Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dave Leding, WAR Stories

I loved Dave's lecture. It wasn't even a lecture really. It was a compilation of stories and applicable experiences to what we have been studying for communication in organization. I like his balance of totalitarianism and letting the workers figure things out for themselves. Like Dave said at some point as the boss you have to be the one to make a decision for your workers rather than letting them have a say. But typically he let them figure things out for themselves. I can't remember where it is that he worked but he said it took 3 and a half years to get employees at the plant he was managing to actually get his employees to believe in the workers having a voice philosophy. Some people didn't like it but at the same time it made workers happier and more efficient. Didn't always provide more profit but it did provide satisfaction and they got paid for their skills rather than position.

I was impressed with Dave's knowledge of workplace relationships. He has a plethora of experience and I think that made it much easier to convey relevant communication topics . Lean Manufacturing was kind of eye opening. I know we have heard team approach but to hear about it first hand and actually see the results was exciting.

Dave had a very vibrant personality and I love that. He enjoyed public speaking and I would love to have his confidence when speaking to groups. Over all his confidence was extremely high and it helped him gain approval with his employees. His employees felt comfortable enough with him to play practical jokes which really enhanced the atmosphere and allowed for a great team working environment.      

I learned that you need to have a balance between letting your employees make decisions, and when to step in and be the boss. When it comes to safety, as a boss you need to be straight forward and strict. Safety should never be taken lightly.

I found the lean manufacturing quite interesting and so here is an example of lean manufacturing in a Kentucky plant.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0_ktNqbQyU                                     

Monday, May 20, 2013

Supervisors vs. Subordinates and Workplace Relationships

The first component of Supervisor vs. subordinate that I would like to go over is semantic information distance. All this is saying is that there is a gap in understanding between the boss and the subordinate in job duties or knowledge. I among many have run into this problem. For my situation it was a problem with how little the boss knew about the job and that I was much more knowledgeable about the position. My manager was very new to the field and had no prior experience involving fundraising and communication over the phone. It was a little frustrating trying to get him up to speed and allow him to be the boss at the same time. Occasionally he would try and take on too much, and would then tell subordinates things that weren't correct. After bridging that gap it was easier to focus on my own tasks knowing he was more affluent in the system and able to fully help the other subordinates.

Communication. communication, communication. Communication is extremely important for both sup-sub interaction and work place relationships. in sup-sub interaction you need to be able to communicate and listen while receiving feedback and using that feedback. Same goes for work place relationships. Coworkers need help occasionally and also give help. Sometimes there are projects in which myself and another coworker were teaming up on. This project had a timeline and he was the one who started it. He didn't let me know what he had accomplished or where he had saved it. Due to his lack of communication the project was late and the boss was not happy. Effective and timely communication helps everything go smoothly and keeps everyone on the same page. This in a way provides satisfaction as a team member and can help social bonds as well.

One of my biggest pet peeves pertains to office gossip. Right now I work with a supervisor team of 4 girls and then myself. I'm not saying guys gossip less, but in this case that is true. On a daily basis one of the girls comes up to me and complains about another one. Its frustrating and really makes for an awkward atmosphere at work. Repeatedly they bicker and fight and then complain without working it out themselves. After a couple weeks we had to have a supervisor meeting just to get out some of the tension and work things out. The gossip really took a toll on some of the girls and it was something that needed to be stopped. Here is an example from the office of workplace gossip and how it can effect people. The gossip can get skewed and it can be hurtful and plain stupid.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Socialization and uncertainty in the work place.

For me jobs have been portrayed in many different ways. On TV you have the typical desk jobs that work long hours, and those people typically have low satisfaction and no advancement. My parents always talk about working hard and giving 110%. Not only working one job, but maybe two, or even three! If you aren't busy then you are lazy. So growing up I have had many different points of view. So what is work really like for a college student?

College students typically work in very classical type jobs that can high turnover due to a high labor pool. Some though don't follow the classical approach and require skill. Sometimes it can be a skill that you are unsure of, or even an atmosphere that takes getting used to, or that you really are not sure about.

I joined the OSU Telefund back in August of 2010. I became a student caller. When I first walked in I saw about 20 people and several calling stations like what telemarketers use. I was a little spooked the first time I saw this. I thought to my self. "is this really something I want to do for 10-12 hours a week?" So I went through training and began calling asking alumni and trying to raise funds for the school. when I was going through training I had some referent uncertainty. I wasn't really sure what i would be doing and how I would be calling. As I began calling I realized that it was a very hard job. Not a lot of people like you calling them and asking for  money. It was very stressful. I started going through appraisal uncertainty. I wasn't sure if I was cut out for this. I'm mostly an extrovert and very friendly, but something about talking on the phone made me squeamish. But after a couple months on the job I really fell into my own. How did I overcome this uncertainty? I observed, third parties, and asked questions. I asked not only supervisors but fellow callers who had been here a little longer than I had. I observed them and listened to their calls to make myself better and pick up a few tips.

At my job I worked with several different people. I had fellow callers, 5 supervisors and a manager. All the supervisors were much different and the manager was fire cracker. She was very knowledgeable about the job and very personable, but not necessarily the best manager. Dealing with all these personalities gave me a little relational uncertainty. How I overcame some of this relational uncertainty was plain old conversation. I tried to connect with everyone and get to know how they worked and their experiences on the job. This gave me a feel for how they managed and what they liked to see out of me and the other callers. This helped with my job as well because the whole point of calling alumni is to build that connection with a friendly conversation and asking for money at the end.

After about 7 months of calling I became a supervisor. I have been a supervisor for over two years now. Being here for a long time, I have seen lots of turnover and a few new fellow supervisors. As new supervisors come in you I have a bit of newcomer appraisal uncertainty and even transformational uncertainty. Some of the supervisors you aren't sure of their skills and what they can bring to the table. I swear I can show some of them how to do something and they can never remember. I even have them do it while I watch so I know they can do it. For transformational uncertainty I always wonder how this will effect my tasks and whether I will still get first priority for scheduling and what not. It all works out in the end and it all takes time.

What I have here is a link of what I think is an example of relational uncertainty. Its a scene in dodgeball where they meet there new coach. He throws wrnches at them and you can tell no one knows how to act or think of him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMWdnkSMPGM