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Problem Recognition Of Interactive Behaviour AT THE JOB Social Work Essay


Company Background

Cheniere Energy was founded in 1983 and it is a global leading liquefied gas (LNG) company. Through its subsidiaries the business partcipates in the development, engineering, ownership, and operation of onshore LNG receiving terminals and natural gas pipelines in the Gulf Shoreline of the United States. It also partcipates in oil and natural gas exploration and development activities. Cheniere Energy is based in Houston, Tx with offices in Johnson Bayou, Louisiana, and London - called Cheniere International UK Branch. The London office includes six folks who are accountable for sourcing and trading LNG cargoes for Cheniere as well as taking care of your day to day functions and activities of any office.

Purpose of the Report

The purpose of this article is to examine work issues at Cheniere International UK Branch caused by office harassment and specifically the conflict between an office helper and the operations manager. It focuses on the interactive behavior themes relating to communication, work human relationships and management.

Definition of Interactive Behaviour at Work

The term interactive behaviour at work refers to the reciprocal communication carry out of two or more persons. It covers both their overt behavior and the factors and procedures underlying it. It also extends to the utilization of communication for purposes such as self-presentation, co-operation, influencing others, employed in groups and control. (Guirdham, 2002)

Definition of the Themes


According to Guirdham (2002) communication is a process of moving information in one entity to another. Interpersonal communication at the job may be face-to-face or indirect, formal or informal, and transmitted verbally or non-verbally. Communication is afflicted by vocabulary, communicator style, the distinctions between one- and two-way communication, electricity and position, culture, gender and disability. These results on communication bring about barriers, that can be analyzed as intrinsic, individual level and inter-group. To be saturated in quality, communication must get over these barriers.

Work Relationship

Interdependence and interpersonal orientations, tasks, norms and conformity as well as co-operative, competitive and conflict behaviour are all principles that help us to comprehend and be far better in work interactions. Other important aspects related to the issues discussed cover discord resolution, cultural distinctions, dealing with prejudice, discrimination and harassment. (Guirdham, 2002) Harassment is thought as: carry out which is unreasonable, unwelcome and offensive, and which creates an intimidating, hostile or humiliating working environment. (Mullins, 2005) Harassment is a potential reason behind stress. The Health and Safety Professional (HSE) defines stress as: "The unfavorable reaction folks have to extra pressure. It isn't disease. But if stress is intense and goes on for quite a while, it can lead to a mental and physical ill health".


Leadership can be defined as "the ability of a person to influence, stimulate and enable others to add towards the success and success of the company of which they may be associates" (Guirdham, 2002) There is a close relationship between management and management, especially in work organisation, and a growing propensity to see them as synonymous. However, arguably there are dissimilarities between the two and it generally does not follow that each innovator is a manager. Leadership might be looked at in more standard terms, with focus on interpersonal behaviour in a broader framework. According to Mullins (2005) because of its complex characteristics there are many alternative ways of analysing leadership. Leadership may be reviewed in terms of features or traits way, in conditions of the functional or group way, as a behavioural category, in conditions of varieties of management, through the situational approach and contingency models, and in conditions of variation between transactional and transformational control.

Problem Identification

The issue discussed in this survey will involve the deteriorating romantic relationship between a administrator and an helper (myself) in a tiny office environment. Furthermore the report looks at the behaviour of any director of the company included to whom the employees were straight accountable to.

Matters discussed are the identification of key points of conflict between your two persons involved, the design of management, the reaction of fellow employees, the connections with the director included and steps taken up to resolve the issue.

Background and Factors behind Problems

Organisational Structure

Mullins (2005) states "Whatever the type or nature associated with an company or its formal structure, an informal company will always be present" (Number 1). Mullins proposes an informal company will evolve due to the natural discussion between people and categories within an company. While the formal framework, by its aspect, is described the informal structure is a much looser system, with its defined attributes and its particular forms of human relationships. The danger here is that the informal framework may be at probabilities with the mandatory seeks of the formal organisation (Mullins, 2005).

