Read the questions carefully and answer ALL the questions on the TWO (2) case studies. Case Study 1
April is a supervisor in a large retail company. She has worked in the company for 12 years. When she first started her job, she was always praised for her efficiency and punctuality. Her colleagues liked her, and she was given several awards in the first few years of her career with the company. Recently, April started to show symptoms of burn-out. She was often absent and when at work, she would spend long periods of time away from her desk. Her work performance suffered, and she found it difficult to complete work on time and would often forget things.
Besides her work, April was also having problems with some new colleagues who were younger than her and had joined the company for just a short while. April was assigned to manage them. However, April found that she could not handle them effectively because most of the new colleagues were graduates and April felt that with her secondary four education, her skills and knowledge were not sufficient for her to do the job.
Some of the younger colleagues also did not respect her. Two of them in particular, Kate and Peter, would argue with her whenever April gave them new instructions. They felt that they were graduates and younger, and therefore had higher potential for work performance.
After a long period of time in trying to support April and helping her manage her work, her boss contacted the HR department because he felt that April’s performance had to be addressed. The HR manager met with April to find out what the problem was. Initially, April was uncomfortable about disclosing details of her problems but did eventually say that she felt anxious and demoralized because she was incompetent. She added that this had been going on for a while and her anxiety was getting worse. At this point, the company suggested that April sought professional help and she was referred to the company’s psychologist.
a) Wagner (2008) identified seven survival skills for the 21st Century for people to stay employable. Describe i) Managing Change and Life-Long Learning and ii) Resourcefulness and Self-Reliance. For each skill, identify evidence from the case why April needs to upgrade and justify with a reason.
b) Define Social Awareness and from the case, identify ONE (1) evidence to show that Kate and Peter are lacking in it. Develop and elaborate on TWO (2)
suggestions which they can implement to improve on this competency.
c) Describe ONE (1) method that would be useful to April to help manage her
anxiety and justify your answer with a rationale for this method.
Case Study 2
It came to the attention of the supervisor of a small company that there was a difficulty between two employees, John and Martin, who have been working together for a year but recently appeared to have major differences in their opinions on a couple of projects. Their conflict has affected the entire department. The supervisor was being approached by the boss to help settle the dispute between these two employees. Before the supervisor spoke to them together, he met up with them individually a few times to understand the situation.
The supervisor thought he could deal with the situation informally by seeing each employee separately. However, John made a complaint of harassment to the boss that he had been treated unfairly. The matter was dealt with internally and the supervisor was asked to stop all conversations with both John and Martin. The rest of the employees in the department inevitably took sides and fell into two camps and relations between staff reached an all-time low. Frictions began to mount up and tensions within the department made it difficult for employees to complete projects on time.
The boss studied the situation for a while and engaged a mediator to help resolve the conflicts within the department. The boss talked to both sides and finally, it was decided that both Martin and John would go for the mediation meeting. On the day of the meeting, the mediator made several arrangements to ensure that the meeting went well
a) When the supervisor used the informal method by talking to the disputants separately, it did not work. From the case study, identify evidence to show that this method failed. In your opinion, why would it not be a good idea to talk to the disputants (in this case, John and Martin) separately?
b) If the mediator used the SOLVED approach to help John and Martin resolve their conflict, how could it be applied? Formulate and discuss the steps clearly in relation to the case.
c) For both John and Martin, they can learn some communication skills. Explain and elaborate on i) active listening and ii) empathy and justify with TWO (2) pieces of evidence from the case to show why these two skills are relevant to them.
Answer any TWO (2) questions in this section.
a) In the article by Kotsou, Nelis, Gregoire, and Mikolajczak (2011) entitled “Emotional Plasticity: Conditions and Effects of Improving Emotional Competence in Adulthood”, the authors highlighted two pathways linking emotional competency and physical health. Describe these TWO (2) pathways.
b) In the same article, the authors highlighted two implications from their research findings. Describe the TWO (2) implications and discuss whether you agree that adults’ emotional competency can be modified. Justify your answer with a reason.
c) Using a personal example, describe how you have modified a negative thought to avoid an unpleasant situation.
d) If you were a leader of a group of teachers, describe a training course that can help build better cohesion among the group members.
a) The following are obstacles that hinder effective communication:
i) Advising and giving solutions;
ii) Name-calling and shaming;
iii) Persuading with logic.
Define them and discuss each of them in regard to how they may hinder effective communication.
b) Responsible decision-making requires an individual to examine various perspectives and thought processes. For individuals with i) sprawling and ii) an oppositional way of thinking, what would you suggest that might help? In your answer, you need to define the two concepts and suggest a method for implementation that works for each of them.
c) Describe ONE (1) of your strengths and illustrate with a personal example how this strength has helped you to achieve success in your workplace.
a) In the article by Cohrs and Duckitt (2012), they highlighted the negative consequences that prejudices have on society. Describe TWO (2) of them and elaborate with an example illustrating the negative consequence of prejudice.
b) In the workplace, if someone is prejudiced against a colleague who is older, discuss ONE (1) suggestion you would give to this individual to manage his/her attitude.
c) In the article by Cohrs and Duckitt (2012), they highlighted some origins of prejudice. They mentioned intergroup threat and intergroup competition. Describe these two concepts as stated in the article and according to the researchers, explain what can be done to reduce intergroup competition