customers. A satisfied employee is also less preoccupied and can therefore concentrate better on customers, thereby serving them better. Another consideration is that when one is satisfied, it is easier to deal with the challenges of human interaction.
3. A couple walks into an automobile showroom and says they want a big safe vehicle for them and their three children, yet they are unsure about what vehicle they should purchase. Describe how you might identify customer needs in this situation. A good starting point is to get the couple talking about the uses to which they would put their vehicle. Ask questions about occasional uses such as camping and other vacations, and visits to the home improvement store. After these uses are gathered, they will point to criteria for a vehicle that will meet all their needs. 4. Describe several customer moments of truth you have experienced this week. What made you classify them as moments of truth? An appropriate answer to this question includes an understanding of the concept of moments of truth: interactions in which the person forms an impression of the company's service. Many of these moments of truth will be negative, such as two store associates conducting a conversation while the student was waiting to be served. Another negative many students have experienced is not being taken seriously because they were dressed as students. 5. Visualize yourself as an executive at Target. Develop a policy to empower customer service desk associates to resolve customer problems, including the limits to their empowerment. Policy development is a stretch exercise that students enjoy. Here is a sample policy for the customer service desk personnel: Target customer service associates are granted the authority to resolve a wide range of customer problems without approval from their supervisor. Customer service workers are authorized to grant full refunds when it appears the customer has tried out but not regularly used merchandise. Full refunds and exchanges can be granted for defective merchandise. Customer service personnel, however, are not authorized to make payments to customers in excess of the retail price of the merchandise. A supervisor must be consulted before a customer service worker can grant refunds or exchanges without proof of purchase. (Students might be asked to critique this sample policy from the point of view of the customer service worker and management.) 6. Identify typical ways in which customers are rude to customer-contact workers. Customers are rude to customer-contact workers in numerous ways, such as displaying impatience, distrusting them, speaking to them in terms of endearment, sexually harassing them, and accusing them of cheating the customer on change. Also, the occasional retail customer talks on a cell telephone while being served by the service worker. 7. What is your opinion of the impact of information technology on customer service? offer at least two specifics in your answer. A wide range of responses are possible here, including negative, neutral, and positive. On the negative side, all the e-mail ads can be annoying, and so can being routed through a long menu of options to answer a question asked on the telephone. Complicated, confusing Websites for answering inquiries are another substantial problem. On the neutral 170
side, calling in utility reading, or reporting them online seems satisfactory. On the positive side, many people enjoy paying bills online, and receiving account information from the bank through voice-recognition systems. 8. Have you ever smiled at a customer? What effect, if any, did this have on his or her behavior toward you? Student observations will be interesting here because although research and opinion indicate that smiles help build customer relationships, the effect is not dramatic. The behavior most likely to be elicited by a smile is a return smile. However, it is possible that the recipient of the smile will say something positive, such as “Thank you for the nice service.” 9. How effective is the principle "the customer is always right" when dealing with dissatisfied customers? Following the principle "the customer is always right" too literally can create problems for the firm. Some customers make unreasonable demands and can lose money for the company. When the customer does appear to be wrong, however, it is necessary to tactfully resolve the conflict. 10. A few weeks after renewing a subscription, a customer received a postcard that included the following: “We appreciate your prompt payment for your magazine subscription. However, our records indicate that you overpaid and are due a balance of $0.10. We will extend your subscription for 1 additional issue(s). Or, if you would prefer a refund check for the balance, please contact our customer service department at 1-800-…. ” What is your evaluation of this interaction in terms of the customer experience? At first, many people might laugh at the possibilities of receiving a check for 10 cents, and think that the company is wasting money. However, the good customer service displayed in this scenario might reflect company policy, or even a legal obligation, for dealing with overpayments. We imagine that this letter mentioned above will generate far more good will than annoyance. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS Making Nice at Home Depot Among many themes, this case illustrates what a serious issue customer service is for a large retailer, and how difficult it can be to elevate customer perceptions of customer service. The importance of the human touch in customer service is also emphasized. 1. What do you recommend Home Depot do to re-strengthen its reputation for highquality customer service? As a couple of the customers quoted in the case suggest, getting a larger number of knowledgeable store associates back on the floor will enhance customer service. In terms of business strategy, it might work for Home Depot management to invest more money in store associates than opening new stores.
2. Identify the three components of customer experience (functional, mechanical, and human interaction) that apply to a customer shopping for a replacement kitchen sink at Home Depot. (If the kitchen sink does not interest you, substitute another product.) The functional clues stem from being advised about purchasing the right replacement sink, perhaps at a satisfactory price. Mechanical clues would stem from such factors as seeing a shiny new sink, absorbing the home-supply smell of Home Depot, hearing the buzz of the store, and perhaps feeling the enamel on the sink. The human interaction clues would stem from the qualities of the store associate, such as a friendly, helpful demeanor, and an interest in the customer’s challenge of replacing the sink. 3. What is your evaluation of customer Wing’s (the chef and handyman) suggestion for improving the customer experience at Home Depot? Wing focuses on hiring a larger number of store associates with the technical expertise to help customers make product choices. Because a large number of Home Depot customers are making a purchase to repair something, the technical expertise will indeed improve customer service. However, we cannot neglect the human interaction part of customer service. Many shoppers are not really looking for technical assistance when they make such purchases as light bulbs, bird seed, top soil, and driveway sealer. What they might need is a friendly helper to assist with any questions about the location of a product or help in loading the merchandise into a shopping cart. 4. How good is customer service at Home Depot these days? Base your evaluation on input from people in your network or an in-person visit to a Home Depot. First-hand perceptions are always interesting because they may vary so much from industry surveys and newspaper reports. Millions of customers still find a visit to Home Depot to fit their needs, and the vast majority of these customers find somebody to answer their questions. Repeat Business at Whopper Wash This case illustrates the challenge of attempting to provide customer service at such a high level that repeat business comes about even without an urgent needed on part of the customer. 1. In what way is this case about customer satisfaction? Although the McNamaras are providing a mundane service, if they do not keep customers happy they most likely will not get repeat business or referrals. Another tie in with customer service is that the customer can perceive the before-and-after difference when a house is power washed. 2. How might the McNamaras form better bonds with their customers? Forming a bond with a customer is not easy with a service as impersonal as a power wash. Nevertheless, being polite, friendly, and neat will help. If Jim and Glen have to enter a customer’s home, they should take off their boots—a touch that many customer like.
Complimenting the appearance of the customer’s house or small business might be helpful in forming a bond. 3. What can the Whopper Wash couple do to get more repeat business? First, the McNamaras have to do their best to form a bond with their customers. Second, they might be explicit about a recommended cycle for power washing, such as every three years. Third, they might offer other services such as power washing the concrete around the house. COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES The Customer Orientation Quiz Answering the straightforward questions in this questionnaire directs the student's thinking toward the behavioral specifics involved in customer service. The questionnaire also touches on advanced knowledge about customer service, such as No. 13: “Now that individual consumers and companies can shop online, the personal touch in business is losing importance.” Moments of Truth The moments of truth exercise works well in helping the student nail down the meaning of moments of truth. At the same time, the exercise raises awareness about the importance of seemingly minor incidents in customer service. Am I Being Rude? Responding to this questionnaire gives students a refresher on what actions are likely to be interpreted as rude behavior when serving customers. Several of the items warrant discussion as to why they constitute rudeness. Number 11 is an example: "I comment on customer's appearance in a flirtatious, sexually-oriented way." Bonding with Customers Most students will enjoy these two positive role-plays. Students who watch the role- play can provide feedback on how well the sales representatives accomplished their goals. As always, a challenge with an exercise of this nature is for the students to display some new knowledge, and not simply using experience and common sense. Dealing with Difficult Customers Anticipate some lively action with these role-plays. Students will also receive a demonstration of the challenge of resolving conflicts with customers. In scenario one the customer appears to be wrong, whereas in scenario two the customer appears to be right. EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice
(b) 1. An internal customer is a (n) a. customer who knows top management personally. b. person within the company who uses your output. c. person who buys a product or service in person. d. employee who acts as a customer spokesperson. (a) 2. According to one authority cited in the human relations text, a good employee or a good sales associate is typically worth about a. five or ten times an average one. b. as much as two average ones. c. three times as much as an online ad. d. ten times as much as a newspaper ad. (d) 3. Jeremy walks into a Harley dealer to purchase a motorcycle. He forms a functional clue about his service when a. he receives a warm smile and handshake from the sales rep. b. he loves the scent of the Harleys including the smell of the tires. c. the sales rep starts telling motorcycle jokes. d. the sales rep points him toward a bike that fits his needs. (c) 4. Meg visits the garden center at a Lowe’s home improvement store, and develops a mechanical clue about service when she a. watches the cashier smile as she takes out her credit card. b. finds exactly the shrubs she was searching. c. can smell the flowers and shrubs. d. is invited to visit a Lowe’s store again.. (a) 5. The highest level of customer satisfaction is termed a. customer delight. b. extra satisfaction. c. expectations satisfied. d. basic needs satisfied. (b) 6. According to a consumer behavior specialist cited in the human relations text, good service comes down to a. treat customers as if they were family members or friends. b. creating a positive and memorable customer experience. c. beating the competition in price by at least 10 percent. d. beating the competition in price by at least 25 percent. (d) 7. To help preserve job satisfaction, it is recommended that the customer-service worker have a. negative expectations about the job. b. negative self-image. c. a low feeling of self-esteem. d. an effective way of handling abuse from customers. (b) 8. A study found that when customer service workers receive emotional support 174
from coworkers, they a. have the courage to be rude to customers. b. provide better service to customers. c. have a lower customer-service orientation. d. lower their organizational citizenship behavior. (a) 9. According to research studies, a leader is likely to positively influence the customer service behavior of employees when the leader a. is charismatic and good at setting visions. b. imposes strict control over employee behavior. c. is so grouchy and angry that he or she is a good model of behavior to avoid. d. complains a lot about poor customer service. (b) 10. After identifying customer needs, you then a. search for ways to satisfy company needs. b. find ways of satisfying them. c. ask the customer to satisfy your needs. d. modify those needs to fit your company's requirements. (d) 11. The way to add value for customers is to a. reduce the price of goods. b. provide training for using the product or service. c. offer a discount for future purchases. d. satisfy their needs. (d) 12. The emphasis in effective selling is to a. get customers to accept the same solution to their problems. b. minimize the size of the order. c. maximize the size of the order. d. solve customer problems. (a) 13. A moment of truth takes place when the customer a. forms an impression of company service. b. does not pay the bill within 30 days. c. expects a refund because of poor service. d. files a formal complaint against the company. (b) 14. The cycle of service chart lists a series of a. highs and lows in providing customer service. b. moments of truth experienced by a customer. c. service problems encountered by a customer. d. times at which a product should be serviced. (c) 15. Empowerment often improves customer service because a. customer service workers have the authority to refer problems to higher management. b. managers have more time to work with customers. c. employees have the authority to resolve customer problems. 175
d. more employees work in customer service positions. (d) 16. A major role played by information technology in improving customer service is to a. present customers with a long menu of options when they ask for help. b. sell customer lists to other companies. c. provide uniform services. d. individualize service. (a) 17. Which one of the following is not a recommended as a way of using voice mail to enhance customer service? a. Use a monotone, computerized-style voice to avoid misunderstanding. b. Smile while leaving your message. c. Attempt to minimize telephone tag. d. Be specific about what you want from the person called. (b) 18. Which of the following problems is said to be the major reason for lost business? a. poor product knowledge b. rude treatment of customers c. poor product quality d. over-attentive customer-contact workers (a) 19. To bond with a customer is to a. form an emotional relationship. b. establish a tight legal agreement. c. enter into frequent negotiations about price. d. accept liability for service problems. (c) 20. A study about employee smiling conducted with college students found that when the employee smiles, customers are likely to perceive that the a. employee was trying to compensate for poor service. b. service was of low quality. c. service was of high quality. d. price was much lower than reality. (d) 21. The best-accepted axiom about keeping customers happy is to a. keep prices lower than the competition. b. get involved in relationship selling. c. stay informed about what the competition is doing. d. maintain high-quality service. (d) 22. A study conducted in two fast food chains in Singapore suggested that the negative personality traits of customers a. encouraged customer service workers to be extra agreeable. b. resulted in higher average sales per customer for the store. c. resulted in more positive affectivity by the customer-service workers. d. brought out negative emotion from customer-service workers. 176
(b) 23. The experience at Staybridge Suites (and probably at other extended stay hotels that offer limited services) is customer loyalty can be enhanced through a. offering guests discount coupons for meals. b. positive employee interaction with customers. c. hotel employees being detached and professional. d. all employees wearing smiley buttons. (b) 24. Which one of the following tactics would be the least recommended approach to dealing with customer complaints? a. Acknowledge the customer's point of view. b. Point out where the customer is at fault. c. Apologize for problems your company may have created. d. Follow up on the resolution of the problem. (a) 25. A realistic customer retention policy centers on the idea that a. some customers are so unreasonable they are not worth keeping. b. the customer is always right. c. a customer retention rate of about 50 percent is realistic. d. a company should strive to retain all their customers. True/False (F)
1.Jennifer works for Macy’s in Chicago. Because Jennifer buys some of her clothing at the store, she is classified as an internal customer.
