Beginning with the first meeting that was attending by Fester, he was rude to everyone while giving his opinion on the” high level of mediocrity” when it came to team ideas. Incivility refers to rudeness, lack of regard for one another, and the violation of workplace norms for mutual respect (Hellriegel & Slocum pg. 225)
Because Dr. Jerrold did not confer with Knowlton when he decided to add Fester to the team, Knowlton suffered from role conflict and ambiguity because of the expectations Jerrold wanted. Knowlton to take the responsibility for the behavior of Fester’s, but not having the opportunity to participate in the decision to bring Fester to the team added tremendous stress. Dr. Jerrold should have been aware of the conflict between Fester, Knowlton, and the team. He was never present and never participated in the group meetings. Had he been present, he would have been able to acknowledge that Fester had completely taken over the meetings and the group as a whole. Fester started showing signs of workplace violence. He began intimidating not only the team members, but Knowlton as well. Knowlton should have reported his actions to Jerrold.
During the hiring process, Dr. Jerrold should have given a behavior interview, performed a background check, and checked previous references. This would have minimized the possibilities of them hiring Fester without knowing some of his past behaviors. Jerrold should have assessed for early warning signs of Fester’s behavior and got him the appropriate use of counseling, put him in an employee assistance program, give him measurable goals, and provide preventative disciplinary actions to help the situation out. Also prior to hiring Fester, Jerrold should have had a formal policy that sends strong messages about workplace hostility; that it will not be tolerated. It should include the consequences that would go along with any of the demonstrated actions and the conduct, as well as the team effort, that needs to be shown in the workplace. Fact Finding #2
Active listening is the process of integrating information and emotions in a search for shared meaning and understanding (Hellriegel & Slocum pg. 20). Dr. Jerrold was not listening to Knowlton when he expressed his concern about Fester attending meetings designed only for project heads.
Dr. Jerrold should not have dismissed Knowlton’s concerns in regards to Fester. Had he concentrated on what his team leader was expressing, he would have realized that there was negative conflict among Fester and the team as a whole. He should have had a participating style meeting. This type of meeting will allow the leader to encourage followers to share ideas and facilitates the work by being encouraging and helpful to subordinates. This would have been another way that Jerrold would have noticed Fester’s behavior. Jerrold should have been in his rightful position in order to remind Fester that Knowlton had been delegated to oversee the team and Knowlton did not need to be micromanaged by him.
Jerrold could have let Fester know that he had initiated structured before hiring him and only needed him to provide assistance to the team. Then Knowlton may not have been so reluctant on giving constructive feedback and feeling as if his opinion did not matter or even feeling displaced in a team he was leading. By Jerrold delegating authority from the beginning, he would have then been able to see Fester’s contribution to the team, along with the negative impact that he also brought to the team. He then could have acted as a mediator to put the team back to its original functional design. Jerrold should have had some type of dialogue with Knowlton letting him know that he was considering Fester for another project. This would have demonstrated effective communication that would have allowed for constructive feedback. Fact Finding #3
Relationship behavior includes two-way communication, listening, encouraging, involving followers in decision making, and giving emotional support (Hellriegel & Slocum pg. 304). Dr. Jerrold, as a leader, did not provide this for his project heads or his subordinates. Recommendations #3
Knowlton had the perception that Dr. Jerrold had no consideration for anyone, but Fester. Because of this perception, it led Knowlton to resign. While there was no verbal communication, Knowlton notified Jerrold through a letter. This letter was distorting the real reason Knowlton left. Knowlton felt that he had to continuously lie to Jerrold so that he would not figure out the true meaning of his resignation. Once Jerrold received the letter, he should have been able to read through the noise. He should have known that Knowlton was an exceptional employee and that something more serious was going on. Jerrold should have changed his language routine in order to identify that Knowlton was disturbed with Fester. Jerrold should have called Knowlton in for a meeting and reassured him that what he was thinking, feeling, and believed about Fester would remain confidential and he would respect his view.
Through assertive communication, workplace honesty will be more prevalent. I really believed that Jerrold was more of the problem than Knowlton was. Jerrold should demonstrated more of the traits model of leadership characteristics. One characteristic of this model is integrity. When an individual is in a leadership position, honesty is the true attribute. Trust is crucial and translates into the degree and willingness by employees to follow. Confusion over the leader’s thinking and values creates negative stress, indecision, and personal politics (Hellriegel & Slocum pg. 297).