Motivation and Productivity

Exercise Assessment

In the process of doing the exercises in the workbook, you will have completed the work needed for Assignment 5. It is recommended you review your work before submitting. Make sure you save your final work with the following naming convention: MNGT2131_AF5_firstname_lastname.docx. Use the Assignment Submission Tool to submit to your Open Learning Faculty Member.

Exercise 5-1: The Behaviour Problem

Step 1:      Think of a friend or co-worker’s behaviour that you feel uncomfortable with or simply don’t like. It may be a behaviour that is done too frequently and you wish it would decrease or one that is not done frequently enough and you wish it would increase.

The person should be someone you know well and whose behaviour directly affects you. This can be a family member, a friend, a co-worker or a subordinate. Don’t select someone you strongly dislike or have written off as an associate.

As examples, students who have done this exercise before have selected the following behaviours:

  • I’d like my subordinate, Mark, to make more decisions without asking for my advice.
  • I would like my son, John, to watch less TV. (Or: My son John should do his homework before he watches TV.)
  • I’d like my husband to be ready on time when we have a social engagement.

Be sure to select a behaviour that you really care about. Don’t select one where it really doesn’t matter all that much to you whether the person’s behaviour changes or not.

Step 2:      Write a description of the behaviour you would like to see increase or decrease on the space provided on the next page.

Step 3:      List what you feel are the main reasons why the person behaves as she or he does.

Step 4:      Describe the ways, if any, that you typically respond to the person’s behaviour (or lack of behaviour). Also, describe the things, if any, that you have tried in the past to get the person to change his or her behaviour.

Step 5:      Describe how the person’s behaviour affects you personally. Do you get frustrated, angry? You might also mention what, if anything, might happen in your relationship in the future if the other person doesn’t change the behaviour. Will you ignore it, discuss it, nag, have a fight over it, see the person less, end the relationship, or try to get the person fired, transferred, disciplined, or demoted?

Step 6:      Suppose that in the near future, you were going to try something to get the person to change his or her behaviour. Even though you may have given up on it or decided that you don’t really have the right to try to change the other person, describe one or two things you might try.

Keep in mind that asking you to do this does not imply that you should actually try to change the person’s behaviour. Some people feel very strongly that they should accept others as they are. Nor does this step imply that you are selecting a tactic that would necessarily work. It’s possible that nothing would work in this situation. With this in mind, and for purposes of learning, give it your best shot.

Step 1: What is the person’s relationship to you?
Step 2:      Describe the behaviour you’d like to see increased or decreased.
Step 3:      State your beliefs as to why the person is behaving the way he or she is that you find objectionable.
Step 4:      Describe the ways you’ve responded to the person or things you have tried in the past to get the person to change the behaviour.
Step 5:      Describe the impact of the person’s behaviour on you.
Step 6:      Describe what you might do to change the person’s behaviour.

Exercise 5-2: Miller’s Malady

Step 1:      Read the news article that follows.

Step 2:      List what you feel are the causes of the problem. That is, make your best guess as to why Miller and his co-workers are behaving as they are.

In producing your analysis, follow your own inclinations. Do not try to take a Reinforcement Theory approach because you know that will be the focus later on in this instructional unit. You will learn more if you produce your own analysis that you can later compare and contrast with that of Reinforcement Theory. In short, the main idea with these initial exercises is to maximize your learning and not to produce a “correct” analysis from the perspective of Reinforcement Theory.