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Weekly Professional Writing

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ― E.L. Doctorow

Final Reflection

In the project presentation, I had the opportunity to work with Wirda and Christopher for the first time and it was an enjoyable journey with them. Towards the preparation of the project, it was difficult for us to juggle between CPD and other projects with tight deadlines. We had to sacrifice our weekends to complete this CPD project, without giving any less emphasis to it.

While preparing for the project synopsis and instructional video, we had to keep in mind that it is essential to incorporate the learning in the module that is pertinent towards effective business communication. In our project, we built our fundamental on the basis of an MICE industry whereby the work environment could be very volatile, fast-paced and unpredictable. Thus, effective communication, strong interpersonal skills and active listening often play a central role in facilitating greater job efficiency within a MICE team.

Through our primary and secondary research in this project, it helps us to explore the areas of interpersonal, intercultural, verbal and non-verbal communication. The strategies and techniques used in our project training is widely applicable in many different industry. However, we realised that interpersonal and cultural understanding play a big role in building a purposeful relationship within a workplace as intercultural is idiosyncratic.

By building a good relationship among a team or workplace, it could possibly mitigate misunderstanding and conflict from occurring. Hence, situational and self-awareness should be practice in a global work environment, in order to have an understanding the differences of each individuals and work towards a common goal of the organisation.

As previously mentioned that we had to juggle between different modules, we had to put our learning into action by understanding that we had different priorities and different module meetings going on. We had to comprehend and come to an agreement to meet up for different project and get it done without compromising other modules. This requires much communication and understanding to work together towards the end of our goals for this project.

Overall, I had a great time working with Wirda and Christopher. They had made my learning experience memorable and meaningful as we managed to balance between professionalism and friendship well throughout this project.

Project Synopsis (Draft 3)

Introduction

The dynamic nature of the Meeting, Incentives, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) industry requires one to be highly versatile as the work environment could be very volatile. As the work is often fast-paced and unpredictable, effective communication and strong interpersonal skills often play a central role in facilitating greater job efficiency within a team. These skills become even more crucial when the team is faced with tight project deadlines, as such skills will reduce the likelihood for miscommunication and misunderstanding, therefore allowing for a seamless event delivery.

 

Project Thematic Focus

Although a team may be well-oiled, the situation may change abruptly if the team leader is removed from the group. The remaining team members would now be expected to work with and provide support to a new team leader, resulting in a rise of discomfort or even unhappiness. Similarly, the new team leader would feel some resistance or reluctant when attempting to command respect from the team. This is made tougher as the team may have set a benchmark for what they deem as a “good” leader.

The challenge of interpersonal communication arises when the new leader, or manager, is not accustomed to the team’s working style. This may lead the team to view the manager as being uninterested in “blending in” or it may even induce them to “outcast” the manager, causing the team to become divided. In other circumstances, team members may also choose to resign if they feel displaced or are no longer recognised. This can be highly destructive for the team as it not only affects their communication, it will also impact the overall team dynamics, efficiency, productivity, morale and ultimately, bottom-line. The low quality of work output could consequently jeopardize the organisation operating performance.

 

Objective and Scope of Study

This study will identify several approaches by which new managers can adopt when attached to a new team. The principles discussed in the study will help new team managers understand the concept behind the act of nurturing a healthy relationship with their new colleagues. The principles also aims to minimize the attrition rate faced by organisations, which will eventually result in overall financial savings, in term of cost in hiring and training of new staff.

 

The N.I.E Principle

The team has developed a framework for new managers to bridge their relationship with new team members by adopting the ‘N.I.E’ principles. N.I.E represents noble goals, interdependence and empathy.

Noble goals refer to the commitment of actions by the manager to serve the colleague while upholding certain ideals and integrity. The implementation of noble goal requires values of both the manager and team member to be aligned in order to shape the long-term strategy of the team. Most importantly, the action does not carry any bias against anyone within the team (Berman-Rubera, 2012). The purpose of exercising this principle is to ensure that the manager takes into consideration how he can assist each employee to achieve their ultimate goals, instead of just focusing on his own personal growth.

