International Training Office. (2014). NIU-LAHES Executive Diploma on Leadership Training Manual. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University.
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Edited by Dr. Rey Ty
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Executive Diploma on Leadership
International Training Office
Division of International Affairs
Northern Illinois University
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NIU-LAHES Executive Diploma on Leadership
This is an open access publication. For the purpose of this book, individual authors retain owner-
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work, you must also make clear the terms under which the work was reproduced. Open access to,
and free use of, original work ensures the publication is freely and openly available. You may
not use this work for commercial purposes.
2014 Northern Illinois University International Training Office
DeKalb, Illinois, U.S.A.
All ideas expressed here belong to the individual authors. The findings, interpretations, and con-
clusions expressed in this volume do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Train-
ing Office. Content, style, editing, and proofreading were the responsibility of each author or
group of authors. All errors and omissions are those of the contributors.
•Action Plan •Corporate Responsibility •Creative and Critical Thinking •Cultural Visits •Design Thinking
•Diversity •Ethical Thinking •Ethics •Freedom and Accountability •Inclusion •Industry Visits •Innovation
•Intercultural Communication •LAUGFS Higher Education Services (LAHES) •Lateral Thinking
•Leadership •Philosophy •Random vs. Intentional Thinking •Sustaining vs. Disruptive Innovation
Printer: Northern Illinois University
Printed in the United States of America
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
About the Resource Persons (in Alphabetical Order)................................................................. 5
Program Design .......................................................................................................................... 7
The Mind and Behavior of the Leader:....................................................................................... 9
Survey ....................................................................................................................................... 10
Intercultural Orientation............................................................................................................ 11
Unlocking Your Leadership Potentials..................................................................................... 13
Leadership Challenges.............................................................................................................. 17
Diffusion of Innovations........................................................................................................... 20
Matching the Communication of Organizational Values with the Reward System................. 23
Cell Phones, Social Media, and Virtual Communication: Illusions, Pitfalls, & Opportunities 25
Scenarios of Negotiation and Mediation Workshop................................................................. 27
Scenarios for Confronting Destructive Communication Workshop......................................... 29
Negotiation and Mediation ....................................................................................................... 30
Dealing with Destructive Communication................................................................................ 33
Dynamics of Decision Making ................................................................................................. 36
Strategic Management and Decision Making........................................................................... 39
Strategic Planning and Action Plans......................................................................................... 43
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About the Resource Persons (in Alphabetical Order)
Dr. Lina Davide-Ong is the Director of the International Training Office. She
provides leadership and strategic direction for all aspects of international training
at NIU; oversees the design and implementation of training programs; develops
and maintains collaborative linkages with academic units and faculty members to
initiate and design international training courses; seeks out external grant opportu-
nities for ITO and NIU; writes proposals to bid for project-related training from
external funding organizations; assists in the programming efforts designed to foster the interna-
tionalization of NIU. Source: http://www.niu.edu/ito/aboutus/staff/index.shtml
Dr. Nalika Diyadawa has over 10 years of experience in multiple people han-
dling and managerial positions in the banking and private sector. She joined the
Hatton National Bank, Sri Lanka as a Management Trainee and in a few years’
time she became the Assistant Manager – Research of the bank at the Corporate
Planning Division. Currently, as the Leader – Finance and Talent Management Dr.
Diyadawa has the responsibility to oversee all finances and resources at Kavi Associates LLC,
U.S.A. Dr. Diyadawa holds a doctorate in Adult and Higher Education and MSc. in Education
from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL. While pursuing her degrees at NIU, she complet-
ed her internship at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York City. She also holds an MBA
degree in Finance from Pune University, Pune, India and a B.Com. Honors degree in Business
Management from Punjab University, Chandigarh, India.
