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Understanding Individual Behavior  5

CHAPTER 14

UNDERSTANDING INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOR

CHAPTER OUTLINE

Are You Self-Confident?


I. Understanding Yourself and Others
A. The Value and Difficulty of Knowing Yourself
B. Enhance Your Self-Awareness
II. Job Satisfaction and Trust
A. Job Satisfaction
B. Trust
III. Perception and Attribution
A. Perception and Perceptual Distortions
B. Attributions: A Special Case of Perception
IV. Personality and Behavior
A. Personality Traits
B. Attitudes and Behaviors Influenced by Personality
C. Problem-Solving Styles and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
V. Emotions
A. Positive and Negative Emotions
B. Emotional Intelligence
New Manager Self-Test: Expressed Emotions
VI. Managing Yourself
A. Basic Principles for Self-Management
B. A Step-by-Step Guide for Managing Your Time
VII. Stress and Stress Management
A. Challenge Stress and Threat Stress
B. Type A and Type B Behavior
C. Causes of Work Stress
D. Innovative Responses to Stress Management

ANNOTATED LEARNING OBJECTIVES


After studying this chapter, students should be able to:

1. Explain why understanding yourself is essential for being a good manager,


and describe two methods for enhancing self-awareness.

The first requirement for being a good manager is understanding oneself.


Managers’ characteristics and behavior can profoundly affect the workplace and

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6  Chapter 14

influence employee motivation, morale, and job performance. When managers


deeply understand themselves, they remain grounded and constant. People know
what to expect from them. But self-awareness is not easy to achieve. Two
valuable ways to enhance self-awareness are soliciting feedback and self-
assessment, including introspection. A manager might consider himself or herself
to be patient and understanding, but his or her employees may say that he or she is
easily irritated and unsympathetic. Seeking feedback can help improve
performance and job satisfaction for both managers and employees. Self-
assessment uses self-inquiry and reflection to gain insights into oneself from the
results of scores on self-assessment instruments. Self-assessment also means
reflecting on one’s thoughts and feelings.

Define attitudes and discuss the importance of work-related attitudes.


2. Discuss the importance of job satisfaction and trust for effective employee performance.

An attitude is an evaluation that predisposes a person to act in a certain way. The three
components of attitudes are cognitions (thoughts), affect (feelings), and behavior. The
cognitive component of an attitude includes the beliefs, opinions, and information the person
has about the object of the attitude, such as knowledge of what a job entails and opinions
about personal abilities.

The affective component is the person’s emotions or feelings about the object of the attitude,
such as enjoying or hating a job. The behavioral component of an attitude is the person’s
intention to behave toward the object of the attitude in a certain way. The cognitive element is
the conscious thought, “my job is interesting and challenging.” The affective element is the
feeling, “I love this job.”

A positive attitude toward one’s job is called job satisfaction. People experience this attitude
when their work matches their needs and interests, when working conditions and rewards
(such as pay) are satisfactory, and when the employees like their co-workers. Organizational
commitment is loyalty to and engagement in one’s organization. An employee with a high
degree of organizational commitment is likely to say “we” when talking about the
organization. Such a person tries to contribute to the organization’s success and wishes to
remain with the organization.

3. Describe the perception process and explain internal and external attributions.

Perception is the cognitive process people use to make sense out of the
environment by selecting, organizing, and interpreting information from the
environment. Attitudes affect perceptions and vice versa. Because of individual
differences in attitudes, personality, values, interests, and so forth, people often
“see” the same thing in different ways.

Attributions are judgments about what caused a person’s behavior—something


about the

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Understanding Individual Behavior  7

person or something about the situation. People make attributions as an attempt


to understand
why others behave as they do. An internal attribution says that characteristics of
the
person led to the behavior. (“Susan missed the deadline because she’s careless
and lazy.”)
An external attribution says that something about the situation caused the
person’s behavior. (“Susan missed the deadline because she couldn’t get the
information she needed in a timely
manner.”) Understanding attributions is important because attributions influence
how a
manager will handle a situation.

4. Define major personality traits and describe how personality can influence
workplace behaviors.

In common usage, people think of personality in terms of traits, or relatively stable


characteristics of a person. Extroversion is the degree to which a person is sociable, talkative,
assertive, and comfortable with interpersonal relationships. Agreeableness is the degree to
which a person is able to get along with others by being good-natured, cooperative, forgiving,
understanding, and trusting. Conscientiousness, which is the degree to which a person is
focused on a few goals, thus behaving in ways that are responsible, dependable, persistent,
and achievement oriented. Emotional stability is the degree to which a person is calm,
enthusiastic, and secure, rather than tense, nervous, depressed, moody, or insecure. Openness
to experience is the degree to which a person has a broad range of interests and is imaginative,
creative, artistically sensitive, and willing to consider new ideas.

An individual’s personality influences a wide variety of work-related attitudes and behaviors,


some of which are locus of control, authoritarianism, Machiavellianism, and problem-solving
styles. The locus of control defines whether a person places the primary responsibility within
themselves or on outside forces. Authoritarianism is the belief that power and status
differences should exist within the organization. Machiavellianism is characterized by the
acquisition of power and the manipulation of other people for purely personal gain. Managers
also need to understand that individuals differ in the way they go about gathering and
evaluating information for problem solving and decision making.

5. Identify positive and negative emotions and describe how emotions affect behavior.

Positive emotions are triggered when people are on track toward achieving their goals.
Examples include happiness/joy, pride, love/affection, and relief. Negative emotions are
triggered when people become frustrated in trying to achieve their goals. Examples include
anger, fright/anxiety, guilt/shame, sadness, envy/jealousy, and disgust.

