Thursday Special

Last Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

Jeff has the best computer skills in the department…….

Jeff needs to make a brief speech to his boss explaining the situation and asking that the boss to redo the performance appraisal report in the light of this new information.  (It is never a good idea to tell one’s boss that he or she is wrong.  It is better to say, “In light of this new information, please make a new decision.”)  So, Jeff might say something like this:

“Boss, often you volunteer my time to help people in other departments without informing me as to where in my list of priorities this helping fits in.  This damages my effectiveness and causes you to downgrade my performance because these helping duties prevent me from completing my own work.  I would appreciate it if you would redo my performance report in light of this new information.  How quickly can you do that?”

Scenario #2

Danielle Johnson’s performance appraisal was due 90 days ago….

Universally bosses hate to do performance feedback reports and will put them off as long as possible.  Since bosses always have more to do than they can handle, it is easy to find excuses.  As an astute employee, Danielle needs to get a little pushy and explain to the boss how these delaying strategies are hurting her financially and motivationally.  Danielle might say something like this:

“Boss, I am already three months beyond the time for my performance appraisal. This really upsets and depresses me because, until that paperwork is complete, I cannot get my annual increase. I would appreciate it if you could give me my performance appraisal by noon on Wednesday.  What information will you need from me to complete the documentation by that time?”

Scenario #3

Your boss – a company vice president – always catches you just as you are leaving for coffee break……

Here is a boss who makes a lot more money than you do who is taking advantage of the power relationship between you.  Moreover, this sounds like a case of extortion where your generosity buys you a good performance report.  You are being used and bullied.  Since this is a boss-subordinate situation, you have to avoid this situation without making your boss wrong (which he clearly is.)   You might say something like this:

“Boss, regrettably I can no longer purchase coffee and donuts for you.  The cost is becoming prohibitive.  I would appreciate it if you would ask someone else to handle this for you in the future. “

This Week’s Scenarios

Scenario #1

You have a serious concern with your next door neighbor.  He has a very tall and almost dead old pine tree which is leaning precipitously over the roof of your home.  This year, the rain storms were accompanied with strong winds.  You feel it was just luck that the old pine did not crash through your roof.  Today you went to his house and expressed your concern asking that he consider taking down that tree.  In response, your neighbor stood in a wide stance, his beefy arms were crossed tightly across his chest, his jaw jutted out and you could almost hear his teeth grinding.  He glared at you in silence. Then he said, “Too bad.” What should you say now?

Scenario #2

Your teenager, Benjamin, is barely getting passing grades in school.  At this rate, he will never be accepted into any college.  Tonight he is sprawled all over your living room couch, school books and papers are strewn around the floor and coffee table, the television is blasting away and he is on his cell phone talking to his girlfriend.  When you asked him what he was doing, he said he was doing his homework.  However, as he mumbled his response, he looked away from you, put his hands up to his mouth and rolled his eyes to the ceiling.  What should you say in response?

Scenario #3

You are the mother of near- genius boy of eleven years who is being severely bullied at school.  You have reported the problem to school authorities who have done nothing.  Before you go to the police and sign a complaint, you decide to speak to the parents of the bully to see if they can put a stop to this behavior.  The parents of the bully graciously invite you into their home where you tell them what their son is doing to your son.  The father gets up from his chair and begins to pace across the living room while at the same time combing his fingers through his hair.  The mother puts one hand at her neck while the other flutters aimlessly in the air,  leans away from you and says in a weak and high-pitched voice, “Oh my God, no!”  What should you say now?

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