Simmons Lab Case The Situation: Newbridge, a recently hired project head manager, meets Zaph at the lab one day. Zaph was an intelligent capable person, who had impressed Dr. Jerrold, the head of the laboratory. Zaph had many ideas and solutions to the different problems the lab was dealing with. Zaph immediately connected with Links, the mathematician, and started helping him with his theories, which Newbridge did not understand very well. Zaph’s dominant personality became apparent to Newbridge, who admired Zaph’s for his abilities but at the same time felt threatened.
Newbridge started taking a back seat to Zaph’s ideas and presentations and Newbridge grew apprehensive about his job position at the laboratory. Without discussing his feelings with anyone, Newbridge applied for a job at a different laboratory and once he was accepted, he simply sent a notice in the mail to Dr. Jerrold stating he will no longer work at his lab. This note came as a shock to Dr. Jerrold, who was not aware of any problems going on with Newbridge, he admired his work and leadership on the photon unit. Dr.
Jerrold found himself in a bad situation, his intentions were to hire Zaph to be the head manager of the new Air Force Project, and when he asked Zaph if he would like to stay with the Photon group or the Air Force project, Zaph picked the Air Force project. Dr. Jerrold had no choice but to let Links run the photon group temporarily until he finds a new head project manager. Key Issues: I believe, Newbridge was an idealist. Idealists are enthusiastic individuals, who are focused on their life journey and enjoy reflecting on their personal achievements and growth.
Intuition is also a major factor for idealists; they depend on it to create new possibilities in the world. Idealists are usually apprehensive about personal growth and development. They continually evaluate their self worth to ensure their growth to become their best self. Newbridge’s idealistic views was supported by his strong belief in team work and group meetings to ensure a weaker member is not left behind, and is encouraged to grow and contribute. Idealists believe the best environment to encourage personal growth and success is a friendly cooperative one.
Idealists do not believe in conflicts or confrontations, and try to avoid such situations as Newbridge did in this case. They have strict standards of personal integrity, and they uphold others to these high standards. Idealists must be true to themselves and others, and if not they can be very hard on themselves (Keirsey,1998). On the other hand, Zaph’s rationalist temperament became apparent to the group. Rationales use logic to evaluate situations and reach solutions. They are interested in understanding how things work, and are focused on analyzing and solving the unsolvable.
Discovering new ideas and solutions satisfies their curiosity and their continuous yearn for achievements in a practical manner. They are well organized, and accepting of anyone that will teach them something useful. They do not conform to authority or customary procedures. Also, rationales tend to be pragmatic and less concerned with being politically correct (Montgomery,2002). Idealists and rationalists are on opposite ends of the spectrum, and will clash in opinions. They have different ways of approaching and solving situations. The Problem:
Newbridge quit his job suddenly and accepted a new position with a better salary. This news was shocking to the head of the laboratory and Zaph, who were completely unaware of any issues driving Newbridge to this decision. Newbridge was always proud of his work and his accomplishments in the photon group, until he met Zaph. At first, he was impressed with Zaph’s knowledge and organizations, but he later became threatened with Zaph’s ideas and leadership. Newbridge realized his ability was not as good compared to Zaph’s, and felt that his position will be taken over by Zaph.
Newbridge misunderstood the situation; the head of the laboratory had no intension of replacing Newbridge. He was interested in assigning Zaph to a whole new project. He followed his intuition, and did not study the facts in this situation. He did not communicate with the head of the lab, and hid his feelings from everyone. Newbridge and the head of the lab lacked two ways communication, therefore Newbridge’s departure from the lab was surprising. Bob kept all his feelings bottled up, which put Jerrold in a tough position.
Another Key issue is Newbridge and Zaph’s opposite personalities. Zaph’s dominating personality overshadowed Newbridge, which lead to Newbridge’s feeling of insecurities. Also, the head of the lab continuous excitement and praise of Zaph, contributed to Newbridge’s feelings of inadequacy next to Zaph. And, Zaph’s lack of respect for Newbridge’s way of conducting meetings, and his criticism of Newbridge’s problem solving abilities created tension in the group. Alternative Solutions: First of all, I believe lack of communication contributed to this situation.
Newbridge should have talked about his feelings with the head of the lab, and made him aware of the situation. Communicating with Jerrold, would have given Jerrold the chance to explain his intentions with Zaph, which would have cleared up any insecurities Newbridge had. It is important to be able to communicate with coworkers, to clarify any situations that may arise, and find an appropriate solution (Schramm,1954). Newbridge had no concrete evidence to his feelings towards Zaph, and approaching this situation in a more realistic manner would have prevented his quitting and Jerrald’s dilemma.
Also, I believe Jerrold should have taken some time to explain to Newbridge his plan of assigning Zaph to a new project. Jerrold should have also spent time with Newbridge to understand his feeling about bringing in someone new on his project team. Second, I believe Zaph should have been respectful towards Newbridge’s approach and towards the rest of the group. He should have taken some time to get to know the group better, and to understand how they handle things. He should have explained to Newbridge his new ideas and his solutions in detail, considering Newbridge was still the project head at the end of the day.
It is important to be aware and courteous of others around us, and to try and adapt to their way of handling things, while presenting new ideas to benefit the cause as well. Third, I believe Newbridge would have benefited from making more of an effort to connect with Zaph and Links, to understand their ideas. I believe, if Knowlton was more knowledgeable in what Link’s was working on, he would not have felt inadequate next to Fester. Zaph put in time and effort to understand and help resolve problems Links was struggling with.
Whereas Newbridge had little knowledge, care, and interest for what the problem was to begin with. Considering this point, Zaph demonstrated better leadership qualities, qualities Newbridge lacked at this point. Selected Solution: Looking back over the case, I believe that the selected solution to the case would be to encourage communication between group members in the work environment. Newbridge’s sudden decision to leave his position in the laboratory was based on his feelings and insecurities of Zaph taking over his job.
This issue would have been cleared if Newbridge addressed his feelings with Jerrold instead of hiding them. Jerrold would have explained to Newbridge that he intends to assign Zaph to a new project. I believe, Newbridge would have benefited greatly from taking some time and reflecting upon his feelings, and sharing them with his group head. Implementation and Recommendations: I believe, It is important to have good communication skills to share ideas, feelings, and to grown as an individual. Communication is the key to success in a group setting.
It is very crucial to educate members of a group on how to approach certain situations and disagreements that might arise in the work environment. Providing them with seminars, which stress the importance of communication, is the key to ensuring such practices will be followed on a daily basis (Schramm,1954). Communication is the Key to any successful relationship, whether it is the communication between a boss and his employee, between coworkers, or friends. Taking the time to assess a situation, and looking at it from the other’s point of view can be a valuable step towards resolving any issue.
It is important to talk about one’s feelings, in order to find a solution or to gain better understanding of one self. References: Keirsey, David (May 1, 1998) . Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence (1st Ed. ed. ). Prometheus Nemesis Book Co. Montgomery, Stephen (2002). People Patterns: A Modern Guide to the Four Temperaments (1st Ed. ed. ). Archer Publication Schramm, W. (1954). How communication works. In W. Schramm (Ed. ), The process and effects of communication (pp. 3-26). Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Pressons. p. 20.