December 15, 2005

Overall

Overall I really enjoyed taking the class and the people I was able to meet. One the first day of class you said that this class will be the most important class that we would take at the U. You went on to say that this class with be different from any other class we will take at the U. While sitting in class listening to these claims I was thinking in my head “this lady is really off her rocker.� But, to my surprise, it really was. The concepts we learned and discussed were actually concepts that will be important in out careers. More important they are concepts that we will actually use and have a need for. Not many classes at the U really provide you with career specific training, which is really cool. I also think that most of us in the class were seniors, so it was also a good time for me to take it.

Likes – dislikes – and recommendations

Daniel Goldman – I was really unsure about this guy at first. Our first reading assignment was the first 40 pages of Emotional Intelligence. I have to say that it took me a long time to get through it. Like Karen said in class, this man took 40 pages to tell us something that could have been summed up in 5 pages. However, the farther and father I got into it, the more and more I appreciated it. I think that I probably took more from this book then any other concept we talked about in class.

Fujishin – This was actually my favorite book when I skimmed though them before the first day of class, maybe because it was the smallest. How knows? But the farther I got into it, the more I didn’t care for it. I thought Fujishin took the most basic concepts and ideas and put them on paper. I thought he was extremely forward, and stimulated little to know though because of it. Even skimming back over the book now I’m amazed by his concepts. “Myth 5: I must like and be liked by everyone.� I find it hard to believe that anyone would really believe that or need a book to tell you that. Also I found his discussion on the five dysfunctional roles of teams to be a little general too. These are roles that we see everyday, be just have different names for them. Our own class for example …

The controller – this is that guy who always has to answer every question…you know the one
The blamer – these are the people who are offer excuses to problems instead of solutions.
The pleaser – these are the shy people in class that will not every let us know what there true opinion is
The distracter – these are the class clowns, any names pop into your head?
The Ghost – these are two people in my mind that when I look around the class there are two people who I don’t know there names.

Maybe it is just a poor attitude on my part, but that was my least favorite thing in class.

Tipping Point – I really liked the tipping point because it wasn’t just another text book. It was all examples that I could remember and relate to. I like how Gladwell used airwalk, specific people, and the Baltimore needle exchange to make his point. By doing so it was easier to connect his concepts to our real life.

Fish – Fish is fish. I have read it a few times for different classes, and I have also seen the movie. I think the concepts are great, very true that any work can use a little “fish� in it. We had to apply it to a job I was working at about three years ago. The concepts were chalked up to be hooky, but it had a profound affect. Because we were constantly making fun of it, and joking around, we found our play. Once we were all laughing and having a great time, that energy flowed over into the other three concepts and on to our customers as well. Strange…I think so.

All of the presentation and papers were what they were. I get really nervous standing in front of people and talking, so they were not my favorite. But I understand why we did them, and it was a nice change. The only thing I didn’t like was the leader presentation. I think I would have gotten more into it if we could have chosen a leader that we felt had had an impression on us, or that we looked up to. Other than that I think the class as great. It was always a nice break for me because it wasn’t a stressful class, and the learning environment was very calm, friendly, and casual. Thanks, I know I will use what I have learned in this class for the rest of my life.

Thanks again,

Blake

Posted by at at 10:25 AM

Mary-Jane


Like Mary-Jane, we all can get into ruts in our lives that appear to have no end result. Obviously she was very unhappy with her job. This is apparent when she says “the toxic energy dump is what you hate most about the second floor� (p.28). The situation was not the most ideal, but it was what it was.

