Joe has ware. Joe must interact with Kim on a frequent basis, since Joe’s team performs many functions that service Kim’s tool and hardware areas. Joe appreciates that Kim is an expert in the tool and hardware business. Yet, when Joe attempts to talk with Kim and learn more about the business, he feels that Kim is dismissive and even a little irritated. At times, Joe feels as though Kim is deliberately trying to make him feel stupid. Joe is also concerned with the way Kim interacts with employees. Kim is clearly not a people person. This would not bother Joe so much, except that Kim is often very gruff with Joe’s staff as well, causing them to feel confused and hurt. Joe is not certain if Kim intends to be so gruff or if that is simply Kim’s nature. Finally, Joe has become irritated with some less-than-subtle comments Kim has made during manage- ment meetings. Kim likes to talk in sarcastic terms about the way “supervisors these days” like to “coddle” their employees and “do all that touchy-feely stuff.” Kim says, “It’s too much education and not enough hard work. That’s what the problem is.” Although Joe is not the only manager who has or is pursuing a college education, Joe has the distinct impression that Kim is referring to him. Joe decides to talk to Jim Talent about his concerns. Jim is not very sympathetic. Jim challenges Joe to solve the problem on his own by talking with Kim directly. “And do it quickly,” Jim says. “I’ve got a big project that I want the two of you to work on together.” Case Questions Part A. Using the supportive confrontation model, analyze Joe’s situation involving his relationship with Kim and discuss the following:
1. What are the problems, and who owns them based on the window on behavior?
2. What research and reflection should Joe do to test his assumptions and perceptions? What are the facts? Does Joe have legitimate reasons to feel as he does? What more should he seek to understand about Kim before attempting to address the situation?
3. Should Joe seek to (a) change his attitude, (b) change his environment, or) confront Kim regarding Kim’s behavior? Defend your choice.