You are a senior colorist at the cosmetic manufacturing company, Paint Me Pretty. You are also a Career Mentor for several other, more junior colorists. One of your mentees, Kitty Jones, is a colorist who is leading a project team for the third time in her 6-month career at Paint Me Pretty. The first two times that she led a team, she had a lot of guidance from you – you met with her in advance of team meetings to help her plan the agenda, you took phone calls from her after hours, and you listened to her concerns when they arose. You even set up a test run of the new product for the two of you to hash out any potential problems before Kitty had to try the product with the rest of her team.
By all accounts, Kitty has done well communicating with her teammates, and the technologists on her teams have been receptive to her lead. Some have let you know that if there was an opportunity to work with Kitty again, they would be very happy to do so. Both projects were delivered on budget and on time, with only minor issues along the way. In both cases, the customer expressed high levels of satisfaction with the Paint Me Pretty team, and both customers were complimentary of Kitty’s skills as a team leader. When you let Kitty know that you think she is ready to run the next project team on her own (without so much hands-on support from you), she expresses apprehension. She is concerned that the project has a very aggressive timeline for something so complex, so there will be little room for error. She also specifically questions how one particular member of the team, PJ, will respond to her when you are not there to back her up.
You point out that PJ is just one of the team of five and that the others are very happy to work with Kitty again. You discuss the potential problems PJ might cause and reassure Kitty she is “ready” for this next step. It is time for her to get out of her comfort zone and stretch a bit. She has agreed to take this next step but is still very nervous.
Answer the following questions by applying the concepts learned in Chapter 9. Also, conduct literature reviews on the subject of discussion and use to support your case study answers:
1. What type of communication do you need to maintain with Kitty?
2. If you had to schedule potential meeting times with her in advance, how often would you be willing to meet and discuss her performance, while still taking a more “hands-off” approach this time?
3. What are you going to be focusing on to see Kitty’s development progress? What areas will you be able to gather data from to provide you with information regarding her behavior?
4. How can you maintain your positive relationship with Kitty, while still pushing her to “stretch” and grow?
Chapter 10 – Situational Leadership and Constructive Discipline
You are the manager of the sales department at Splendor Company. Sally has been your top sales representative consistently for over a year now. She is always in the office first, last to leave, thorough in her paperwork, and receiving praise from the other departments, and she has volunteered several times to test new products with her clients.
Recently you have noticed a difference in her performance. This past week she was late to your staff meeting, was not at her desk when you came into the office, and left early. She seems distracted and unfocused compared to her usual behavior in the office.
Customer Service sent back two contracts due to missing information on the new client. You just got off the phone with Mark, head of the Accounting Department, who gave you an earful about how Sally “unethically” tried to bend the rules and push a new client through who did not have the appropriate credit ratings.
Upon hanging up the phone, you look up to see Sally entering the office. She appears to be in a hurry, glances around to check who else is in the office, and hurries to her cubicle. Glancing at the clock you see it is only 3:45 pm. Sales reps are not usually back in the office at the end of the day before 4:15 pm. You decide to approach Sally and talk about her recent drop in performance.
Answer the following questions by applying the concepts learned in Chapter 10. Also, conduct literature reviews on the subject of discussion and use to support your case study answers:
1. List the data points you have on her current performance. How does this differ from her “usual” performance?
2. What style will you use to start the conversation?
3. How will you know from Sally if that style is working?
4. What type of follow up will you do and why?
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