Thursday Special

Last Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Abacus Software develops specialized software programs…….

Greg needs to have a talk with his boss and explain that what the customer did actually was violate the chain of command by going to the boss and asking for special treatment.  (Note:  do not blame the boss for this or tell him that he was wrong to listen to the customer which undercut Greg’s authority.  Although this is true, it will only anger the boss and that anger will be directed at Greg.  Better to make the customer the bad guy in this scenario.  The boss will get the message.)  Then Greg needs to have the boss clarify the limits of Greg’s authority once again.  Greg should take notes and read them back to the boss.  Hopefully this will avoid any future problems.

Scenario #2

It is a cold, dark Monday morning in November.  An icy mix is falling……..

Leisure activities have several characteristics which work usually does not have:

choice and decision-making of what to do, how to do it, with whom to do it and for how long to do it

●clear, measurable goals

`           ●the goals have been selected by the individual involved

●accurate and specific score-keeping which does not require a judge and/or some complicated form of interpretation

●the score-keeping is self-administered

personal responsibility for results or outcomes

the game plan does not change in the midst of the action

In other words, the person involved in the activity is totally in charge of what is going on.

Scenario #3

A high tech medical laboratory was experiencing a steady growth rate of 23%…..

A consultant was called in to interview (by phone) a large number of those who had quit their jobs.  Here is some of what she was told:

●”They told me I was one of the lucky ones.  My department wasn’t moving.  But I decided I didn’t want to continue working for an outfit that treated its people with such disrespect.”

●”Sixty miles is a very big deal on the roads in this state.  People would have to relocate.  The announcement gave me no time to plan, to move, to sell one house and buy another closer to work.  I don’t know.  It just didn’t seem right to me.  It seemed real nasty.”

●”I was looking forward to the change.  It was becoming very crowded in my area and larger digs would have made working a lot easier.  But when the announcement came it was a shock.  Sixty miles away  and one week to pack-up.  It was just too much.  I quit.”

●”I’ve been working here since the very beginning and to be told I was to move in seven days – in an E-mail – was so insulting and demeaning.  Like all my years of dedication meant nothing. “

People really do not hate change.  Change makes life interesting.  However, people hate being changed.  They also hate having no input into the changes that so dramatically affect their working lives.  In this case, what angered the staff was the fact that they had not been given substantive information about the change and a sufficient amount of time to mentally get comfortable with it.  Moreover, there was on time to plan and prepare for the change.

This Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Jeff has the best computer skills in the department. Jeff’s boss, Evelyn, in a desire to increase her credits with managers in other areas, often volunteers his services to assist others with their computer problems. The difficulty is, she does this without asking if Jeff has the time and without consideration for his work priorities. Although her actions anger Jeff, to date he has said nothing. Then, in a performance feedback discussion, Evelyn tells Jeff that she is giving him an unsatisfactory evaluation because he seems to be unable to manage his workload effectively.  If you were Jeff, how would you handle this situation?

Scenario #2

Danielle Johnson’s performance appraisal was due 90 days ago. The boss keeps putting off the discussion.  Danielle cannot get her annual increase until that paperwork is turned into human resources and the financial recommendation from her boss is approved by the accounting department.  Danielle is pretty certain that her boss’s feedback will be positive and she does understand that her boss is very busy.  However, with gas prices and the cost of food going up, she really needs that increase. If you were Danielle, what would you do?

Scenario #2

Your boss – a company vice president – always catches you just as you are leaving for coffee break and asks if you would pick up a coffee and donut for him while you are getting yours. It’s not a big deal; it only amounts to a few bucks. However, it’s been going on for many months. Not once has this person offered to pay for their own treat nor have they ever volunteered to pay for yours. You are really aggravated at being taken advantage of in this manner.  He likes to make a little joke when you hand him his coffee and donut.  He will say something like, “I’m going to remember this when I write your performance appraisal.”  What should you do to stop this manipulation?

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