Jack asked, “How is the Southwestern project coming along?”

Ms. Lee said, “I need to talk to you about that.”

“I don’t want to hear any excuses, just get this project done,” Jack yelled to Wei Lee.

Ms. Lee said, “Fine. I quit. Do it yourself.”

Ms.Lee is the Senior Project Manager and is in charge of completing a customized training program for the firm’s largest client. Jack was hired from the outside just two months ago as Vice President of Training. Ms. Lee believes that her credentials are more appropriate and impressive than are Jack’s. Ms. Lee expected the job. She has no alternatives lined up. Jack has already earned a reputation for being harsh in a place where people formerly enjoyed working.

The particular project in question includes extensive material/course manual preparation as well as classroom sessions. Before the interruption, Wei was attempting to communicate to Jack that the client had requested a significant variation from what was originally contracted. The good news that Wei had to share was that the client had agreed to double the fee.

Case Discussion Questions:

1. How many rules for effective listening and speaking has Jack broken?

2. How well has Wei handled this conflict? Can you suggest any alternative actions that would have been consistent with good practices?

3. If you learned that Jack dislikes female professionals, what additional insight does that provide regarding communication difficulties between him and Wei? What might you suggest to Jack?

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Answer 1:

One of the basic rules of communication is that the person should be a good listener. In this case, Jack depicted very poor listening skills since he was not ready to listen to Ms. Lee’s statements. He had the pre conceived notion that she would make excuses only and this is not recommended. This reduces...
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