MSC at NU
Saturday, October 04, 2003
  10/4 – Perspectives with Galvin



Kelley Meuller (pronounced like Miller) joins the class for the first time!

Criteria for the Relational Communication Interaction Analysis Assignment

Due 10/24

Follow the steps. The paper should be approximately 6 pages, double spaced w/reasonable font size and margins. Use quotes when language is taken directly from text.

The paper will be evaluated based on:
1) Appropriateness of relational situation
2) Description of logical potential theories/concepts accurately
3) Explanation of how the theory/concept fits, provides insights into the relationship.

Observe a dyadic relationship (two person relationship) that can be a work relationship but doesn’t have to be. You must be able to observe the relationship, not just know about it through a second-hand account; the relationship must be current, happening now. Don’t interview the people involved in the relationship, which would amount to influencing the relationship. A conflictual relationship is easier to write about, but an extremely effective relationship is also acceptable. If you write about a relationship in which you are involved, you should tell Kathleen that you are involved in the relationship.

Introduction: 3-4 sentences introducing the two persons, their context, and your perception of the relational quality.

Part I: Relational Status

Describe what you see when the two people interact, and provide instances. “Yesterday in the office, Sarah asked Andrea for information, Andrea blew up,” etc.

Part II: Possible Points of Analysis

What theories or concepts would make sense of the relationship? Use 4 concepts or theories. 2 or 3 sentences.

Part III: Full Analysis

Select 1, or combine 2 of the 4 concepts or theories from Part II and present analysis of the relationship.

Provide Analysis, Do NOT Solve The Problem.




Socialization TheoryWhat did we observe in the past week?

Discussion.

1) Anticipatory
2) Entry/Encounter
3) Continuance/Adaptation
4) Personalization Stage – “making the job your own”


K asked for examples of personalization.

Mentoring Strategies

What kind of communication strategies do mentors engage in?

Discussion:

- Coaching
- Translating –“when the boss says this, it means….”
- Storytelling – often in a “water cooler context”
- Enlarge the network
- Modeling behavior
- Questioning – “people don’t know what they don’t know”
- Listening – not necessarily solving problems
- Observation/Evaluation

What skills do newcomers need?

Discussion

- Assertiveness, ability to ask questions
- Observation – the ability to see what’s going on in the environment
- Flexibility/Adaptability – 3rd party non-mentors, like support staff, can provide information – talking to other newcomers can lead to bonding via exchanging information

When a promotion happens, what changes occur?

Discussion:

- Change in relationships with new and former peers – sometimes there are organizational expectations about these relationships – jealousy from those passed-over
- Assumption that insiders need no socialization – promoted person may be reluctant to ask questions, feel that they are expected to know the answer.


K referred to Terminology handout in green folder, #8 – Communication Competence/StagesAllen and Brown – studied communication development in young people

They used stimulus pictures, and created scenarios – e.g. a picture of a girl with a bike, “the girl is your friend, you need the bike back,” and recorded responses. 2nd graders only had a few options in their repertoire, a 15-year-old would have more.

Repertoire – competent communicators have numerous ways of communicating
Conflict is an area in which options, or repertoire, are quickly exhausted.
Selection – choice of reaction to stimulus happens within context, e.g. girl with bike is friend vs. stranger or bully. Based on history with people involved.
Implementation - Barriers to actually executing the strategy may exist…strategy may not work as predicted
Evaluation – Having implemented the strategy, how effective was it?


How to get a co-worker to expand his/her repertoire, e.g. develop new skills to share more in meetings?

Discussion:

- Study the meeting agenda – use written materials
- Talk to others who’ll attend the meeting
- Follow others’ comments with own
- Ask a question, and therefore “take the floor”



Information Seeking

Terminology Page - #10 Functional/Nurturing

Functional – task related
Nurturing – reinforces the relationship, the affective dimension, encouragement, sympathy



Context

Physical and Psychological

Will talk about later

Terminology Page - #11 Face and Facework

Face – Public image
Facework – strategies to take care of own and others face needs.

What are circumstances in which we help others save face?

Discussion:

K slips and falls. She can

- ignore
- crack a joke
- explanation, “I have a bum ankle”

I can:

- ignore
- explain – “the floor is slippery”
- empathize – I’ve done that 100 times
- crack a joke

This Week – Watch for facework, think about how people present themselves to you, how they protect each other’s public image, or not.