Emotions affect behavior not only for the individual displaying the emotions, but also for
those who interact with that individual, as a result of emotional contagion. People around an
emotional individual tend to “catch” that person’s emotions and begin to feel and behave in a
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8  Chapter 14

manner similar to that person. Negative emotions tend to diminish productivity as workers
focus more on their emotions than on their work and begin to exhibit counterproductive
behaviors.

Managers can influence whether people experience primarily positive or negative emotions at
work. As a result of emotional contagion, the emotional state of the manager influences the
entire team or department. Effective managers pay attention to people’s emotions, because
positive emotions are typically linked to higher productivity and greater effectiveness of
employees.

6. Define the four components of emotional intelligence and explain why they
are important for today’s managers.

The four components of emotional intelligence include:


 Self-awareness. The basis for all the other components. Being aware of what you are
feeling.
 Self-management. The ability to control disruptive or harmful emotions and balance one’s
moods so that worry, anxiety, fear, or anger do not cloud thinking and get in the way of
what needs to be done.
 Social awareness. The ability to understand others and practice empathy, which means
being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, to recognize what others are feeling
without them needing to tell you.
 Relationship management. The ability to connect to others, build positive relationships,
respond to the emotions of others, and influence others.

Studies show that there a positive relationship between job performance and high emotional
intelligence quotient (EQ) in a variety of jobs.

7. Outline a step-by-step system for managing yourself and your time.

1. Empty your head. Collect all the things you need or want to do.
2. Decide the next action. Do it, delegate it, or defer it.
3. Get organized. Schedule appointments and tasks. Set up calendars and action lists.
4. Perform a weekly review. Update calendars and action lists; process new items.
5. Now do it. Consider time and context, energy level, and task priority.

8. Explain the difference between challenge stress and threat stress.

Challenge stress fires you up, whereas threat stress burns you out. Stress up to a certain
point challenges you and increases your focus, alertness, efficiency, and productivity. After
that point, however, things will go downhill quickly and stress compromises your job
performance, your relationships, and even your health. The point at which things tip from
challenge stress (good) to threat stress (bad) may vary with each individual.

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Understanding Individual Behavior  9

9. Identify ways individuals and organizations can manage stress to improve


employee health, satisfaction, and productivity.

Stress is an individual’s physiological and emotional response to stimuli that place physical or
psychological demands on the individual and create uncertainty and lack of personal control
when important outcomes are at stake.

These stimuli, called stressors, produce some combination of frustration (such as the inability
to meet a deadline because of inadequate resources) and anxiety (such as the fear of being
disciplined for not meeting deadlines). People’s responses to stressors vary according to their
personalities, the resources available to help them cope, and the context in which the stress
occurs. When the level of stress is low relative to a person’s coping resources, stress can be a
positive force, stimulating desirable change and achievement. However, too much stress is
associated with many negative consequences, including sleep disturbances, drug and alcohol
abuse, headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure and heart disease. Too much stress is harmful to
employees as well as to the organization.

There are a variety of techniques to help individuals manage stress. Among the most basic
strategies are those that help people stay healthy: exercising regularly, getting plenty of rest,
and eating a healthful diet. In addition, most people cope with stress more effectively if they
lead balanced lives and are part of a network of people who support and encourage them.
Family relationships, friendships, and memberships in nonwork groups such as community or
religious organizations are helpful for stress management, as well as for other benefits.
Supporting employees can be as simple as encouraging people to take regular breaks and
vacations. Creating broad work-life balance initiatives that may include flexible work options
such as telecommuting and flexible hours, as well as benefits such as onsite daycare, fitness
centers, and personal services. Organizations and employees should look for ways to reduce
the stressors and increase employees’ coping skills. Organizations can provide training or
clearer directions so that employees feel able to handle their responsibilities. They can make
the work environment safer and more comfortable. Individuals also can act on their own
initiative to develop their knowledge and skills.

LECTURE OUTLINE

ARE YOU SELF-CONFIDENT?

Self-confidence is the foundation for many important behaviors of a new manager. It refers
to general assurance in one’s ideas, judgment, and capabilities. Self-efficacy is one dimension
of self-confidence, which is an individual’s strong belief that he or she can accomplish a
specific task or outcome successfully. If a new manager lacks self-confidence, he or she is
more likely to avoid difficult decisions and confrontations and may tend to over control
subordinates, which is called micromanaging. A lack of self-confidence also leads to less
sharing of information and less time hiring and developing capable people. Self-confident
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10  Chapter 14

managers, by contrast, can more easily delegate responsibility, take risks, give credit to others,
confront problems, and assert themselves for the good of their teams. This exercise helps
students identify their level of self-confidence.

I. UNDERSTANDING YOURSELF AND OTHERS

A. The Value and Difficulty of Knowing Yourself

Self-awareness means being aware of the internal aspects of one’s nature, such as
personality traits, beliefs, emotions, attitudes, and perceptions, and appreciating
how your patterns affect other people. A primary characteristic of effective leaders
is that they know who they are and what they stand for. When managers deeply
understand themselves, they remain grounded and constant. Yet developing self-
awareness is easier said than done. Many of us might be surprised to find out what
others honestly think about us.

B. Enhance Your Self-Awareness Exhibit 14.1

1. Seeking feedback to enhance self-awareness can improve performance and


job satisfaction for both managers and employees. We all have illusions about
ourselves, so we need help from others to assess accurately who we are.