2.The founder of a technology consulting firm cited in the human relations text contends that most client issues with consultants deal with hard skills.
3.The world-class experience in level of customer satisfaction is customer delight.
4.Employees who can satisfy customers contribute heavily to profits.
5.Rob gets a problem with the transmission of his sports vehicle fixed right away at the service center. Rob therefore gets a mechanical clue about the experience.
6.Sally gets her sick dog successfully treated at a veterinary clinic, and while there she enjoys the antiseptic smell of the clinic. In relation to the smell, Sally has received a functional clue.
7.People with low self-esteem are more likely to experience high job satisfaction.
8.Customer service workers who receive emotional support from coworkers tend to provide better customer service.
9.Research evidence suggests that a leader who is charismatic and visionary influence employees to be customer oriented.
(F) 10.A study with hair stylists found that leaders who were boring and unimaginative were particularly effective at inspiring hair stylists to provide exceptional service.
(T) 11.A challenge in delivering high levels of customer satisfaction is that many customers may not be able to express their needs clearly. (F) 12. A new emphasis for sales representatives is to take orders rather than wasting time attempting to solve customer problems. (T) 13.A recommended approach to solving a customer problem is to ask the customer what problem he or she hopes to solve with the product. (T) 14.A moment of truth in customer service would occur when you walk into a computer store and ask for assistance in purchasing software that would enable you to create your own Web page. (F) 15. The cycle of service chart lists the dates on which the company is available to provide you with customer service. (T) 16.An empowered employee has the authority to make a quick decision as to whether the company or the customer is right about a customer problem. (T) 17.A major contribution information technology makes to customer service is the ability to individualize service for customers. (F) 18.Poor product quality leads to substantially more lost business than does rudeness by customer contact workers. (T) 19.The tone of a customer service representative’s voice is one way in which customers decide if they are being treated rudely. (F) 20. According to one study, when the technical performance of a customer-service representative is poor, rudeness by the worker has a smaller effect on customer service. (T) 21.In attempting to bond with customers, recognize that building a good working relationship with customers will often lead to a good personal relationship. (T) 22.A national survey indicated that the highest customer service ratings were attained by companies that provided express delivery and those retailers that sold over the Internet. (F) 23. The experience of an extended-stay hotel found that providing amenities such as mints on the pillow and free Internet connections were much more important than having contact workers interact with guests. (F) 24. The major purpose of company blogs or web logs is to deal directly with customer complaints, including the granting of refunds. (T) 25.When a particularly difficult problem arises with a customer, it is recommended that the customer be involved in working out a solution to the problem. 179
CHAPTER 14 ENHANCING ETHICAL BEHAVIOR The major purpose of this chapter is to enhance ethical behavior by translating general knowledge about ethics into behaviors and skills. By engaging in these behaviors and applying the skills, the student will function at a high ethical level. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES Ethics refers to what is good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, and what people should do. Ethics is the vehicle for turning values into action. An ethical reputation helps a person obtain the job he or she wants. A person's ethical code has a big impact on his or her interpersonal relationships. I. WHY BE CONCERNED ABOUT BUSINESS ETHICS? A major reason for studying ethics is that most people are motivated by self-interest and the desire to do something right. Ethical behavior is important because a good reputation can enhance business and attract investors. Unethical behavior is costly, such as employee theft. Another problem is that many unethical acts are illegal which can lead to financial loss and imprisonment. High ethics can also increase the quality of work life. Examples of clauses from ethical codes include: • • • • • •
Demonstrate courtesy, respect, honesty, and fairness. Do not use abusive language. Do not bring firearms or knives to work. Do not offer bribes. Maintain confidentiality of records. Do not harass subordinates, superiors, coworkers, customers, or suppliers.
Abiding by ethical codes such as the above will improve the quality of work life. II.
WHY WE HAVE SO MANY ETHICAL PROBLEMS
To become more skilled at behaving ethically, it is important to familiarize yourself with common ethical problems. Whether or not a given situation presents an ethical problem for a person depends to some extent on its moral intensity, or how deeply others might be affected. A. Why Being Ethical Isn’t Easy Behaving ethically in business is complex because ethical decisions are complex. People do not always recognize the moral issues involved in a decision. Also, people have different levels of moral development. Some people have a predisposition to be unethical. A person with a utilitarian predisposition believes that the value of an act’s outcomes should determine whether it is moral. B. A Survey of the Extent of Ethical Problems Lying is a representative example of ethical problems, with two separate surveys showing that more than one-third of workers admit to having fabricated about the need for sick days. 181
Lies from job applicants are surging. The survey showed in Figure 14-1 shows that about 20 percent of employees have witnessed abusive intimidating behavior toward employees as well as lying to employees, customers, vendors or the public. Workers today might be more observant of ethical problems, and more willing to note them on a survey. C. Frequent Ethical Dilemmas Mishandling an ethical issue can damage a career. Many ethical dilemmas in business are predictable, such as those contained in the following list: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Illegally copying software. (Exhibit 14-1 is good for discussion.) Treating people unfairly (including cronyism) Sexually harassing coworkers Facing a conflict of interest. (A conflict of interest occurs when your judgment or objectivity is compromised.) Dealing with confidential information. Misrepresenting employment history Using corporate resources. Ethically violating computers and information technology.
D. Choosing Between Two Rights: Dealing with Defining Moments A challenging twist to ethical decision making is to sort through your values when you have to choose between two rights, or two morally sound choices. A defining moment is choosing between two or more ideals in which we deeply believe. A defining moment is a form of role conflict. The conflict can be worked through by discovering "Who am I?" III. GUIDELINES FOR BEHAVING ETHICALLY Following guidelines for ethical behavior is the heart of being ethical. An obvious example is "Follow the Golden Rule." A. Developing Virtuousness A deep-rooted approach to behaving ethically is to have strong moral and ethical principles, or to be virtuous. A person of high virtue has good character and genuine motivation and intentions. According to Edwin A. Locke, certain values constitute virtue in a business environment. 1. 2. 3. 4.
Rationality or taking reality (facts) seriously Honesty, the refusal to fake reality Independence, the responsibility to using your own rational judgment Productivity, creating, or obtaining through trade, the material values your life requires 5. Forgiveness, providing the breach of morality was not too severe
B. Following a Guide to Ethical Decision Making A powerful strategy for behaving ethically is to follow a guide for ethical decision making. Ethical screening refers to running a contemplated decision or action through an ethics test. The guide presented here is current and incorporates the basic ideas in other ethical tests. 182
1. Gather the facts. Ask yourself such questions as "Are there any legal issues involved here?" Gathering facts is influenced by emotion. 2. Define the ethical issues. Because the ethical issues are often more complicated than they appeared at first glance, it helps to talk over the ethical issues with another person. The ethical issues might involve character traits or common ethical problems. 3. Identify the affected parties. When faced with a complex ethical decision it is important to identify all the affected parties. 4. Identify the consequences. It is important to identify the consequences with the highest probability of occurring and those with the most negative outcomes. Many people can be harmed by an unethical decision. Both longand short-term consequences should be specified. The symbolic consequences are important in that every act and decision sends a message. 5. Identify the obligations. For example, the manufacturer of automotive brakes has an obligation to produce and sell only brakes that meet high safety standards. 6. Consider your character and integrity. Consider how relevant people would judge your character and integrity. How would you feel if your actions were publicly disclosed in the local newspaper or over e-mail? 7. Think creatively about potential actions. People should stretch their imagination to invent several options rather than thinking of only two choices--to do or not to do something. 8. Check your intuition. People should ask how the contemplated decision feels, tastes, and smells. Would you be proud of yourself or would you hate yourself if you made the decision? C. Developing Strong Relationships with Work Associates People who have close ties to each other are likely to behave more ethically toward each other on the job. If a weak relationship exists between the two people, each party is more likely to engage in an unethical relationship. D. Using Corporate Ethics Programs Many organizations have various programs and procedures for promoting ethical behavior. The presence of these programs is designed to create an atmosphere in which unethical behavior is discouraged, and reporting on unethical behavior is encouraged. Ethics hot lines are the best-established programs to facilitate an individual avoiding unethical behavior. A counselor responds to questions, often to interpret a policy, and sometimes to intervene. Another widely used corporate program is training in ethics which can be valuable in starting a useful dialogue about right and wrong behavior that employees could remember in murky situations. E. Being Environmentally Conscious Another ethical skill is to be green or do your job in helping sustain the environment because it is morally responsible to protect the environment. One component is to take steps yourself to preserve the environment even in small ways. Another step is to be an advocate for the environment which may require persuasive and political skills.
F. Following an Applicable Professional Code of Conduct Professional codes of conduct are prescribed for many occupational groups including physicians, nurses, lawyers, paralegals, purchasing managers and agents, and real estate salespersons. Figure 14-5 presents a sampling of provisions from these codes of conduct. G. Be Ready to Exert Upward Leadership Upward ethical leadership is leadership displayed by individuals who take action to maintain ethical standards although higher-ups engage in questionable moral behavior. The person exerting this type of leadership would have to be diplomatic and non-accusatory. ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION AND REVIEW QUESTIONS 1. The business owner described in the chapter opener contends that people are fundamentally good. What is your opinion about people being fundamentally good? The real issue here might be what percentage of people are fundamentally good. Among the observations that not everybody is so good, are these: (a) about one percent of Americans are in jail or prison. (2) people are bombarded daily with scams over the Internet and the telephone, (c) fighting hackers and identity thieves is an enormous business worldwide, and (4) driving under the influence of alcohol is a widespread problem. Yet on the positive side, loads of people give to charity, and think of all the volunteers who are still helping overcome the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. (Maybe this question requires a 2,000-word answer.) 2. How can behaving ethically improve a person's interpersonal relationships on the job? An ethical person has a better chance of being liked and trusted than one who is unethical. As a result, interpersonal relationships improve. Being ethical also improves the quality of work life for others. 3. What would most likely be some of the specific behaviors of a manager who scored twenty on the ethical reasoning inventory? Twenty is the lowest possible score, suggesting that the person is morally bankrupt. A big problem in working for such an unethical person is that he or she could not be trusted. For example, the manager might give a worker a low performance evaluation to justify withholding a salary increase. 4. An animal advocacy group turned up coats with fur from domesticated dogs and from raccoon dogs from Asia. The fur was labeled as faux (false or synthetic). What is your opinion of the ethics of these coat manufacturers who used dog fur labeled as faux fur? You don’t have to be a dog lover to evaluate the ethics of lying about the ingredients of faux fur. Almost all ethical tests, or screens, consider lying to be unethical. Here we might have an example of unethical behavior that is also a violation of the law.