Dr. Deborah Pierce serves NIU as Associate Vice President for International Af-
fairs and leads the integrated internationalization efforts for the University. She
oversees international training initiatives, study abroad, and services to internation-
al students, scholars and faculty. Her primary professional interests include curric-
ulum internationalization, conflict transformation, leadership development, and
Southeast Asian studies. She holds the Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of
Michigan and master’s degrees from Michigan State University. Source: Dr. Deb Pierce
Matthew Schatteman is the General Sales Manager of Catching Fluidpower, a
Kaman Company that distributes an industrial component for the Chicagoland re-
gion. Catching Fluidpower supplies engineered solutions to manufacturers in the
hydraulic and automation markets. Matt worked in a family distribution business in
this field for many years before moving on to positions with corporate leaders Par-
ker Hannifin and Kaman Distribution. Matt is a graduate of New Jersey Institute of
Technology’s Master’s in Engineering Management program and received an M.B.A. from
Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is a student in the Ph.D./D.B.A. Program in Values-Driven
Leadership at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois.
Dr. Joseph Scudder is a Presidential Teaching Professor at NIU. He specializes
in organizational communication, influence, and technology. His current research
examines perceptions of rudeness of social media and cell phone use. He has con-
sulted with several organizations in the public and private sectors. He also is a
Course Transformation Project Fellow where he is redesigning his large 230 per-
son Introduction to Organizational Communication course to be more engaging
through the use of project management software in team oriented projects. He al-
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so is interested in how evidence and reasoning differ across countries. For example, his own ex-
perience suggests many countries do not not use linear patterns of argument commonly taught in
the Western world where they opt for narrative approaches.
Eileen Ruby Setti began her career working in the nonprofit sector in resource
development in 1996. She has led communities in organizing new nonprofit
agencies, directed program and agency mergers and expansions, facilitated stra-
tegic plans, trained board and staff members, created development programs,
coached chief executive officers and has been instrumental in rebuilding agen-
cies on the verge of closing their doors. She is a professional facilitator, trainer
and organization change agent. Her passion is teaching nonprofit leaders strate-
gic management skills, developing the capacity and efficiency of boards, strategic planning and
initiating organization change. Eileen is a Partner of Ruby & Associates where she works with a
diverse client base in the United States and abroad. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Eureka
College and a master’s degree from Loyola University-Chicago. She is currently a doctoral stu-
dent in Political Science at Northern Illinois University with an emphasis in public administra-
tion and nonprofit management. Her research focuses on organization development through the
use of strategic management. Upon completing her degree, she wants to bring scholars and prac-
titioners closer together by encouraging the exchange of knowledge and the generation of re-
Dr. Kathleen S. Valde is an associate professor and Director of Graduate studies
in the Department of Communication at Northern Illinois University. The cours-
es that she has taught include Communication and Conflict Management, Organi-
zational Communication, Communication Ethics in Organizations, Communica-
tion Theory, and Destructive Workplace Communication. She is an award-
winning scholar and researcher of communication. Her research areas include
organizational ethics, problematic interactions in workplaces and academic settings, and organi-
zational relationships. Her published research addresses issues such as confronting people about
wrongdoing in organizations, brown-nosing in the workplace, talking with a professor about a
disappointing grade, managing disclosure of one being HIV positive to one’s sexual partner, and
managing face and relational issues in conversations about designating a driver. Dr. Valde holds
a bachelor’s degree in speech and English from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, a mas-
ter’s degree in communication from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in
communication from the University of Iowa.
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1. Leadership ‐ Leadership skills assessment – what tools will we use?
‐ Transforming the leadership potential – not very clear
‐ Team building exercises, etc – relationship building
‐ Unlocking your Leadership potential – how, and how to use
it in driving self and business growth
2. Creative and Criti-
‐ Concepts and tools
‐ Critical thinking in business decisions
‐ Reflection, etc
‐ Creativity / Innovation for growth – driving innovation
through creativity; e.g. new business models
3. Intercultural Com-
‐ Engaging diversity and inclusion in organizations
‐ Strategies for effective intercultural communication
‐ Role playing/ case studies, etc
4. Volunteer Ser-
‐ A suitable volunteer service activity will be arranged with a
reputed organization (I personally have attended several and
they were good eye openers)
Eg: Feed My Starving Children, Homeless Shelters, Elder
Care facilities, Battered Women center etc.
5. Industry/Field Visits ‐ A day or two can be allotted for field visits. Need information
of participant background to design this piece of the program.