2. Many people have blind spots—attributes about themselves that they are not aware
of or don’t recognize as problems—which limit their effectiveness and hinder their
career success

3. Self-assessment is another highly valuable way to increase self-awareness. Self-


assessment uses self-inquiry and reflection to gain insights into oneself from the
results of scores on self-assessment instruments. It also means regularly reflecting
on our thoughts and feelings, and taking the time to introspect.

Discussion Question #1: Why is self-awareness important for being a good manager? Can
you think of some negative consequences that might result from a manager with low self-
awareness?

NOTES_____________________________________________________________________
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II. JOB SATISFACTION AND TRUST

A. Job Satisfaction Exhibit 14.2

1. Job satisfaction is a positive attitude to one’s job. People experience this


attitude when their work matches their needs and interests and they like their co-
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Understanding Individual Behavior  11

workers. Job satisfaction also occurs when working conditions and rewards are
satisfactory and when people have positive relationships with supervisors.

2. Research shows that the link between job satisfaction and performance is small
and is affected by other factors. Satisfaction varies according to the amount of
control the employee has. Managers play an important role in whether
employees have positive or negative attitudes about their jobs.

B. Trust

1. Organizational commitment is loyalty to and engagement in one’s organization.


Most managers want to enjoy the benefits of loyal, committed employees,
including low turnover and willingness to do more than the job’s basic
requirements.

2. The most recent Gallup workforce survey places the number of disengaged
employees in the United States at 70 percent

3. Trust in management decisions and integrity is one important component of


organizational commitment. Managers can promote stronger organizational
commitment by being honest and trustworthy in their business dealings, keeping
employees informed, giving them a say in decisions, providing the necessary
training and other resources that enable them to succeed, treating them fairly, and
offering rewards that they value.

Discussion Question #3: What are some specific tips that you would give a new manager for
building trust with subordinates? With other managers?

NOTES______________________________________________________________________
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III. PERCEPTION AND ATTRIBUTIONS Exhibit 14.3, Exhibit 14.4, Exhibit 14.5

Critical aspects of understanding behavior are perception and attributions, which are a special
kind of perception.

A. Perception and Perceptual Distortions

1. Perception is the cognitive process people use to make sense out of the environment
by selecting, organizing, and interpreting information from the environment.
Because of individual differences in attitudes, personality, values, interests, and so
forth, people often “see” the same thing in different ways. Perception can be viewed
as a step-by-step process: first we observe information from the environment
through our senses (sensory data); next our minds screen the data and select only the
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12  Chapter 14

items we will process further; and third, we organize selected data into meaningful
patterns for interpretation and response.

2. Perceptual distortions are errors in perceptual judgment that arise from


inaccuracies in any part of the perceptual process. Some types of errors are so
common that managers should become familiar with them.

a. Stereotyping is the tendency to assign an individual to a group or broad


category and then attribute generalizations about the group to the individual.

b. Halo effect refers to creating an overall impression of a person or situation


based on one characteristic, either favorable or unfavorable.

B. Attribution: A Special Case of Perception

1. Attributions are judgments about what caused a person’s behavior—something


about the person or something about the situation. An internal attribution says
characteristics of the person led to the behavior. An external attribution says
something about the situation caused the person’s behavior.

2. Fundamental attribution error is the tendency to underestimate the influence


of external factors on another’s behavior and to overestimate the influence of
internal factors

3. Self-serving bias is the tendency to overestimate the contribution of internal


factors to one’s successes and the contribution of external factors to one’s
failures

Discussion Question #4: The chapter suggests that optimism is an important characteristic for
a manager, yet some employees complain that optimistic managers cause them significant
stress because they expect their subordinates to meet unreasonable goals or expectations.
How might an employee deal with a perpetually optimistic manager?

NOTES______________________________________________________________________
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____________________________________________________________________________

IV. PERSONALITY AND BEHAVIOR

An individual’s personality is the set of characteristics that underlie a


relatively stable pattern of behavior in response to ideas, objects, or people in
the environment. Understanding personality can help managers predict how a
person might act in a particular situation. Managers who appreciate the ways
their employees’ personalities differ have insight into what kinds of leadership
behavior will be most influential.
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Understanding Individual Behavior  13

A. Personality Traits Exhibit 14.6

1. There are five general dimensions that describe personality, often called the
Big Five personality factors.

a. Extroversion refers to the degree to which a person is sociable, talkative,


assertive, and comfortable with interpersonal relationships.

b. Agreeableness refers to the degree to which a person is able to get along


with others by being good-natured, cooperative, forgiving, understanding,
and trusting.

c. Conscientiousness refers to the degree to which a person is focused on a


few goals, thus behaving in ways that are responsible, dependable,
persistent, and achievement-oriented.

d. Emotional stability refers to the degree to which a person is calm,


enthusiastic, and secure, rather than tense, nervous, depressed, moody, or
insecure.

e. Openness to experience refers to the degree to which a person has a broad


range of interests and is imaginative, creative, artistically sensitive, and
willing to consider new ideas.

2. These factors represent a continuum. A person may have a low, moderate, or


high degree of each quality. Having a moderate-to-high degree of each
personality factor is considered desirable for a wide range of employees, but is
not a guarantee for success.

3. Many companies use personality testing to hire, evaluate, or promote


employees despite the fact that there is little hard evidence that these
personality tests are valid predictors of job or relationship success. The use of
personality tests has however declined in recent years as more companies are
relying on social media to assess candidates based on what they have to say or
show about themselves.