These are areas in the casual organisation that relate with the problem reviewed in this report:


Personal animosities and friendships


Emotional feelings, needs and desires


Effective romantic relationships between professionals and subordinates


The animosity and unfriendliness exhibited by the supervisor, coupled with the associated psychological upset caused and the result on my desires and needs (see Hierarchy of Needs below) drastically affects the relationship between myself and the administrator. These negative aspects within the informal company have a matching adverse effect in the formal organisation through loss of production, inspiration and efficiency.

Figure 1 Organisational Evaluation (from Kenneth Lysons, 'Organisational Research', Health supplement to the English Journal of Administrative Management, no. 18, March/Apr 1997).

I signed up with the Cheniere International UK Branch in 2008 as an office associate. Working at their London office in Mayfair where there were three other employees within my level, two were English and one was an North american. I was the only person having British as another language.

The operations director was a mature English lady called my administrator, with an extremely strong personality and an acertive frame of mind. I pointed out that I was being asked to do somewhat more work than the other assistants and that the supervisor was querying my initiatives every day. At first I thought this is because I was new to the job and that it was a means of measuring my capacities and ability to handle the stresses of the work. It became clear however that this was a lot more of a specific attitude toward me when compared with the other employees.

Being aware of a personality clash between me and the director I was trying to comprehend what caused her hostile behavior and I considered if any behaviour of mine triggered the conflict. Alternatively I understood I normally never have any major problems interesting with people, as an easygoing and friendly person. The Thoms-Kilmann Turmoil Mode Questionnaire can be useful in describing my stance in the turmoil. Scoring 9 in avoiding and 9 in accommodating styles demonstrates I am no assertive person, do not desire to hurt people's thoughts, obey orders and I am generally a selfless type of person. (See Appendix 1 for a duplicate of the Thoms-Kilmann Turmoil Function Questionnaire).

It is difficult to give any clear instances of harassment, as such, as this was a subtle but regular undermining of my position on a daily basis. This was apparent in her frequent criticism of my work and recommendations to my Polish track record and British not being my native dialect. I made a point of asking the other assistants to check my work and they always said it was fine which was just "her way" rather than to be concerned. One incident that began to provide me an understanding to her behaviour was when she asked me, in front of the rest of the assistants, why "I did so not work as a nanny or cleaner as all the Polish ladies did".

This indicated if you ask me that there is the opportunity that her actions were not actually based after my performance but upon a much deeper prejudice and possible stereotyping of Polish people (either collectively or by gender).

Perception and stereotyping

Person belief is the process where we feature characteristics or traits to particular people. The factors influencing person perceptions are both external and internal. It really is particularly useful to categorize factors that impact how one person perceives another as

The situation or context within that your perception will take place

Characteristic of the perceiver and

Characteristic of the person being identified.

In perceiving someone else, we process a variety of clues about the individual: facial appearance, general appearance, skin colour, posture, time, gender, words quality, personality features, behaviours, etc. Some hints may contain important info about the individual, but many do not. People seem to be to get implicit personality theories about which physical characteristics, personality qualities, and behaviours are related to others. These beliefs and assumptions may impact how individuals view, treat, please remember other people. At best, just how that individuals group characteristics and qualities helps them to organize their perceptions and to better understand their word. At worst, implicit personality theories lead to perceptual mistakes, such as stereotyping. ( Hellriegel et al, 1989) (Do you have a source because of this? Are these your own term?)

Stereotyping is the inclination to assign capabilities to someone solely based on a category where that person has been put. (Weightman, 1999)

A major danger of stereotyping is that it can filter accurate conception of an individual and lead to potential situation of prejudice or discrimination. This in effect can build communication obstacles.

My manager's propensity to ascribe negative characteristics to me based on an over-all categorisation was a simplified process of her belief. Her stereotyping process based on my nationality and history had a substantial implication to the atmosphere in our office and my wellbeing.

It might be true that some Polish women are nannies or cleaners but it does not identify me, my needs, and my weaknesses. So if my administrator used the stereotypical view of Polish women towards me, she missed who I actually am, as an individual.

It was very hard to please and satisfy her because she developed irrational values and prejudiced views about me. If being from Poland designed to her that I should be considered a nanny or cleaner she maybe thought that people of other races or backgrounds are for some reason inferior and therefore have earned to be treated as second school. Corresponding to Tehrani (1996) the lack of self recognition in harassers rises their doubts and prejudice. Harassers never feel strong enough to check their views objectively, preferring to live in an irrational world, where they need to continually support their prejudiced views with biased research. To explain even deeper her behaviour I'd say she portrayed the actions of the stigmatizer.