6. Cultural Visits ‐ Chicago land area attractions can be covered depending on
the participants’ preferences. A few must places are Willis
Tower, Millennium Park, and Architecture Cruise. If interest-
ed visit to Holocaust Museum can be arranged. There is flex-
ibility in designing this piece.
7. Free Time Activities ‐ There will be opportunity to immerse in the regular American
life. During spare time in weekends, after field vis-
its/volunteer activity and at the end of week day sessions trips
to shopping areas, premium outlet mall, dinners, movie thea-
ters etc can be a part of the program schedule.
Other Action Items for Participants
8. Program Overview
‐ ITO staff will conduct an introductory session.
9. Welcome Luncheon ‐ There will be a nice welcome luncheon with university staff
and faculty. There is opportunity to share a glimpse of Sri
Lankan culture here.
10. Action Plans ‐ Towards the end of the program each participant will have to
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develop and share an action plan.
11. Program Evaluation
‐ ITO staff will conduct this session.
12. Certificate Lunch-
‐ There will be a ceremony to award the program completion
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The Mind and Behavior of the Leader:
Mastering Professional Growth and Service
Part 1: Ethics and People at Work
o What is Ethics/Ethical thinking?
o Building the “Right” Culture
o Administrative Evil
o Ethics Management
Part 2: Critical Thinking, Decisions and Behavior
o Freedom and Accountability at Work
o Inquiry, Rapport and Advocacy
o A Work-life Model
o Conflict and Antagonism
o Coaching Yourself: Random vs. Intentional Thinking
o Why Philosophy Matters
o What is your focus: Critiquing the Past or Creating the Future?
Part 3: Building and Leading a Culture of Innovation
o The Discipline of a Serial Innovator
o Sustaining vs Disruptive Innovation
o Design Thinking
o Lateral Thinking
o Creating Creativity
o Everyone can be an Innovator
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NIU-LAHES Executive Diploma on Leadership (June 22 – July 12, 2014)
I have the honor of leading three sessions. My intent is to design each session around the desired learn-
ings and your work challenges. Your responses will assist me in bringing greater focus, linkage and rele-
vance to the sessions.
All responses are confidential – no person will be identified. Your responses will be reported in aggregate
form only. Please use whatever space you need while keeping your responses to the point. Feel free to
skip over any question you do not wish to answer.
What are the most significant challenges you face with:
The people who report directly to you?
Who you report to?
What is the one most difficult people-related issue you face?
Over the past two years, how would you rate the following in your workplace: (1 = Low (non-
existent), 10 = High (obvious presence):
A high standard of ethical behavior in the work place:
Courage to work on difficult problems:
The presence of a meaningful vision for the future:
Addressing needed change:
Leaders who clearly confront and deal with reality:
Performance feedback between employees and supervisors:
What does innovation at work mean to you?
How is innovation promoted in your workplace?
What was the title of the last business or philosophy book you read?
What roadblocks may be restricting higher levels of performance and better outcomes?
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Dr. Nalika Diyadawa
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Diffusion of Innovations
The Importance of Cultural Understanding
Dr. Joseph Scudder
Perhaps the most important book regarding the introduction of change across cultures is the Book Diffu-
sion of Innovations by Everett Rogers. He gives examples of well intentioned public health interventions
to improve the purity of the community water supply that were failures.
A very big question he raises is whether all new technologies should be introduced to other cultures be-
cause the innovations provide large improvements. Let me give an example of a problem happening
around the world. Major agricultural product producers such as Monsanto and Pioneer control much of
the world seed market. They have increased hybrid seeds and genetically modified seeds that improve
yields and resistance to pests and weeds.
What are the downsides of introducing such improvements to other parts of the world such as South
America? In countries such as Peru and Ecuador, many of the indigenous farmers plant a variety of non-
hybrid corn with large kernels. The farmers save part of their crops to plant the next year. You cannot do
this with hybrid corn. Having to buy the expensive seed each year would be cost prohibitive to these in-
digenous people. So, keeping these large agricultural companies out of some countries seems to be pru-
dent. Innovative farming methods may interfere with current cultural practices and lead to changes in the
economic structure of the indigenous communities.
