Emotional Intelligence Reflection

You will need to function in teams, not only for this class, but outside as well.  But being a team member is not always easy:  Communication can be difficult and there are some compromises we usually need to make.  Understanding communication is an important part of Emotional Intelligence.

Let’s think about someone joining a new team, for example, and the difficulty of “fitting in”.  Studies about teams offer a wide variety of reasons for our need to fit in.  People joining new teams are usually very sensitive to how they will be seen, what people think of them and how they need to act to get acceptance from the team.

What are some of the causes of emotional behavior in teams?  We all need to resolve a variety of problems arising when we enter new situations:

  •  The problem of identity.  Who am I to this team?  Where do I fit in? What kind of behavior will be acceptable in this team?
  • The problems of goals and needs.  What do I want from this team?  What can I offer this team?
  • The problem of control and power.  Who controls what we do?  How much power will I have in the team?
  • The problem of intimacy.  How much can we trust each other?  How can we increase the level of trust that we will need?

The five groups of Emotional Intelligence:

  1.  Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social skills


Consider what we discussed about the above five groups and the problems faced when facing a new situation.  With these in mind, what plan could you devise to help yourself be ready to be the best team member possible?  How will you go about decreasing the uncertainty you may feel when joining your group?  Use the above information and/or do your own research on Emotional Intelligence to help you be the best prepared for your group that you can be.  Please write a reflection blog post answering these questions and reflecting on what you have learned.


Organizational Culture Assignment

Assignment:  Cultural analysis of IT Minor Class

Format:  Typed, Double spaced, Include opening paragraph, Body, Closing paragraph, Hard copy turned in 3-7-2018.

Organizations are created to accomplish goals.  In the process of working toward those goals, a culture develops.  A culture is the character and personality of your organization.  It’s what makes your organization unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors and attitudes.

A part of your project experience will be to identify and describe the culture of the organization with which you are working.  We are going to use this class for practice in identifying the elements of an organization’s culture.

Most of us are at least subconsciously aware of the culture of any group or organization of which we are members.  Several of the elements are discovered by participation within the group while others are realized through observation.  Some of the major elements of culture are:

  1.  Rites, ceremonies and rituals
  2. Fairy tales, myths, stories and legends
  3. Heros
  4. Language
  5. Humor and play
  6. Rules
  7. Metaphors
  8. Physical setting
  9. Stories
  10. Values

To understand the “cultural identification” process USE THIS CLASS as an example.  From the 10 elements above, CHOOSE 5 and describe this class in those terms.  You will need to include examples for each element.

***Remember to use examples to support your element choices.  This is often the most forgotten part of this assignment.



Marshmallow Tower Exercise

Please answer these questions in your blog post about your experience building the tower with your team.  Be sure to include photos, measurements and outcomes.

  1. Was there a leader in your group?   Who was it and who decided who the leader would be?
  2. If you had no leader, do you think having designated someone a leader would have helped?
  3. How helpful was everyone on your team in the process of building the tallest structure? How helpful was the five minute design process?  Did anyone appear to be an expert?
  4. Did any team members tune out the activity–out of frustration with other members or for some other reason?  What could you have done to keep all members of the group fully engaged?
  5. Did you feel everyone’s ideas were well received during the activity?
  6. How did you feel as the time limit was approaching?  Did pressure increase?  If yes, was that helpful or not?
  7. In retrospect, what could you have done differently throughout this process?


Paraphrase Exercise

Many of us think that communication is talking – and talk we do. We interrupt, advise, reassure, judge, analyze, criticize, argue, moralize, threaten, divert, diagnose, etc., etc. But, good communication requires good listening as well as talking. In fact, since we have two ears and only one mouth, listening just might be the more important skill. However, we receive almost no training in good listening and usually do not realize that really “hearing” someone is not a passive activity.

Paraphrase Exercise

Many of us think that communication is talking – and talk we do. We interrupt, advise, reassure, judge, analyze, criticize, argue, moralize, threaten, divert, diagnose, etc., etc. But, good communication requires good listening as well as talking. In fact, since we have two ears and only one mouth, listening just might be the more important skill. However, we receive almost no training in good listening and usually do not realize that really “hearing” someone is not a passive activity.