Freidson (1983) stated that in Erving Goffman's theory of public stigma "a stigma is an attribute, behaviour, or reputation which is socially discrediting in a particular way: it causes an individual to be psychologically grouped by others within an undesirable, declined stereotype rather than in an accepted, normal one". In the manager's eyes I was different; she may not want to accept me because of my nationality, my different accent, my origins.

Goffman divides the individual's relation to a stigma into three categories: the stigmatized are those who carry the stigma; the normals are those who do not bear the stigma; and the smart are those among the list of normals who are accepted by the stigmatized as "wise" with their condition. I then symbolize a stigmatized person, the supervisor is normal and snooze of we is seen as wise.

I decided that although I did so not like confrontation it was essential to at least talk to her about the problem and make an effort to resolve the problems. I asked to speak to her in private about my current situation, which I'm pleased to say she agreed to. This resulted in a meeting in her office where I portrayed my concerns and was concerned that she did not think I got suitable for the work. I asked that she put any pre-conceived ideas behind her and that she offered me the opportunity to prove by capabilities based on my work somewhat than my nationality or backdrop. Alas she refused to simply accept that there is anything incorrect with her behaviour to me and that I should "stop behaving like a silly girl" This last comment was made after she opened up her office door so all the other staff could notice.

People are intricate and need to be understood as individuals, not stereotypes. Uniqueness is exactly what gets lost in the stereotypes and lack of proper communication. People need to pay attention, understand and consider the complete person, which requires rejecting any preconceived assumptions, based on the stereotypes that are manufactured and used.

Having noticed humiliated and realizing that the situation could only worsen I decided to talk to the director in charge of my office. I described the problem and was especially careful to provide examples and make an effort to be as logical as it can be. The director explained that this was just my manager's way and I will not take it privately. He said he was sure things would sort themselves out and there was you don't need to worry. In effect he refused to accept there was a problem and certainly didn't wish to require himself with any further discussions with either my manager or myself.

Strategic Implications of the problem

Strategic Implications of the challenge include but aren't limited to:

- High turnover of personnel (extra training cost must be employed)

- Lack of staff (qualified and trained assistants)

- Undesirable manager's behaviour affected quality of work and effectiveness

- Intense sickness absence of assistants

- Bad company's reputation and image

- Broken trust in relationship with head (director)

The above issues will be described and discussed in conditions of main styles stated at first i. e. : work romantic relationship, leadership and communication.

Work Relationship

My case can be seen as a micro problem since it describes a predicament in a tiny office and only a few people get excited about the issue. However, harassment at the place of work occurs very often and causes a lot of problems. According to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) harassment at work costs employers in the UK more than 2bn per yr in unwell pay, staff turnover and lower productivity. 19 million working days are lost every year as the result of office harassment. 1 in 4 people report they have experienced harassment in the last 5 years. 70% of HR specialists have witnessed or have been aware of harassment in their organisation. Organisations that neglect to address the situation of unacceptable behavior at workplace pay much cost in terms of lack of staff, reduced innovation, morale and sickness lack. That is in addition to the expense of litigation and bad pr (Tehrani, 1996). Within one year two office assistants left the business, citing the cause as my manager's difficult character.

By describing my own experience I raise an issue that affects a lot of individuals then one that organizations have to deal with. Harassment is related to work relationships. Relating to Tehrani (1996) harassment has a few common elements; it entails a hurtful behavior, this behaviour is repeated over the time period and the individual being harassed finds it difficult to defend themselves. People being harassed will also have difficulty in being logical in their thinking, believing the serves or views of the harasser are the views of everyone else. AS I was working for Cheniere I used to be feeling unfortunate, negative and worthless. Furthermore my emotions were heightened with outbursts of anger, crying, loneliness and damage. Insufficient pleasure in almost anything i was doing was significant and difficult to cope with. Being humiliated resulted in having less self confidence to say myself and struggle the unacceptable behaviour of operations supervisor. It needs to be added that harassment is linked with stress. Guirdham (2002) explained: "Some of the major effects of stress include sleep trouble, tiredness, being struggling to cope well in conflict situations, attempting to be left exclusively, smoking, taking in and eating too much, being unable to influence or persuade people and finding it difficult to get right up in the mornings". I recall which i was often very fatigued, could not sleep, didn't want to see my friends or family and I often asked for days faraway from work.

