Excellence in Business Communication
“In any collaborative effort, it’s important to recognize that team members coming from
different backgrounds may have different work habits or concerns” (Thill & Bovee, 2008, p. 42).
Thill and Bovee (2007) point out that it is not unusual to have team members from different
backgrounds who show very different work habits from what others may be accustomed to (p.
You are a supervisor in a software company, and a group of four workers report to you. You
meet with them in person once a week, but these meetings are not going well. They are not
productive, and the workers argue often. Team members like to find excuses to not attending
these meetings. Below are the employees’ profiles:
Nancy has been working for the company for eight years, and she is a mother of two teenagers.
She has been promoted three times since she started working for the company. Since her work
performance is very good, she is approved to work from home through telecommuting. She
comes in the office for the meetings, but she can only meet on Monday mornings because this
fits her schedule. Monday mornings are generally a bad time in the office, as everyone is busy
catching up on emails and voice mails.
Steve is the longest serving member of the team, as he has been in his position for five years.
Heis very social, but has a “know-it-all” attitude. He likes to correct people as they speak, and
criticize their ideas with negative attitudes. He often says “I have seen it all, and it is not going
to work,” or “how naïve are you to think this way!”
Lindsey and Ian are both in their mid-twenties, and they are good friends. They work hard, but
they do not like to waste time on unnecessary tasks, such as the weekly meetings. They often
text each other using their cell phones, and laugh between themselves. The two other team
members think this is highly immature.
Question 1: Write a 1 to 2-page essay and address the following questions:
a) What are the issues that you see in this case?
b) As a supervisor, how would you address each of these issues?
c) If you were the supervisor in this situation, explain what you would do to make the
meetings more productive.
In each section of your answer, be sure to explain your ideas fully and to provide a rationale for
why you feel the way you do. In addition, support your ideas and resolutions with citations to
the textbook and another outside resource. It is required to use at least two sources for this
Question 2: As the supervisor of the team, please write a one-page memo to explain the steps
you have decided on to make the meetings more productive (part 1.c. above), and to
encourage the team members to cooperate. Please be sure to follow the memo format.
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