Discussion Question # 5 Studies have suggested that extroverts contribute less to teams and
are poor listeners, yet other studies suggest that they are more likely to earn six-figure
incomes, even in today’s collaborative, team-oriented workplaces. Discuss why you think this
might be the case.
.
NOTES______________________________________________________________________
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14  Chapter 14

B. Attitudes and Behaviors Influenced by Personality Exhibit 14.7

1. Locus of control refers to whether individuals place the primary responsibility


for success or failure within themselves (internally) or on outside forces
(externally).

a. Some believe that their actions can strongly influence what happens to
them—they believe they are in control of their own fate. These individuals
have a high internal locus of control. Many top leaders of e-commerce and
high-tech organizations have a high internal locus of control.

 People with an internal locus of control are easier to motivate and better
able to handle complex information. They are better at problem solving
and are more achievement oriented, but are also more independent and
therefore more difficult to manage.

b. Others believe that events occur because of chance, luck, or outside people
or events. They see themselves as the pawns of their fate. These
individuals have a high external locus of control.

 People with an external locus of control are harder to motivate, less


involved in their jobs, and more likely to blame others, but are more
compliant and conforming and thus easier to manage.

Discussion Question #8: How might understanding whether an employee has an internal or
an external locus of control help a manager better communicate with, motivate, and lead the
employee?

NOTES____________________________________________________________________
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__________________________________________________________________________

Exhibit 14.8
2. Authoritarianism is the belief that power and status differences should exist
within the organization. If a manager and his or her employees differ in their
degree of authoritarianism, the manager may have difficulty managing
effectively. The trend toward empowerment and shifts in expectations among
younger employees for more equitable relationships has caused a decline in
authoritarianism.

3. Machiavellianism is the tendency to direct much of one’s behavior toward the


acquisition of power and the manipulation of others for personal gain. Research
shows that high Machs are predisposed to being pragmatic, capable of lying to

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Understanding Individual Behavior  15

achieve personal goals, more likely to win in win-lose situations, and more
likely to persuade than to be persuaded.

a. In loosely structured situations, high Machs actively take control, while


low Machs accept the directions given by others.

b. Low Machs thrive in highly structured situations, while high Machs


perform in a detached, disinterested way.

C. Problem-Solving Styles and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Exhibit 14.9

1. Individuals differ in the way they go about gathering and evaluating


information for problem solving and decision making. Psychologist Carl Jung
believed that people gather information either by sensation or intuition, but not
by both simultaneously. Sensation-type people would rather work with known
facts and data; intuitive-type people would prefer to look for possibilities and
use abstract concepts for problem solving.

2. People evaluate information by thinking or feeling. Thinking-type people base


their evaluations on impersonal analysis using reason and logic rather than
emotion or values. Feeling-type individuals base their evaluations on personal
feelings, such as harmony, and make decisions that result in approval from
others.

3. According to Jung, only one of the four functions—sensation, intuition, thinking,


or feeling—is dominant; however, the dominant feature is backed up by one of
the others. Two additional sets of paired opposites not related to problem solving
are introversion–extroversion and judging–perceiving.

4. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test that measures a


person’s preference for introversion vs. extroversion, sensation vs. intuition,
thinking vs. feeling, and judging vs. perceiving. The various combinations of
these four preferences result in 16 unique personality types, each of which can
have both positive and negative consequences for behavior. The two preferences
most strongly associated with effective management are thinking and judging.

Discussion Question #2: As a manager, how might you deal with an employee who is always
displaying negative emotions that affect the rest of the team? How might you use an
understanding of attributions and emotional contagion to help you decide what to do?

NOTES______________________________________________________________________
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___________________________________________________________________________

V. EMOTIONS
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16  Chapter 14

A. Positive and Negative Emotions Exhibit 14.10

1. An emotion can be thought of as a mental state that arises spontaneously within a


person based on interaction with the environment rather than through a conscious
effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes or sensations.

a. Positive emotions are triggered when people are on track toward achieving
their goals.

b. Negative emotions are triggered when people become frustrated in trying


to achieve their goals.

2. Managers can influence whether people experience primarily positive or negative


emotions at work. As a result of emotional contagion, the emotional state of the
manager influences the entire team or department. Effective managers pay
attention to people’s emotions, because positive emotions are typically linked to
higher productivity and greater effectiveness of employees.

B. Emotional Intelligence

1. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) includes five basic components.

a. Self-awareness means being aware of what you are feeling. It is the basis for
all the other components.

b. Self-management refers to the ability to control disruptive or harmful


emotions and balance one’s moods so that worry, anxiety, fear, or anger do not
cloud thinking.

c. Social awareness is the ability to understand others and practice empathy,


putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, recognizing the feelings of others
without being told.

d. Relationship awareness is the ability to connect to others, build positive


relationships, respond to the emotions of others, and influence others.

2. Studies have found a positive relationship between job performance and high
emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) in a variety of jobs. At times of great change
or crisis, managers rely on a high EQ level to help employees cope with anxiety
and stress.

3. Managers with low emotional intelligence can undermine employee morale and
harm the organization. Growing concerns over workplace bullying have

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Understanding Individual Behavior  17

prompted enlightened companies to take action that helps managers develop


greater emotional intelligence, such as by honing their self-awareness.

NEW MANAGER SELF-TEST: EXPRESSED EMOTIONS

Understanding yourself and others is a major part of a new manager’s job. The important
thing as a manager is to know and guide yourself, to understand the emotional state of
others, and to guide your relationships in a positive direction. This exercise helps students
learn about their insights into themselves and others.

Discussion Question #7: Which of the four components of emotional intelligence do you
consider most important to an effective manager in today’s world? Why?

NOTES_____________________________________________________________________
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VI. MANAGING YOURSELF

Self-management is the ability to engage in self-regulating thoughts and behavior to


accomplish all your tasks and handle difficult or challenging situations. Yet all of us have
patterns of habit and behavior that make it hard to manage ourselves toward more efficient
behavior.