From my above evaluation it can be stated that the operations director was definitely my spouse at that time. She had very strong impact on my self-esteem and my behaviour. According to Smith and Mackie (2007, p 212) "Owned by a negatively stereotyped group poses a menace to self-esteem, because group account contributes right to one's individual self-identity". This is proven by Twenge and Crocker (2002) and by Luhtanen et al. (1991)

Abraham Maslow, in his book Determination and Personality (1954) identified a Hierarchy of Needs which ultimately shows five layers of need which must be satisfied subsequently starting from the essential need for success. As can be seen from the next diagram it's important to achieve that belong and love needs and then esteem needs in order to achieve Home Actualisation (personal expansion and fulfilment).

In this case the treat to the Esteem needs such as reputation, position, achievement and responsibility were threatened combined with the Belongingness and Love needs such as associations and workgroup. This creates an unpredictable situation resulting in demotivation and other negative aspects. Not being satisfied at work rather than being accepted by an employee I was not concerned about my career and future fulfilment but wanted to please my manager first to obtain better relationship.

Fig 2. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Management and Authority Styles

According to Mullins (2005) there are numerous ways of taking a look at authority and many interpretation of its interpretation therefore because of its complex characteristics there are variable means of analysing it. It is helpful to have some framework to look at leadership in terms of:

The characteristics and traits approach

The efficient or group approach

Leadership as a behavioural category

Styles of leadership

Contingency theories

Transactional or transformational control ; and

Inspirational or visionary leadership

(Please make reference to Appendix 2 for even more details).

It must be stressed that a huge portion of the existing literature on command centers only on the positive features of leaders. However, the so-called "dark aspect of leadership", or negative personal traits of leaders, has received relatively less attention. Also, used, leadership is mostly evaluated in terms of the positive traits and strengths of market leaders, even though certain organizational factors and enthusiasts' characteristics significantly contribute to the success or ineffectiveness of leaders (Toor and Ogunlana, 2009).

Ineffective leadership isn't just because of the negative attributes of these in leadership assignments but is also influenced by having less positive qualities. Toor and Ogunlana (2009) please note "Capabilities such as insufficient experience,

inability to regulate complicated situations, incapacity to endure top management and being truly a poor motivator aren't negative attributes consequently; rather, these traits reflect the lack of positive professional competencies".

Many organisations and their professionals and executives are guilty of disregarding, tolerating or sustaining issues (Guirdham, 2002). This declaration confirms the behaviour of my director who was trying to clarify that I will accept the actual fact that my manager is generally a difficult person and therefore should not take it professionally what she says and exactly how she behaves. Insufficient leadership qualities can be seen in my boss's attitude

The director was not an effective innovator because a leader who lacks figure or integrity will not be regarded as a competent one. Even though he was smart, affable, persuasive, or savvy, he was also prone to rationalizing unethical behavior. Office harassment is an unethical issue and should be resolved with a company's leader, but it was not in my circumstance. Moreover leaders not attuned to the needs of the employees are not effective either.

Successful leaders concentrate on workers satisfaction and commitment. They have to find ways to consistently participate them and incorporate them into company's insurance policies and make sure they know and obey their code of do. If they ignore, mistreat, or otherwise do not value their workers, they'll not be respected for competences. Furthermore good leaders should talk effectively across mediums, constituencies, environments of course employees.

The director was aware that manager's behavior was damaging but didn't react and didn't want to be mixed up in turmoil. This observation can lead to a declaration that the director symbolized a laissez faire management style. Relating to Flynn (2009) this kind of a leader describes passive market leaders who are unwilling to affect subordinates or give way. They generally stay away from participating in group or specific decision making also to a large magnitude, abdicate their control role. Subordinates are given considerable independence of action and, therefore, appear likely to maximize their electric power and effect.

Although laissez- faire command can be very successful in some environments where fans are responsible for self-monitoring, problem solving in my case it had not been what I needed. I got searching for a mediator in my discord with my administrator, a person who can lead and do something to resolve the trouble.

