Combined Worksheet Barriers to Effective Term Paper

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The awareness of those assumptions, in conjunction with case elements, creates a new way of looking at case studies. One is more alert to the prejudices and other assumptions experienced by people in the work place, or even other environments.

2. What did you learn about yourself in the course of this exercise?

That, prior to the course, my awareness of these issues was limited. That age discrimination takes on a greater meaning in the work place than not hiring someone because of their age. That when you hire someone, it should be on an equal basis, one of job related duties to the skill, the environment, and even the existing staff. Sometimes, especially when one is over qualified or over educated for a position, it is going to be more problematic than hiring someone who needs to be trained.

3. What did you learn about others in the course of this exercise?

That everyone has their own agenda, and that they are in pursuit of their own life goals as the motivation for the work they seek and do. That when those personal agendas stand at odds with the corporate or employer's agenda and goals, changes must be made. However, it should be the goal of each employer not to build dynamics where they are altering the individual employee's life because they made a mistake in hiring. That the supervisor had her own goals in mind - she needed a mature person who would show up for work and not create the dynamics that had caused her predecessor to be terminated; was not looking towards everyone's, and especially the hospital's needs.

There are responsibilities that come with being in a position to affect the life of another individual in a dramatic way. Employment and loss of employment are two of the most dramatic ways in to impact a person's life. Great care and thought should be exercised when hiring and firing a person.

4. Name two ways in which you can use what you have learned in daily life.

First, in my role as one having the responsibility to hire and fire others, I proceed with caution, and with consideration of the organization's needs first. I would look to match the task to the person being hired, and to not hire someone for being over qualified is not a bad choice to make. As we can see from the case study here, it can lead to larger problems.

Also, that all people must be treated equally in employment, as well as other public or social settings. That to distinguish them as being separate and apart from others because of their individual differences, is wrong. However, it is equally wrong to expect those people who are vastly different from others to be a good fit for certain kinds of environments. That does not mean, however, that a person does not fit anywhere. What the supervisor in the case above might have done, rather than fire the new person, is to find a better fit for that woman within the organization.

Cultural diversity is not just based upon ethnicity; it is a combination of all the social factors that exist within a society. Distinguishing people of a certain age to treat in a "different" way than others are treated, is as much a cultural bias as is a bias based on ethnicity. Age related problems in America are a part of the American complexion.

Worksheet 17

Personal Competencies and Your Work Setting (approx. 15 mins)

Purpose to foster awareness and understanding of the 14 personal competencies for maintaining effective communication and relationships in a culturally diverse work setting and to practice the dialogue process.

Instructions Form groups of four or five people. Discuss and identify three competencies important for effective relations with coworkers and clients (or patients, students -- those to whom service or a product is provided). The result of your discussion will be two lists of three competencies each to be shared in the whole group discussion. If you are in an internet course, do this worksheet individually.

Three competencies to be used with coworkers:

The first competency is respect for other individuals. Respecting other individuals means their expertise, their lack thereof. It means that everyone brings to the table different skill sets, and can be considered as assets in different ways. Respecting another for their contribution means identifying that their skill set can make a positive contribution to the puzzle of the environment. That even though one skill set varies from another, putting these individuals together in a group setting with a focus on a goal or mission, can complete the steps to accomplishing that mission.

The second competency is communication, and to keep the lines of communication open. Communicating is a two way event, and in order to do that, everyone has to be open to receive. The way to communicate is to listen, respond in accordance with what was said, and, if necessary to act. To give information, as well as receive information.

The third competency is cooperation, and that means that all the individuals recognize the goals of the work place as being their primary focus and function, and working together to accomplish those goals on behalf of the employer. This requires putting aside of individual biases and emotions in lieu of the task that needs to be accomplished.

2. Three competencies to be used with clients (or patients, students, customers, community at large)

Three competencies to extend to clients, students, patients, customers and the community at large are, first, respect. That is an understanding the individual dignity and well being of another human being and that no one is entitled to the right to tread upon that dignity, and should exercise the social graces that reflect an awareness of, or respect for, the dignity of another individual.

The second competency follows the first naturally, courtesy. That is extending to the customer or other person in a social setting the courtesy of acknowledging them as a consumer, patient, or fellow resident within the community. That is putting yourself alongside, not necessarily inside, but alongside that individual as someone who is by virtue of the relationship someone who should be treated with courtesy. That often times weighs heavy on an individual's patience, especially if there are barriers like language or other cultural differences that weigh on the patience. However, courtesy is an art that gets better with practice, and patience, with practice, follows.

The third competency is listening to what the other person says, or communication. At level of communication, the customer, patient, or other person speaking should be able to express their thoughts without interruption, and the response should be one that is responsive to the thoughts expressed by that individual. Interrupting, waving off, or treating as insignificant the ideas or comments of another is not respectful.

Debriefing Questions

Write your answers to the debriefing questions.

1. Describe your personal reaction (feelings, thoughts) to the exercise as applied to the cultural competencies that ensure effective communication and relationships amidst cultural diversity.

The exercises are necessary, and make individuals aware of their own position in an exchange of communication. The exercise helps to build a heightened awareness of where we as individuals perhaps fall short of reaching two, three or group communication goals. Listening, responding to what is said, and taking action on what is said is something that we should always focus on. Feedback, taking information back to the individual or group, is way of demonstrating that the communication was a successful. The greater the success in communicating in a culturally diverse setting, the greater people feel about their work and their co-workers.

2. What did you learn about yourself in the course of this exercise?

I think I learned that I had biases, whether or not those biases were the focus of my attention, they existed. Putting the identified biases and prejudices on the table for people to closely examine creates an awareness of them, and I think it is automatic that a person does a self-assessment. We have to ask ourselves, how am I blocking or facilitating communication in a diverse setting. Those answers, especially when we ask ourselves these questions, are going to be honest - even if we don't share them with others. I think the fact is that we must all constantly assess and reassess our ability to communicate and to respect and to cooperate with others in any diverse setting.

3. What did you learn about others in the course of this exercise?

A learned that all people have their own agenda, and that often they will put their personal agendas before the employer's agenda. The employer's agenda is always stated, in the mission statement, while the individual agendas are not always clear. It is important, too, to understand how cultural biases and prejudices impact the productivity of the work environment, or the social environment, and keeps it from moving forward in a productive…[continue]

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