5. Give an example from your own experience or the media in which a business executive did something of significance that is morally right. Finding morally right acts may require research because good deeds receive less publicity than bad deeds. A good deed performed by an IBM executive was to spearhead the preparation of help kits for latch key children. The kit contained emergency numbers, and even first-aid supplies. Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates give billions to charity. 6. Provide an example of an action in business that might be unethical but not illegal. Many unethical acts are not illegal including accepting lavish gifts from suppliers and firing a competent worker to make room for an unqualified friend. An increasing widespread practice is for companies to eliminate or substantially reduce retiree pensions. However unethical, it is apparently not illegal to renege on pension commitments. 7. Virtually all accountants have studied ethics as part of their education, yet many business scandals involve accountants. What’s their problem? The problem with the small proportion of accountants who are unethical is that the emotions of greed and avarice block out, or pre-empt, cognitive knowledge about ethics.
8. Based on your knowledge of human behavior, why do professional codes of conduct—such as those for doctors, paralegals, and realtors—not prevent all unethical behavior on the part of members? Reading about standards of behavior will prompt many people to follow the standards. However, many people are not influenced by information they read once or twice. Human behavior is not that easy to influence. Strong internal motivators such as the desire for risk taking and thrill seeking, along with greed and gluttony overtake the persuasive impact of cognitive reasoning. 9. Check out the Websites of a couple of major business corporations such as GE and Ford Motor Company. What conclusion do you reach about whether an environmentally conscious (or green) person would fit in these companies? GE and Ford are two companies that emphasize sustaining the environment in public statements about the company, with GE even more enthusiastic about being green. The vast majority of students is either “green,” or perceive themselves to be “green,” so they should enjoy finding information on a company Website that supports the value of sustainability. 10. What decision of ethical consequences have you made in the last year that you would not mind having publicly disclosed? To answer this question well, the student would need to find a decision that had ethical consequences. One example would be a decision about granting a price discount to a
customer who was a friend and who was facing financial difficulty. Even a mundane act such as returning empty cans and bottles to a store has ethical consequences. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS “Where Does My Loyalty Lie?” The sad reality illustrated by this case is that sometimes having a strong ethical code places a person in conflict with the employer, and might even lead to job loss. 1. What do you think Lauren could have done to save her career and preserve her sense of ethics at the same time? The alternative path for Lauren to have take would be to have stayed with the first company mentioned, and attempted to bring about ethical reform. Instead of leaving the unethical employer behind, she might have attempted to change the system. 2. Does Lauren have a useful message for you and others in your network? Or is she just a loser we can forget about? One useful message is that dealing with ethical conflicts can have a major impact on a person’s career. At the same time, it is important to find a way to maintain ethical standards, yet still hold on to a valued career. 3. To what extent does it surprise you that a lawyer would ask someone to act unethically? All the lawyer jokes circulating suggest that at least some attorneys are perceived to be unethical. The fact that some corporate attorneys are convicted a violating the law also suggests that some attorneys are not highly ethical. However, it is still probably rare for an attorney to blatantly demand that a human resources professional carry out an action that is unethical and perhaps in violation of employment law. The Highly, but Expendable Marsha This case illustrates a representative example of unethical behavior in relation to human resource management. The scam portrayed was more widespread in the past because the hoax has been exposed so frequently. 1. How ethical was Nicholas in giving Marsha a high performance evaluation for the purposes of attracting her to other departments? It would be difficult to find anything ethical in giving inflated performance evaluations in order to make an employee more marketable to other managers. The comparison could be made to dolling up a badly maintained vehicle so it can be sold used at a reasonable price. One possible ethical interpretation is that the manager giving the inflated evaluation is helping the employee find a good career opportunity.
2. What should the manager do who was hooked by Nicholas’s bait of the high performance evaluation? The manager should first confront Marsha about the problem, as if she were a difficult employee. She might then give Marsha a performance contract with a time limit, detailing the improvements in behavior that are required. If this does not work, the Nicholas might be asked to take Marsha back. If Nicholas resists, the matter might be brought to both higher management and the human resources department. 3. What might the company do to prevent more incidents of inflated performance evaluations for the purpose of transferring an unwanted employee? Most companies have overcome the practice of inflating performance evaluations for the purpose of transferring an unwanted employee. Open discussion of this dated practice is helpful, as is a company policy forbidding the practice. The topic an also be introduced in during discussions of company ethics.
COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES The Ethical Reasoning Inventory Taking a self-quiz about ethics should be an unusual experience for most students, and will help sensitize them to ethical issues. As usual, a discussion of the implications of several of the test items could prove fruitful. The Ethics Game Students should enjoy participating in the type of ethics building exercise used in many companies. Group discussions, as required in this exercise, are particularly useful in shaping attitudes about ethics. Dealing with Defining Moments Given that defining moments are a form of role conflict, students may need to use their conflict resolution skills to find an answer to these problems. Scenario 1: Perhaps the worker asking for the increase can be advised about ways to earn additional income on his own. In this way he might achieve his financial goals without receiving an unjust salary increase. Scenario 2: E-commerce workers are in high demand, so perhaps Mildred can be outplaced. She can be helped to find a position in another firm that can better fit her lifestyle in terms of working hours. It would seem unfair to lay off another member of the group who was working the full 60 hours per week. Ethical Decision Making 187
The three scenarios should prove to be a good opportunity to practice the eight-step method of ethical screening. Scenario 2 about the year out of the workforce elicits polar opinions. Many students would see no problem in disguising what Emily did during the year of leisure activity by simply classifying it as another year in the family business. The scenario about the high-profit toys is quite complicated involving such issues as the importance of profits versus good ethics. Another complication is that giving prisoners useful work is good for their mental health, helps reduce prison riots, and facilitates transition to life after prison. Confronting the Unethical Boss This role play demands two sets of interpersonal skill simultaneously: ethical skills and political skills. The role player wants to help the manager, Fred to behave more ethically thereby creating a more ethical environment. At the same time the role player wants to be tactful and diplomatic enough to preserve a good working relationship with the boss, as well as avoid being fired.
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (b)
1. A company code of ethics usually specifies a. the punishments associated with unethical behavior. b. what constitutes ethical versus unethical behavior. c. the rewards employees can anticipate from behaving ethically. d. which legal acts relate to employee ethics.
2. With respect to ethics, moral intensity refers to how a. strongly one feels about an issue. b. far a person deviates from an ethical code. c. deeply others might be affected by one's actions. d. well a person's moral code is developed.
3. Being ethical isn’t easy because a. ethical decisions are complex. b. most people have the same level of moral development. c. the moral issues in most decisions are obvious. 188
d. most business firms do not want to hire ethical people. (b)
4. Restaurant manager Sue has a utilitarian predisposition, so she doesn’t mind serving customers food that fell on the floor so long as a. the food was costly. b. no customer gets sick. c. the issue is not covered in the company code of conduct. d. she can blame the problem on somebody else.
5. A survey of the extent of ethical problems revealed that lying a. is found mostly with executives. b. is much more frequent among younger than older workers. c. is much more frequent among older than younger workers. d. about the need for sick days is a major problem.
6. Which one of the following actions is the most likely to be regarded as unethical work behavior? a. buying token gifts for customers b. buying token gifts for suppliers c. sharing records with a restricted number of people d. sharing records with a large number of people
(a) 7. How should the practice of unauthorized copying of software be classified? a. illegal and unethical b. legal but unethical c. immoral but not unethical d. legal and illegal (b)
8. The real issue in fairness refers to giving people equal rewards a. whether or not one likes them. b. for accomplishing the same amount of work. c. no matter what their racial or ethnic group. d. when they have equal years of experience.
9. In a fair workplace, the most important factor for evaluating people is a. whether they are liked by the right people. b. demographic factors like sex, race, or age. c. how well the person is liked by his or her supervisor. d. qualifications and job performance.
(a) 10. Karl, a small business owner, practices cronyism when he gives a job to an unqualified friend who a. helps shovel his driveway. b. has strong potential to learn the job in question quickly. 189
c. has worked for a competitor. d. is in desperate need of a job. (c) 11.
Sexual harassment is considered to be an ethical issue because a. the federal government outlaws sexual harassment. b. it is usually only practiced against young women. c. all acts of sexual harassment flunk an ethics test. d. it involves both managers and workers.
(b) 12. The technical meaning of conflict of interest is that a. one person manipulates another. b. a person's judgment or objectivity is compromised. c. any decision a person makes is unethical. d. two parties in an unethical dispute cannot agree on a compromise solution. (d) 13. It is considered ethical to divulge confidential information when a. the person providing the information is unethical. b. you know that a coworker is looking for a job. c. the company does not have an ethical code prohibiting such behavior. d. the welfare of others is at stake.
(a) 14. Presentation of false or misleading information in an employment history is a. a widespread ethical temptation. b. rarely found among candidates for business positions. c. tolerated by prospective employers because it is so widely practiced. d. rarely found among candidate’s for high-level positions. (b) 15. A businessperson would be faced with a defining moment in terms of ethics when he or she a. has a chance to cheat on the expense account. b. has to choose between two or more morally sound choices. c. receives recognition for outstanding ethical behavior. d. has to report on the unethical behavior of a coworker. (c) 16.
"Follow the Golden Rule" is an example of a (n) a. ethical conflict. b. legal guideline. c. ethical guideline. d. outmoded rule in a competitive work environment.
(b) 17. Inventory specialist Virginia is highly virtuous on the job, so according to the analysis presented in the human relations text, she is likely to a. not worry about the consequences of her actions. b. be quite productive. c. give a little company money to a poor employee. d. never forgive an immoral act, however small. 190
(d) 18. According to the analysis presented in the human relations text, which one of the following values is part of virtuousness? a. not worrying too much about reality. b. forgiving any breach of morality, however serious. c. faking reality when it fits a person’s self-interest. d. thinking independently rather than relying too heavily on others. (a) 19.
Ethical screening refers to a. running a contemplated decision or action through an ethics test. b. evaluating job applicants based on their charitable contributions. c. making sure that all company employees have ethics training. d. avoiding contact with unethical people wherever possible.
(c) 20. Step one in the eight-step guide to ethical decision making is to a. define the ethical issues. b. identify the affected parties. c. gather the facts. d. identify the consequences. (d) 21. The symbolic consequences of a decision involving ethical issues refers to the a. importance attached to the decision. b. timeliness of the decision. c. fit between the decision and company philosophy. d. message communicated by the decision. (c) 22.
According to the guide to ethical decision making, when trying to decide on a way to resolve an ethical dilemma a. weigh each alternative according to its financial consequences. b. make an intuitive decision within five minutes. c. imagine several possible options. d. decide to either do or not do something.
An explanation offered for unethical behavior dealing with personal relationships suggests that people are more likely to behave unethically toward each other when they a. have weak ties to each other. b. have strong ties to each others. c. know that the other person can be easily fooled. d. know that the other person is unethical.
Nurse Jessica, who works at a hospital, is being “green” when she a. encourages patients to smoke outside the hospital doors. b. skips sterilizing needles before reusing them c. advocates that the hospital engages in more recycling. d. drives an SUV with a sun roof to the hospital.
A professional code of conduct provides members of that profession a. sources of legal help when convicted of a crime. b. a list of criminal actions to avoid. c. ways to defend oneself when charged with ethical violations. d. a guide to ethical behavior in that field.
1. Ethics refers to how closely one's behavior conforms to laws and regulations.
2. The opinion presented in the human relations text is that although most people are motivated out of self-interest, they also want to do something morally right.