A. Basic Principles for Self-Management

Three basic principles that define how to manage your big and small commitments
effectively so that you can get them accomplished are:

1. Clarity of mind. If you’re carrying too much around in your head, your mind can’t
be clear. If so, you can’t focus. If you can’t focus, you can’t get anything done.

2. Clarity of objectives. You have to be clear about exactly what you need to do and
decide the steps to take toward accomplishing it.

3. An organized system. Once you’ve decided the actions you need to take, you need
to keep reminders in a well-organized system.

By building a self-management approach based on these three principles, you can get
unstuck and make measurable progress toward achieving all the things you need to do.

B. A Step-by-Step Guide for Managing Your Time Exhibit 14.11

One self-management system is based on five steps:

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18  Chapter 14

1. Empty your head. The first step is to write down all the activities that demand
your attention on scraps of paper, organize them into various manageable
“buckets” using available tools, and add new projects or commitments as and
when they occur.

2. Decide the next action. For each item in your buckets, decide the real,
specific, physical action that you need to take action, and then do it,
delegate it, or defer it.

3. Get organized. Organize all the deferred items. At this stage, schedule any
appointments you identified as “next actions” and record these on whatever
calendar you check daily.

4. Perform a weekly review. Once a week, review your complete Next Actions list
and your calendar for the coming week. Scan the entire list of outstanding
projects and actions so that you can make efficient choices about using your
time.

5. Now do it. Once you have collected, processed, organized, and reviewed your
current commitments, you will have a better sense of what needs to be done,
enabling you to make better choices about how to use your time.

This approach to self-management can help you get a handle of all the various
things you have to do and approach them in a systematic way with a clear mind,

Discussion Question #9: How do you think a system for self-management such as the five-
step system described in this chapter could benefit you as a student? What parts of the
system seem particularly useful to you? Explain

NOTES_______________________________________________________________________
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VII. STRESS AND STRESS MANAGEMENT Exhibit 14.12

Stress is a physiological and emotional response to stimuli that place physical or


psychological demands on an individual and create uncertainty and lack of control
when important outcomes are at stake. These stimuli, called stressors, produce some
combination of frustration and anxiety.

A. Challenge Stress and Threat Stress

Challenge stress fires you up, whereas threat stress burns you out. Stress up to a
certain point challenges you and increases your focus, alertness, efficiency, and
productivity. After that point, however, things will go downhill quickly and stress
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Understanding Individual Behavior  19

compromises your job performance, your relationships, and even your health. The
point at which things tip from challenge stress (good) to threat stress (bad) may vary
with each individual.

People’s responses to stressors vary according to their personality, the resources


available to help them cope, and the context in which the stress occurs. When the
level of stress is low, stress can be a positive force, stimulating desirable change and
achievement. However, too much stress is associated with many negative
consequences, including sleep disturbances, drug and alcohol abuse, headaches,
ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart disease. People who are experiencing the ill
effects of stress may withdraw from interactions with their coworkers, take excess
time off for illnesses, and have more health problems.

B. Type A and Type B Behavior

1. Researchers have categorized people as having one of two behavior


patterns.

a. Type A Behavior is a behavior pattern characterized by extreme


competitiveness, impatience, aggressiveness, and devotion to work.

b. Type B Behavior is a behavior pattern that lacks Type A characteristics and


includes a more balanced, relaxed lifestyle.

2. Type A individuals can be powerful forces for innovation and leadership within
their organizations. However, many Type A personalities cause stress-related
problems for themselves and sometimes for those around them. Most Type A
individuals are high-energy people. Type B individuals experience less conflict
with other people and a more balanced lifestyle.

C. Causes of Work Stress

1. Work-related stress is on the rise worldwide. Managers can better cope with their
own stress and establish ways for the organization to help employees cope if they
define the conditions that tend to produce work stress. One way to identify work
stressors is to place them in four categories.

a. Task demands are stressors arising from the tasks required of a person
holding a particular job such as decisions made under time pressure, those
that must be made with incomplete information, and those that have serious
consequences. Task demands also sometimes cause stress because of role
ambiguity, which means that people are unclear about what task behaviors
are expected of them.

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20  Chapter 14

b. Interpersonal demands are stressors associated with relationships in the


organization. Interpersonal relationships can be a source of stress when the
group puts pressure on an individual or when conflicts arise between
individuals. Role conflict occurs when an individual perceives incompatible
demands from others.

D. Innovative Responses to Stress Management Exhibit 14.13

Organizations that want to challenge their employees and stay competitive in a fast-
changing environment will never be stress-free. Because many consequences of
stress are negative, managers need to participate in stress management for themselves
and for their employees. But healthy workplaces promote the physical and emotional
well-being of their employees.

1. What You Can Do to Combat Stress

a. Seek and destroy key sources of stress. Being well organized,


planning ahead, and using various time management techniques
are highly effective ways to manage and prevent stress.

b. Find meaning and support. If you feel you have lot of support,
you’re less susceptible to the negative effects of bad stress.

c. Meditate and manage your energy. Meditation can be an important


part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

d. Find work-life balance. People who live balanced lives typically


accomplish more than those who push themselves.