Tehrani (1996) dispute that the role of innovator in developing the abilities which enable visitors to communicate in an wide open and assertive manner is perhaps one of the very most effective tools in responding to conflicts. I experienced that there is no support from the management of the business and the lack of a managerial 'role model' who I could choose for advice and esteem made the situation worse.


According to Hellriegel et al (1989) the value of communication and the way people interact can't be overestimated. When individuals take part in effective social communication, they increase their own sense of well-being and become more effective employees.

Interpersonal communication can be given as face-to-face or indirect, formal or casual, and transmitted verbally or non-verbally. Communication is influenced by words, communicator style, the distinctions between one- and two-way communication, power and status, culture, gender and impairment.

Interpersonal communication relating face-to-face discussion is the medium with the highest amount of information richness. An information-rich medium is particularly important for accomplishing complex tasks and resolving conditions that involve considerable uncertainty and ambiguity. Non-verbal cues play a powerful role and are related to verbal communication.


The significance of non-verbal communication and body gestures need to be assessed in this report as in my own circumstance it was more important than verbal communication. Corresponding to Mullins (2005) non-verbal communication includes inferences attracted from:

- posture,

- gesture,

- touch,

- invasion of personal space,

- magnitude of eye contact,

- build of voice

- facial expression.

Very usually the businesses manger was using proper dialect and if had not been obvious for others to start to see the turmoil between us and her antipathy.

Her modulation of voice and facial manifestation were sending announcements that I had not been accepted and were unwelcomed. I'd often be ignored, such as when declaring "good morning", often my ideas received looks of contempt and she would talk to the other employees but with her backside towards me.

Mullins (2005) adds also that in our face-to face communication with other folks the emails about our emotions and behaviour come only 7 % from what we use, 38 % from our tone of voice and 55 % from body language, including facial appearance. Significantly, when body gestures such as gestures and modulation of voice conflicts with the words, greater emphasis may very well be located on the non-verbal message. He also suggests that when verbal and non-verbal communications are incompatible (like in my own circumstance regarding communication with the procedures director) accepted wisdom is that the non-verbal signals ought to be the ones to count on, and that what is not said is frequently louder than what is said, revealing attitudes and feelings in a way words cannot exhibit.

According to Erven (2008) stereotyping (discussed recently) is a barrier to communication when it causes people to make if they know the communication that is coming from the sender or worse, as though no message is essential because "everybody already has learned. "

Communication is at the heart of many interpersonal problems confronted by employers.

Understanding the communication process and then working at improvement give a formula for becoming more effective communicators. Knowing the normal barriers to communication is the first step to reducing their impact. Stereotyping is a barrier to proper communication, it cannot just disrupt communication, it can destroy it.


Alternative options for resolving problem

Working in a small office environment involves working within a group and becoming an active and valued member of that group. I noticed that my manager's frequent negative attitudes undermine by potential to work well in my peer group and also influenced the other member acceptance of me into that group.

Although I felt no animosity with the other office employees and their treatment of me was always quite reasonable there was always the sensation that these were slightly embarrassed by the relationships between my manager and me and this avoided me from having the ability to be accepted completely into the group. I was always something of any 'outsider' and I was worried that my grievances would label me as a 'complainer' and reduce any sympathy they could have for my situation.

Smith and Mackie (2007, p 216-222) identify several approaches for overcoming stereotyping in a working environment:

Individual Ability to move - getting rid of oneself from identification with a stereotype group either through disidentification or through dissociation.

Disidentification (placing the stereotype group at a subconscious distance) involves getting rid of a personal link with the group through criticism of a member or users of a group or by determining yourself as an exception to the normal group member.

Dissociation (putting the group at a physical distance) includes removing oneself from any connection with a stereotype group in an attempt to become accepted with those outdoors such an organization.

Either of these would in my circumstance be unrealistic or unwanted. I've no reason to be ashamed of my nationality or culture and although I consider myself to be cosmopolitan by nature I'd not consider it to either criticise my country or people with regard to satisfying any work colleagues. I also think that wanting to pretend I had not been Polish would be impractical as well as unethical.

Smith and Mackie also claim that "One can redefine group characteristics in positive conditions in order to try and change society's assessments of the group. "

This would require looking to dispel the bad attitude of my director by positive action. For example I could try to win over her with a higher standard or work showing her that just because I was Polish didn't signify I possibly could not produce such work.

