Human Relations Unit 1 Assignment
Human Relations Unit 1 Assignment
1. According to the textbook, human relations covers every type of interaction we have with others, including conflicts, cooperative efforts, and group relationships. We should all be studying this subject as it can show us why we have problems in our relationships due to beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. By studying human relations, we can hopefully better ourselves to avoid unwanted conflict in everyday situations. Having poor human relations skills can be detrimental to both your personal, and work life, so studying this subject could be the difference between success and failure. Without good communication skills your job outlook would be very slim, as nearly every job requires some degree of human relations. The analysis of your own self and your human relations skills is a great place to start to resolve your own behavioral problems, which is a great place to start when studying this subject.
2. Identify and explain the importance of interpersonal skills and how they relate to where you work.
Without interpersonal skills, no group project could ever be completed. Every single job I’ve ever worked required a degree of human relations. In working in any field, good communication is needed to effectively and efficiently complete a job. Without effective communication the task would most likely never be completed, or not done to perfection as it should be. I currently work at a car dealership cleaning cars, along with other odd jobs. In this job I have the least amount of coworkers of any job I’ve worked, which is just one. We have to constantly communicate effectively to get our various jobs done right, like just the other day we where installing running boards on a truck, and we had to work together to keep them in place and put them in right.
3. Describe the major developments in the workplace and why they have given new importance to human relations.
In every workplace, the three factors that the organization rely on are people, process, and technology. These three factors are constantly changing and developing the workplace to be more efficient. Because many companies and businesses are merging, closing, filing bankruptcy, downsizing, and outsourcing, they are saving money, but also much more slowly hiring new people because they are looking for the perfect employee. With high communication skills, you could be the person to fill this role.
With the changing job market, a high amount people work nonstandard jobs, around 26 percent of people. A large chunk of this includes self employed people. As a self employed person, the need to interact with customers and the employees is given solely to you, so high communication skills are a must. Now more than ever companies are focused on clients, patients, and customers. Customers are constantly judging companies on their quality and service, so having good human relations can paint a better picture of the company. Another trend that has increased is workplace incivility. The company Cisco said that workplace incivility costs them $8.3 million per year. The incivility can also ruin workplace relationships that are important for the success of the company. Companies also are grouping employees together in ways that will allow each person to contribute something to the group, making for a more efficient workplace.
4. Describe the concept the total person and the need for a supportive environment.
According to the text, the total person is all of the traits that a person has that can be employed. This includes physical fitness, emotional control, self-awareness, self-esteem, and their values. Many times people view these traits as separate, but the idea of the “total person”, bring all these traits together into the person. When a person is supported, and is helped to improve the total person, their workplace productivity is increased. Things like marital stresses, financial planning, and other skills are supported to improve in quality in both their home life and work life. With support, people can achieve the success that they want to reach.
5. Describe the forces that influence behavior at work and explain in length why they do influence behavior.
The forces that influence behavior in work are the organizational culture, supervisory management influence, work group influence, job influence, personal characteristics of the worker, and family influence.
The collection of everyone’s thoughts, feelings, and views are what create the organizational culture of the workplace. These values are usually reflected from either the CEO or founder of the company. This organizational culture influences the workplace because it drives what the company is all about. Google for example, says “Focus on the user and all else will follow.”. This shows that Google is solely focused on the customer, and that is what motivates both the leaders and employees.
Much like organizational culture, the supervisory-management influence is mainly influenced by the management. These managers have a vision for the company and what it stands for. The employees see this, and it reflects to their views of the company and their productivity and loyalty to the company.
The work group influence focuses on the effects on the social aspect of the workplace and how it effects productivity. According to the text, when people have met their social needs through work, they tend to be more productive. Many times coworkers can provide needed emotional support to help with issues both in and out of work. Groups also influence people to work together to meet goals and solve workplace issues that they might have.
Now more than ever, people focus their lives solely on their jobs. Having a fulfilling job can help people feel like they have a more complete life. This is known as a job influence. When you don’t like your job, people tend to feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied with their life. When people enjoy their work and feel good about doing it, they are more motivated to do a good job and show up ready to work each day.
The personal characteristics of the worker influence what type of work the person will be doing. It also influences how well the person will do in the job according to the working conditions. The text uses the example of a single parent would want a flexible schedule and available child care. A personal example is I am going to school and also working, so I need time off in order to do my school work, and this would be a personal characteristic that influences my job environment.