3. One problem noted with highly unethical behavior is that it has several negative financial consequences.
An example of an ethical dilemma of high moral intensity would be whether or not to make a personal toll call on a company telephone.
5. One reason making ethical decisions isn’t easy is that people may not always be aware of the ethical issues in making a decision.
6. Sally is a production manager in a processing plant that makes fruit juice for babies. She waters down the juice to cut costs, and says the practice is okay because the babies won’t know the difference—showing that Sally has a utilitarian perspective.
7. Making unauthorized copies of software is an example of a practice that is unethical but not illegal.
8. A completely fair working environment would be one in which qualifications and performance would be the only factor that counted in making human resource decisions.
9. Sexual harassment is an example of behavior that is both illegal and unethical.
A conflict of interest occurs when faced with an ethical dilemma if a person has to choose between two alternatives that are both unethical.
Leslie is Chris' boss and lends Chris $1,000. Chris is having difficulty paying back the loan, so Leslie recommends Chris for an extra large salary increase to help Chris pay back the loan. Leslie is involved in a conflict of interest.
An ethical guideline for dealing with confidential information is not to pass it along unless the welfare of others is at stake.
(F) 13. A rule of thumb for the ethical use of corporate resources is that an employee has the right to use any resource as long as it is not an object or money. 192
(T) 14. The field of computers and information technology has developed ethical issues of its own in addition to the problem of pirating software. (F) 15. With respect to ethics, a manager faces a defining moment when he or she must fire an employee for committing an illegal act such as stealing money from the company. (T) 16. One of the values associated with virtuousness is thinking independently rather than relying too heavily on the thinking of others. (F) 17. Part of being virtuous on the job is to keep your productivity low enough so coworkers do not look bad in comparison. (F) 18. Ethical screening is used mostly when a contemplated decision is clearly ethical or unethical. (F) 19. A key part of an ethical screening test is to estimate how much money you are likely to lose by behaving ethically. (T) 20. The symbolic consequences of a decision refer to the message sent by a particular decision, such as the lesson communicated when a company fires people in November mainly to avoid paying them a year-end bonus. (T) 21. A recent perspective on workplace ethics is that people who have close ties to each other are less likely to behave unethically toward each other. (F) 22. The purpose of an ethics hot line is to enable workers to inform the police directly if a coworker is spotted committing an illegal act. (T) 23. Helping sustain the physical environment is considered to be part of having good ethical skills. (T) 24. Good persuasive and political skills are often necessary to be an effective advocate for the environment. (F) 25. Professional codes of conduct are essentially a list a laws pertaining to the profession, that if violated lead to severe penalties.
CHAPTER 15 STRESS MANAGEMENT AND PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY The purpose of this chapter is to help people manage their work lives better by managing stress and being more productive. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES The first half of this chapter deals with the nature of stress and how it can be managed, whereas the second half describes various approaches to improving personal productivity. I. UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING STRESS A major challenge facing any worker who wants to stay healthy and have good interpersonal relationships is to effectively manage stress. Stress is an adaptive response that is the consequence of any action, situation, or event that places special demands on a person. A stressor is the external or internal force that brings about the stress. Individual differences help determine which events are stressful. Note that stress is additive, so little annoyances can mount up. A. Symptoms and Consequences of Stress The physiological changes that take place within the body in response to stress are responsible for most stress symptoms. The battle against the stressor is referred to as the fight-or-flight response. Also, the brain senses stress as damage to well-being and therefore sends out a signal to the body to cope. The purpose of the coping is to modify the discrepancy between the ideal (low-stress) and actual (high-stress) conditions. The brain is a selfregulating system that helps us cope with stressors. 1. Physiological Reactions. The hormones activated to deal with the stressor produce physiological reactions such as an increase in heart rate, blood glucose, and blood clotting. Cortisol and other chemical responses to a stressor can increase the cardiovascular function and the immune system in the short run. If stress is continuous and accompanied by these short-term physiological changes, annoying and life-threatening conditions can occur. A stressful life event usually leads to a high cholesterol level (of the unhealthy type) and high blood pressure. People under continuous negative stress also age more quickly partly because of cell damage. A study of 812 Swedish workers conducted over a 25-year period found that work stress doubles the risk of dying from a heart attack. The major type of stress studied was having high work demands with little control over the work, combined with being underpaid. 2. Job Performance Consequences. Stress can also play a positive role, such as preparing us to meet difficult challenges and spurring us on to peak performance. Hindrance stressors are those stressful events and thoughts that have a negative effect on motivation and performance. Challenge stressors have a positive, direct effect on motivation and performance. In general, performance tends to be best under moderate amounts of stress. Too little stress leads to lethargy, and too much to choking. Personal and environmental factors
influence the job performance consequences of stress, such as the worker who has clear job expectations and high self-esteem being less susceptible to stress. 3. Burnout and Stress. One of the major problems of prolonged stress is that it may lead to burnout, a condition of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion in response to longterm stressors. Work exhaustion is another term for burnout. Burnout contributors include feeling out of control, insufficient recognition and reward, and a lack of emotional support in the workplace. Burnout sufferers shift into a mode of doing the minimum as a way of protecting themselves. B. Personality and Job Factors Contributing to Stress Individual factors and job or organizational factors both contribute to stress. 1. Personality Factors Predisposing People Toward Stress. Personality factors influence susceptibility to stressors. a. Low Perceived Control. Perceiving that you can control adverse circumstances influences how much stress you experience. Perceived control is the belief that an individual has at his or her disposal a response that can control the negative aspects of an event. b. Low Self-Efficacy. Workers with low self-efficacy tend to experience more emotional strain and physical strain than do workers with high self-efficacy. People who are confident they can perform a particular task are more likely to either avoid stress or have much milder symptoms. c.
Type A Behavior. A person with Type A behavior is demanding, impatient, and over-striving, and is therefore prone to negative stress. Free-floating hostility is also part of Type A behavior. The heart attack triggers are hostility, anger, and cynicism. All people with the Type A behavior pattern are therefore not prone to cardiac disease. Hostility is more strongly associated with coronary heart disease in men than smoking, drinking, overeating, or bad (LDL) cholesterol.
d. Negative Affectivity. A major contributor to being stress prone is negative affectivity, a tendency to experience aversive emotional states. The frequent complaining of people with negative affectivity hurts interpersonal relationships. 2. Job Sources of Stress Almost any job situation can act as a stressor for some employees, but not necessarily for others. Yet some stressors are frequently encountered. a.
Role Overload (Including Extreme Jobs). Having too much to do, or role overload, can create negative stress. The person may become fatigued and less tolerant of annoyances, and the person may feel perpetually behind schedule. In an extreme job the incumbent works at least 60 hours per week in a position that usually requires tight deadlines and heavy travel.
b. Role Conflict and Role Ambiguity. Role conflict is a key stressor. Role ambiguity is a condition in which the job holder receives confusing or poorly defined expectations. Many people experience stress when faced with ambiguity. c.
Adverse Environmental Conditions. Among the stressful environmental conditions are unpleasant or dangerous physical conditions, sick buildings and ergonomic problems. Excessive computer use can cause headaches, fatigue, and carpal tunnel syndrome. The latter occurs when repetitive flexing and extension of the wrist causes the tendons to swell, thus trapping and pinching the median nerve. Commuting to and from work is a major stressor that could be classified as an adverse environmental condition.
d. Environmentally Induced Attention Deficit Disorder. Many people suffer from an attention deficit disorder brought on by technology and activity overload. The symptoms included feeling rushed and impatient, and being easily distracted. In short, the person feels frazzled. e. Job Insecurity. Worrying about losing your job is a major stressor, even when jobs are plentiful. Downsizing and corporate mergers have contributed to job insecurity. D. Methods and Techniques for Stress Management Not managing stress properly can lead to harmful long-term consequences. Managing stress refers to controlling it and making it a constructive force in your life. A key principle stress-management principle is that you are less likely to experience distress if you have the right resources, including the right personality characteristics and a support network. Coping with, or managing, stress includes hundreds of activities with substantial individual differences in which technique is effective. 1. Eliminate or Modify the Stressor. The most potent method of managing stress is to eliminate or modify the stressor giving you trouble. Leaving a stressful job would be one example. 2. Get Appropriate Physical Exercise. A moderate amount of physical exercise is a cornerstone of managing stress and achieving wellness. Look for physical challenge but not overexertion and muscle and bone injury. Walking is ideal because it is inherently relaxing, yet with a minimum risk of physical danger. Everyday exercise, including housework, can be effective exercise. Physical exercise releases endorphins that lead to feelings of euphoria and are painkillers. Yoga is widely used to reduce and prevent stress. 3. Rest Sufficiently. Rest offers similar benefits to exercise, such as stress reduction, improved concentration, improved energy, and better tolerance for frustration. Achieving proper rest is closely linked to proper exercise. A study of almost 24,000 Greek adults over a six-year period showed that people who napped had 37 percent lower risk of dying from a heart attack than people who did not nap. Napping also raises productivity. 4. Maintain a Healthy Diet. Nutritious food is valuable for physical and mental health, making it easier to cope with frustrations that are potential stressors. A sensible dietary
approach is to follow Dietary Guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture. Most students will enjoy using MyPyramid (Figure 15-5 of text). 5. Build a Support Network. A support network is a group of people who can listen to your problems and provide emotional support. Members of your network can provide you with a sense of closeness, warmth, and acceptance that will reduce your stress. 6. Practice Visualization and Meditation. Visualizing a pleasant experience, similar to so many stress-reduction techniques including meditation, requires concentration. Concentrating helps slow down basic physiological processes such as the heart beat, and dissipates stress. Meditation is a relaxation technique used to quiet the mind, as well as to relive stress, and is more complicated than simple visualization. Many “corporate athletes” meditate. 7. Practice Everyday Methods of Stress Reduction. Learning how to relax is an important method of reducing the tension and anxiety from both positive and negative stress. Everyday methods of stress reduction are presented in Figure 15-6.
II. IMPROVING PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY Achieving personal productivity is more in vogue than ever. Personal productivity refers to how much resources, including time, you consume to achieve a certain level of output. A. Dealing with Procrastination The person who procrastinates delays action on tasks that need to be done for no good reason. Procrastination lowers productivity and is often a profound, debilitating problem. Approximately 90 percent of college students report problem with overdue papers and delayed studying. Depending on the reason for procrastination, the following techniques may help deal with the problem. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Commit to what you want in life. Calculate the cost of procrastination. Follow the WIFO principle, which stands for worst in, first out. Break the task into manageable chunks. Make a commitment to other people. Remove some clutter from your mind. Satisfy your stimulation quota in constructive ways. Eliminate tangible rewards you are giving yourself for procrastinating.
B. Enhancing Personal Productivity through Attitudes and Values Developing good work habits and time-management practices is often a matter of developing the right attitudes toward your work and toward time. 1. Begin with a Mission and Goals. A mission, or general purpose, propels you toward being productive. Goals support the mission statement.
