Q1. Emotions are sharp and true response of our body and mind against external stimuli. Why I have spoken of mind and body and not just either of the two, because in case of emotions processing of information is carried out at lower levels of brain and not at the higher levels, which is involved in thinking process. This is the reason why emotions are fast and have very strong but at the same time short lived force associated with it.
Why I have spoken of body is because, the intense force generated by emotions is almost instantaneously expressed by body either in form of stretch (in case of negative emotions like anger) or relaxed (in case of positive responses like happiness) muscles. One can look upon emotions as crude or semi processed thoughts. In facts output of emotions actually acts as input for subsequent thought process. Emotions can be of different types like anger, angst, frustration, happiness etc. These are very important for grooming of personality in a healthy manner. In professional life as well they play an important role.
While expression of emotions is not always acceptable at the workplace, to some extent it is allowed only to make workplace lively. In this situation I feel bad for Mr. Tony and will have some sympathy, I will express it as well, so that he goes back to work and home with some sense of security. At the same time I am very unhappy with Ms. Rosalee, though I will not express this to Mr. Tony. In my opinion Ms. Rosalee is having fear and insecurity of her subordinates as those were peers of hers till yesterday and know a lot about her weaknesses. They can destroy her further growth, so she appears to fear and therefore, such a behavior.
At the same time Mr. Tony appears to be shaken, frustrated and angry having been fire up for no fault by Ms. Rosalee. Q2. Unlike emotions which can be termed as knee-jerk reaction of our body – mind system, thinking process is much slower and mature process. It takes reasonably long time for thinking process to mature and it has long term repercussions as well. To take an example you may be emotionally angry with someone in the morning and you may be found on lunch table with the same person talking happily. But if are angry as a result of thinking process, you may not like to see the person for years.
Emotions are honest, they are free of social, moral and ethical concerns, there is nothing to inhibit ones emotions. On the other hand thoughts are heavily influenced and in fact shaped by prevalent social, moral and ethical norms. Thinking process is more important for a manager while dealing with customers and his own staff members. However, a good manager should be capable of sensing and exploiting emotions of those he is dealing with, for his / her benefit. Emotions are first to arrive in response to external stimuli and subsequently paves way and provides input for thinking process.
Q3. Managers should work with their head at the workplace, there is hardly any place for emotions over there, except that they should be capable of sensing emotions of those they are interacting with and should be capable of exploiting others emotions for their benefit. However, expression of positive and negative emotions are acceptable to some extent by low rung executives, only to maintain the workplace lively and also to keep up morale of young executives. However extreme emotions should be avoided as a general rule. a.
An employee should vent his emotions only among his trusted friends if the emotions are negative and targeted towards management. On the other hand if emotions are positive and there is an opportunity to flatter superiors, such emotions should be vent in presence of as many superiors. A meeting can be a good place, but one should be careful against excessive expression of emotions. b. Emotions are not open to question as long as the behavior expressing the emotions is not affecting the workplace atmosphere negatively. At work place one should see to it that his behavior is in line with accepted norms while expressing his emotions.
Q4. It was very much an issue and we have to face emotional tantrums of some of the task force members. What was worst is that it had spill over effect as others were also getting involved. However, we realized that it can be tackled proactively by promoting communication and interrelationship among the task force members. Besides, we decided to organize contributory parties to dissipate accumulated stress, distrust and misunderstandings. Q1. Once I got very angry at my manager looking after kitchen services at the Resort restaurant I work with.
In the restaurant there are two managers working under me being assisted by a host of executives – one Mr. Albert for kitchen services and the other Mr. Samuel for customer services. At our restaurant there is an unwritten understanding that the tips offered by the customers to the executives are shares with the manager customer services in certain proportion. The manager of kitchen services is paid nothing from this; instead he was paid certain incentive based on the feedback given by customers regarding the food quality. In the recent times Mr. Albert was not able to get handsome incentive while Mr.
Samuel continued to earn good money through tips or so was perceived by Mr. Albert. This made Mr. Albert less cooperative and reflected in poor food quality and resultant customer complaint. One fine morning I summoned Mr. Albert to seek explanation about deteriorating food quality and instead of offering a sensible explanation he started accusing Mr. Samuel. To this I reminded him of sticking to the topic, but he pointed fingers on me for being soft and rather patronizing Mr. Samuel. This angered me a lot. I warned him to mind his language, allegations and advised him to pay due attention to his duties.
I had to ask him to get out of my cabin and put a written reply and suspended him from his duties for a week pending enquiry. When, I look back and think consciously, I feel to have given less time and patience to Mr. Albert. As it came through his written explanations, he had more to tell than just pointing fingers. But he came from down the rank so I should not have expected same level of sophistication from him as one expects from a direct recruit from a business school. I feel that I should have interfered in the distribution of the tips money in more equitable manner among the kitchen staff as well as customer care staff.
Q2. I got very angry with Mr. Albert partially due to his futile explanation and partially due to the fact that I had negative perception of him built in my mind over past one month. I shouted at him, questioned his abilities and even his loyalties. Like emotions, the expression of the same is also very difficult to control. Though, some people like to put a very heavy control over their behavior when under emotions. This may have some merit, but has its own disadvantages too. It is very detrimental for emotional health. Excesses are wrong in both the directions – be it freely expressing the emotions or fully curbing the same.