Secondly, interdependence refers to the manager’s consciousness of how their actions can later impact his team. Interdependence is important as it can impact the degree and quality of interaction shared between team members (Campion, Medsker, & Higgs 1993). Research has also shown that when a team perceive their goals are positively aligned to the manager, they will be more motivated to find ways in which mutual goals can be achieved (Deutsch, 1973). This would consequently result in an integration of ideas which would create an avenue for the team and the managers to engage in more team learning activities together (Runhaar et. al, 2014). Findings from a survey conducted by Fierce, Inc (2011) has shown that 90-percent of respondents believe that decision makers (i.e. managers) should seek out other opinion before making a final decision. However, almost 40-percent felt that their managers has failed to exercise such practice.

Lastly, a manager who exercises empathy is required to use his emotional awareness to guide him when making choices. A manager with the ability to empathize with his colleagues will show that he is not focused purely on the results, but instead, include the feelings of his fellow team mate. Research has shown that managers need to exercise  empathy to show their team members that he cares for their needs and achievement (Bass, 1985). Fortunately, empathy can be learned as it is not a fixed trait (Shapiro, 2002). With sufficient time and training, managers can develop and enhance their empathy skills in order to be a better manager.

 

 

Implementing the Principles

When entering a new team, the manager should conduct a self-introduction of himself and display enthusiasm and interest in getting to know his fellow team member. This includes finding out and understanding each team member’s strengths and weaknesses (or perhaps what they don’t enjoy doing). By doing so, the manager outlines how he could equip each team member to grow and improve on their weaknesses, while continuing to develop on their strength.

To discern team members’ personal working style and attitude towards the job, the manager is encouraged to sit down with the employee and have a one-to-one conversation outside of the job parameter. By doing so, the manager demonstrates that everyone has a part to play in shaping a team setting, and everybody’s actions can affect the team’s performance one way or another.

As a manager, he must also understand that his decisions will have implications on the team. If the decision made is not aligned with the team members, it may affect the project outcome (short-term), or the interpersonal relationship between the team and him (long term).

As every individual has their own feelings and problems, it is essential for the manager to show empathy towards each of the team member. By doing so, the manager shows that he is trying to place himself into their shoes to understand their point of view or concern before jumping into conclusion.

Ultimately, the performance of the whole team will reflect the manager’s ability to perform. Hence, as the team lead, it is essential that the team does well and progresses together.

 

Benefits to the workplace

The application of the N.I.E principles will assist a new manager to assimilate well into an existing well-bonded team. This would support the formation of an efficacious team who are able to work collectively to meet tight project deadlines and tough organisational demands. The easy relationship between team members and the team lead would also culminate in a highly effective and efficient team. Thus, the N.I.E principles help improve the overall team dynamics, efficiency, productivity and morale which was highlighted earlier.

 

Research Methodology

The study is also supported with primary research data. An interview was conducted with Mr Johnny Yip, operations manager of Singapore Polytechnic Graduate Guild, who have had experience in joining a well-integrated team. The thoughts and views shared on the importance of integrating well into a new team resonates with the N.I.E principles that was discussed above.

 

Concluding Thoughts

The turnover rate in the hospitality industry is high and this applies to the MICE sector as well. As a result, more attentions need to be directed into this area so that incoming managers can better integrate into the existing team. In doing so, it will help to mitigate employees’ attrition, which can be very expensive and time consuming for the organisation to hire and re-train new staff. The N.I.E principles assist organisations, especially those in the hospitality industry, to address this situation and rehabilitate it to increase the overall efficiency of the organisation.

 

Reference

Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free Press

Berman-Rubera, S. (2012). 100 Tips to Small Business Results: Tips and Case Studies to Grow Business Owners and Propel Revenue. Massachusetts: AuthorHouse

Campion, M. A., G. J. Medsker, and A. C. Higgs. (1993.) Relations Between Work Group

Characteristics and Effectiveness: Implications for Designing Effective Work Groups.

Personnel Psychology, 46, pp. 823–850.

Deutsch, M. (1973.) The resolution of conflict. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Fierce, Inc. (2011). FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Fierce Inc. Retrieved from http://www.bing.com/cr?IG=7D57A149346F416786E26A3F91521F69&CID=1B71ABFFCDBF6990391FA1B9CC8E685E&rd=1&h=UeKPO2sWbcXFaIBjEfUyJTvgKLzwhD5_HeoZ5fsZLTA&v=1&r=http%3a%2f%2fwww.fierceinc.com%2fuploads%2fpdfs%2fpress%2f20110603_fierce_Survey_VILT_Press_Release.pdf&p=DevEx,5074.1

Runhaar, P., Brinke, D. T., Kuijpers, M., Wesselink, R., & Mulder, M. (2014). Exploring the links between interdependence, team learning and a shared understanding among team members: the case of teachers facing an educational innovation. Human Resource Development International, 17(1), pp. 67-87

Shaprio, J. (2002). How do physicians teach empathy in the primary care setting? Academic Medicine, 77, pp. 323–328.