2. Play the Inner Game of Work. By removing inner obstacles such as selfcriticism, you can dramatically improve your ability to focus, learn, and perform. 3. Work Smarter, Not Harder. People caught up in trying to accomplish a job often wind up working hard, but not in an imaginative and well-planned way that leads to good results. A new perspective on working smarter, not harder, is to keep perfecting your skills through deliberate practice—strong effort to improve performance over time. Feedback from others is helpful. 4. Value Orderliness and Cleanliness. Orderliness helps most people become more productive because they can better focus their mind. Also, less time is wasted hunting for things. If you are orderly, you clear clutter. Yet individual differences exist, with some people being productive under cluttered conditions. 5. Value Good Attendance and Punctuality. Good attendance and punctuality are expected of both experienced and inexperienced employees. Being at work is obviously more productive than being not at work, with few exceptions. A large study showed that employees who are late also tended to have high absenteeism records. 6. Attain a Balance in Life and Avoid Being a Workaholic. Overwork can lead to negative stress and burnout. Proper physical rest and relaxation can contribute to mental alertness and improved ability to cope with frustration. Many people do not get enough rest and relaxation, with more than one-half of Americans failing to take all their vacation days. Neglecting rest and relaxation can lead to workaholism, an addiction to work in which not working hard is an uncomfortable experience. However, note the achievement-oriented workaholic who thrives on work and is productive. 7. Increase Your Energy. Rituals to establish productivity-boosting energy canbe established in four areas. Bodily energy can be increased through nutrition, exercise, and rest. Emotional energy can be increased through deep breathing and expressing appreciation for others. Mind energy can be increased through focusing attention. Spiritual energy can be increased through participating in energies that give a sense of meaning and purpose. C. Enhancing Personal Productivity through Work Habits and Skills In addition to the right attitudes, effective work habits and skills are essential for high productivity. 1. Prepare a To-Do List and Set Priorities. At the heart of every time-management system is list making, wherever the lists are placed. Almost all successful people establish prioritized lists. Watch out that preparing to-do lists does not become an end in itself. Todo lists contribute enormously to productivity yet a to-do list may have to be revamped to meet the changing demands of the day. 2. Streamline Your Work and Emphasize Important Tasks. Getting rid of unproductive work is necessary when understaffed, and is part of business process improvement in 198
which work processes are radically redesigned and simplified. Look for duplication of effort and waste. Search to accomplish work activities that if done well would make a big difference in your job performance. 3. Concentrate on One Important Task at a Time Instead of Multitasking. Intense concentration leads to crisper judgment and analysis and also minimizes major errors. Both experimental evidence and opinion has accumulated that multitasking while performing important tasks leads to problems in concentration, along with significant errors—for most people. However, multi-tasking for routine tasks can enhance productivity. However, watch out for rudeness and dangerous acts. Would you want your commercial airline pilot to be sending text messages to “friends” on a social network while flying through a storm? 4. Stay in Control of Paperwork and Electronic Work. The effective career person does not neglect paperwork, including electronic work. Sort and handle the papers in your inbasket and e-mail twice a day. Put papers in their proper location, not back in the basket. Communicating by e-mail or telephone with coworkers in distant time zones creates special challenges in terms of staying in control of electronic work. 5. Work Productively from Your Home or Virtual Office. A virtual office is a place of work without a fixed physical location from which the worker or workers communicate their output electronically. Many workers lack the self-discipline and effective work habits necessary to be productive outside a traditional office. Even if working at home, act as if you work in a traditional office. It is also helpful to stay in touch with other workers, such as visiting an office supply store or attending networking meetings. 6. Enhance Your Internet Search Skills. If your job requires conducting searches on the Internet, you will be more productive in you can conduct searches quickly. Use several search engines, and give careful thought to selecting the right search word or phrase. 7. Overcoming Time Wasters. Another basic thrust to improved personal productivity is to minimize wasting time. The average worker wastes 1.7 hours of a typical 8.5 hour workday, according to a Salary.com survey. Whether or not an activity is a time waster depends on the purpose of the activity. Chatting with work associates could be wasting time, or it could be a method of informal learning and networking. Just being aware of time wasters is a starting point in wasting less time. Figure 15-7 presents a list of common time wasters. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1. Why might it be true that people who love their work live much longer than people who retire early because they dislike working? People who love their work receive satisfaction every day they work, and satisfaction is an energizing force. At the same time, being satisfied avoids the stress associated with job dissatisfaction. The early retirees who disliked their work may have already damaged their
bodies and immune systems because of the long-term stress of job dissatisfaction. Finally, the early retirees often lack a passionate activity that keeps them energized day by day. 2. Why might having your stress under control improve your interpersonal relationships? Having stress under control helps interpersonal relationships in several ways. A person with multiple stress symptoms makes other people nervous, thereby not being an ideal friend or partner. Also, people are who experiencing considerable stress may be too preoccupied to be attentive to the needs of others. 3. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of an extreme job for you? An answer to this question depends a lot on such factors as career goals and the desire for a balanced life. The advantages of an extreme job for many people include the excitement of being in the urgent mode so frequently, the travel, the high income, and the prestige of being so busy. The major disadvantages include so little time for personal life including personal relationships, properly raising a family, sports, and running mundane errands. 4. Interview a person in a high-pressure job in any field. Find out whether the person experiences significant stress and what method he or she uses to cope with it. Noteworthy here is which occupations students identify as having high pressure. Students are likely to derive from the interviews a good awareness of the importance of stress management combined with a regular program of stress management. The many exceptions are that many people are not managing stress well because they suffer significant stress disorders. 5. Provide an example from your own or somebody else's life of how having a major goal in life can help a person be better organized. A germane example here is the many students who are focused on being successful in a specific career. The same students somehow find a way to get papers and projects done on time, and to adequately prepare for exams. The focused student perceives each assignment as a steppingstone to a compelling career goal. 6. Executives at Toyota, among many other Japanese companies, emphasize that clean work areas in the factory enhance productivity. What might explain this relationship between cleanliness and productivity? Cleanliness is linked to productivity for several reasons. First, cleanliness is associated with less clutter thereby helping people stay focused on work. It is simply easier for most people to focus on work when there are fewer visual distractions. Second, cleanliness is associated with attention to detail, and this orientation helps people attain higher productivity, including quality. Third, a cleanly workplace is more soothing to the mind resulting in less stress, and therefore higher productivity. 7. Describe any way in which you have used information technology to make you more productive. 200
A disadvantage most students will have in answering this question is that they may not be able to make before-and-after comparisons because they have used information technology for so long. Some students may be able to compare productivity between visiting a library versus conducting an Internet search for information. One person documented that the right used car can be found more quickly using the Internet that by visiting dealers. 8. Use information in this chapter to explain how a person might be well organized and yet still not get very far in his or her career. A person might be well organized yet not focus enough on important tasks to get ahead in his or her career. Doing small tasks efficiently may help an organization, but accomplishing these small tasks is not enough to get noticed. 9. For many young corporate professionals a date often consists of the two people getting together in his or her place to spend three hours doing office work on their laptop computers, followed by a take-out meal. What is your evaluation of this approach to boosting personal productivity? Here again, values would underlie the answer. Extreme workers, like many Wall Street finance specialists, would think “productivity-dates” are a wonderful way to save time and keep up with work, and therefore a cool idea. The majority of people, however, prefer to draw sharper boundaries between work and romantic life. Students might ponder whether when one of the laptops goes down, the entire romantic evening would be destroyed. 10. Ask an experienced high-level worker to identify his or her most effective method of time management. How effective do you think this technique would be for you? A modal response to this question is likely to be preparing a to-do list and establishing priorities. Daily planners containing to-do lists are a universally accepted method of time management. Also, many successful businesspersons still use a notebook or 3 x 5 index cards to organize their efforts. Personalizing the response is important because workers have different preferences for time-management techniques. A business process consultant told me that he no longer uses a PDA for to-do lists because he neglects to consult the PDA, and it is too cluttered with information. Instead, he places his to-do list on a large whiteboard in his office, and revamps the list each night. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS Rachel Runs the Treadmill This case illustrates the type of stress-created physical symptoms a hard-charging professional is likely to experience, particularly when he or she also faces heavy demands in personal life. 1. What sources of stress does Rachel Mendez appear to be facing?
Rachel is facing some degree of role overload because her job is so demanding. Her compensation based solely on commission can create role ambiguity. Rachel’s commuting is a source of stress related to an adverse environmental condition. Her relationship with her husband is another stressor because she perceives him to not be making a full contribution to child rearing. The seizures Rachel’s daughter is experiencing are another stressor for Rachel. 2. What do you recommend Mendez do about the stressors she is facing? Mendez has some serious adjustments to make to reduce the major stressors in her life. Finding a new position that paid equally well but that did not include travel would be result in much less work stress. Finding an effective treatment for her daughter’s seizures would be soothing. Another possibility for reducing a stressor would be to improve her relationship with her husband. 3. Given that Mendez does not have a heart problem, should she be concerned about the stressors in her life? Explain your answer. Just because Mendez does not yet have a heart problem, it does not mean she should not work on reducing her stressors. Muscle tension around the heart will always be worrisome, and Mendez might develop other annoying stress symptoms. As a result, she needs to reduce her stressors. The Extreme Job Firefighter This case illustrates the lifestyle of an extreme type of extreme job, and also addresses the issue of work-family conflict. Strangely, the case hero seems indifferent to this type of conflict. 1. What advice can you offer Jim Blaesi about achieving balance in his life? Blaesi does not appear to be facing much conflict now because he is enthralled with operating his vehicle service center and holding down his firefighter position at the same time. However, discontent about not spending time with his wife may be seething underneath. At the same time, he may be deteriorating his relationship with his wife. 2. In what way does it appear that Blaesi might be making good use of contacts? An inference could be made from the sketchy information about the topic presented in the case that Blaesi’s firefighter status is helping him develop government contacts. It is also possible that some of the firefighters are customers of Blaesi’s repair shop. We therefore conclude that Blaesi is making good use of contacts. 3. What is your evaluation of Blaesi’s personal productivity? To measure Blaesi’s productivity, we need to take into account the fact that he works somewhere between 80 and 100 hours per week. He probably grosses about $40,000 from his job as a firefighter, and is earning a profit from the business. All together, it might be concluded that Blaesi is achieving average productivity in terms of income. Yet, if productivity
is measured in terms of saving lives, perhaps Blaesi is highly productive because (a) he fights fires, and (b) he helps place safe vehicles on the road. 4. Why might Blaesi’s work be considered an extreme job? From the strict definition of an extreme job, Blaesi’s work is not totally an extreme job. He does work long hours, but he does face heavy travel demands. He might face a few tight deadlines because he has to get to a fire as quickly as possible. However, firefighters work incredibly hard in spurts but a month might go by without a fire. 5. What advice might you offer Blaesi’s wife? Blaesi’s wife might enjoy a marriage with limited contact with her spouse. However, if she wants a spouse with whom she can spend more time, the couple would have to enter into serious discussion about what is important in their marriage. The couple might be facing a crisis should they have a child because with his present job roles, Blaesi could not be an active parent. COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES Visualization for Stress Reduction The visualization technique has remarkable power considering how little time and effort is required for its implementation. Experienced visualizers in the class might want to report on the success (or failure) they have had with this technique. A hilarious class discussion is for volunteers to describe the relaxing scenes they are visualizing. Personal Stress-Management Action Plan In essence, this exercise encourages the student to use a problem-solving approach to stress reduction. The exercise is beneficial because the majority of people focus on symptom relief rather than attempting to eliminate or modify the stressors they are facing. Procrastination Tendencies An important feature of this quiz is that it helps the student identify subtle symptoms of procrastination such as number 3, "I crave the excitement of the 'last minute rush.'" Many people laugh off procrastination as not being a serious problem. Taking the quiz may help the student think more seriously about procrastination. Using a Mission Statement and Goals to Power Work Habits This exercise can become a major planning tool in life. The exercise helps people translate lofty purposes in life into short-term goals to achieve those purposes. A side purpose of this exercise is to reinforce the idea that goal setting is characteristic of successful people. Productivity Boosting through Work Habits
