Blog Post 4 – “I.T.’s a Deal” Case Study

  1. Your Goals for the Meeting.

I believe that much of the company’s internal conflict comes from poor communication.  For example, rather than reasoning with Barry that there are other factors involved in the company’s reluctance to use new supplies that aren’t related to the lowest price, Mike has been avoiding the issue which has frustrated Barry.  Also, while Kahu and Brair’s use of social media hasn’t been very successful, they were never told to not pursue it and believed that they were showing initiative by setting up the Facebook page and using Twitter.

Mike and Maria’s goals for the meeting should be re-establishing clear and effective communication within the company and to clarify some of the company’s values and policies and the staff’s roles and responsibilities.  It would be pointless to approach this meeting aggressively with the intention of casting blame as this would further erode the morale of staff trying to improve company with little guidance from Mike and Maria.

Mike and Maria either need to be more available to provide leadership or they need to delegate an amount of the leadership responsibilities to someone else (perhaps Pat).  A system of open communication (regular meetings, open door, etc) needs to be set into place to help dispel the lowered staff morale and to avoid any further conflict in the future.

The meeting would also be a good time to clarify the company’s stance on social media, the use of the company’s social media. To voice concerns about sourcing stock for the lowest price over loyalty to current suppliers. This is also a good time to get feedback from staff as to their views and concerns to cover in future meetings.


  1. The Relevant Issues to Cover.

Morale is low amongst several of the staff due to frustration at what appears to be missed opportunities.

There is poor communication between the staff and Mike and Maria which has led to confusion and unprofessional conduct.

There has been a lack of leadership and guidance from Mike and Maria that is at the root of the current conflict.

A lack of clarity on the role and use of social media in the company has reflected poorly on the company.

Staff have over stepped their roles and responsibilities due to the lack of guidance and defined leadership hierarchy.

Barry’s aggressive behavior needs to be examined, discussed and resolved, it should not be allowed to make other staff, including Mike, uncomfortable.


  1. Identify the Needs and Wants of the Main Parties.

Mike and Maira Geekly

  • To be less involved in the day to day running of the company.
  • To treat long term customers with respect.
  • To treat long term suppliers with respect.



  • To be able to contribute to the company’s success and to have his ideas recognized.
  • To bring a more youthful approach to the business’s marketing by using social media promotion.



  • To be able to contribute to the company’s success and to have his ideas recognized.
  • To bring a more youthful approach to the business’s marketing by using social media promotion.



  • To be able to contribute to the company and to have his ideas recognized.
  • To improve the company’s profitability by sourcing cheaper stock.



  • A pleasant work environment.
  • Recognition of other staffs wants and needs.
  • Faster response from upper management.


  1. How to Approach the Meeting.

First make sure everyone is aware of the meetings time and date and of the meeting’s agenda. This is to give everyone a chance to think about the relevant issues they might like to speak about.  Then start the meeting with a recap of the facts of the current issues being faced by the company.

Then clarify the company’s stance on social media, the use of the company’s social media, and the concerns around the sourcing of stock for the lowest price over loyalty to the current suppliers.  It should be suggested to Kahu and Brair that they could have a meeting in a few days to speak more about the social media issues but in the meantime the offending twitter post should be removed. A similar meeting should be suggested to Barry regarding his thoughts on sourcing stock.  This should help keep the meeting moving.

At this point staff should be commend for using their intuitive to improve the company and reminded that everyone is working towards the same goals.  At no point should blame be cast at staff for some of the poor decisions that have been made.

Suggestions should be invited as to how communication could be improved in the future with the intention of putting a regular meeting system into place and staff should be given a chance to provide feedback on any other areas of concern with an opportunity to discuss these issues at the next meeting.

The further meetings with Kahu, Brair and Barry would provide the opportunity to clarify the roles and responsibilities of these staff within the company and to speak with Barry privately about controlling his temper.


  1. Things to Remember About Communication Skills While Conducting the Meeting

Mike and Maria need to keep firm control of their emotions at this meeting, while they will be understandably upset, directing blame at staff will only cause more ill will as the staff are in their way only trying to improve the company that they potentially hold shares in.  They need to focus on the actual problems and not on who might be responsible.  Mike and Maria should use I statements not you statements when addressing the staff and they should acknowledge the hard work that staff have put in and the initiative that they have tried to show.  It’s important that they give the staff a chance to speak and that they listen actively to them and show a willingness to open communication in the future.