 

CPD Project Synopsis

Introduction

The dynamic nature of the Meeting, Incentives, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) industry requires one to work in a populous and versatile environment. As the work is often fast-paced and unpredictable, effective communication and strong interpersonal skills often plays a central role in facilitating greater job efficiency within a team. These skills become even more crucial when the team is faced with tight project deadlines, as it will reduce the likelihood for miscommunication and misunderstanding, therefore allowing for a seamless event delivery.

 

Project Thematic Focus

Although a team may be well-oiled, the situation may change abruptly if the team leader is removed from the group. The remaining team member would now be expected to work with and provide support to a new team leader, resulting in a rise of discomfort or even unhappiness. Similarly, the new team leader would feel some resistance or reluctant when attempting to command respect from the team. This is made tougher as the team have set a benchmark for what they deem as a “good” leader.

 

The challenge of interpersonal communication arises when the new leader, or manager, is not accustomed to the team’s working style. This may lead the team to view the manager as being uninterested to “blend in”, or even induce them to “outcast” the manager, causing the team to become divided. In other circumstances, team members may also choose to resign if they feel displaced or are no longer recognised. This can be highly destructive for the team as it not only affects their communication, it will also impact the overall team dynamics, efficiency, productivity, morale and ultimately, bottom-line. The low quality of work output could consequently jeopardies the organisation operating performance.

 

Objective and Scope of Study

This study will identify several approaches which new managers can adopt when attached to a new team. The principles discussed in the study will help managers understand the concept and science behind the act of nurturing a healthy relationship with their new colleagues. It is hope to also minimize the attrition rate faced by organisations, which will eventually result to overall financial savings, in term of cost in hiring and training of new staff. The study is also supported with primary research data, obtained from an interview conducted with a manager who had experience joining a well-established team. The thoughts and views shared by the interviewee regarding the importance of integrating well into a new team resonates with the principles that will be discussed below.

 

The N.I.E Principle

Managers can bridge their relationship with new team members by adopting the ‘N.I.E’ principles. N.I.E, representing noble goals, interdependence and empathy.

 

Noble goals refer to the commitment of actions by the manager to serve the colleague while upholding certain ideals. Most importantly, the action does not carry any biasness against anyone within the team.  The purpose of exercising this principle is to ensure that the manager takes into consideration how he can assist each employee to achieve their ultimate goals, instead of just focusing on his own personal growth.

 

Secondly, interdependence refers to the manager’s consciousness of how their actions can later impact his team. This could cause both short-term and long-term consequences. For instance, the short-term consequences may refer to the project outcome for an event, whereas the long-term consequences may refer to the relationship within the team beyond the completion of the project.

 

Lastly, a manager who exercises empathy is required to use his emotional awareness to guide him when making choices. A manager with the ability to empathize with his colleagues will show that he is not focused purely on the results, but instead, include the feelings of his fellow team mate.

 

Implementing the Principles

When entering a new team, the manager should conduct a self-introduction of himself and display enthusiasm and interest in getting to know his fellow team member. This includes finding out and understanding each team member’s strengths and weaknesses (or perhaps what they don’t enjoy doing). By doing so, it would help the manager outlines how he could equip each team member to grow and improve on their weaknesses, while continuing to develop on their strength.

 

To discern team members’ personal working style and attitude towards the job, the manager is encouraged to sit down with the employee and have a one-to-one conversation outside of the job parameter. By doing so, the manager demonstrates that everyone has a part to play in shaping a team setting, and everybody’s actions can affect the team’s performance one way or another.

 

As a manager, he must also understand that his decisions will have implications on the team. If the decision made is not aligned with the team members, it may affect the project outcome (short-term), or the interpersonal relationship between the team and him (long term).

 

As every individual has their own feelings and problems, it is essential to show empathy towards each of the team member. By doing so, the manager shows that he is trying to place himself into their shoes to understand their point of view or concern before jumping into conclusion.

 

Ultimately, the performance of the whole team will reflect the manager’s ability to perform. Hence, as the team lead, it is essential that the team does well and progresses together.