The family influence also influences what type of work people want. Time for family, friends, and hobbies top the list for things that people want time for outside of work. This balance is one of the top career goals that people have. This can become an issue during a slowing economy, as people are forced to work more. This can cause both work and family problems as the amount of free time is lowered.
6. Explain the significance of Taylor’s Scientific Management, Mayo’s Hawthorne Studies, and the great depression on the human relations movement.
Frederick W. Taylor was a machine shop apprentice and was eventually promoted to foreman. As foreman, he saw how inefficient the shop was running. He saw people were left alone to figure out their jobs. He started to develop ways for people to move less, while also reducing the amount of time and energy wasted. This system inspired the scientific management movement. Taylor’s system of reducing inefficiency can still be seen in factories today. Although it is more efficient, skeptics say it’s a system that requires little to no thinking.
The Hawthorne studies conducted by Elton Mayo accidentally found ways to increase worker performance by changing the workplace. They originally tried changing things like illumination, ventilation, and fatigue on the workers. These studies went on the show the human factor in the workplace. As they were conducting these studies, the employees that were questioned and observed felt more important and were getting feedback that they were wanting. This caused an increase in happiness and productivity. It also found that when employees interacted with each other, it caused a noticeable increase in performance. These studies started the field of organizational behavior.
During the Great Depression, people focused less on human relations, and more on the working conditions. This included higher pay, shorter hours, and protecting child workers. After World War II the focus on human relations increased. Many important theories were developed during this time, such as Douglas McGregor saying that work performance is proportional to the ability to tap human performance. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was also important in seeing what was needed for each person in the workplace. Peter Drucker also importantly said “No business without a customer”, which is 100% true.
7. Identify and explain in detail the major themes in human relations. Which of these do you feel will be most important to you and why?
There are seven themes in human relations, which are communication, self-awareness, self-acceptance, motivation, trust, self-disclosure, and conflict resolution. These themes are all connected and support personal growth and development and the achievement of the organization.
Communication is how we understand both ourselves and others. We need to communicate correctly in order to grow as people. Connecting to others is one of the necessary parts of life, and good communication is the foundation of that.
Self-awareness has been stated as the most important part of emotional intelligence. Without understanding yourself, it would be very difficult to understand others. Knowing how your actions affect others is necessary in having better human relation skills. Without good self-awareness, your relationships and career could be in jeopardy. Seeing ourselves goes hand in hand with seeing how other people act as well.
Self-acceptance in yourself is needed before you can like and accept others. With higher self-acceptance skills, you are generally more successful with change and working through differences. Without self-acceptance, you block yourself from both having good relationships, but also reaching goals.
Motivation focuses on both motivating yourself and others. If you have strong inner motivation, the possibility for success is high. Looking at theories and proven methods for success are great ways to motivate others.
Without trust, it would be very hard to be successful in your relationships. Without trust in the workplace, productivity tends to be very low. Trust is vital in a strong relationship throughout any aspect of life. People who have low trust tend to be more stressed, and slow decision makers. It also makes for less information flow as people don’t communicate as clearly as they would if they were more trustworthy.
As you open up to people more, they tend to trust you more. This is self-disclosure. Trust and self-disclosure go hand in hand, because without trust you won’t open up. Mangers who are clear about expectations create more successful employees. Without strong self-disclosure, people start to guess what is expected of them, usually resulting in a less than stellar result.
Having conflict resolution skills is vital in almost any aspect of life. From getting cut off on the freeway to the relationship with a supervisor, the skill of good conflict resolution is needed. If you can effectively resolve conflict, morale will be increased and stress will be lessened.
I personally think out of these themes, communication is the most important to me. Without communication none of these other themes could be successfully completed. You need to communicate with both yourself and others in order to have a good relationship with anyone.
Chapter Two – Objectives
1. Describe the communication process and the difference between one-way and two-way communication.
The communication process includes writing, speaking, and talking to others. Along with that is the understanding of those messages, and making sure the receiver is understanding what is being said. One way of communicating is impersonal communication. This is a one-way system of communication that is usually used to send instructions, policies, and financial data. This system is flawed due to the receiver may not be able to verify the information that received, so it may be misinterpreted. Interpersonal communication is a two-way system of communication that is between two or more people. This type of communication usually takes place in meetings or in classroom discussions with sharing, discussing, arguing, and interacting. This is generally more successful than the one-way impersonal communication because the receiver can give feedback to resolve any misinterpretation.