Handout on Face: “Face to Face Management”

K talks about face in a team situation, “what are ways in which teams are expected to engage in face management during a presentation?”

Discussion:

e.g. Mike has given the wrong budget figure, another member of the team might cover Mike, claim the mistake was theirs, ask Mike to review the figure, or say, “we have new figures…”

Certain jobs require constant face management, like political communication, or customer service reps who deal with troubled customers.

Positive Face Needs – the desire to be liked
Negative Face Needs – the desire to be autonomous, to control our own lives, be ourselves

A helpful boss may want to cultivate an image of approachability, but also has his or her own work to do…







Low and High Self-Monitoring

Self-Monitoring – the process of impression management. A great deal of our time in communication, esp. public variety, is spent managing impression.

A continuum, most of us are Moderate to High self monitors.

Ultimate High Self-Monitors are chameleons, wouldn’t appear to be the same person in different circumstances, will follow all rules of conformity. They are“impression managers to the nth degree, will seek acceptance.”

Ultimate Low Self-Monitors are, “what you see is what you get, take it or leave it.” Do not conform, may strongly assert their individuality.

A category of low self-monitors have a learning disability, a percentage of the population don’t learn the rules….The Nerds in high school…always miss social cues…don’t process visual cues, can’t distinguish between smiles and frowns. They therefore can’t choose where they fall on the self-monitoring continuum.

Pros and Cons of being a High Self-Monitor

Discussion:

- Con: Perceived as a fake, dishonest
- Pro: Adaptable
- Pro: comfortable with change, can be change agents, they are higher-profile
-
Pros and Cons of being Low Self-Monitor

- Pro: They’ll reveal the Emperor is naked
- Pro: They are perceived as honest, or entirely revealed, they play fewer “games”
- Con: They’re hidden from the outside world, e.g. clients



Initial Interaction/Uncertainty Reduction

Life work of Charles Berger – former NU faculty member

Berger has been working on this concept since the 70s, so the theory is dynamic.

Berger talks primarily about initial encounters between people.

What are our goals of conversations with strangers?

Discussion:

- Finding commonalities
- Get to know him or her


Berger argues we have 3 goals:

1) reduce uncertainty
2) increase predictability
3) build own understanding of the initial encounter

“What are the rules for meeting others in the U.S?.” She asked of people raised in other cultures:

Amsale – eye contact, discouraged especially for women in Ethiopia, is important here.
Rose – small talk, banalities are used in initial conversations here

Berger created axioms about interaction in the U.S.(Handout):

Axiom 1: As verbal communication increases, uncertainty decreases, and verbal communication continues to increase.
Axiom 2: As nonverbal affiliative behavior (smiles, nods, eye-contact) increases, uncertainty decreases, and nonverbal affiliative behavior continues to increase.
Axiom 3: As uncertainty increases, information seeking behavior increases
Axiom 4: Uncertainty at a high level causes decreases in intimacy level, vice versa
Axiom 5: High level of uncertainty produces high levels of reciprocity, and vice versa.
Axiom 6: Similarities between persons reduce uncertainty, dissimilarities increase uncertainty
Axiom 7: Increases in uncertainty level produce decreases in liking, vice-versa

Added Later (late 80s):

Axiom 8: Shared communication networks reduce uncertainty, while lack of shared materials increases uncertainty, e.g. common acquaintances.

K notes that visual similarity, e.g. age, race, gender, are processed and reduce uncertainty.

Motivation to Search for Information
1) Anticipation of Future Interaction – “the potential in-law” (K notes that this would be an example of an involuntary relationship, from which a voluntary relationship may be formed)
2) Incentive (reward) value – e.g., networking
3) Deviance – Play or Entertainment value of the search, e.g. creating a new identity at a bar, using fake names and careers. Some cut to the chase, abandon formalities and predictability, “so what religion are you anyway!?”

Removing Doubt
1) Passive Strategy (observe) – figure out more about a person by observing what they do, whom they associate with, et al
2) Active Strategy (third party) – getting information about a person from another who knows them
3) Interactive Strategy (questions) - Actively engage the person

Berger argues that we are strategic in communication, and very predictable, without thinking about it, i.e.these behaviors are instinctive or intuitive.
 
Friday, October 03, 2003
  I would definitely like to see you...thank you for the internal.

Loren 
  Let me know if you'd like to see an example of an external customer survey (a little prettier than the internal survey I just posted)

dk 
  We do all of our surveys ourselves - via our website or through email links. The software we use is SurveyPro from Apian Software.

