Case Study Reflex Systems
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Of the Big Five personality traits Rankin appears to stand out in 2 of the 5 standard traits. The case shows Rankin to have a low to moderate level of Emotional Stability in that he exhibits self-confidence with regards to his own abilities. Rankin stays calm and does not appear to insult or become temperamental with his team members however he greatly lacks in sharing his enthusiasm. Rankin does have areas with concerns regarding the team’s commitment and in other areas of the project with regards to the budget and the time allotment however he does not vocalize them. Rankin is more focused on the project details which shows he has a high level of Conscientiousness. He is conscientious in the aspect of the work itself but not so much on the relational aspect based on his inability to communicate effectively with his team members. Rankin also exhibits a high mach trait in that he focuses on the end result and is shown to be looking toward the future and what the completed project could do for him personally in the future, with little regard to the other individuals on the team.
1.b. Rankin’s trait in being Conscientious assist him to do well in this position. Being achievement oriented and very dependable, as well as his persistence to complete the project at all cost, are areas that prove Rankin to be a good Person Fit for this job. His history with the company and his potential ability to be promoted in the future also confirm that his character trait in being Conscientious make him a good Person-Fit for this job despite other areas in need of work.
1.c.& d. As an executive coach for Rankin I would address where he was in terms of his self-awareness and explain the importance of gaining better emotional intelligence. I would cover the component areas of Emotional Intelligence he was in need of most which in my view of the case, it would be in areas of social awareness and relational management. I would further educate and coach him on how others perceive information and work with him to show him more effective ways to motivate his team members and become aware and involved in areas causing division among the members. Rankin’s skills, as it relates to focusing on the details of the job, are in no way lacking therefore it ultimately points to his social awareness skills that will need to be a priority. Working together in giving him ideas and ways to go about motivating his team to become more committed, as well as educating him on how to go about preventing the standard stressors that managers do that ultimately leave their people more stressed and less productive.
2.a. Rankin comes across as more of a Type B personality with slight characteristicts of the Type A. He is stressed in the situations that are typical to causing high stress for either type but based off his lack of emotion in conversation with his team members it would appear he is type B.
2.b. The stressors within Rankins team are caused by both task and interpersonal demands. The task related demands are related to the project deadlines and budget restrictions. The interpersonal demands causing stress relate to Rankin feeling a lack of commitment from his team members and management feeling a lack of drive from the members. There are also issues within the team memebers relationships themselves that are causing the stress for all.
3.a-c. (I believe this last question can be grouped together as one in that I am explaining how I would handle the employee situations specificly as well as giving insights or behaviors that would assist Rankin to become a better manager.) In regards to the situation with Sally Phillips I believe that Rankins relational management skills needed fine tuning and he needed to be able to provide Sally with positive feedback as she had requested. His inability to relate to her and to have empathy over what she stated was causing enough stress to consider a lower paying job, did harm in this situation. Rankin needed to provide a sense of ownership in the project for Sally and look into possibilities of the company providing his team members with company benefits that would assist in relieving stress while working such long hours or even possibly provide some form of reward in completing the job. If Sally had something to look forward to at its closing that could be a positive incentive to help her push through a few more weeks. The relational management and social awareness were lacking as well, in terms of the issues with Bob Finely and Lynne Johnston.
Rankin must consider becoming more proactive in his observations of his team members and look to find out exactly how they perceive information and relate it, as to better instruct them so that they are fully aware of what is needed. If they had more detailed information on requirements of the project then as a group they could work together to make a schedule that could afford each of them an amount of time to rest even if only a small area dedicate to providing short breaks to recharge or make contact with family. Empowering them in their roles and providing possible rewards in completing the job in a timely fashion would give them a goal with a reward just as Rankin sees this project as a whole providing him potential for future promotion. His communication and awareness of himself as well as others that work under him, are key areas needing to be perfected if he wants to successfully lead people in stressful work situations that require extensive overtime. He also needs to take the time to be involved more when it comes to serious disagreements within the team members and work to find solutions rather than point blank telling them to get along. He is unable to complete this job if he were to lose other team members so working to be positive and providing enthusiasm which is caught and not taught, would be very helpful.
Helping his members to see the goals clearly and helping to organize a schedule of overtime that could allow for one of the members to have at least one break in the midst of a long week, could possibly help them to recharge. According to the case the project appears to need another month after already working on it for longer than was expected. If that was the case then there would be no difference in the timing of the project being completed if he were to work in some breaks for his team members systematically as it would provide a payoff in them performing better when not so exhausted. This however takes having a personality that is agreeable with the members as well. When management is like-able and the members feel they are heard and understood, it seems they are more willing to work harder and put in the hours willingly for their supervisors. If they were to all have gotten along better with Rankin then they would most certainly have been willing to continue pushing themselves harder with less frustration
towards Rankin and commit to completing this project in a fashion that would make Rankin as well as themselves look competent.