2. Describe each of the different filters that distort the message by the receiver or sender, and which are the most common.
There are many ways that communication can be distorted by filters and then be misinterpreted by the receiver. Semantics are when words might have multiple meanings, or an unclear meaning in conversation, which would cause confusion in a conversation. Using well known terms, instead of jargon can help eliminate this problem.
Cultural and language barriers can also hinder conversation. Your culture directly influences how you act and speak, so someone from another culture will likely act and speak much differently from you. Before entering a new culture, it is important to learn their culture, such as manners, gender roles, food, social structure, morals, politics, religion, and customs. Also body language can alter from culture to culture so something such as shaking hands could be alien to someone from another culture.
Emotions can sometimes sway how you and other’s words come out. According to how the speaker is feeling, they may do things and say things that they do not truly mean and then regret it later. There have been times where I was angry and said mean things to others that I just didn’t mean. It is very hard to understand what people are meaning when emotions overshadow their language.
Much like emotions, attitudes can restrict the message. If your attitude toward a person is negative, their language will more likely be taken as negative, even if it is something that isn’t that bad. This can also happen with a very positive attitude, causing a positive bias in a message.
The expectation of roles in people can also distort communication by connecting people with their roles too much. An example is the boss, because some people might discount the boss because they may feel they keep saying the same thing over and over. This also happens when people are promoted but coworkers still view them as their old work status. The second way role expectation distorts communication is something called position power, such as when a boss wants employees to accept what they say for only the fact that they are the boss.
Gender-specific focus is the gender roles that men and women are found in. Men and women view conversation differently. Women focus on developing relationships, while men want to maintain status and exhibit knowledge.
Personally, I feel like semantics slip me up most often. I find myself thinking someone meant something that is completely different from what they were trying to say. This has caused some problems, but it is usually resolved from some feedback from me.
3. Explain the importance of nonverbal communication including body language and personal space.
Nonverbal messages, or body language, are communicated through facial expressions, voice tone, gestures, appearance, posture, and other nonverbal tactics. Better body language can enhance the conversation and help the other person to understand what you are trying to convey. Poor body language can put a negative picture on you, while also less effectively putting across your message. Personal space is another important aspect of body language. It helps to define relationships, such as personal distance which is 18 inches to 4 feet away. This is reserved mainly for close friends or spouses. From 4 to 12 feet is the social distance. This is reserved for business dealings and impersonal gatherings.
4. Explain the different steps that can be taken to improve communication and the importance and qualities to effective listening.
To improve your communication skills there are two main skills, sending clear messages and effective listening. When it comes to sending clear messages there are a few things to do to avoid miscommunication. Use clear language and use terms that most people can understand. Jargon can be confusing if the receiver is not in that field. Using repetition is another good way to put your message across. You can use two different methods of delivery such as a verbal communication as well as an email. Asking questions is another way to deliver a clear message, such as asking if the other person correctly understands your words. Using good timing is necessary if the other person has a busy schedule. Be aware of their schedule and ask them if it is ok to talk to them at that time. Also consider the receiver’s preference for their method of delivery, such as an email, phone call, or talking to them directly. If you use their favorite method, they’ll more likely understand.
When it comes to listening, many people think they are very good listeners, but in reality are not very good. Without effective listening it can ruin relationships while also unnecessarily extending the time for meetings. Many people don’t concentrate on what others are saying, instead thinking about what they are about to say. Active, critical, and empathic listening is necessary when becoming a better listener.
5. Explain active, critical and empathic listening skills and give an example of each.
Active listening is when you fully concentrate on what is being said, while also giving feedback in order to fully understand what the other person is saying. You have to dig and ask questions in order to see exactly what the other person is meaning, and this is active listening. An example for active listening is if you are getting specific instructions for something, while also asking questions to completely clarify the instruction.
Critical listening is when you try to see the point of view of the listener, and often in situations when you can’t give feedback to the speaker, like in a TV show. Critical listening can help detach yourself from your point of view, and instead shift and see why the speaker thinks the way they do. A time when critical listening is necessary is if someone leaves you a voicemail, and you want to understand the reasoning behind what they are saying, without the ability to ask questions.