In Ecuador, some communities of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin have asked the government to
prohibit outsiders from contacting them. They do not send their children to public schools and keep their
communities much the same as they have been in the past.
Question 1: Can you describe situations in your own culture where the introduction of new technology
has been detrimental to the culture?
Question 2: Can the introduction of new technology really be stopped?
Even 25 years ago, the Chinese government really could not stop the dissemination of information about
the Tiannamen Square uprising even though they did their best to try to stop communication with the out-
side free world. They still allow no public commemoration of this event.
Edgar Schein suggests that culture happens at three levels: (1) artifacts, (2) espoused or stated values, and
(3) underlying assumptions. Artifacts are accessible by our senses and are the most easily observable.
These include everything from our food to our mode of transportation. This does not mean, however, that
some artifacts are not not deeply valued. Many of us have some family items that are remembrances. Our
espoused values or stated beliefs are those we openly discuss. They are often confirmed by the artifacts
that surround us. At the deepest level are our underlying assumptions such as individualistic versus coop-
erative cultural values.
Question 3: How do we protect the uniqueness of our cultural identity with the invasion of new technolo-
gies like cell phones and the Internet?
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Cell phones and the Internet are pervasive even in remote locations in South America and Africa. They
are not yet smart phones in these remote locations, but basic cell phone service is extensive and WIFI is
something expected at most lodging locations even in many remote areas.
Question 4: Is faster better? Do new innovations reduce our quality of life?
Many people in the USA are frustrated by two or three hour dinners with many courses. Lots of families
eat fast food outside the home instead of traditional meals where families eat together food that is not so
Mass manufactured goods are cheaper, but what is lost by garments cheaply produced and not expected to
Question 5: What is special about our cultures worth preserving? What is our identity that is unique that
we do not want to lose?
The French have been very sensitive to this. They limit the amount of non-French programming that may
be broadcast on French television. They are concerned about language pollution. A problem is that words
for new technology often do not exists in those languages. While a brand like Apple could be translated
into another language, brands can often be heard in conversations. Moreover, the pervasiveness of the
USA and English contemporary music heard daily around the world has already changed a lot of envi-
Question 6: What do we know from the research about introducing new ideas more successfully?
First, we know that many innovations are spread through social networks long before Facebook or Twitter
appeared. Rogers discusses how hybrid seed corn was introduced in the USA in the 1940s. We know
from many of these studies that there is often a two-step flow of information. Opinion leaders are individ-
uals who have a lot of influence with others. Recommendations from certain respected others whose opin-
ions we respect often influence others that we just label followers. So, if we can identify the opinion lead-
ers, they often influence a lot of others in the second stage.
Second, we need to have a critical mass of people adopting before a lot of others will adopt something on
a large scale. We have an old phrase in the USA, “Birds of the same feather flock together.” We are more
comfortable when others around us are like us. Of course, there are brave pathfinders who like to try new
things and jump right in before others. Successful adoption of new technology often follows the path of
what is termed the “S-shaped Adoption Curve.”
Third, we know people will adopt in stages such as early adopters, mid-adopters, and late adopters. There
is much wisdom in many industries in not adopting the very first version until problems and fixes are per-
formed. We also know that late adopters will often cost us more to support their learning of new technol-
ogy. We should not be fooled by quick learning of the first adopters that all is going well.
Perhaps there are ways we can use modern technology to make a case for preserving what we value. Cos-
ta Rica is doing this by promoting a cultural phrase: Pura Vida. Some in Costa Rica over 50 are opposed
to the widespread commercialization of the phrase that they think pollutes the concept of the pure life.
Many under 40, however, embrace this idea as a way of life. For them, when things go wrong, think Pura
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Are there any parallel concepts in your culture?
Finally, introducing change requires building a careful strategy that will likely happen in more than one
stage. Different strategies may be needed to attract early adopters versus late adopters. One approach usu-
ally will not work for all. We need to think about our target audience as having multiple segments that
may require different approaches to reach them. Each group will likely have different opinion leaders.