Although I believe in attempting to ones best potential anyway, regardless of the reasons, this plan seems to me to be a negative approach. I would be endeavoring to almost verify myself despite my record, that i find quite unpleasant.

Alternatively I possibly could try to acknowledge the environment and mood, and try to reduce sensitivity to hostility or displays of prejudice.

Mullins (2005) evaluated difficult people: "Perhaps our reluctance to recognize, and then straight address, conflict within organisations is based upon the widely presented belief that discord is inevitable, negative and unmanageable". There is a tendency to see issue as a result one person's personality. Conflict may be unavoidable, but how considerably situations could be modified if we're able to also view it as positive and controllable. Imagine if we think of these situations as nurturing questions of difference? What if we were to produce a shift away from blaming individuals and their personalities, spotting instead that it is through normal real human discussion that outward expressions of difference are produced? Regrettably coping with difficult people is not one of my strong items.

Some causes of job dissatisfaction are impossible to improve, and in cases like this employees may be better off making an exit. Leaving the work is usually a very difficult decision and could cause mixed emotions: happiness because of shifting to something better, sadness at getting rid of people we liked work with, alleviation we don't have to cope with the condition and conflicts any more. Uncertainty about the future and new job has usually a large effect on people's decisions. I my case it was time and energy to consider leaving the job.

Choice of option

It seemed to me that there were two practical choices available to me. I possibly could stay working with the company and make an effort to resolve the problem, or just accept it as it is and endure it. Alternatively I could leave and find another job somewhere else.

I finally chose that I would choose a new job with the initial opportunity give my notice.

Rationale for choice

If I were to continue to work for this company I feel that it might be necessary to change the problem. To keep working there and hurting the effects of my manager's behaviour towards me, the ineffectual management of the director and minimal support from my peer group would not be acceptable. Sadly to change the problem would require a significant amount of work, with possibly little effect, and raise the pressure on that which was already a stressful job.

Although it can be said that finding another job was running away from the situation I take a different view. I believe far from jogging away I got taking control and I removed a negative and stressful situation by my own positive action.

Implementation of Option

Having decided to leave I was able to continue work while looking for new employment. This gave rise to a fresh situation where before I used to be depressed and exhausted on a regular basis I actually noticed quite good about the situation. My manager's daily put downs were easy to dismiss and I was actually able to concentrate on my work a lot more effectively.

Working in central London it was moderately easier to search for new careers through papers and via the Internet. I were able to slip interviews in my lunchtime or last thing in the evening so was able to keep my intent of leaving covered until I experienced it was right to make it open public. Again, I felt I was in charge of the situation.

Time for Implementation

It only got fourteen days to find new occupation and I handed in my own resignation after working for the corporation for a total of five a few months.


In modern times there's been an increasing acceptance of the harm that may be done to those who end up being the victims of harassment or bullying. Although there were significant goes to bring in legislation and rules that offer with the launch of organizational plan and methods on harassment and bullying, the occurrence of harassment continues to be common in many United kingdom organizations.

Background and causes of such conflicts are often implicit rather than easy to resolve. Understanding the communication process and communication barriers is important to effectively control the trouble. Authority skills and appropriate use of power can be crucial.

The detrimental effect of a weak innovator, especially in a middle management role, can be drastically reduced by effective actions of higher management. Good communication and the application of reasoned arguments, where the senior director can act as a respectable intermediary, could well have resolved this example, at least to a functional resolution.

Unfortunately in this situation both the administrator and director were guilty of fragile and ineffectual control. The manager's preconceived views regarding a Polish worker shouldn't have been accepted. The director should have used such skills as required to control the problem and as a last resort enforced a company policy on what is in effect a form of racial discrimination.

Standing against racial stereotyping is obviously difficult, trying to argue rationally against this irrational frame of mind especially that of a older employee is likely to fail. With no support of others, whether that of peer communities or other managers it is an almost impossible situation. For someone such as myself who does not relish confrontation it was perhaps inescapable that I would have had to leave the business. However I believe it was an important moment in my personal and professional development and despite all the negative aspects it actually made me a better person and much more able to cope with such confrontational moments.


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