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Assignment Question(s):

Question 1: Critical Thinking

Two Phrases That Indicate Your Boss Is Not Listening To You

One of the biggest predictors of whether an employee will be engaged at work is the extent to which they feel like their boss listens to them. But sadly, we’ve all had (or are having) the experience of a boss who doesn’t listen to us. And I’m not talking about really blatant situations (e.g. they literally turn away from us or roll their eyes), but rather those situations in which the boss acts like they’re listening but hears nothing we say.

I recently witnessed just such a case. An executive, let’s call him “Pat,” was holding a town hall meeting to discuss the company’s recent, and disappointing, employee engagement survey results. About 40 employees showed up to the meeting. He kicked things off by saying, “Welcome, everybody. As you know, I’m having this meeting today because I want to hear your concerns directly. I’m here to listen about your issues with your supervisors, so fire away.”

One employee raised his hand first and said, “With the recent cost-cutting, I think we’ve all got concerns about whether we’re going to have jobs next year.” Pat quickly responded, “Oh, I hear you. You think you’ve got problems? At least your wages are ones that other companies will pay. But I’m the VP and I’m over 50, so when you combine my high salary with my age, I’m going to have a really tough time finding a job. But hey, life’s not fair, right?”

Then another employee raised their hand. “I actually have a different concern. My supervisor tells me that I’m supposed to bring her any suggestions for improvement, but when I do, it’s like she doesn’t listen to me.” Pat responded, “I know how that feels, but I don’t want you to worry, because those feelings will pass and you will get over it.”

Source: Forbes Magazine

Think about how well this manager listened in high-pressure situation:

1. Explain how well he did at each of the following active listening skills: paying attention, holding judgment, reflecting, clarifying, and sharing. (2.5 Marks)

2. Suggest some strategies to turn this manager into an excellent listener. (2.5 Marks)

Question 2: Writing Exercise

Things have been a little tight lately, and you need some money to get you through to the end of the school term. Write two letters asking for a loan of $500 (1) to a friend, (2) to a bank loan officer. How do your approaches to these audiences differ? (5 Marks)

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