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Matching the Communication of Organizational Values with the Reward System
Dr. Joseph Scudder
Steve Kerr’s article Rewarding a While Hoping for B is one of the Harvard Business Reviews most re-
printed articles of all time. The concept is simple to understand, but difficult to correct. Kerr argues that
we often say we value something, but fail to reward it while rewarding something else.
Basically, his point is that organizational rewards should follow what we really value.
Businesses often post a list of their core values. For example, the following value statements often appear:
1. Under promise, over deliver
2. Think globally, act locally.
3. Every challenge is an opportunity.
4. There is no I in team.
5. No commitment goes unfilled
6. We are only as strong as our weakest link.
7. We don’t exist without our customers.
8. Never say we can’t--find a way.
9. No detail is too small.
10. Quantity follows quality.
How often are these types of values actually internalized?
Sometimes they are. Things changed when Ford focused on the value, Quality is Job One. Ford respond-
ed to an era where USA consumers were losing faith in Detroit’s Big Three auto manufacturers.
Yet, there are problems with many lists of core organizational values:
(1) Can we operationalize them?
(2) What are the ways to measure them?
(3) Do they apply across every level of employee.
(4) How do we reward them?
(5) Will employees actually buy into them?
Universities known for their research in the USA often have a problem. They tell students in their re-
cruitment literature that they are focused on teaching, but undergraduate students often do not actual pro-
fessors in their first year or two--they often see more teaching assistants. What is the problem? Professors
in research institutions are often tenured more on the basis of their research records and grant-writing
ability than their teaching. Few research universities in the USA tenure people who are excellent teachers,
but have little research or no grants. Yet, productive researchers and grant getters who are mediocre
teachers will usually be granted tenure. So, the reward system does not reward teaching--it rewards re-
search and grant production.
There are many fine universities that do not focus on research, but on teaching and the student experience.
So, how do we operationalize and reward excellent teaching?
Question 1: Why is it problematic to base teacher merit solely on student evaluations?
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The K-12 public schools in most states are mandated to administer standardized tests to assess whether
the schools are meeting established benchmarks. Schools that fail to meet standards for three years in a
row could be in danger of being disbanded or reconstituted.
So, it is important for students to meet the standards. In some school systems, teachers receive part of
their merit pay based upon students meeting these standards.
What have been the unintended consequences of this type of reward system?
(1) Teachers are teaching to the test.
(2) Subjects like art, music, and geography are eliminated or short changed.
(3) Some teachers have manipulated scores to make student performance look better.
(4) A few states have changed the tests to make their performance look better.
(5) Special needs students and exceptional.
All Rewards Are Not Monetary
Intrinsic rewards include things like recognition, evidence of tangible achievement, interesting and chal-
lenging work, and meaningful responsibility. So, all rewards are not monetary. Satisfaction in a job well
done or feeling good about helping others in need can be much more powerful than money. All of these
things contribute to a sense of being held in high esteem by others. Be a good community member is im-
portant to a lot of us.
Particular Problems of Establishing Rewards
(1) Team work. Rewarding work in teams is one of the most perplexing problems because there are dif-
ferent levels of involvement and varying levels of expertise.
(2) Issue of effort. Effort does not necessarily translate into work being accomplished. One skilled indi-
vidual can sometimes accomplish much more than two or three persons without the expertise.
(3) Establishing equitable rewards. In the USA upper-level manager compensation is disproportion to
compensation of other workers. In a recent case, a major airline gave managers wage increases while ask-
ing for wage concessions from other workers.
Rewards need to follow our stated values. Otherwise, people will pay little attention to what we are say-
ing is important.
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Cell Phones, Social Media, and Virtual Communication: Illusions, Pitfalls, &
Dr. Joseph Scudder
This session is devoted to exploring the illusions, pitfalls, and opportunities of communication through new
Illusion 1: Email marketing is an effective tool for mass advertising. Many sources claim they will provide
1,000,000 email addresses for mass marketing purposes for as little as $500.
The problem. Even if the email addresses were all current, the problem is Data Smog according to Schenk.
We are bombarded by so much low quality information over the Internet that we ignore much of it. Moreo-
ver, spam filters are diverting much of it before people see it.