2. What Managers and Organizations Can Do

a. Create a psychologically healthy workplace. The number one way to lessen


employee stress is to create a healthy corporate culture that makes people feel
valued. This includes making sure that people don’t have unreasonable
workloads, providing opportunities for growth and advancement, and offering
suitable salaries and benefits.

b. Provide wellness programs and training. Wellness programs that offer access
to nutrition counseling and exercise facilities can be highly beneficial in
helping people cope with stressful jobs. Training programs and conferences
can help people identify stressors and teach them coping mechanisms.

c. Train managers in stress intervention. Training managers to recognize


warning signs of stress overload is critical. Manager intervention is a
growing trend in enlightened companies.
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Understanding Individual Behavior  21

d. Make sure people get to have some fun at work. Particularly for jobs that have
a high degree of task-related stress, allowing people to blow off stream by
having fun can make all the difference in the stress level.

3. Work-life practices also communicate that managers and the organization care
about employees as human beings. Managers’ attitudes make a tremendous
difference in whether employees are stressed out and unhappy or relaxed,
energetic, and productive.

Discussion Question #10: Why do you think workplace stress is skyrocketing? Do you think it
is a trend that will continue? Explain the reasons for your answer. Do you think it is the
responsibility of managers and organizations to help employees manage stress? Why or why
not?

NOTES______________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Answers to End-of-Chapter Discussion Questions

1. Why is self-awareness important for being a good manager? Can you think of some
negative consequences that might result from a manager with low self-awareness?

In order to be effective leaders, it is important for managers to possess self-awareness—


the knowledge of who they are and what they stand for. When managers deeply
understand themselves, they remain grounded and constant, and people will know what to
expect of them.

If managers have low self-awareness then there is a mismatch between how managers
think of themselves and how others perceive them. A manager who considers herself to
be friendly and approachable could be perceived by her employees as cold and aloof.
This could result in employees being too weary to approach her when they first encounter
a problem and are more likely to figure out their own way to fix it. Should this approach
fail, the manager will only become aware of it much later, often after it has blown up to a
greater proportion. It is, therefore, necessary that managers work toward enhancing their
self-awareness.

2. As a manager, how might you deal with an employee who is always displaying negative
emotions that affect the rest of the team? How might you use an understanding of
attributions and emotional contagion to help you decide what to do?

The first thing a manager might do in this situation would be to sit down with the
employee to discuss the reasons for the person’s negative emotions. Of course, the
manager would have to be careful not to appear to be prying, but could start by asking if
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22  Chapter 14

the person was experiencing any problems at work that cause him or her to display the
negative emotions. If so, then the manager may be able to resolve the work-related
issues. Otherwise, the manager may need to point out to the employee that s/he is
causing others in the workplace to become negative, which in turn negatively impacts
productivity. As a more extreme measure, if the employee does not respond to the
manager’s efforts, s/he may need to be isolated in some way, if possible, from the other
employees to prevent the negative emotional contagion. Ultimately, if the situation does
not improve, the employee will need to be fired to remove his or her negative impact on
others, and thus on the productivity of the company.

3. What are some specific tips that you would give a new manager for building trust with
subordinates? With other managers?

Managers promote trust by being open and honest in their business dealings, keeping
employees informed, giving them a say in decisions, providing the necessary training and
other resources that enable them to succeed, treating them fairly, and offering rewards that
they value. Employees have a right to expect that their managers are trustworthy and that
they will create stable organizations. A survey found that 32 percent of an employee’s
desire to stay with a company or leave depends on the employee’s trust in management.
These concepts hold true for building trust with subordinates and other managers.

4. The chapter suggests that optimism is an important characteristic for a manager, yet some
employees complain that optimistic managers cause them significant stress because they
expect their subordinates to meet unreasonable goals or expectations. How might an
employee deal with a perpetually optimistic manager?

The best way to deal with a perpetually optimistic manager whose goals or expectations
are unreasonable is probably to provide that manager with “hard data” – factual
information related to the employee’s work that clearly shows why the goals or
expectations are unreasonable. These managers are unlikely to be dissuaded from their
unreasonable optimism by intellectual or emotional arguments, but will find it more
difficult to refute objective data that contradict their expectations.

Of course, if the data does not support the notion that the manager’s goals or expectations
are truly unreasonable, then the employee will probably need to resort to more
conventional ways of dealing with stress, such as exercise, rest, a healthful diet, engaging
in creative hobbies, etc.

5. Studies have suggested that extroverts contribute less to teams and are poor listeners, yet
other studies suggest that they are more likely to earn six-figure incomes, even in today’s
collaborative, team-oriented workplaces. Discuss why you think this might be the case.
.
Having an outgoing, sociable personality (extroversion) is considered desirable for
managers, Extroverts get out there and connect with people both within and outside the

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Understanding Individual Behavior  23

organization. They speak up at meetings, make presentations, and are more sociable and
outgoing at conferences and other professional events.

However, extroversion is not as significant as is often presumed; however, traits of


agreeableness are important in today’s collaborative organizations. Executive search firm
Korn Ferry International found that the most successful executives are team-oriented
leaders who gather information and work collaboratively with many different people.
Recent research suggests that traits of conscientiousness are more important than those of
extroversion for effective leadership.

6 .Surveys by the Conference Board show that job satisfaction has declined from 61 percent
of people surveyed in 1987 to 45 percent in 2009, and one workplace analyst has said a
high level of dissatisfaction is “the new normal”. What are some factors that might
explain this decline in satisfaction levels? Do you think it is possible for managers to
reverse the trend? Discuss.

One possible factor is that work is increasingly knowledge-based, and the outputs of
knowledge-based work are less tangible than those of more materially-based work such as
manufacturing and even service work. Less tangible outputs mean it’s more difficult to
identify exactly what has been accomplished, leading to a lower sense of accomplishment
and less satisfaction.