In our work life we really have two options to consider if we want to keep our mental health at the end of the day. We can go to work and make the most of it. By choosing this we can incorporate some of the concepts from Fish and have the best day we possibly can. We can incorporate the four concepts of choosing our attitude, play, make their day, and be present into our everyday goals to help with our success at work. Mary-Jane realized this and tried to incorporate as much as she could when she wrote out her outline for work. This is apparent by the questions she asked herself:

• Are you being bored, or are you being world famous?
• How could we have more fun and create more energy?
• How can we make each other’s days?
• The fish guys are fully present at work. What can they teach us about being present for each other and our customers? (p.78)

This type of attitude or list would be perfect for someone who is questioning their career and its outcome. I think that anyone in a rut could sit down and brainstorm some ideas by asking their self the same questions Mary-Jane did.

There has been times though were I had to look at the other option to the career question. I think that before you travel down the road of using the fish concepts you need to ask yourself if you like your job. I’m not trying to say here that everyone has to love their job all the time, but you should have some interest in it or in the people who you work with. For instance, one of the first jobs I had was doing housekeeping for a large resort. Not being a very glamorous job, you can imagine that not many people my age were doing the same for the summer. My best friend and I took the job together thinking that it wouldn’t be so bad as long as we could suffer through it together. But since we were both younger and new, we never got to work with each other. Two problems are apparent to me that were not apparent then. First, my attitude was horrible. I went into the job, without even working one day, and had already decided that I hating it. Second, because the person I was working with was not my best friend, I put up a wall between them and me. Another example was my first when I moved down to the cities to go to school. The job was waiting tables in a suburb. I had lots of experience from up north, but quickly found out that at a corporate restaurant the bottom line was the dollar. Previously, the people, staff and quests, were what was considered important. I loved the people I worked with, but didn’t really care for the guests or the management. Everyday was like pulling teeth to go to work because I hated it. The longer and longer it went on the worse and worse it got. Finally in a blow-up with a manager of mine she told me something so profound but so simple. She said “Blake, if you hate your job so much, just quit.� “It is only a job, and you shouldn’t be that unhappy.� She was exactly right, there was nothing holding me to the job and I did quit. Best decision I have ever made job wise.

When in a rut like Mary-Jane or myself you need to make solid decisions, and stick to your guns. Either go to work and give it 100% everyday, or get out. I’m sure when I left the suburb waiting job some of the tension was lifted. Like you always hear, you are either part of the problem, or part of the solution. My only advice when choosing option 2 is you want to make sure you can find work somewhere. Your job might seem unbearable, but try sleeping without a roof over your head and then think about how bad your job stunk. Also, I made the decision to quit at the drop of a hat, but I knew I was unhappy for a long time. As discussed in class I would go home and think about your decision for a couple of days. If you still have the same convictions, then take action.

Posted by at at 9:17 AM

November 28, 2005

Tipping Points

One might argue that i-pods have tipped, but I don’t think that we have seen the least of it. I do realize that the market is huge for i-pods, but I don’t think that they have reached the full potential. In comparison to Airwalks, Hush-puppies, or Madonna, one could safely compare dollar amounts, and make a justifiable argument that they have tipped. I think though that i-pods are going to take off like cell phones, and be the mark of this era.
The reason i-pod haven’t tipped is for a couple reasons. First, the innovators and the early people have realized the craze, but you are looking at a demographic market in twenty to thirty year olds. They have the cash to buy them, and no kids to worry about. If you are standing at Wal-mart you are going to have to make the decision. A new i-pod for daddy, or diapers for little tyke.
The innovators in the twenty to thirty demographic have defiantly made their mark, but there is so much more. Until you can buy your child a new trapper-keeper with a build in i-pod holder, I don’t think it is safe to say that i-pods have fully tipped. They same goes for an older demographic as well. Until you have a build-in i-pod holder standard on your new Cadillac or Buick, I don’t think the connectors are doing there job. There is so much more potential for the market, which is why I think that it isn’t safe to say that the i-pod market has seen its glory.