  1. How will you manage Barry, who is adept to become angry.

Barry’s anger tends to come from frustration that others are not being rational or listening, so he needs to have the opportunity to have his ideas and arguments listened to actively and any disagreements or alternative ideas need to be calmly discussed until Barry can see the logic of the decision.  Showing recognition and appreciation of the work Barry has put in trying to source cheaper stock would also help Barry to feel valued and not unappreciated.

If Barry does become angry then it is important that Mike and Maria don’t allow themselves to respond in the same way.  If it becomes necessary, they should try to take a break or to change the environment.

For the future some staff guidelines on appropriate behavior could be a useful standard of conduct to refer to If Barry or anyone else has a temper.


  1. How will you achieve an effective close to the meeting.

At the end of the meeting Mike and Maria should take the time to check that everybody understands what has been discussed in the meeting and are agreeable about the actions being taken.  This enables any confusion or conflict around the meeting to be resolved immediately.  Mike and Maria should also set a time for a next meeting and ask for input from staff as to the next meetings agenda.  They should then briefly recap the meetings topics and outcomes.  Double check the actions being taken and reiterate the responsibilities being assigned before thanking the staff for their time and input and adjourning the meeting.



Blog Post 3 – “Teams Teams Teams”

Part One

How can a team overcome ineffective members?

What makes a great team?

How can a team stay effective and efficient?

The answer to these questions is quite simple, good communication!  Effective communication within a team or amongst people in general will always help to improve and maintain efficiency and morale.  Even quite serious interpersonal issues can usually be resolved through good communication techniques.

Fortunately, we haven’t had any problems of that nature within our COMs team “the Oracles”, quite the opposite.  Our team has interacted well from our very first meeting and that has only gotten better as we have gotten to know each other.  I think that in general we are quite an effective team and that we have been able to work together well.  Everyone in our team makes an effort to participate in meetings and to complete any designated work.  There are no big egos, so ideas can be examined and discussed freely and it has been a supportive team environment for all of us.  I feel that our communication has improved as everybody has grown more confidant in the group project.

Part Two

I believe that the team you study or work with is incredibly important.  Humans are highly social and are very attuned to the verbal and non-verbal signals from the people around them even without the added pressure of shared goals.  For example, I’ve had terrible jobs working with a good people and I had a great time, but I’ve also had good jobs with a bad team and I had an awful time. So clearly the impact that your team can have on your morale and productivity is huge as you cannot help being affected by the environment you are working/studying in.

I think that effective and efficient team work will be invaluable to me in my studies over the next 3 years at NMIT.  I’m sure I’ll be involved in many group projects during study and it will always be a good opportunity to learn new skills in communication, IT and design.  In future employment these skills will be very valuable as most jobs involve working with and around other people whether it’s working in a team, interacting with co-workers, meeting with clients or handling customer support.


Blog Post 2 – “Reflections on the Team Activities”

Today we participated in several different team activities to help us examine how we communicated in a group environment.  It was hilarious as well as insightful.

The Blindfold – This game involved two people from our group of five putting on blindfolds and the rest of the group guiding the blindfolded members outside to the Student Center lawn.  Initially no one seemed to be very keen to be blindfolded (myself included) but to speed things along I volunteered, another member of our group put his hand up and we were ready to go.  I suggested that we buddy up, a blindfolded person with a non-blindfolded person to guide them and we headed off.  My buddy was excellent, he provided a guiding hand and clear concise directions that were easy to follow and without any mishaps we made our way out to the Student Center lawn.  I think that activity went very smoothly.

The Rope – Once we at the Student Center lawn, Belma gave us a new activity to complete.  Again, two group members would be blindfolded, and the rest of the group would verbally direct them to move around a rope on the ground to make a pattern.  I volunteered to wear the blindfold again as I felt no one else was very keen to wear it and after a little bit of confusion a second group member volunteered.  I found this activity a little bit more frustrating as I spent a lot of time standing still with no direction as the rest of the group spoke amongst themselves as they tried to work out how to make the pattern.  When I did receive directions, they were often not very specific, so it was very hard to know what to do and I had to ask a lot of questions.  It was still a good exercise to get people communicating but I felt that some my group needed to be more confident to participate in the activity and not be hesitant to voice their thoughts and opinions.