An important purpose served by this exercise is to think through the purposes of implementing good work habits and using the Internet. An example of a real productivity booster would be to concentrate on important tasks An example would be getting in touch with a person who might have a job lead for the individual, rather than spending a lot of time selecting the right paper for a hard-copy résumé. Many people accept the Internet as an obligatory work and personal life activity without understanding how the Internet might improve productivity. Corporate managers and smallbusiness persons have found dozens of ways for boosting productivity through the Internet, including saving time in searching for information and making purchases. Another example of a productivity booster would be selling goods inexpensively. Personal productivity might be boosted in such ways as obtaining travel information quickly, making purchases over the Internet to save time visiting malls, and locating where to find certain merchandise. However, whether productivity is boosted depends upon what is done with the time saved by using the Internet. Maintaining a Time Log Maintaining a time log is a standard technique for getting started boosting personal productivity. An important insight to be gathered is to identify activities that do not contribute to personal productivity or happiness. For example, some people find they spend far too much time in the middle of the day for lunch. Instead of waiting in line at a restaurant, they might be able to purchase lunch from a street vendor or pack lunch. However, if the socializing aspects of lunch are an investment in networking and happiness, the time spent away from work is productive. Tendencies toward Perfectionism A key insight to carry away from this self-quiz is that the highest levels of perfections can interfere with productivity. Perfectionists sometimes do not get enough done to move their career forward. At the other extreme, being too casual about getting things done right can result in serious errors, low quality work, and result in career retardation. . EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (b) 1. Margot is classified as a corporate athlete, so we can expect her to a. work in the company wellness program. b. perform at a high level for sustained periods of time. c. to drink Gatorade during business meetings. d. be a mentor to several workers at the same time. (a) 2. A major reason that people who are under continuous negative stress age so quickly is because a. of cell damage. b. they lose so much weight. c. their hair turns grey. 204
d. of an enlarged heart. (c) 3. Clyde, a hospital administrator, is facing a challenge stressor today so he is likely to a. feel indifferent to what is going on around him. b. be less motivated and perform more poorly. c. be more motivated and perform better. d. check into the psychiatric ward because of a system collapse. (c) 4. A major consequence of burnout is a. a dislike of information technology. b. a dependence on hindrance stressors. c. damage to the physical health of workers. d. increases in job satisfaction. (b) 5. Your susceptibility to job stress decreases when you have a. low perceived control. b. high perceived control. c. a Type A personality. d. a low tolerance for frustration. (d) 6. People with negative affectivity are likely to a. present an optimistic face to the world. b. think that coworkers are wonderful support people. c. aspire toward goals beyond their capability. d. frequently experience emotional stress. (c) 7. After a downsizing, office manager Jackie has to perform her job plus that of her former supervisor. Jackie is likely to experience stress from role a. underload. b. conflict. c. overload. d. ambiguity. (a) 8. You know you have an extreme job when you work a. 80 hours per week, travel heavily, and face tight deadlines. b. 30 hours per week from you home and receive high pay. c. only from midnight until 8 a.m. d. during certain seasons, such as the tax season. (d) 9. Carpal tunnel syndrome takes place when the a. neck aches from staring at the monitor. b. muscles in the wrist deteriorate from overuse. c. main tendon in the hand ruptures from overuse. d. median nerve in the wrist is trapped and pinched. (b) 10. The major cause of and environmentally-induced attention deficit disorder is a. surfing the Internet during breaks at work. 205
b. over use of technology and activity overload. c. a harsh and intimidating boss. d. being downsized. (a) 11. A key principle about managing stress is that to cope better with stressors, a person should have a. the right resources. b. a Type A personality. c. a reasonable workload. d. three major sources of happiness. (c) 12. A key contributor of nutritious food to stress management is that such food improves mental and physical health, thereby a. making rest much less necessary. b. overcoming the effects of a Type A personality. c. making it easier to cope with frustration. d. reducing the fight-or-flight response. (b) 13. Research about support networks suggests that socially connected people a. are more prone to stress. b. are less prone to stress. c. are too busy to be stressed. d. have no reason to worry. (a) 14. A study with about 24,000 healthy Greek adults revealed that napping was associated with a. less risk of dying from a heart attack. b. more risk of dying from a heart attack. c. more auto accidents to and from work. d. much more rapid career progress. (c) 15. The visualization technique for stress reduction requires that the stressed person a. imagine what life would be without stress. b. create a mental scenario of a highly-charged, exciting experience. c. think of a pleasant, relaxing experience. d. imagine that he or she can conquer any problem. (d) 16. Nick is a heavy procrastinator, so he is likely to have a. nightmares about unfinished tasks. b. much more job satisfaction than those workers who worry about getting things done. c. concentrate better than most workers because he is not so busy. d. problems concentrating because of all the undone tasks. (a) 17. Breaking a task down into manageable chunks is aimed at overcoming procrastination due to a. dislike of an overwhelming task. 206
b. dislike of a task with several components. c. looking to punish oneself. d. craving the excitement of rushing to make a deadline. (b) 18. Having a mission in life is likely to a. make you a workaholic. b. propel you toward being more productive. c. make short-range goals superfluous. d. propel you toward self-employment. (d) 19. One of the requirements for playing the inner game of work is to a. keep a running scoreboard of your progress. b. perform yoga at least three times per week. c. criticize yourself regularly so you do not become too smug. d. remove inner obstacles to performance such as self-criticism. (c) 20. Working smarter, not harder means that the person a. puts extra effort into every task. b. spends very little time planning. c. finds imaginative solutions to problems. d. avoids attitudes of perfectionism. (b) 21. Leah participates in deliberate practice, so she is likely to a. neglect her major job responsibilities. b. keep working on areas for improvement. c. procrastinate a good number of tasks. d. develop a repetitive motion disorder. (a) 22. According to the founder of the Energy Project in New York City, the best way to get more done fast and better is to a. increase your energy. b. consume energy drinks during the workday. c. nap at least one hour per day. d. make good use of electronic too-do lists. (a) 23. A major purpose of work streamlining is to a. minimize duplication of effort and waste. b. increase the speed at which you work. c. get your to-do list down to less than 10 items per day. d. share your responsibilities with others. (b) 24. A key feature of a virtual office is that it a. is set up in the home. b. does not have a fixed physical location. c. is wireless. d. is linked to other offices by satellite. (d) 25. A suggestion for making Internet searches more productive is to 207
a. b. c. d.
use quite general search words and phrases. first search the encyclopedia on a CD-ROM. confine your search to one search engine. pay extra attention to your choice of a search word or phrase.
1.The primary requirement for being a corporate athlete is to take an energetic, positive approach to your work.
2.The brain is the organ that decides whether a given situation is stressful.
3.Jason works a night cashier in a convenience store. One night a man enters the store, points a gun at Jason, and says “Give me the money in the cash register, or I’ll shoot you.” Jason’s heart beat and pulse rate increase dramatically. The stressor in this situation is Jason’s physiological changes.
4.According to one theory of stress, when the brain senses damage to well-being it sends out a signal for the body to cope.
5.Store manager Carol wakes up the morning after Thanksgiving, knowing that to day will be so exciting that she will be extra motivated and productive. Carol is therefore facing a challenge stressor.
6.Burnout comes about as a reaction to being stressed out for a long period of time.
7.The lower your level of self-efficacy, the higher your stress level is likely to be.
8.Being hostile for a long period of time is more likely to contribute to a heart attack than being impatient for the same period of time.
(F) 9.A major contributor to environmentally induced attention deficit disorder is the person who takes on a light workload and minimizes the use of technology. (T) 10.An example of an external resource useful for reducing stress is to have a network of friends you can rely on for emotional support. (T) 11. The most powerful method of managing stress is to eliminate or modify the stressor. (T) 12.A healthy diet helps a person become more resistant to frustrations that could turn into stressors. (T) 13.Taking gentle breathes is a key component of meditation. (T) 14.A problem associated with procrastination is that the unfinished tasks rumble around in the back of your consciousness, thereby interfering with your 208
concentration. (T) 15. A recommended method for controlling procrastination is to tackle the worst task on your list first, so doing the other items might function like a small reward. (T) 16. An example of a self-given reward for procrastinating is going for a walk in the park before getting started on a key project. (T) 17. A useful assist in getting better organized is to establish a personal mission with accompanying goals. (T) 18.Working smarter, not harder, is a method of increasing personal productivity because you minimize wasting effort in accomplishing your goals. (T) 19.Derek, a horse trainer, works on his techniques day after day and welcomes feedback so he can improve. Derek is therefore engaging in deliberate practice. (T) 20.Some time-management specialists agree that clearing clutter from your work area and your mind will lead to enhanced productivity. (F) 21. Negative emotions, such as those associated with criticizing other people, have the beneficial effect of giving us extra energy. (T) 22. At the heart of every time-management system is list making. (F) 23.The modern approach of multitasking is recommended for dealing with your most important work assignments. (F) 24.A virtual office adds to productivity because it is small, neat, and contains just enough office equipment to accomplish the job. (T) 25.Whether or not a given activity is a time waster depends on the purpose of the activity.
CHAPTER 16 JOB SEARCH AND CAREER MANAGEMENT SKILLS This final chapter of the text focuses indirectly on interpersonal skill development: Conducting a successful job search and managing one's career both require good interpersonal skills. Also, without good skills in these areas a person would not have the opportunity to practice interpersonal skills in the workplace. CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LECTURE NOTES The aspects of career success described in this chapter are divided into three segments: conducting a job search, understanding two major types of career paths, and career-advancement methods. The previous 15 chapters also dealt with topics that facilitate career success. I. CONDUCTING A JOB SEARCH The vast majority of workers have to conduct a job campaign at various times in their career, including an internal search within one’s employer. A. Job-Hunting Tactics The tactics described here can be used as a checklist to ensure not having neglected something important during the emotionally-charged job hunt. 1. Identify Your Job Objectives. An effective job search begins with a clear perception of what kind of position (or positions) you are seeking. Your chances of finding suitable employment increase when several different types of positions will satisfy your job objectives. 2. Be Aware of Qualifications Sought by Employers. What you are looking for in an employer should be matched against what an employer is looking for in an employee. Self-assessment Quiz 16-1 is a useful checklist of qualifications sought by employers. 3. Identify Your Skills and Potential Contribution. Today's job market is skill based. Show what skills you have that can help the employer. 4. Develop a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy. A vital job-finding strategy is to use multiple approaches to reach the right prospective employer. 5. Use Networking to Reach Company Insiders. The majority of successful job campaigns stem from personal contacts. In regard to job hunting, networking is contacting friends and acquaintances and building systematically on these relationships to create a still wider set of contacts that might lead to employment. Insiders can also be reached through such means as contacting the company by postal mail, e-mail, and the career section of the company Website. 6. Use Multiple Online Approaches. The Internet is a standard part of job hunting, even for middle management and executive positions. Sources of job leads on the Internet include general job boards, specialty job boards, company Websites, and social 210
networking Websites. Virtually all employers have an employment section on their company Website. A growing number of employers believe that the best way to find good job candidates is to advertise on Websites where these candidates are likely to be spending considerable time, such as MySpace or Linkedin. Job boards are also found on social networking sites. The Internet is just one source of job leads that should be used in conjunction with other job-finding methods, especially personal contacts that might lead to an interview. Establishing your own Website or a blog is another possibility for online job hunting. 7. Smile at Network Members and Interviewers and Be Enthusiastic. Assuming that you have the right qualifications, the simple act of smiling can be an effective job-hunting technique. A smile helps build a relationship. Display enthusiasm and excitement when speaking to people who can help you land a position. 8. Smooth Out Rough Spots in Your Background. Background investigations now routinely include a credit check. Any job seeker who has severe negative factors in his or her background cannot readily change the past. Yet the job seeker can look to have untrue or distorted negative facts changed. And maybe a negative reference can be negotiated to one that is less harsh. Potential employers will often enter your name into a search engine, and also check social Websites to see if you have done anything outlandish. B. The Job Résumé and Cover Letter No matter what method of job hunting you choose, inevitably somebody will ask you for a résumé. An exception is when joining a family business or one owned by a friend. 1. Résumé Purpose. The résumé is a marketing tool, with a specific purpose of helping you obtain an interview that can lead to a job. (Yet some people with skills in hot demand are hired on the basis of their résumé alone.) 2. Résumé Length and Format. A one-page résumé is mostly for career beginners. Employers want so much detail about skills that a two-page résumé is preferable for people with some full-time work experience. A study with 64 business professionals found that the following résumé characteristics were more likely to lead to first choices for an interview: One page in contrast to two; a specific objective statement versus a general one; relevant coursework better than no coursework; GPAs of 3.0 in contrast to no GPA listed; GPAs of 3.50 in contracts to 2.75; and accomplishments section in comparison to no accomplishment statement. Attention-grabbing words and terms on a résumé are often referred to as Googleoptimized keywords because they show up frequently in an Internet search. When submitting your résumé and cover letter electronically, make it easy for the employer to access, such as using an attached Word document. When job-hunting on line be alert to possible identity theft and other scams.