 

Benefits to the workplace

The application of the N.I.E principles will assist a new manager to assimilate well into an existing well-bonded team. This would support the formation of an efficacious team who are able to work collectively to meet tight project deadlines and tough organisational demands. The easy relationship between team members and the team lead would also culminate in a highly effective and efficient team. Thus, the N.I.E principles help improve the overall team dynamics, efficiency, productivity and morale which was highlighted earlier.

 

Concluding Thoughts

The turnover rate in the hospitality industry is high and this applies to the MICE sector as well. As a result, more attentions need to be directed into this area so that incoming managers can better integrate into the existing team. In doing so, it will help to mitigate employees’ attrition, which can be very expensive and time consuming for the organisation to hire and re-train new staff. The N.I.E principles assist organisations, especially those in the hospitality industry, to address this situation and rehabilitate it to increase the overall efficiency of the organisation.

Reflection on interpersonal communication

Hi all,

In this entry, I would like to share about an interpersonal communication problem that I had encountered during my internship.

As an events coordinator, I was tasked to do administration work and operational aspect of the project whereby I had to constantly liaise with suppliers via email or telephone regarding the props needed. There was a time I had to order a balloons sculpture and all the necessary arrangement was completed smoothly according to my manager’s requirement.

On the actual event day, the balloon sculpture arrived when we were busy setting up the venue, the supplier gave me a call and asked me where she can put the sculpture before she leaves. At that point of time, I was occupied with the tasks on hand, hence I told her to just place it somewhere near the car park and I will retrieve it when I am free.

Around 30 minutes later, I went to collect the balloon sculpture. To my horror, I saw it lying out in the sun and some of the balloons had burst. I was furious at that moment and I called my supplier to demand an explanation. The supplier patiently explained to me that it was my instruction asking her to leave it somewhere and she placed it under a shady area, without knowing that the sun will shine towards that direction during noon time.

Upon reflection, I realised that I had fault on my part for neglecting my work and I did not clearly state where I want the supplier to leave the item. Besides that, I failed to consider the fact that the balloon will burst under the hot sun after a prolong period.

This incident taught me that communication goes both ways and I should not assume that the other party knows what I am trying to convey without giving clear instruction or explanation to him/her.

Besides that, what should I do to improve on my communication and avoid similar situation again?

Personal Branding

Before branding oneself, it is important to have personal awareness and self-conception. Building a personal brand by shaping what others wanted see can be exhausting in the long run, and the slightest bit of inconsistency could prove to be problematic. Thus, having a true understand of oneself could display a more authentic side of an individual. I am always on a self-discovery, trying to find my strengths and weakness.

Through communication, it show how people perceived one’s knowledge and power. Engagement through communication are opportunities to be seen or heard which allow instant feedback from peers and family. Confident could be a key issue that I have to work on to speak on a consistent and concise manner.

It takes time to build your personal brand. If you fail to stay relevant, all of your effort will be wasted. So it pays to learn new things, develop new skills, and to expand one’s knowledge. If you’re not growing, then you’re stagnating, and that’s the last thing I want for myself.

Self-Introduction

Dear Brad,

My name is Jieren, though, some friends who cannot pronounce my name call me “JR”. I am currently an undergraduate in Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), majoring in hospitality business. Doing an undergraduate study was an unexpected route as I thought I was done with school after finishing my diploma study and national service. As luck would have it, SIT started the new hospitality business programme in 2015, which gave me the opportunity to attain a bachelor degree in an area that I am interested in.

I have done events management related internship and part-time jobs, and what persuade me to continue my education would be the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) specialisation that this degree programme is offering in its second-year curriculum.

I used to work in Singapore Cricket Club as an events coordinator for approximately 6 months; coordinating social events for club members and also assisting the sports department for events such as the annual Soccer 6s which involved teams from various countries. Besides that, I have also done internship during my time in polytechnic and SIT, both involving in the Singapore Formula 1 project. My experience in event management was fulfilling one as it allowed me to interact with contractors and people from all walks of life in staging a successful event together.

I believe that my communication strengths are the ability to build a rapport well with strangers and the confidence to voice out my opinion when it is needed in a discussion meeting. However, my straightforward personality is also my weakness as I fail to show empathy and being sensitive to others’ feeling at times.

Since completing this degree programme is my priority now, I hope that I can make the most out of this three years, forging friendships with like-minded individuals and also improving my communication skills, both as a listener and a communicator.

Thank you.

Regards,
Hu Jieren

(blog edited on 8/02/2017, 12.40am)

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