Illusion 2: The Internet is the Great Equalizer. It is true that anyone can create a website advertising her or
his business for about $10 per month (more if you want your site to accept credit cards). The problem is that
search engines often will not find your website. People can get to your website if they know your web ad-
dress, but search engines are not very good at finding many websites out there if a person does not know
your exact address.
The problem. The Internet is pay to play. To get a web site recognized there are strategies involving paying
to get your site’s status elevated. The best known way to get your site recognized is through Google’s Ad
Words where a client pays to have traffic directed to a web page when certain terms are searched with the
Google search engine. Web hosts will promote your site for a monthly fee. The effectiveness of such promo-
tion in contrast to using Google’s Ad Words is not clear.
Illusion 3: Multitasking makes us more efficient. Research suggests that concurrent processing is very diffi-
cult--if not impossible for most individuals. Generally, we can handle only 3-4 things in our working memo-
ries at one time, but we may not even be able to do that if we overload the same processing channels in our
brains. If you carefully observe pedestrians reading their phones while walking, most are walking more
slowly than their normal pace. Many drivers slow considerably while talking on cell phones. Many people
would accomplish more if they walk faster or drive the normal speed and use their smart phones after arriv-
ing at their destinations.
Pitfall 1: Loss of focus. Cell phone calls and incoming text messages interrupt our concentration on a task. It
takes time to refocus once we are done communicating. Allocating specific blocks as interruption free zones
with special time to answer calls or text will often make people more productive.
Pitfall 2: Rude behaviors. Many of us are tired of people interrupting their conversations with us to take a
cell call or answer a text. Sometimes this may be necessary, but it is a poor practice with clients.
Pitfall 3: Destruction of family time. I have observed many modern families where parents and children are
all on their cell phones during the family’s dinner period.
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Pitfall 4: Focus away from the present. Instead of talking face-to-face with people in our presence, many of
us are focused on people far away while we neglect those in our presence.
Pitfall 5: Cell phones help people avoid communicating. Instead of taking opportunities to meet those we do
not already know who are in our presence, many choose to phone others to avoid meeting strangers. Others
who want to avoid unpleasant conversations send short text messages.
Pitfall 6: Making private spaces public. I do not want to know strangers other personal details while they
talk on their cell phones to someone else as we are sitting next to each other on a train. Many personal topics
are broadcast for others to hear.
Project management software. This software helps establish goals and milestones for a project. It then holds
team members accountable by sending reminders for task due and indicating which people have completed
their assigned tasks.
Customer/Consumer Relations Management. Follow-up emails can be effective to track progress on promis-
Monitoring employee location. Responsible transportation companies can now monitor employee locations
with GPS technology. Trucking companies can monitor compliance with speed limits and maximum hours
allowed to be driven. The falsifiability of trucker log books can be eliminated.
Online help demonstrations. Technical assistance with proper assembly of products can be visually demon-
strated in real time.
24/7 access to office resources. Field representatives can log orders, monitor customer orders, and access
documents from the main office.
Target ads to customer geographic location. GPS technology in smart phones can enable companies to mar-
ket their services to people in close proximity to their services.
Many great things can come through communication with smart communication technology, but the technol-
ogy itself may become a hindrance to efficiency and a roadblock to better personal relationships.
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Scenarios of Negotiation and Mediation Workshop
Dr. Kathleen S. Valde
Buying/Selling of widgets
You are speaking with a salesperson from Company Z. Your organization has an ongoing rela-
tionship with Company Z. They have provided your organization with widgets for the last 5
years. For the last 3 years, you have worked with the same salesperson. For the most part, you
have a good relationship with this seller and with Company Z. There was one time about a year
ago that they delivered the widgets a week late and that hurt your production. However, they
reduced the cost on that order of widgets by 25% to compensate for the late delivery.
Currently, your company needs 10,000 widgets three weeks from now. This is one week earlier
than scheduled delivery.
Normally, you pay $7,000 for 10,000 widgets. The seller is asking for $10,500 because you
need an early delivery.
You company has authorized you to pay up to 25% extra ($1750) for the widgets this time.