Posted by at at 8:54 PM

Gladwell

In Gladwell’s tipping point I thought that the discussion in Chapter 6 about the importance of innovators was really interesting. It was surprising to me that the trends and such that Airwalk capitalized on were actually decided on a year before they actually emerged. This got me thinking about my own life and whether I was really an innovator, which I once thought I was. I would have to say that I’m much more an earlier person to jump on emerging trends, but defiantly not an innovator. This actually upset me a little bit, because I don’t like to think of my self as a follower. But then again I find hope in the situation that I might be in the “few.� Maybe sometimes I gravitate towards one or the other, but at least I’m not a total follower.
Another interesting thing I think I took from Gladwell’s reading were the importance to remember your innovators if you want to be successful, and stay successful. When Airwalk came into its height, it completely changed its structure. It no longer kept the innovators as number one concern, but instead it paid a great deal of attention to the bottom line and profit. I think that had Airwalk kept up with it’s innovators they would have had a much longer career. This is what I noticed most in my life. I need to be sure that I always keep the people who help me in life in mind. You never want to blow people off in life that help you, because like Airwalk you may need them again in your future.

Posted by at at 8:42 PM

November 16, 2005

Group Think

After completing the group presentation there was a lot that I noticed in this presentation. I think what I took away most from this experience is that I need to always be aware of the group members mannerisms that I’m working with. I need to take into consideration that not everyone has the same schedule and work availability that I do. I had such a crazy week during our presentation that everything got pushed back and then I felt unprepared for the class that day. It would have suited me better to realize that my group and I were not going to have anything concrete until two days before the teach the class. If I would have planned that better I could have better utilized my schedule to give this assignment more time.

I was lucky to work with a group that I feel confortable in, which was nice. I think Brent, Erica, Joe, Katy, and I work well together. We can have fun while at the same time complete the task at hand. Also I think our personalities are very similar so it is easier for me to work with those people.

While working in this group we could also defiantly drawn on who was the leader, ghost, pleaser…ect. I think because we had all worked together previously we knew who would step up right way and take charge by giving the group some direction. For example, Katy was a great leader for us because she was open to many possibilities, but also knew when to step up take charge when the group was wondering else where.

Posted by at at 9:14 PM

October 20, 2005

Virtual Teams

Working in Virtual teams can be very convenient, because you can do it anywhere you want. It is nice not to have to run to campus to finish all the necessary work, but I also have a hard time working from home. I have too many distractions like laundry, e-mails, and my roommate for example. My group decided to work from the same computer lab for the first time just incase we ran into problems. I do realize that this isn't always possible, but at least that way we would be able to put a face with name, which makes it more real and personable. I thought breeze was a fairly easy way to communicate, and having the presenter options was a cool benefit. I learned that communication is a little more difficult if you are not used to it, but the added convince is well worth it.

Posted by at at 12:57 PM

October 19, 2005

Fujishin 5 Disfunctional Roles

I worry that when I'm in a group I usually end up playing the part of the pleaser. I don't like to cause "waves" so I usually just go on with what the group thinks is best, even if I have a better idea. Also, sometimes I do voice my opinion, but if it is questioned I have a hard time defending my opinion. However, I have no problems voicing my opinion, and defending it when I'm in a more comfortable setting with people I know better. The thing that would help me in these awkward situations I think would be to make sure I really get to know the people I will be working with better in some sort of team building exercise so I am a more productive team member.

Posted by at at 1:54 PM

Responses to Goleman

Goleman’s views on emotional intelligence are good in theory, and fairly obvious in my mind. It is very important that we always have his comments in reserve in the back of our minds because they are useful in evaluating work experience. This is where I take a different approach to understanding Goleman. I do not think anyone will be drastically affected by his work, and change the way in which they conduct business overnight. How is someone who isn’t influential at all going to develop this competency by reading the couple of pages he offers?