The Balloon – In this activity we moved into smaller groups and had to blow up and tie a balloon.  One person could blow up the balloon using only their mouth and the other two could only use one hand each to tie the balloon.  I found this activity much easier as my group members were more willing to get involved and weren’t shy to put themselves into the activity. We had a good laugh and while it was surprisingly tricky we got the balloon tied off eventually.

In conclusion I had fun (I usually do) and got to know some of my classmates better through the activities.  I did feel that as the term continues some of my classmates will have to step out of their comfort zone a bit more.  I hope that their confidence builds as we progress, as it seems to me that their communication skills are actually pretty good and the only thing holding them back is a lack of confidence.

Blog Post 1 – “Observing Body Language In Others”

For this blog post I decided to observe people in a spot that I’ve spent a lot of time in over the last few weeks, the study area on the second floor of the library 😊

As it’s meant to be a quiet area it’s quite a good place to observe body language as there isn’t a lot of verbal communication going on.  The general feeling is one of focused study and all the people there are students.  There seemed to be three main patterns of body language that I was able to observe in the study area.

The most common body language I observed was calm and intent.  People are sitting quite still and looking straight ahead, at their lap tops or text books and have quite good posture (straight back, arms flat on the desk, etc) they don’t fidget or show a lot of nervous or restless behavior and seem very focused.

The next group are people, who I would assume have been studying for a longer period and they are starting to show more body language.  They rock back on their chairs, tap their feet, tap their fingers on their desk tops, scratch their heads, rest their chin in their hands and seem more distracted.

The last pattern of body language I observed was shown by those who I assume are having issues with their work.  They rub at their necks and eyes and forehead, move around in their chairs, frown, stretch their back and arms and generally seem to be very frustrated.

While its mainly a study space and everyone is working, now and again people will see friends walk by and their faces will light up, they will smile, shake their heads while rolling their eyes, give thumbs up and other things like that.  I also noticed that most people in the study area have their headphones on which I felt was also a form communication behavior as it clearly say’s “I’m in my own space don’t distract me”.

Blog Post 0 Part 2 – “Reflections on the mini presentation”

In COM class on Tuesday Belma dropped the bombshell to the us that today with no warning we would be doing short group presentations.  In our random groups we had 10 minutes to decide on a topic which we would then present to the rest of the class.

I don’t think anyone really enjoys being put on the spot with public speaking, but I was really impressed with the way that the class quickly decided their topics and in what order they would talk.  Personally, I don’t find speaking to a small group of people too intimidating as I worked in customer service for years, but the rest of my group were all surprising upbeat about the task and it was a lot of fun to quickly get ourselves together and decide on our topic.  I know that the anticipation of something is often worse then the reality, so I suggested that we speak first and of course despite my initial confidence once we got up there and started speaking I found myself very quickly running out of things to say and showing all the nervous body language signs that I know I should avoid, but it was great practice all the same.

I think the fact that we had no warning about the presentations forced everyone to be very open and honest in their presentations and it was a real pleasure to watch everyone speak.  I feel like I got to know my classmates better as their personalities really come through in their presentations and it was a great icebreaker for our class in general.  I won’t say that I’m looking forward to doing more presentations, but I am looking forward to being pushed to be a more confidant public speaker.  Thanks in advance Belma.

Blog Post 0 Part 1 – “What is the difference between communicating and communicating well?”

Communicating is the exchange of information between two or more parties using verbal and non-verbal means.  The difference between communicating and communicating well is that the information being exchanged is being clearly understood by all parties.  Good communication involves many factors both in the sending and receiving of information.

In written communication factors such as spelling, grammar, writing structure and being succinct are important to clearly communicating.

In direct communication these factors are both verbal and non-verbal.  In verbal communication factors can be using appropriate tone, clear articulation, authentic speaking manner and asking questions.  In non-verbal communication factors can be eye contact, posture, active listening and non-verbal interpretation.

Good communication is also influenced by the self-awareness of how one communicates and the ability to assess receivers and customize the style and content of communication for them.