Active Listening Case Study

Active Listening – a Case Study

Paul Denvir
The power of active listening was once demonstrated to me by a colleague with whom 
I worked in a previous company. Mark had been responsible for coordinating the training of a group of senior managers from the European subsidiaries of a large US high-tech company. The training had gone very well and the MD of the UK company told Mark he was so convinced that he wanted to use us to carry out work in the UK. The MD (as was his wont) made this decision without consulting his three senior divisional sales managers. They were told after the decision had been made and were given a fait accompli.
I was appointed as the consultant for the UK group and the day arrived when we had to carry out our first research into the UK client company. I picked up Mark in the morning and as we drove to the client’s HQ he expressed his concern that the divisional sales managers might be somewhat hostile toward us due to the autocratic way in which the project had been decided.
As Mark had all of the connections and knowledge of the client organisation, it was agreed that he would take the lead in the three meetings we had scheduled (one with each of the sales managers). I would take a fairly low-key role.
The first meeting was at 10 o’clock. The atmosphere was almost icy. My colleague sat opposite the sales manager who was jacketed and in position behind his large desk. I sat slightly behind and to one side of Mark. It would have been easy for Mark to hide behind
the MD’s decision and to take the line that it was a fait accompli for us all therefore we had better just get on with it. He didn’t. He made every effort to really listen to what the first sales manager had to say. He demonstrated this through active listening. He summarised regularly to make sure that he had understood and to demonstrate that he wanted to understand.
From time to time he reflected the feelings and concerns of the sales manager – demonstrating that he understood how the sales manager felt about the various subjects we discussed. Expressions such as ‘So how you see it is…’ and ‘So your feelings are…’ were a regular feature of the meeting.
After about 30 minutes the atmosphere had changed significantly. Mark and the sales manager were physically closer together. The sales manager drew diagrams and small charts on his pad to explain things which Mark was clearly interested in. Mark had to move into such a position that he could see. The sales manager was by this stage quite comfortable with this. The body language which had started as rather formal and stilted became more expansive and relaxed.
At the end of an hour and a half there had clearly been a meeting of minds and one opponent was now open to our involvement – if not yet an advocate.
The second meeting was a re-run of the first. A defensive and totally unconvinced person at the start was ‘converted’ over the next 90 minutes.
We had lunch and Mark and I met with the third of the sales managers. Though not quite as ‘stiff’ as his other two colleagues, he would have proved a tough nut for most people. The ‘magic’ of active listening worked again. In the late afternoon we were on our way back down the motorway with the UK client’s most influential people supporting the training which their people were to receive and believing that those who were going to carry it out really understood what was needed and why.
After a few minutes in the car I turned to Mark and asked him a question. He did not reply. The reason was simple. He was asleep. He was mentally exhausted from the three meetings. For the best part of five hours he had turned up his active listening skills to a very high pitch. That requires motivation, effort and mental stamina.
A scarce skill
Almost everyone who understands what active listening is, wants to become good at it. However, few people work on developing it to any level of proficiency. We may be wrong but we believe that one reason why really good active listening is such a scarce skill is that it does require such a lot of mental energy. It is all too easy to nod and say, ‘Yeah, I understand.’
The rarest and finest of skills all take work to master. It is only by application and practice that we will improve. A theoretical understanding of the skill is only the beginning.
Most importantly the benefits of active listening will only be fully delivered if we approach the skill as one that is designed to help us help others. If we see active listening as a technique to enable us to manipulate and gain advantage we should not be surprised if people ‘spot the technique’ and see us as behaving in an unnatural and false way. Instead of building empathy and trust, the application of the skills as a pure technique will erode the very things we seek to build.


Reflection on Time Management

After taking the time assessment, using the Day Planner and participating in the Card time activity, please reflect on these questions in your own blog:
1. What about your time management skills would you like to change?
2. What do you feel you do really well when it comes to your time management in your personal life? academic life?
3. What impact does the act of recording your daily activities have on keeping yourself on track?
4. What did you learn from your group members in the activity?
5. What did you like best and least working in a small group to get a task accomplished in a set time frame?

Myers-Briggs Assignment

After completing your Myers Briggs Personality Indicator, please go to http://www.truity.com and locate your personality type. After reading the descriptions, please answer the following questions on your blog:

Based on what you have learned about your MBTI profile, what do you need/expect in your work environment?
What type of leader do you expect to be and how does this profile reflect that?
When working on a team/in a group, how do you think knowing the other people’s profiles would change the group interactions?