3. Video Résumés and Creative Formats. The video approach is good for capturing your appearance, personality, and oral communication skills. Professional help may be needed in constructing your video résumé. Another alternative to developing a distinctive résumé is to create an unusual format in factors such as color, size, and layout including presenting the résumé in the form of a marketing brochure. 4. The Cover Letter. A résumé should be accompanied by a cover letter explaining who you are and why you are applying for this particular position, thereby customizing your inquiry. Sometimes it is helpful to prepare an attention-getting cover letter in which you make an assertive statement about how you intend to help the employer deal with an important problem. Include a bulleted list of accomplishments or a list of “your requirements” versus “my qualifications.” A personal contact might be mentioned as part of the attention grabber. C. Performing Well In a Job Interview A telephone-screening interview is a quick check for oral communication skills.Another type of screening interview is to respond to computerized questions, including a sample job problem. Some job candidates overlook the fact that the phone interview is a serious contact with their employer, and do not differentiate between a social interview and a professional one. Team interviewing is becoming more common. Another variation on the traditional interview is that you meet for a brief interview with a series of interviewers, or the speed interview (as in speed dating). A general guide for performing well in the job interview is to present a positive, but accurate picture of you. Keep these points for a successful interview in mind: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. II.
Be prepared, look relaxed, and make the interviewer feel comfortable. Avoid talking too much during the interview. Establish a link between you and the prospective employer. Ask perceptive questions. Be prepared to discuss your strengths and developmental opportunities. Be prepared to respond to behavioral interview (sampling of job behavior) questions. Show how you can help the employer. Use body language that projects confidence and decisiveness. Practice good etiquette during the interview, including during a meal. Send a follow-up letter.
THE VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL CAREER PATHS
If your goals are laid out systematically to lead to your ultimate career goal, you have established a career path, a sequence of positions necessary to achieve a goal. A. The Vertical (Traditional) Career Path A traditional career path is based on the assumption that a person will occupy a series of positions, each at a higher level of responsibility than the previous one. A career path
systematically lays out goals to lead to an ultimate career goal.The vertical career path is synonymous with "climbing the ladder." A career path should be related to the present and future demands of one firm or the industry. Personal goals should be incorporated into a career path to strive for a mesh between work and personal life. The steps, or goals, in a career path include a time element, which is helpful for sound career management even in work environments that are less predictable than previously. B. The Horizontal Career Path A significant feature of the horizontal career path is that people are more likely to advance by moving sideways than moving up. Instead of climbing the ladder, the person makes a series of moves in different directions. With a horizontal career path, the major reward is no longer promotion, but the opportunity to gain valuable experience. Rewarding people for good work rather than the rank they occupy also favors the horizontal career path. The horizontal career path is closely linked to the new employment contract that offers shared responsibility for career growth. Instead of being offered job security, the worker becomes more employable. The company provides the environment for learning, and employees are responsible for developing their skills. A horizontal career path is also good for attaining work-life balance. A horizontal career path, as well as a vertical one, does not necessarily mean the person stays with the same firm. In the horizontal path, a person may work at the same level in several firms. Also, as with a vertical career path, contingency plans are useful. III. CAREER ADVANCEMENT STRATEGIES AND TACTICS Improving interpersonal relationships in general helps career advancement. Here we describe fourteen other key strategies and tactics for career advancement, whether the advancement be vertical, horizontal, or a combination of the two. A. Capitalize on Your Strengths and Build Your Personal Brand A long-established principle of getting ahead in your career, as well as managing others, is to capitalize on strengths rather than focus solely on overcoming areas for improvement. Understanding your basket of strengths forms the basis for developing your personal brand, which makes you unique, thereby distinguishing you from the competition. Your personal brand should be authentic in terms of expressing who you are. B. Be Passionate About and Proud of Your Work Successful people in all fields are passionate about their work, thereby not relying exclusively on external rewards. Taking pride in your work stems naturally from passion. C. Develop a Code of Professional Ethics A code of professional ethics helps a worker deal with such issues as accepting bribes; back stabbing coworkers; and sexually harassing a coworker. D. Develop a Proactive Personality A proactive personality is relatively unconstrained by situational forces, and brings about environmental change. Highly proactive people identify opportunities and act on them, show initiative and keep trying until they bring about meaningful change. The proactive personality displays organizational citizenship behavior because he or she is a good citizen who will step 213
outside the job description to be helpful. Two studies showed that being a proactive personality is positively related to salary, promotions, initiative, and career satisfaction. A more recent study indicated that a proactive personality influenced job search success among 180 graduating college students. To get started developing a proactive personality a person might take more initiative to fix problems and attempt to be self-starting. E. Keep Growing Through Continuous Learning and Self-Development Continuous learning is linked to the new employment contract. An everyday method of continuous learning is to ask intelligent questions about processes or procedures that will help you understand the business. Many companies support continuous learning because they perceive themselves to be learning organizations. F.Document Your Accomplishments An accurate record of what you have accomplished can be valuable when being considered for reassignment, promotion, or applying for a position outside your company. Sending e-mail updates to your manager about your noteworthy accomplishments is effective if not done to the point of being an annoyance. It is helpful to point to tangible, objective accomplishments rather than subjective evaluations. Consider weaving your accomplishments into an interesting story to tell other people. Documentation enables you to promote yourself in a dignified, tactful way. G. Project a Professional Image For advancement, your clothing, desk and work area, speech, scent, and general knowledge should project the image of a professional, responsible person. A subtle part of having a professional image is to have a positive attitude. A challenge in projecting a professional image is to figure out what constitutes a professional image in your particular environment. A general guideline is to dress somewhat like the successful people in your firm, or the customer’s firm. Hairstyle is a superficial part of appearance that the career-minded person must ponder. (Here is a sparkling topic for class discussion.) H. Perceive Yourself as a Provider of Services One perspective is that everyone should see himself or herself as a personal service business entity. You are a business, offering the company a valuable service. You keep offering the service as long as the company keeps you on the payroll and you enjoy the work. I. Develop Depth and Breadth In general it pays to have good depth in one area of expertise, yet also to acquire broad experience. Breadth can be achieved in one company, in different companies, and in different industries. J. Rely on a Network of Successful People Network members can assist with difficult job problems, provide emotional support, buy from you, and offer you good prices. Networking might be more inclusive in the beginning, then narrowed down to more influential people later on. Golf remains the most effective networking sport. Social networking Websites such as MySpace, Facebook, and even YouTube can often be used to find members for a person’s professional network, despite their social emphasis. The professional site, Linkedin, is particularly useful.
K. Work with a Mentor Having a mentor can facilitate career advancement. Ideally a person should develop a small network of mentors who give advice and counsel on different topics such as job advancement opportunities and how to solve a difficult problem. At the root of mentoring is the ability to attract and build a relationship with a person who is more experienced and talented than you. A mentor can help the career beginner overcome hurdles such as being disappointed about the first job, including not being listened to or receiving enough feedback. L. Find a Good Organization-Person Fit It is best to work for a company where your personality and style fit the organization culture ( a system of shared values and beliefs that influence worker behavior). A personorganization fit is the compatibility of the individual and the organization. The compatibility can involve work-related values as well as personality traits, physical appearance, and dress. Workers who find a good person-organization fit are more likely to stay committed to the organization. A twist on person-organization fit is that is more strongly linked to job satisfaction when the worker does not perceive a good fit between his or her needs and the characteristics of the work environment. M. Take Sensible Risks People who make it big in their careers usually take sensible risks on their journey to success. Sensible risk taking means about the same thing as moving outside your comfort zone. An example would be joining a fledgling company that offers big promises but a modest starting salary. N. Emphasize Relationships to Combat Being Outsourced The positions that are the least likely to be outsourced are those than require the physical presence of the worker, and cannot easily be done remotely. Make relationship building a key part of your job, whether or not you are performing mostly technical work. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND REVIEW 1. Identify four situations in a career where conducting a job campaign would be necessary. A job campaign would be necessary for (a) finding a full-time professional job as one is completing a degree, (b) finding a job after a job loss such as being downsized or fired, (c) searching for another position in a large company at any point in a career, and (d) career switching. 2. During a labor shortage (when there are more positions open than qualified applicants) why is it still important to have good job search skills? Good job search skills are important during a tight labor market to help the job seeker obtain a better job. Competition for good jobs remains strong even during a labor shortage. 3. What is your evaluation of the effectiveness of a job hunter using the Internet as his her only method of finding a job? 215
Despite the growth of job hunting through the Internet, only about one-third of employees are recruited through the Internet. To ignore other methods of job finding is to handicap yourself. Even majors in information systems or computer science do not rely exclusively on the Internet to find positions. 4. In what ways might video résumés both help and hinder a company attain the goal of having a diverse workforce? The video résumé is helpful in identifying demographic characteristics of people such as their race and sex as well as approximate age. Sex identify comes into question of a candidate because so many first names are unisex, such as Leslie, Pat, and Chris. The recruiter who was looking to either include or exclude specific demographic groups would find the visual images helpful. Also, some companies like to give preferential hiring to candidates who fit a certain image—leading to a lack of diversity. The video résumé would help screen for appearance. 5. Why is a vertical career path still the dream of so many workers? A vertical career path is still a dream for so many workers because pride, status, recognition and money are still strong motivators. Even the term “the corner office” still remains in vogue, and the popular Donald Trump television show focused on somebody getting a sudden promotion, not a lateral move. Although the stories are often unflattering, CEOs still get a lot of press, and becoming a CEO is the usual final stop for a vertical career path. A vertical career path also offers the opportunity to satisfy the internal motivator of performing interesting work. 6. Give an example from your own life in which you behaved as if you were a proactive personality. Students might be able to identify situations in which they took the initiative to resolve a problem such as identifying a parts shortage. Another example of a proactive personality might be having identified the hazards investing in Internet companies before others recognized the upcoming crash. In personal life, an example of proactive behavior would be conducting a campaign to stop drivers from running stop signs in the neighborhood. 7. In what way do political tactics assist career advancement? A major payoff from the skillful utilization of political tactics is to enhance career advancement. A key example is that political tactics can be used to develop a network of influential people who will accelerate your career. Political tactics are also used to gain the visibility necessary to advance. 8. How might a person use a webcam to help build and sustain a network? The webcam could be used to add a more personal touch to correspondence with network members by adding a video image, and perhaps audio. However, webcams also have disadvantages. A busy recipient may not want to bother download the visual image of the 216
sender. Also, the sender has to make sure to project a professional appearance on the webcam recording. The person may not want to get dressed up just to network by e-mail. 9. Assume that you were attempting to create a personal brand. What key features about yourself would you feature in your personal brand? The student needs good self-awareness to answer this question effectively. In building a personal brand it is important to look for out of the ordinary strengths, or an unusual combination or ordinary strengths. For example, loads of people have strong technical skills, and loads of people believe they have good interpersonal skills. Yet the combination of good technical skills and interpersonal skills is distinctive. Foreign language skills are a possibility for a personal brand, and unique experience such as having fun a family business are two more examples of strengths to include in a personal brand. 10. What is the most useful idea you picked up from this chapter about either conducting a job campaign or managing your career? Responses to this question will vary considerably. The author of this book would be happy if a lot of students said the most useful idea was that conducting a job campaign or managing his or her career is likely to be more effective if supported by planning and specific tactics. ANSWERS TO CASE QUESTIONS Why Isn't My Résumé Getting Results? Students often enjoy the opportunity to critique someone else's résumé. The process might help them identify errors they have made in developing their own résumés. 1. What suggestions can you make to Billy Joe for improving his résumé? Or does it require improvement? Billy Joe's résumé needs considerable work, including these suggestions: (a) The phrase "Please call after 7 PM weekday nights" seems more suited for selling a used car than for a résumé. (b) The long-range goal seems pompous considering where Billy Joe is hoping to start. (c) The layout is unappealing. Perhaps the section heads should be moved to the left side, and some items should be bulleted. (d) The statement, "friends say I'm a born leader” appears tacky. (e) Excluding Jill Baxter from the reference list is refreshingly honest, but does not communicate a professional image, especially the point about a personality clash. (f) In general, the résumé appears skimpy. 2. What is your evaluation of Billy Joe's approach to creating a cover letter? Writing a note in pencil on a business card might be too breezy and informal for the majority of prospective employers. Yet its candor and informality has some charm. The Brand Called Brandy
This case illustrates how a person might overdo a fad-like career management strategy, especially personal branding, to the point of being an irritant. 1. How effectively is Brandy Barclay presenting herself as a brand? For the tastes of most interviewers, Brandy has oversold herself as a brand. To be more effective, she needs to be more low key. 2. What suggestions can you offer Barclay for presenting herself as a brand more effectively? Brandy needs to be more subdued to present herself as a brand more effectively. She is too pompous, and assertive to an extreme. Brandy’s last statement in the interview is telling: “Find with me. We have to deal with the mundane at some point.” 3. What suggestions can you offer Barclay for conducting herself better during her next job interview? As already implied, Brandy is engaging in overkill. She needs to show a little more humility. Brandy’s opening statement is almost a deal-breaker: “Oh, I really don’t want to join you as an administrative assistant. I would prefer a vice president job, but I have to start somewhere.” Her smile does not get her off the hook.