Empathic listening is like critical listening in that you are trying to see how the speaker is feeling, but empathic is more about the feelings associated with what the speaker is saying. Being empathic is listening without judgment, advice, guidance, while acknowledging what is being said. Being patient is also important because impatience sends a negative message to the speaker. If someone has recently had a traumatic event, being a good empathic listener is great because they most likely just want someone to talk to.
6. Explain the difference between formal and informal communication channels in an organization and the importance and result of the grapevine.
Formal communication goes on a linear path, such as a horizontal or vertical track through management to the bottom, or horizontally through one level of authority. Informal communication is more intertwined, much like a cobweb. The grapevine is the name given to this informal communication channel. The grapevine can be both positive and negative. Positively, it can clarify unclear messages, but negatively the messages can become altered and distorted. This easily results in rumors around the workplace that can cause stress in the employees.
7. Be able to explain the concept of horizontal, vertical, upward and downward communication in a organization.
Horizontal communication is usually between one level of a company, such as management. The horizontal communication is just between them, and it helps them to improve their efficiency. Vertical channels go up and down from the employees to the CEO, and vice versa. If used correctly, these channels can move information to the correct people, so that they can use it effectively. Downward communication is very common, which is the managers talking town to the employees. Upward communication is less common, but if done will likely improve problems that the employees may be having. Trust is important in all of these communication tracks, because without trust people likely wouldn’t listen to the messages, or just not obey them.
8. Be able explain the advantages of technology based communications, and the human relations that may be created by these communications.
Technology has greatly increased the possibilities for communication within the workplace, and in personal lives. In the workplace, technology has made communication faster than ever. Today, people are able to work through the internet anywhere and anytime. This makes for a more flexible workplace. Internet communication is also very cheap. Instead of flying to another city, it would be very cheap to have a video chat meeting. Like I said earlier, it is very fast to communicate through the internet. A message can be sent to the other side of the world almost instantly. It also connects people across the world easier than ever before.
Chapter Three – Objectives
1.Explain the concept of communication style and communication style bias and the effect on interpersonal relations.
Your communication style are the behavioral patterns that other people see. Everyone’s communication style is different, and it is essential to know yours in order to have more successful human relations. Being aware of others communication styles is important so you can establish a better relationship with them. At times there is a communication style bias, which is when someone has a different communication style from your own, making it hard to work with them and create a good relationship with them. Having a strong sense of communication styles is essential when you work with many different people with many different communication styles.
2. Explain the fundamental concepts support communication styles and how “personality’ fits into the conversation of communication style.
There are 5 fundamental concepts that support communication styles. It is essential to know that individual differences exist, style differences tend to be stable, there are a limited number of styles, communication styles are a way of thinking and behaving, and to create production relationships, you must get in sync with the patterns of your coworkers. There are many differences that exist such as eye contact, gestures, facial expressions, and how assertive people are. People’s style differences tend to be stable as well. Psychiatrist Carl Jung says that people develop their communication style and it stays with them throughout life. While there are many differences, there are a limited number of communication styles. Carl Jung also said people fall into one of the several communication styles there are. There are four main styles, which are intuitor, thinker, feeler, and sensor. A person’s communication style is how they act and behave, but it is not an ability but instead their preference on how they act. Lastly, getting synced up with other people’s communication is the best way to be productive in relationships. Being able to adapt to the several communication styles is the best way to deal with other people. All of this contributes to your personality and how you act on a daily basis.
3. Describe the dominance and sociability continuum and how they contribute to the communication style model
The dominance continuum is the spectrum of how dominant a person’s personality is. A person’s dominance is how much they have a “take-charge” attitude. The dominance continuum contributes to your communication style because it narrows you down to two categories, high and low dominance. Low dominance people tend to cooperate and help others more willingly. High dominance people usually give advice and give more demands, and are generally more controlling.
The sociability continuum is the spectrum of how sociable someone is. Sociability is the extent to how much people seek and enjoy social interactions and relationships. People who are highly sociable are generally more open and they like interacting with others. People with low sociability don’t open up as much and are more reserved during social interaction. This contributes to the communication style because if someone is low in sociability will be more serious and more businesslike in their conversation, while someone with high sociability is more expressive and are generally more informal with conversation.
4. Describe which communication style you determined you have based on doing the communication style exercise in the book. Name and describe where and why you fall where you do on the sociability and dominance scale with six different indicators on each scale. This will be quite lengthy.