Other reasons for the apparent decline in job satisfaction may be less, or not at all, directly
related to work and the workplace. The steep recession in which the country found itself
in 2009 probably caused strong feelings of general dissatisfaction that individuals may
find difficult to separate from their work lives. Moreover, as more people lost jobs during
the recession, the survivors found themselves with more work to do, often without
additional compensation, which may also have led to increased feelings of dissatisfaction.

Managers can help employees feel more satisfied in a variety of ways, such as protecting
them from bullying and communicating clearly and closely with employees to help them
understand how their individual work contributes to the company’s success. However, to
the extent that dissatisfaction arises from factors external to the company, managers are
constrained in their ability to reverse the trend.

7. Which of the four components of emotional intelligence do you consider most important
to an effective manager in today’s world? Why?

The four components of emotional intelligence include self-awareness, self-management,


social awareness, and relationship awareness. The most effective of those in today’s world
for managers would be self-awareness, the basis for all the other components. It means
being aware of what you are feeling. People who are in touch with their feelings are better
able to guide their own lives and actions. Self-management refers to the ability to control
disruptive or harmful emotions and balance one’s moods so that worry, anxiety, fear, or
anger do not cloud thinking. Social awareness is the ability to understand others and
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24  Chapter 14

practice empathy, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, recognizing the feelings of
others without being told. Relationship awareness is the ability to connect to others, build
positive relationships, respond to the emotions of others, and influence others.

8. How might understanding whether an employee has an internal or an external


locus of control help a manager better communicate with, motivate, and lead the
employee?

People differ in terms of what they tend to attribute as the cause of their success or failure.
Their locus of control defines whether they place the primary responsibility within
themselves or on outside forces. Some people believe that their actions can strongly
influence what happens to them. They feel in control of their own fate. These individuals
have a high internal locus of control. Other people believe that events in their lives occur
because of chance, luck, or outside people and events. They feel more like pawns of their
fate. These individuals have a high external locus of control.

People with an internal locus of control are easier to motivate because they believe the
rewards are the result of their behavior. They are better able to handle complex
information and problem solving and are more achievement oriented, but are also more
independent and therefore more difficult to lead. On the other hand, people with an
external locus of control are harder to motivate, less involved in their jobs, more likely to
blame others when faced with a poor performance evaluation, but more compliant and
conforming and, therefore, easier to lead.

9. How do you think a system for self-management such as the five-step system described in
this chapter could benefit you as a student? What parts of the system seem particularly
useful to you? Explain.

The five-step system described in the chapter will benefit not just employees but anyone
who practices it. It is particularly useful to students who often have to juggle many tasks
in a day. By practicing the five-step system, students can save on valuable time that would
otherwise be lost. By gaining better control over their lives, students will be more relaxed,
thereby able to better focus on their studies

10. Why do you think workplace stress is skyrocketing? Do you think it is a trend
that will continue? Explain the reasons for your answer. Do you think it is the
responsibility of managers and organizations to help employees manage stress?
Why or why not?

Workplace stress is skyrocketing, in part, because the advancements in technology that


were at one time expected to give us a great deal more leisure time have, instead, resulted
in people working longer hours and being unable to escape the pressures of work even
when they aren’t physically at work. The constant “connectivity” that today’s technology
provides makes it very difficult for people to “disconnect” from work, psychologically or
otherwise. As a result, people experience very little down time and have less and less time
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Understanding Individual Behavior  25

to recharge either physically or emotionally. The inability to disconnect and recharge


leads to increased stress. It is likely that this trend will continue into the foreseeable
future, as technological advancements make the world even smaller and make it ever more
difficult to get away from work.

It is the responsibility of both management and the organization to assist employees in


managing stress. Although individuals can pursue stress management on their own,
today’s enlightened companies support healthful habits to help employees manage stress
and be more productive. In the new workplace, taking care of employees has become a
business priority as well as an ethical priority.

Supporting employees can be as simple as encouraging people to take regular breaks and
vacations. The time off is a valuable investment when it allows employees to approach
their work with renewed energy and a fresh perspective. Companies also develop other
programs aimed specifically at helping employees reduce stress and lead healthier, more
balanced lives. Many companies offer wellness programs that provide access to nutrition
counseling and exercise facilities. Others create broad work-life balance initiatives that
may include flexible work options such as telecommuting and flexible hours as well as
benefits such as onsite daycare, fitness centers, and personal services such as pickup and
delivery of dry cleaning. “Daily flextime” is considered by many employees to be the
most effective work-life practice, which means giving employees the freedom to vary their
hours as needed, such as leaving early to take an elderly parent shopping or taking time off
to attend a child’s school play. By acknowledging the personal aspects of employees’
lives, work-life practices also communicate that managers and the organization care about
employees as human beings. Work-life balance initiatives help employees manage stress,
improve productivity and quality of life, and enhance job satisfaction and organizational
commitment. In addition, managers’ attitudes make a tremendous difference in whether
employees are stressed out and unhappy or relaxed, energetic, and productive.

Apply Your Skills: Experiential Exercise

Personality Assessment: Jung’s Typology

Personality assessments based on the work of psychologist Carl Jung are widely used. No one
is a pure type; however, each individual has preferences for introversion versus extroversion,
sensing versus intuition, thinking versus feeling, and judging versus perceiving. Based the
scores in the survey, students can read the descriptions of their types in the chart. They can
then discuss whether they feel that the description fits their personalities.

Apply Your Skills: Small Group Breakout

Personality Role Play

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26  Chapter 14

After reading the case study presented in the exercise, students gather in groups to discuss
specifics of the case and how they will solve a problem. Then, students role play the problem-
solving approach, taking turns until everyone has participated, and give each other feedback
after each role play.