If you'd like to see an example of an internal survey we did, see below. I've included the text from the email that went to all employees. This survey was to help gage employee feelings about our 'summer of fun' -- a series of events to encourage socialization among coworkers and build morale. You can also go to the survey - it is active, so please don't submit any answers. We've already collected and analyzed the data, but I don't want any confusion. Thanks!

dk

********************************

This email has been bcc'd to the entire company. If you have already filled out the survey, THANK YOU , and please disregard this notice.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Since the Summer of Fun is over, we'd like to know how you felt about it. Please take a couple of minutes to complete the following survey. Your input will help us plan future employee events.

SURVEY LINK

Thank You!

The Summer of Fun 2003 Committee

Florina Tong, Tina Rongers, Sarabeth Moder, Bhusha Mehta, Paul Herbert, Karen Wallace, Trilbe Wynne, Julie Courim, Jim Wellman, Lee Turner, Karen Blandford, Konstantina Alexakis, Danielle Kemmer
 
  Has anyone used Zoomerang for online surveys before? http://www.zoomerang.com/Login/index.zgi

It's a free service, and some of NU's marketing offices use it frequently. If anyone has feedback on zoomerang, or can recommend a service like it, use the comment link.

R

 
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
  Well, I don't know if this would help anyone, but I wanted to share it anyway.... I made this short survey to guide a discussion on socialization with a new staff member. I did personalize it to the employee, in case you were wondering about all the extra chit-chat....it did determine I am a slacker of a manager :(

“Socialization” of New Staff in Emergency Medicine

E.- First of all, I wanted to thank you for agreeing to participate in this brief discussion. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Foreword: Socialization is the process of how someone becomes a new member of a group and feels accepted into that group. I wanted to have you comment on your experience here, as well as your experience with your previous employer, especially since you have the perspective of both Japanese and western companies. As I mentioned, your responses are simply for a discussion in my class. However, if you do have many helpful ideas for new employees coming to work here, I will be happy to implement changes.

1. In your month here, do you currently feel accepted as part of the team in our office? If not, what do you need provided to make you feel better assimilated?

I felt all the administrative team members are very kind and welcome me nicely. I thought all the members are great and very friendly to me ever since I started to work here. I have been working here a little over one month, and felt the team accepted me as a part of the team.



2. There have been some activities organized in this office with the intention of providing a better orientation to all new employees. Please comment on the effectiveness of these activities: 1=not very useful 5= very useful

 Cross-training/shadowing with other staff :

1 2 3 4 5

Comments: __On the first week, I was trained by other administrator and
learn how to take care of his work, run and support other team member

 Orientation with Division Administrator:

1 2 3 4 5

Comments: ____Very first day, Division Administrator and office
supervisor sat down and gave me a brief orientation.

 Welcome lunch with other staff:

1 2 3 4 5

Comments: _____Yes, we had welcome lunch with other staff.



3. Do you feel you have a good understanding of your responsibilities in this office?
If not, please comment on what resources you need:

I understood what my responsibilities were at very beginning (before I stat
working in the office), however, at this moment, I feel I don’t have concrete
responsibilities in the office. I need good management direction and
assignment from my boss.


4. Do you feel you have a good understanding of the function of other staff in this office? If not, what are some residual questions you have?

I have good understanding of other staff’s function in the office.



5. Can you compare your orientation/welcoming experience here to your former work experiences? Is there something your former employer(s) did that you found especially helpful?

What previous employer did is pretty same with what I experienced here.
I don’t have specific differences in between old and new employers.



Comments in general:

No Comment


Thanks, E.!

Liz
 
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
  Rob gets beers for free for the rest of the semester.

Loren 
  Link to notes on this week's reading assignment from Ettema: http://ettema.blogspot.com 
  Link to notes on this week's reading assignment from Galvin: http://kgalvin.blogspot.com 
Monday, September 29, 2003
  Rob, thanks a million for typing in the notes! We appreciate it! -- Kate 
   
URLs to notes pages: http://irein.blogspot.com http://ksimmons.blogspot.com http://numsc.blogspot.com

ARCHIVES
09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003 / 09/28/2003 - 10/05/2003 / 10/05/2003 - 10/12/2003 / 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 / 10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003 / 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 / 11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003 / 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 / 12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003 / 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 / 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 / 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 05/02/2004 - 05/09/2004 / 05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004 /


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