For example, Goleman tells us that people with this competency are…

• Skilled at winning people over
• Fine-tune presentations to appeal to the listener
• Use complex strategies like indirect influence to build consensus support
• Orchestrate dramatic events to effectively make a point
p. 169
After reading that I didn’t really know how to feel, but I had a hunch we could have come up with a similar list in class without reading his work. For me the “how-to” part of his work was missing and inadequate. For instance, if I want to be more influential I should “use complex strategies like indirect influence to build consensus support” (Goleman, 169). I should also avoid “being ignored or failing to inspire interest” (Goleman, 173). I find these two statements troubling. The first one left me questioning what do the terms indirect influence and consensus support mean, as they are never defined. Also, it is very obvious that if you are being ignored you are not going to be very influential.

I do not mean to say that all of Goleman’s work is garbage. I feel if he meant to write a how-to be more emotionally intelligent, he failed miserably. But his work did affect me; I think it is a way to keep ourselves and others in check. For example, you spend all day in traffic, spill coffee on yourself, and want to tell your idiot boss that your six year old son could do his job better, you will be more aware that your emotions affect your actions. I was having a horrible day last week, but went to work thinking that I cannot let my emotions affect the rest of my day. Goleman’s work is a way to understand the direction an event is flowing, and what is causing that. It is also a way for us to recognize our strengths and our team member’s strengths to capitalize on and utilize the team for maximum results.

Posted by at at 1:24 PM

October 15, 2005

Goleman 26 27

Goleman's self competencies hit home for me. I would say that I connect more with his personal competences than the social competences. Goleman writes that the personal competences are “competences that determine how we manage ourselves� (p26) I think this is particularly true for me because I truly am my worst critic. The personal competencies he discusses are self-awareness, regulation, and motivation. I think these can be better summed up as our morals. They are how we choose to portray ourselves, our actions, and the affects of our actions. He is trying to say that when we know ourselves, and what drives us, we can better use and mold that to our advantage. In my personal work I know my “strengths and limits� (p 26). I think this is so important, the limits more than the strengths. I know for me personally bartending I need to know my limits. If I take on too many drinks or customers at one time everything is going to blow up in my face. When it does, no body is happy, including myself.

The competencies that I need to work on, and be aware off are the social competencies. Goleman defines these as the “competencies [that] determine how we handle relationships� (p 27). These are the competencies that help us be aware of others “feelings, needs, and concerns� (p 27). For me, I know I’m an extremely selfish person, so I always want to be aware of that. I often have no problem reading other’s feelings, needs, and concerns, but action is the problem. I often feel that they are your problems or needs, you deal with them. I know this is going be detrimental to me in the work force, so it is something that I’m going to try to be more aware of. I think we don’t need be have all the competencies, but if you are aware of them, our actions, and cause and affect we can be more successful and prosperous at work.

Posted by at at 11:07 AM

October 11, 2005

Teams

A highly affective team in my field includes what most teams in any field would need for success. There needs to be open fields of communication. For example, my currant field is the restaurant industry. Any given night I’m working with about 10 people who have to know just about everything that is going on. We are constantly being asked to grab things for other servers tables, dropping food at other severs table, running drinks for other servers. Without communication we would look like a bunch of idiots. If I dropped food at table 10, which is not my table, and they asked me for another round I have a few options. I cannot open table 10 to order more drinks, because it is under a different number. So I have to call them at the bar. I have to let the server know the drinks will be waiting for her at the bar, let her know to ring them in so the table gets charged, and let the bar know to watch for the ticket so they are not made twice. Without communication we would be in a dark cave with no light. Also working together is extremely important; with sharing the load with table 10 I could have just not said anything and let the server figure it out on her own. It’s not my table right? If I choose to do that we all loose. Eventually we will get bad review, and the restaurant as a whole will fail. My personal success depends on the success of everyone who works there. I think when we all share ideas, have open channels of communication, and really know each other we can be more successful. Also, because we are such a tight group we often see each other out of work. We know what is going on in each other’s lives, so we are also more aware of each other’s emotions and emotional state at most times, which makes our team even stronger if you ask me.

Posted by at at 11:06 AM