Stages in a Topic Discusion B


1 These notes identify four stages in a topic discussion and discuss some of the activities that occur in a Conference. They discuss various methods to assist in achieving useful objectives for each of the four stages.

Four Stages in a Topic Discussion

2 An understanding of the four main stages in a topic discussion will help to understand Conference processes. However, in any Conference, the four stages will not necessarily stand out: many variations can, and do, exist. Further, other activities hinder and confuse the discussion and help hide the main stages.

3 In any effective Conference, the following first three stages will exist. Stage 4 will probably exist.

(a) Stage 1: Contributions— Members make contributions.

(b) Stage 2: Relationships- Members attempt to discover relation ships between (i) contributions and (ii) other contributions and topics (e.g. the topic under consideration), and/or (iii) the Conference Objective and Sub Objectives.

(c) Stage 3: Consensus – Members attempt to achieve consensus* on each topic or sub-topic.

(d) Stage 4: Consensus Checking- Members check on the attempted consensus.

4 Once a Conference has achieved consensus on one topic, it can deal with contributions on a different topic and aim to establish relationships and achieve consensus on this other topic. In other words the four stages start all over again.

Examples of the Four Stages

5 If we take the Topic: Who will do the Job, Basic Contributions might include the following –

(a) I don’t care who does it. (b) Joe should do it. (c) Why Joe, Frank has more experience? (d) Yes, but Frank does not have the same skill in this type of work. (e) I think it does matter who does the job and Joe would suit me. (f) We cannot take any risks with this job and therefore we must choose a mature person. (g) That rules out Dick. (h) I would accept either Frank or Joe since I rate both of them as sound men.

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A Model of Manager Developing A

Some Parts & Processes Involved in Manager Developing

1 The above model and its contents assumes no differences between the process of: Training, Developing, and Educating. Thus it uses the term Trainer (rather than Developer or Educator) and the term Trainee (rather than Developee or Educatee or Student).

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A Management Training Program

Introduction To Management — Session Details

1 The following sections provide a short explanation of what happens in each session of two three-day “Introduction to Management” Courses.

2  This course does not represent a packaged course. It provides an example of what one Consultant put together to meet the needs expressed by one Client.

Item 1: Course Opening

3 A Senior Executive opens the Course and takes up to five minutes to explain what the Organisation aims to do by asking people to attend the Course.

Item 2: Course Introduction And Evaluation

4 The Course Introduction covers a variety of administration details.(e.g. Times of Starting and Ending, Training Approaches Used).

5 The Course Evaluation uses specific statements which relate to Course objectives.

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Role-Playing Exercise – The Concerned Supervisor

1 You supervise a Section consisting of eight staff. You find it an easy Section to run as everyone gets on well and helps each other out.

2 One of your Clerks always helps others in the Section and people see him/her as a happy talkative person who loves having a joke.

3 This morning the Clerk came in late (most unusual) and has not said a word to anyone since coming in. He/She has just sat at a desk and stared out into the distance. The phone has rung and rung and others have had to answer it.

4 A couple of workmates have tried to talk with …………………… but have received almost no answer. The normally happy Clerk does not seem to hear them.

5 You wonder if something unusual has occurred and so you ask……………………..     to come into your office.

6 You aim to get your Clerk back to operating effectively again.

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Role-Playing Exercise – Statistical Errors – Male

A Male Staff Member

1 You have worked in a Clerk Class 7 job for some time. You recently applied for the Class 8 position which heads up the sub-section in which you work. However you lost out to a woman who has now become your Immedi­ate Supervisor.

2 You feel unhappy about the selection decision. Further, you do not like working for a woman. However, you did not appeal against the decision.

3 The sub-section has to produce staffing statistics for departmental use. Among other things your job involves producing monthly statistical sum­maries of the staffing situation. You obtain your data from Personnel.

4 Personnel have organised their work so they can give you data at the end of each month but often you receive the data after the cut-off time. Further, you always have problems getting information from them at other times of the month. Regular staff changes in Personnel increase the diffi­culties. You have to explain to each new person in the job what you need and to define the sorts of data that fall under each category.

5 Recently, your Supervisor asked you to prepare a response to a parlia­mentary question concerning the number of officers on various types of leave, excluding recreation leave. You had never had to prepare a response to a parliamentary question before. Further, you had a lot to do to finish another project on time.

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Definition – Work – Towards a Definition


1 Ir proves difficult to define work .

2 However the following material shows some thinking done to try to achieve an accurate and useful definition. It should help people to think about what they mean by the word.

Some Definitions of Work

3 “The connotation of work is that it is some activity that must be carried out by a certain time and up to someone else’s standards.” (Emery & Phillips, 1976.)

4 “Work means those activities normally performed for pay.” (Bryan in Dunnette, 1973.)

5 “A Work role is defined as a set of functions to be performed by a role occupant, the performance of which contributes to the production of goods and services.” (Vroom, 1964.)

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