Apply Your Skills: Ethical Dilemma

Should I Fudge the Numbers?

1. Make the previous numbers work. Kristin and the entire team have put massive amounts
of time into the project and they all expect you to be a team player. You don’t want to let
them down. Besides, this project is a great opportunity for you in a highly visible position.

This is not a good option. It appears Sara would have difficulty signing this proposal.
This was developed before Sara had a chance to participate in its formulation and it places
Sara in a very uncomfortable position.

2. Stick to your principles and refuse to fudge the numbers. Tell Kristin you will work
overtime to help develop an alternate proposal that stays within the budget by
providing more training to employees who work directly with customers and fewer
training hours for those who don’t have direct customer contact.

Based on the information given, it appears that this is the best course of action for
Sara.

3. Go to the team and tell them what you’ve been asked to do. If they refuse to support you,
threaten to reveal the true numbers to the CEO and board members.

This is a more extreme position and should only be taken after option 2 is explored.

Apply Your Skills: Case for Critical Analysis

A Nice Manager

1. What does Nice mean to you? Is being considered nice a good trait for managers to
have or the kiss of death?

The word nice can be construed in several different ways. It could simply mean
being compassionate and respectful of others. But, it could also mean being
overtly accommodating and a pushover. If, by being nice, a manager is able to build
positive relationships, respond to the emotions of others, and influence them into
performing better, then it is a good trait. However, if the manager goes out of his or
her way to help others by taking on their duties and responsibilities, then it most
certainly is an unfavorable trait.

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Understanding Individual Behavior  27

2. Is nice related to any concepts in the chapter, such as agreeableness, conscientiousness, or


emotional intelligence? Discuss.

Nice hinges on the social awareness and relationship management components of


emotional intelligence. A manager's social awareness — the ability to understand others
and practice empathy — will get him or her to be perceived as nice. This ability will
allow a manager to understand divergent points of view and interact effectively with
many different types of people. Nice could also mean treating others with compassion
and respect — all of which are favorable traits in a manager.

3. If Harry is passed over for promotion, what feedback and advice should he be given
about how to improve his management skills for possible future promotions?

If Harry is passed over for promotion, he should retain his basic helping nature but
should also ensure that he is firm and assertive when necessary. If employees perceive
Harry as being too soft or too conscious of his image, then he is more likely to be taken
advantage of. It is also important for Harry to realize that the need for assertiveness will
only grow as he moves higher on the corporate ladder.

On the Job Video Case Answers


On the Job: Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning: Understanding
Individual Behavior

1. Does Mike Boyle appear to be self-aware? How does his level of self-awareness affect the
way he runs his business?

Self-awareness means being aware of the internal aspects of one’s nature, such as
personality traits, beliefs, emotions, and perceptions, and appreciating how your patterns
affect other people. Mike Boyle is very self-aware. He started out by working at a university
and realized that this job was not what he wanted. He is a person who knows what he wants
and what he stands for. For example, his business model does not include signing people up
for memberships that they never use. He is clear about providing social support to those who
want to feel better. Looking better is a secondary goal. As a manager Mike Boyle is
grounded and constant. The people that work for him know what to expect from him.

2. As you watch the video, focus on Marco’s comments about himself and Mike’s comments
on Marco. Then use the four components of emotional intelligence to evaluate Marco as an
employee and explain whether you think he is or is not emotionally intelligent.

Emotional intelligence includes four basic components:

 Self-awareness. Marco is self-aware and in touch with his feelings. He describes himself as a
results-driven person with a high attention to detail. He has a healthy sense of self-confidence.

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28  Chapter 14

 Self-management. Marco exhibits self-management because he remained optimistic and


hopeful on the job even though Mike Boyle told him to wear his hat a certain way. Marco
didn’t let this criticism become an obstacle or setback.

 Social awareness. Marco has the ability to understand others and practice empathy, which
means putting himself in his client’s shoes. He assess the mood that his client is in and works
with him or her, recognizing what this person is feeling during the training session.

 Relationship management. Marco has the ability to connect to others and has built a positive
relationship with Mike Boyle. If issues arise, they have a staff meeting, and Mike gives Marco
more direction and guides him with a firm hand. Marco has listened to Mike and used his
comments constructively to be a better trainer.

Marco shows a high degree of emotional intelligence and is a valuable employee.

3. Listen to Mike Boyle describe some of the characteristics and behaviors he requires of his
employees, and then compare these to the Big Five personality traits. Pretend you are Mike
Boyle and write out how valuable you think each of these traits is in the workplace. Rank
them in order of importance, according to Boyle.

Answers may vary and students may have a lively discussion about how Mike Boyle would
rank these traits. Here is a suggested ranking.
 Conscientiousness: Mike requires accountability in his employees, There is a certain
way Mike runs his business, and he expects the employees to follow his business model.
Mike is systematic and efficient and expects his employees to pay attention to details.

 Openness to experience. To work for Mike, a trainer has to consider new


ideas and be willing to follow Mike’s directives. However, Mike has staff
meetings and allows employees to offer imaginative, creative solutions to
problems. Mike values employee input.

 Emotional stability. Mike expects his employees to be calm, enthusiastic, and self-
confident rather than tense, depressed, or moody.

 Agreeableness. In order to be a trainer and work for Mike, a person has to be able to get
along with others and be cooperative. Being understanding is also valuable because many
people work out to relieve stress.

 Extroversion. Since a trainer works with the public, it is advantageous to have someone
who is outgoing, sociable, assertive, and comfortable with interpersonal relationships.

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