COMMENTS ABOUT QUIZZES AND EXERCISES Qualifications Sought by Employers This exercise has several potential values such as reinforcing the importance of skills students are already developing, helping understand success factors in business, and identifying needs for development. The list of qualifications also might give the impression that employers are somewhat unrealistic if they expect all this talent in one candidate. Job Hunting on the Internet Students should enjoy this challenge because it goes way beyond just clicking on Web sites. Results will vary from month to month on the successes of the search due to the dynamic nature of the job market and positions listed on Web sites. The Job Interview A useful outcome from this exercise is demonstrating that conducting a job interview is a complex skill. A common error the interviewers make is to ask long, multifaceted questions and talk more than the interviewee. Developing a Career Path
Even in an unpredictable world, developing a career path makes sense because the path lays out even a tentative direction. We have found that developing a career path is an inherently enjoyable activity for most students. Although the feedback about the career paths will not be from career specialists, it will most likely contain many useful ideas. Proactive Personality Scale The construct of proactive personality may not receive as much publicity as other personality constructs, but it is quite important for career growth and leadership. Students might therefore benefit substantially from reflecting about their standing on the Proactive Personality Scale. The Professional Image Investigation Here is an opportunity for students to gain first-hand knowledge about what constitutes a professional image in a specific workplace. If students share their findings, it will be informative to look for similarities of what constitutes a professional image across different workplaces. Building Your Network Students who are committed to building their networks should benefit handsomely from this exercise. Even if people do not use the entire method, they should be able to come away with a couple of useful networking ideas. Linking network members to goals is a high-impact idea.
EXAMINATION QUESTIONS Multiple-Choice (a) 1. Which one of the following is least likely to be a qualification sought by an employer? a. ability and interest in working alone most of the time b. customer service orientation c. adaptability to change d. cross-cultural skills (d) 2. The majority of hiring decisions in today’s job market are based on the candidate’s a. amount of formal education. b. relevant coursework. c. willingness to work long hours. d. job-relevant skills. (b) 3. The job-finding tactic called develop a comprehensive marketing strategy centers on a. identifying your potential contribution. b. using multiple approaches to reach the right employer. c. smiling at interviewers and contacts. 219
d. identifying your position objective. (c) 4. A recommended approach to networking for a job is to a. use a persistent, aggressive approach to asking for job leads. b. get a signed contract about network members’ willingness to help you. c. use a tactful, low-key approach. d. set up a Web page asking people to help you. (b) 5. For purposes of job-finding, Websites such as MySpace or Linkedin should be a. avoided because employers do not take these Websites seriously. b. given careful consideration because employers advertise on them. c. used as ready substitutes for other forms of networking. d. used mostly by job seekers at the executive level. (d) 6. Smiling is an effective job-hunting technique when meeting interviewers in person because a smile a. suggests you are not lying about your past. b. suggests that you have expert knowledge. c. is more genuine than a handshake. d. is a relationship builder, however brief. (c) 7. A job applicant’s credit record is a. considered relevant only for jobs involving the handling of money. b. considered relevant only if he or she has filed for bankruptcy. c. given considerable importance by many employers. d. illegal to consider as a factor in hiring. (a) 8. A video résumé is recommended for capturing your a. appearance, personality, and spoken communication skills. b. hard skills. c. detailed work history. d. ability to answer behavior interview questions. (b) 9. An attention-getting cover letter should be sent to a prospective employer a. only if the employer makes such a request. b. along with the job résumé. c. as a follow-up to the job résumé. d. only if they list a job opening. (b) 10. A key thought to keep in mind when participating in a screening interview by phone is that a. play background music so the interviewer can relax. b. the interview is professional, not social. c. use call waiting because it makes you appear in demand. d. it is just a formality that does not influence your chances of being hired. (d) 11. The best strategy to use in presenting yourself in an employment interview 220
is to a. try to outsmart the interviewer. b. avoid as much eye contact as possible with the interviewer. c. be dramatic about your past accomplishments. d. present yourself favorably but accurately. (a) 12. Beverly is going through a speed interview, so she a. is interviewed briefly by a series of people. b. only answers questions that she thinks are valid. c. speaks as rapidly as she can. d. asks to leave promptly by 5 p.m. (b) 13. Which one of the following questions would most likely be part of a behavioral interview? a. How are you feeling and acting today? b. Describe for me a time in which you solved a tough problem under a time deadline. c. Tell me about your record of attendance and punctuality. d. What type of animal do you admire the most? (a) 14. Misty is apply for a job as an assistant bank manager. During one of the interview, a manager takes three different phone calls. Misty is best advised to a. smile, and wait for the interviewer to resume their conversation. b. say, “Excuse me, but is being rude standard practice in this bank?” c. whip out her cell phone, and make a few calls of her own. d. get up from the interview, and say, “I’ll take a brief break right now.” (b) 15. Developing a career path refers to a. finding the path to happiness. b. laying out a path to reach key goals. c. creating a path for your friends. d. tracking your career mistakes. (c) 16. The traditional career path is based on the assumption that the person a. grows by taking on new jobs at the same level. b. makes a major job change every five years. c. continues to take on more responsibility. d. stays with the same area of specialization throughout the career. (c) 17. The major reward in a horizontal career path is the opportunity to a. receive regular promotions. b. switch from one field to another. c. develop new technical and professional skills. d. have a series of mentors. (d) 18. Roy is building his personal brand, so he should a. lists his most important needs for development. b. compare himself to his favorite brands, such as Nike or Chevrolet. 221
c. give himself a clever name, such as “Resilient Roy.” d. thinks through his basket of strengths. (a) 19. The career-advancement strategy of being passionate about your work is closely tied in with a. building your career around an area of expertise. b. developing a proactive personality. c. developing a code of professional ethics. d. projecting a professional image. (d) 20. A distinguishing characteristic of a proactive personality is that the individual a. avoids organizational citizenship behavior. b. freely criticizes his or her boss. c. patterns his or her behavior after coworkers. d. brings about environmental change (on the job). (b) 21. To perceive yourself as a personal service business entity means that you a. are a contract worker, rather than a permanent employee. b. are a business, offering the company a valuable service. c. work exclusively for firms in the manufacturing rather than the service sector. d. focus your efforts on customer satisfaction.. (c) 22. When first developing your network, it is recommended that you a. only include people doing work similar to yours. b. offer people prizes for becoming network members. c. include a large number of people. d. be quite restrictive about who can be in your network. (b) 23. Margot, a senior executive, takes Jacob under her wing and coaches him about executive work. In this role, Margot is referred to as a a. corporate trainer. b. mentor. c. corporate mother. d. human resource specialist. (d) 24. Rocky is an adventuresome, risk-taking individual who joins a slow-moving, conservative company. Several months later he leaves in frustration. The career-advancement tactic Rocky neglected was a. work with a mentor. b. take sensible risks. c. develop depth and breadth. d. find a good organization-person fit. (a) 25. To decrease the possibility of one’s job being outsourced, the worker should a. emphasize relationship building in his or her position. b. agree not to ask for salary increases for three years. c. perform strictly technical work. 222
d. find a job where being physically present is not so important. True/False (F)
1.When job hunting, it is best to express your job objective in vague terms so your qualifications will fit a wide range of positions.
2.A comprehensive marketing strategy for job hunting includes using multiple approaches to finding a job.
3.Positions listed on job-hunting Web sites now include many higher-level positions including those for middle managers and executives.
4.It is well worth the job-hunter’s time to look on social Websites such as MySpace and Linkedin for job openings listed by employers.
5.Most states consider it illegal to use credit history as a factor in evaluating the credentials of a job candidate.
6.Having a blog on the Web is considered to be a severe negative factor by most employers who are recruiting job candidates.
7.A creative an effective way to attract prospective employers is to have a wild, and outrageous presence on a social Website such as MySpace.
8.A functional résumé focuses on job duties performed rather than a chronological job history.
9.A research study with business professionals indicated that a résumé with an accomplishments statement was more likely to lead to an interview than when the résumé lacked an accomplishments statement.
(T) 10.A video résumé is thought to be useful for displaying soft skills. (F) 11.Compulsive talking during the job interview is highly recommended for most jobs because it displays your spoken communication skills to advantage. (F) 12.A behavioral interview attempts to see how upset the candidate becomes when placed under pressure such as being insulted. (F) 13.The vertical career path focuses on long periods of job rotation and acquiring new skills. (T) 14.A horizontal career path is appropriate for people who are not seeking much upward mobility in their career. (T) 15.Being passionate about and proud of your work is likely to contribute to your career growth and company productivity. 223
(T) 16. Capitalizing on your strengths is thought to be a more effective careeradvancement strategy than focusing on overcoming your needs for development. (F) 17.A recommended strategy for establishing a personal brand is to work for a company will a well-known brand such as Coca Cola or Microsoft. (F) 18.A proactive personality will typically wait for the company to point out what problems need fixing. (T) 19.A person who displays organizational citizenship behavior will step outside his or her job description to get work accomplished. (T) 20.A key part of projecting a professional image is your speech patterns including grammar and sentence structure. (T) 21.A recommended technique for projecting a positive image is to have a positive attitude on the job. (F) 22.Perceiving yourself as a provider of services to an organization is likely to decrease your feelings of job security because you develop the attitude of a temporary worker. (T) 23.Social networking Websites provide a convenient place for developing your professional network. (T) 24.Career breadth can be achieved by both holding positions in different aspects of the firm, or by working in different industries. (F) 25.The general point of a finding a good person-organization fit is to work for employers where you have plenty of friends.