Another company could sell you the needed widgets for $8500, but you have not dealt with this
You are on a team with two other colleagues. Your team has four weeks to complete a project (it
needs to be completed by July 28th
. The tasks involved in completing the project include re-
searching and gathering data, interviewing the client about their needs, developing a plan of ac-
tion, and presenting the plan to the client.
You and the other team members have been working together for 2 years. Over the years, you
and your teammates have developed a pattern for dividing the tasks. Typically, you present the
plan to the client, Person B gathers research and data, Person C interviews the client, and the
three of you work together to develop the plan of action.
However, for this particular project, you and your teammates have concerns that have led you to
need to negotiate who will complete which tasks.
Person B has said that he/she will do the research and will have completed that task by July 10th
You would like the information by July 8th
in order to prepare for the interview. Both you
and Person C have some concerns about Person B doing the research. On the last project, Person
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B was three days late in getting some of the important research and data to the team. As a result,
you came close to needing to ask the client to change the date of the presentation.
Person C is very excited about this project and as a result of courses she/he has taken has some
extra expertise related to this project. Person C believes this expertise will be critical when pre-
senting the plan to the client. So, Person C has asked to be the primary spokesperson who repre-
sents that team to the client. You and Person B would like to support this request. However,
public speaking makes Person C nervous, resulting in Person C forgetting to include some of the
important details when presenting a plan.
You and Person B share a cubicle. You both work for the same department. You do a lot of in-
ternet research and writing of reports. Person B does internet research and interviews clients
over the phone.
You tend to be a tidy person and like to keep your orderly. You also like a quiet space when you
are writing your reports.
Person B is an outgoing person who likes to interview the clients. To you the interviews seem to
take twice as long as needed, and there seems to be far too much laughing and talking about so-
cial and political events. Person B also tends to have piles of file folders all over the cubicle, and
you often find them spilling onto your desk.
You and Person B have been sharing this cubicle for 6 months and it is not working out very
well. Both of you have requested to be moved, but your manager does not want either of you to
move because you work on so many projects together. Instead, your manager would like the two
you to work out this problem.
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Scenarios for Confronting Destructive Communication Workshop
Dr. Kathleen S. Valde
The sales department has 8 employees managed by one supervisor. One of the employees, Per-
son X, is older and has been slow in learning new technology.
The supervisor has stopped assigning Person X new clients and has told him/her that there will
be no more new clients until he/she has mastered the new technology. The supervisor insists that
Person X spend more and more time each day working with the technology, but the supervisor is
never satisfied with Person X’s progress.
Other employees see how the supervisor is treating Person X and they think it is fair. They be-
lieve Person X is slow and holding them back. Increasingly they beg off going to lunch or out
for drinks with Person X. They disabled the voice mail on Person X’s phone, and he no longer
get messages from his current clients. They also avoid including him in department meetings
and they don’t tell him about trainings for the new technology.
Superior and Subordinate
Person G has worked for Person R for 5 months. Person G has worked for this organization for
three years, and prior to transferring to this department received the highest performance reviews
possible. Working for Person R was supposed to open up opportunities in the organization for
Person G. However, the last few months have been awful. Every time Person G finishes a re-
port or letter or memo, Person R reads through it, looking for something that can be criticized.
One time Person G was told that the font used to write a memo was the wrong font. He has been
heard saying things to Person G like, “Do I have to spell everything out for you? I could train a
monkey to do this job faster than you are learning it.” Person R frequently belittles Person G in
front of other people. Person R tells coworkers, supervisors, and clients that people oversold her
abilities. Person G is growing weary from the ongoing attacks his/her work and character.
Person Z and Person A gave a sales presentation to a client. During the presentation, the client
asked about the pricing on a new product that had been announced but not released. (The new
product was not part of the sales presentation.) Person Z responded that he/she would need to
get more information from his/her organization before he/she would be comfortable discussing
the pricing structure on the new product.
On the way back to their office, they talked about the client raising questions about the new
product. Frustrated and mad that they did not have better information to provide the client, Per-
son A told Person Z that he/she was a useless, incompetent employee.
Rey Ty 30
Negotiation and Mediation
Dr. Kathleen S. Valde