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Managing Individual Performance

Essay by   •  February 12, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,317 Words (10 Pages)  •  2,274 Views

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The process of discovering the best individuals to create a dynamic and vital team can be a daunting task. Luckily, these concepts have been examined for generations based on researcher done by Abraham Maslow, John Holland, Myers-Briggs, and Clayton Alderfer. An amalgamation of their work in organizational and individual behavior will be the basis for decisions made during the University of Phoenix's on-line simulation "Managing Individual Performance" (University, 2002a). This simulation puts an individual in the role of champion for a new project that requires four team members with a wide variety of skills, interests, and motivators. The project is working with recovering drug abusers for several months to ensure that they stay drug free and return to a productive life. The goal of the simulation is to demonstrate how choosing the right (or wrong) individuals and providing those individuals with the right (or wrong) motivations can dramatically impact team success. In each case, a review of team member candidate's Myer-Briggs profile, personality, interests, and notes from supervisors were examined to find the best fit. This will determine which candidate will be building case file, moderating self-help groups, performing follow-ups, and supervising confrontational sessions.

Choosing the Team

Building Case Files

The first role that needed to be filled is the individual responsible for building case files. This person will need to "conduct site visits to verify and research case histories and substance abusers' profiles, analyze and record causes and patterns of substance abuse" (University, 2002a). John Connor was chosen for this team role. Since the individual needed to participate in site visits to a variety of places, having a Myers-Briggs extroverted personality type is essential. John is a task oriented individual who values teamwork and sharing information. The project champion may need to keep an eye out for John's quarterback mentality and ensure that John receives motivational feedback in a way so that John feels like he is the champion of the project.

Moderate Self-Help Groups

In this role, Lisa Stafford is responsible for facilitating "group meetings, handle conflicts, and build records of interactions and results" (University, 2002a). Her work with social awareness groups and contributing to social causes indicates that Lisa is a feeling and perceiving individual. These factors were confirmed through Lisa's Myer-Briggs analysis. Since Lisa is constantly looking for credit and acknowledgement in her career, the project champion needs to ensure that her contributions are visibly recognized in order to keep her highly motivated.

Perform Follow-Ups

Unsure who to put in this role, the champion chose Nicola Minelli who has only been with the company about a year. Her Myers-Briggs profile indicates an introverted, intuitive, thinking, and perceiving individual. More than the other roles, Nicola is responsible for monitoring the former drug "addicts in family, work, and community environments" (University, 2002a). Michelle is known to be able to adjust to situations. Though Nicola's supervisor stated that she sometimes appears to consider input from others, this could be beneficial in the uncertain and confrontational situations that Nicola needs to immerse herself.

Supervise Confrontation Sessions

The choice for this role may surprise some; however, the choice is Michelle Levy. Though her Myers-Briggs profile indicated an introverted individual, the other three characteristics of sensing, thinking, and perceiving should make up the difference. Unlike several other roles, this role is more of a one-on-one contact role. Michelle will work with individuals who have relapsed into their drug habit and help determine the reasons and situations that led to the relapse. This will lead towards defining a revised treatment strategy that takes into account the negative situations. According to input from Michelle's supervisor, the team champion will need to reassure Michelle that it is not her fault just because someone relapses.

Behavioral Theories

Since each person was chosen for objective and subjective reasons, a single individual can ruin the potential for success of the team. As mentioned in the introduction, it is important to balance various concepts from published behavioral scientists.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicators

In the 1940s, Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Myers, mother and daughter, developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) evaluation (University, 2002b, p. 87). The MBTI is personality test was modeled on psychiatrist Carl Jung's personality theory created in the 1920s. The success of the MBTI is that it "makes Jung's (1921/1971) theory of psychological types understandable and useful in normal populations" (Johnson, 1998, par 4).

The test gathers data by asking a question and providing the participant with a choice of four possible answers. Each of the four answers leads towards one of the character types. So a single question may have been created to determine whether someone is more introverted or extroverted, sensing or intuitive, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. The participant was to choose the answer which best fit their true personality.

Whether a person would be a good candidate to speak in front of a crowd versus performs book-keeping in an office may depend upon whether that person is extroverted or introverted. The extroverted individual is "outgoing, talkative, sociable, and assertive" (University, 2002b, p. 86). This is in direct contrast to an introverted individual who could be characterized as stay-at-home, quiet, shy, and non-assertive.

It appears that sensing and intuition (University, 200b, p. 87) are opposites just like introverted and extroverted. The sensing individual is more likely to make decisions based on objective, quantifiable input received through the five-senses. In our case study, a sensing individual is more likely to indicate a recovering drunk is lying about recovery if they smell alcohol in the drug abuser's home. An intuitive person will base decisions on subjective or qualitative feedback.

The thinking individual wants to use scientific logic and research methods in order to base decisions whereas a feeling individual are more likely to incorporate personal values and weigh the impact to the drug abuser into the equation. This means the thinker may have the attitude "once a drunk, always a drunk" as opposed to a feeler who may have

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