Based on the communication style model, my style was found to be emotive. This is accurate because I am generally more outgoing and sociable than others. This style is characterized by both high dominance and high sociability.
Starting with dominance, almost every indicator was skewed to the right, which is more dominant. Starting with the first one, I am definitely more competitive than cooperative. I’ve always been a very competitive person and I like to one-up people when playing games. I am also very authoritative. I like to take charge in situations and be a leader when there is a task at hand so that we can get it done right, which goes hand in hand with my competitive attitude. When I had to pick reserved and outgoing I easily picked outgoing. I don’t like to just sit around; I like to do things. An example of this is a few weeks ago I went on a trip to Nashville with little planning, and just went on a trip for a few days. I can also be very insistent when it comes to silly things. One of my best friends has a very similar emotive style like I do, and we are always insisting we are right for the oddest subjects. One of the few dominance scale indicators that I fell a bit on the left was the cautious/risk taking scale. I find myself to be more cautious in some situations, which isn’t very dominant of me. Lastly, I find myself to be more talkative than quiet. Obviously there are times when I am quiet and don’t know what to say, but generally I am a very talkative person.
Going into the sociability scale, I again skewed right, making me high in sociability. First, I find myself more easygoing than disciplined. If there is a change in plans, or something doesn’t go right, I usually just roll with it and keep moving. I am also very lighthearted. I can be serious when I need to, but generally I joke around a keep it light because I like it when people do that. Unstructured describes me more than methodical, again citing my Nashville I took recently, where I didn’t have a plan of what I was going to do, instead just went with it. This also goes along with me being more spontaneous than calculating. I’ll use my Nashville trip one more time, because I actually bought my plane ticket 4 days before I left, you can’t get more spontaneous than that. Ever since I was little I have been an attention seeker more than a reserved person. I’ve played in bands since I was 13, so I’ve been on stage for a big chunk of my life, further pushing my attention seeking tendencies. Lastly, I find myself much more friendly than aloof. I always try to say hi and smile at people I see. I want to be nice like I would want to be treated.
5. Describe the four different communication styles and the behaviors displayed with each style and which of these styles is your dominant style.
The emotive style, which is the style I find myself in, is characterized by high sociability and high dominance. People who have the emotive style are generally outspoken, enthusiastic, and stimulating. They are very spontaneous, very extroverted, and are very good at persuading others to their point of view.
The directive style is characterized by high dominance and low sociability. People who have the directive style are frank, assertive, and determined. Directive people have a very serious attitude, they push their opinions strongly, and they may project indifference.
The reflective style is characterized by low dominance and low sociability. People with the reflective style are generally quiet, like their alone time, and carefully think about their decisions. Reflective people are not in a hurry, but instead express opinions in a disciplined manner. Reflective people can also seem to be preoccupied, hard to get to know, and are very orderly.
The supportive style is characterized by low dominance and high sociability. Some traits of someone with the supportive communication style are cooperative, patient, and attentive. Supportive don’t tent to be attention seeking, avoid using power, and express decisions in a thoughtful and deliberate manner.
7. Explain the intensity zones in each style and the concept of intensity zone and when we are most likely to fall into that zone.
Each communication style can be broken down into three intensity zones where the intensity of the style differs. The first is zone 1. People in zone 1 are hard to read, making it difficult to determine their communication style. They are not obvious when they act, so it might take more time to figure out what style they fall into.
Zone 2 is more intense than zone 1, making it easier to see someone’s communication style. In zone 2 the situation may change how intense a person’s communication style shines through. The text uses Rosa Parks as an example, when she was asked to move on the bus, she resisted and said no, even though she was usually quiet and reserved.
The last zone, the excess zone is where people who show a high intensity in their communication style. It is sometimes called the “danger zone” because people who fall here find it hard to be flexible and can’t adapt to different communication styles. People can move to excess zone when under stress or threatened, but it is best to avoid this zone if possible.
7. Describe the strength/weakness paradox.
The strength/weakness paradox is when someone uses the traits of their communication style too much, or relies on them to heavily. A directive person can be seen as way too demanding if they keep asking for too much. Supportive people can try to please everyone, making them seem wishy-washy. Emotive people can be too informal and talkative that it hurts them in a business setting. And a reflective person who carefully makes every decision will be labeled inflexible.