Simon Fraser University – Faculty of Education
Selected Problems in Higher Education
Professor: Dr. Doug Mauger
Student: Kathryn Truant
November 13, 2020
In my introductory video at the beginning of this course, I alluded to my negative opinion of a TOP DOWN MANAGEMENT APPROACH. A couple of my classmates picked up on this, and their responses triggered me to look deeper, specifically at the importance of TEAMWORK:
Indeed, the topic you are interested in, I know too well from first-hand experience. I always use the image of top-down politics to the similarities of war. The sergeants and generals make all the decisions and have no idea what is going on in the battlefield.
It is a topic I will be exploring further in my pedagogical journey. For now, I can recommend some readings that have helped me grow and manage in bureaucratic environments.
One thing I’m recognizing is the importance of bringing value to an organization. Being a valuable asset to an institute is key when jostling with internal politics (Colome, personal communication, Sept 27, 2020).
In the dental industry there are too many practices where that top down management can kill the energy of a solid, caring and competent team and drive a stake through morality. There is much to be done in terms of educating the next generation of dental students if there’s going to be any change” (Madar, personal communication, September 29, 2020).
Analyses done by dozens of different experts in close to five hundred corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations world-wide have arrived independently at remarkably similar conclusions…. Their conclusions all point to the paramount place of emotional intelligence in excellence on the job – in virtually any job. (Goleman, as cited in Tomer, 2003).
At the onset of my research inspired by past experience and the contributions of my cohort – I was able to get an overview of how this demographic feels about staff/faculty/team meetings. I needed to ‘read the room’ and determine my audience’s views.
Earlier in this semester, I sent out a brief (one question) survey to the cohort:
Would you rather attend a staff/faculty meeting or go to the movies?
Of the 22 people that I surveyed (including myself), I received 17 responses (77% of the cohort including Doug). Typically, anything over a 50% response rate is considered excellent, so I was pleased with the engagement.
35% staff/faculty meeting (loves their TEAM)
53% movies (no explanation: just would rather be at the movies)
12% neutral based on conditions
With a ‘seemingly’ simple survey question, the 12% offered some insight:
So many factors, what movie? Also more seriously, I would attend a staff meeting if it was relevant
I would attend a staff meeting if getting paid, otherwise movie
These principles can be applied to the private sector or institutions.
The soft nature of intangible inputs, like personal capital, the difficulty of measuring them, and their interrelationship with psychological and social processes which are normally outside the scope of economic inquiry are no doubt important reasons why economists have in the past ignored their contribution . . . our management of our emotions, our ability to motivate ourselves, and our social skills are in most cases a more important determinant of our work performance than our IQ, intellectual preparation or task training (Tomer, 2003, p. 470).
I attended a team building seminar once with a former employer. The facilitator had us do an exercise in trust where you would fall blindly backward and trust that a co-worker would catch you. I think they were on the right track at the time, but in hindsight and after doing some research on teamwork and trust, I believe that trust is something much bigger than ‘I’ll catch you if you fall.’ It is about allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and in not preying on the vulnerabilities of your teammates. That is where (as Simona so eloquently stated back in January) the real magic happens.
TRUST BUILDING ACTIVITIES:
– Create a Team Logo (what would it look like?)
– Tell your favourite joke
Truant, K November 14, 2021
(Book: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team)
Jones, G. R., George, J. M., Haddad, J. W., Rock, M. (2013). Essentials of Contemporary Management (4th ed.). Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.
Lencioni, P. (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Reina, D., Reina, M. (2015). Trust and betrayal in the workplace – Building effective relationships in your organization. (3rd ed.). Oakland: Berrett-Koehler.
Tomer, J. F. (2003). Personal capital and emotional intelligence: An increasingly important intangible source of economic growth. Eastern Economic Journal, 29(3), 453-470.
(Article: Bringing value to an organization)