One should not let his emotions being expressed in a way to hurt him or others injure physically, even usage of uncivilized language can not be acceptable; but at the same time there should be sufficient freedom to the body to relax itself from the force of emotions by some tangible expressions, let it be slightly raised voice of disapproval, let be shut up or get out. There should be something tangible so that there is no residual stress due to the emotional force as such residual stresses deform or even fracture personality over a period of time.
It is better to vent your ire, it is better to cry your moments of joy rather to live under pressure of these emotions for ever. I could have done it differently, but that would have been more harmful not just to me but to Mr. Albert as well. I could have listened to all he said, disapproved it all and would have put a negative remark in his appraisal, but that would have hardly conveyed the message and even bolstered his perception of I being biased toward John. I am quite OK with the way I resolved the conflict.
This is the way I resolved the conflicts but such occasions do not repeat very happen as I try prefer to proactively mitigate such situations by communicating with my subordinates on regular basis. Q3. Conflict resolution means arriving at a common and amicably acceptable point between the disputing parties. If the disputing parties are happier, then one can claim that the conflict was resolved in a good manner. It is not an easy task. Many times one has to resolve a dispute he himself is involved in. Many times the other party in the dispute could be his superior, an esteemed customer of the firm he is working with.
In such circumstance he is not having an upper hand he is rather in a situation where he has to keep the other party happy and at the same tome protect his self esteem. Therefore, one can say that conflict resolution is one of the most important activities of managers. This becomes very important in hospitality industry due to higher level of work pressure and resulting high stress levels. For conflict resolution, a manager should have unbiased view of his subordinates, not only he should be unbiased he should as well appear unbiased.
In this connection managing emotions and expression of emotion becomes very important. While a manager or for that matter anybody can not and should not be devoid of emotions, he should be emotionally well balanced. Not only that a good manager needs to master the art of reading emotions of those he is dealing with – customers, subordinates, peers and superiors and behaving himself accordingly. He needs to display artificial emotions in a natural way as per demand of situation. This is not an easy task as this requires having a split personality during working and this has spill over effect.
This means in actual life as well he will start having a split personality and this has its own negatives. Resolving a conflict involving customers is most important in hospitality industry. In this industry a manager can afford to lose an executive or two but not a bad reputation from a customer. Besides, customers tend to be highly demanding, they are justified to do so. They can afford to express their emotions in a way a manager can not. It is duty of a manager to resolve the conflict in a way that is appeasing to the customer even if it means compromising on right / wrong to some extent.
Sometimes the conflict may involve his subordinate and a customer. In this case the resolution should be such that the customer remains happy at the same time moral of your executives should be protected. All this requires efficient management of emotions and expression of the same. The bottom line is a good manager should be able to ride over his emotions and in no case he should let emotions ride over him. Q4. From these exercises and this experience I could rediscover certain things about myself and emotion management at the work place.
I am introvert as I look inside myself to analyze origin of emotions. Not just that I feel it is better to be introvert as such a manager does not keep pointing fingers on others for any mistakes. I rather prefer to start from myself. If there was a fault, whether I owe the mistake or I did my best and someone else failed. At the same time being introvert has its own disadvantages like someone else who is an extrovert will find me an easy scapegoat, whenever there is a fault and there exist even remote possibility of linking it to me.
Also, what I realize is that it is expected from a manager by his subordinates, by his peers and even by his superiors to be extrovert. I am intuitive as I plan well and at different stages in planning I gain an intuition of other possible outcomes and their relative probabilities. I am thinking as I like to go to the root of a problem. For this I analyze a problem, a conflict in detail. I look upon it from different angles. I do start with a hypothesis, but at the same time I explore the other and even extreme possibilities. I consult my peers and let my conclusions open for peer review.
In the end I go by what is most logical, but even at this stage I leave some space for course correction if required by changed inputs. I hardly let my emotions ride me for over a second at the worst and start looking upon it or thinking upon it. I am not judging rather I perceive. I do not like to judge and never in a hurry. Because I know that hurried judgments can go wrong most of the time. The other problem with judgments is that it is not easy to reverse or correct them. On the other hand a perception can always be modified or corrected based on changed inputs.
In my opinion a good manager should perceive rather than judging. Q5. I chose this question for my exam as this offered me to look back at my experiences especially in connection with emotions. Looking back at one’s emotions provides him with an opportunity to explore his personality and make suitable course correction. Looking back at emotions and its outbreak is very important for managers. A manager is expected to work with his brain and ride over his emotions. On many occasions he is expected to pretend having a particular emotion suiting to the situation.
All this is possible if he keeps visiting his emotions time and again and tries to manage them by different exercises of meditation etc. Besides, it is important for a manger to communicate substantially and effectively with different sets of people he interacts with – like customers, subordinates, peers and superiors. During all these interactions his ability to manage emotions is vital for his success as a manager. The exercise on emotions and experiences offered me to rediscovered myself and carry out necessary course correction for me. This is the reason why I chose these questions for my exam.