Liberal Arts and Business How 'Literature Review' chapter

Excerpt from 'Literature Review' chapter :

It helps business people to be able to separate business activities from their emotions. This is what is referred to as emotional intelligence. Some of the characteristics of emotional intelligence are confidence, emotional awareness, collaboration and empathy. There is also political awareness and adaptability Bodenhorn, 2003()

The business person also needs to be able to read the emotions of other in order to know the right time to push for something such as a hard bargain in a business deal and the time not to push for it. One thing that business people need to know is that there is a need to think logically and to work efficiently no matter what may be disturbing them emotionally. Liberal arts help the people to cater for this kind of situation Bodenhorn, 2003()

Experienced employees learn to do the repeatable tasks no matter their emotional status. However, for the more complex tasks, there is a need for the employees to be able to separate their emotions from their work. Liberal arts also teach employees to create a happy work environment. This can be done by employees occasionally smiling at each other when they meet in the work place and at the end of the day, discussing what they have done in the office in order to create a good work relationship.

Companies are often known to be hotbeds for emotional activity. This is because they bring insecurity, anger, frustration, competition, enthusiasm, excitement and fear. All of these are emotions that are in operation in the workplace day by day. These emotions affect decisions made in the workplace, revenue generation and progress also. Therefore, managers and employees too need to know how to handle the emotional realities of their jobs and that they should not take emotions into account when making decisions. Such emotions that are made on an emotional background are later regretted. When there is a lack of emotional balance in the workplace, this leads to dysfunctional work teams and the business will be unable to achieve its set goals and objectives Bodenhorn, 2003()

Liberal arts creates emotional intelligence in the business circle which leads to effective management and creates a growing awareness that even though emotions are important in the success of the business, it can also be a hindrance to the success of the business. Emotions also have a lot to do with the success of each individual member of the organization. It is not just a mere coincidence. Rather, it is an important consideration that all businesses should have and it is often learnt through liberal arts Bodenhorn, 2003.

This is because liberal arts teach team dynamics, collaboration of information between culture, history and philosophy and also about human behavior.

Liberal arts and teamwork

Liberal arts teach about teamwork in the business and their importance. Teams are basically a group of one or more people all with the same purpose and geared towards the achievement of the same goal. Generally, teams bring about many advantages to organizations and that is why they are often used in organizations. Additionally, teams usually have members who have skills which complement each other and generate a kind of synergy which coordinates their efforts and allows each team member to give their strength to the maximum and to minimize their weaknesses so as to achieve the common goal or objective. There are also different types of teams depending on the specific situation in the organization. Despite the composition and type of team, teams are extremely important towards the achievement of the organization's goals and objectives Wang & He, 2008()

Work teams are used in organizations as a way of structuring work and they accomplish large tasks which are complex in nature which when working alone as individuals, they would not normally be able to accomplish. Teams also give the members of the team huge potential for being innovative and creative towards responding to the customers, and other stakeholders as well and also to respond to the demands of the fast-changing business environment. Therefore, teams help to put ideas together in the development of the best answer to the issues surrounding the company or organization. This is also referred to as cross-fertilization of ideas Yang & Guy, 2004()

Teams also help in the speedy, parallel and interdependent working in the organization which brings about learning to the members of the team and improved management of quality in the decisions made. This ensures that the decisions that are made bring about the best result for the company or organization Yang & Guy, 2004()

Teams also help to question any radical issues in the development of the decision and the decision-making process and this enables the team and its members to be able to challenge basic assumption which would otherwise be neglected and thus be able to improve the services and products of the organization or company Yang & Guy, 2004()

There are many skills that team leaders and team members must develop in order for them to assimilate into the newly formed teams and become effective members of the team quickly and efficiently. These skills can be learnt through liberal arts. One of the skills is time management. Time management involves setting and meeting deadlines for projects. It is also important to also develop milestones which act as valuable points of evaluating the team on how time is being managed Vera & Crossan, 2005()

High performance culture is also a crucial skill that needs to be developed. It involves the merging of several ingredients for the success of the team itself. One is to create a personal vision for the team and to give each member of the team their role to play. Secondly is to be undeterred by any setbacks whether minor or major setbacks that may come up for the team Vera & Crossan, 2005()

The team leader should be able to focus on the team's objectives, the results and opportunities that present themselves for the organization. This involves resolution of conflict in the team to make sure the members of the team keep focus on the end result. It also involves using the input of each team member towards making the final decision Palmer & Speier, 1998()

The team leader should be able to delegate to the members of the team to ensure each of them has a role to play and that they feel valuable to the team. It also involves identification of the unique skills of every team member and making sure these are used in the achievement of the objectives and goals of the organization or company Palmer & Speier, 1998()

The team members should also be well motivated. Motivation makes them feel valuable and to be able to focus on the objectives and goals of the team and the organization in general. It also fosters them to work as one and to play their part. Another important thing is that it helps them to see any problems arising in the team as opportunities for growth and development and not as obstacles Lewis, 2004()

Liberal arts and conflict resolution

Liberal arts also help to resolve conflicts that arise in the workplace. Team conflict needs to be managed in order for the team to work together as a functional unit and to achieve their goals and objectives. Managing conflict is in most cases the role of the team leader. The team leader should remain impartial in all cases and needs to facilitate a good understanding among the group members. The biggest challenge faced by the team leader is in figuring out how they should balance the forces of anger, frustration and alienation with those of generating and evaluating ideas in order to resolve the conflict effectively Jarvenpaa & Leidner, 1999()

In management of conflict, it is first important to try to prevent or minimize the conflict. This is done by setting ground roles which would incorporate those behaviors or processes which prevent or minimize conflict. Conflict can also be resolved by having the members of the team being well motivated and to understand their various roles in the team. This prevents clashing of roles of the individual members of the teams Hinds & Bailey, 2003()

Conflict can also be managed through withdrawal whereby one member of the teams takes a side-step or postpones the issue. Sacrifice can also help in conflict resolution where one member of the team yields to the other. Conflict can also be resolved by splitting the differences between the members of the team in order to arrive at a common or middle ground which merges the differing opinions of the team members Hinds & Bailey, 2003()

Liberal arts also help employees to differential between good conflict and bad conflict Good conflict is whereby the conflict leads to positive results such as positive progress towards the achievement of the objectives or goals of the company or organization. Bad conflict is that which leads to negative results such as one member of the team quitting from the…

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