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Personal Versatility

Personal Versatility You are hired as a new manager and you are given the material of the Ladder of Inference because the business you are managing is having some difficulties with interpersonal conflicts and misunderstandings between employees and guests and employees and fellow employees and therefore they are not meeting the expectations of their guests/customers. You are assigned to tackle the four points below: 1. Summarize the ladder of inference to your employees using a setting that you select. Some examples of settings that are appropriate can be hotel, restaurant, call center, medical office, UPS delivery service, US postal service, your interactions as a customer in these businesses, etc. 2. Personalize the assignment by sharing with the employees a personal example of the ladder of inference showing how you used it to improve in the areas of AIR in preventing/solving service dilemmas. You may include the specifics that challenge you based on your personality. If you don’t have a personal example you can use one of the example from the lecture that I provided but it is best if it is your personal example. Detail going up the ladder – coming down the ladder – etc. You can use a similar example as in the SR that you wrote. 3. In the employee meeting or training that you have on the ladder of inference come up with an activity that you will do with the employees to demonstrate and help them understand and improve themselves using the ladder of inference. Include in this activity a personal example of you going up and coming down the ladder. 4. Create something original such as the BLESS YOUR HEART THEORY to help the employees deal with MADDIE ZUCKERMANs and stay down the ladder. This could also be a service recovery strategy with steps simply related to difficult people. Remember the bless your theory, had to do with me listening to MADDIE while pretending WHAT A TERRIBLE WEEK SHE HAD and how many things went wrong – then I keep looking in her left eye and sincerely listening, wait till she finishes move my glance to her right eye and she has finished the story and while she is being inappropriate, I think BLESS HER HEART to keep from taking these things personally. Usually, when she is done and I let her vent, she apologizes because she just needed to be heard. Module Instructions: The first part explains and gives examples of the ladder of inference. The second part of the module helps you delve deeper into the individual helping others understand you, helping you understand others, and then finally helping you to understand yourself better. Read both parts before doing the assignments SR2 and SR3. The videos shared are examples of the ladders of students and also a service movie which was part of the Service Movie/Video project whereby a student chose to teach the ladder of inference using his job as an example in the form of a rap. HFT 3540 Instructional Objective 2: Improve your Personal Versatility with Others Assignments related to this module: Detailed instructions for assignments under TABS but helpful to read assignments before you are reading the module. Service Reflection 2: Share examples of using advocacy, inquiry and reflection. Service Reflection 3: Share a ladder experience on a ladder you went up and how you successfully came down the ladder using the techniques of advocacy, inquiry, and reflection. Essay Examination: I ask you to consider more about the ladder of inference from a manager’s viewpoint and a personal viewpoint as well and how you may use that in an employee training. Service Quilt: This assignment is all about finding and developing your PSVIQ – you make your own service quilt. Your PsVIQ Doing it better than that requires you to be an absolute master of human relations. For this, one must improve, revisit, or strengthen interactions with others. This will develop a toughness or versatility that would never show up without practice. It can become the key to many successful aspects of your life. I call it the personal service versatility intelligence quotient (PsVIQ). PsVIQ is your sum prowess with human relations. Improving your interactions involve taking the time to have a deeper understanding of them. To understand interactions more, we must divide these interactions into smaller pieces. Millions are far too busy to ever practice something so common. I am sorry to say as with many things in life, it is common sense uncommonly practiced. As we interact with countless others, many difficult scenarios arise. Improving and practicing the study of your interactions, will assist you in delivering excellent service easily while maintaining a healthy self-worth. These skills can take you around the world. The improvements will enable you as leader, manager, team worker, server, friend, or family member to always find better solutions. When you practice and apply your new understanding, your interactions with others everywhere will improve. This reduces stress, improves your effectiveness at work and at home, improves the respect others have for you, and enhances your overall quality of life. The Ladder For improving our PsVIQ, let’s make this more fun and put it in a box by using a LADDER to symbolize our state of interactions with others. This makes it appear that we can control and manage the ladder of our own judgment. We use a ladder to symbolize our interactions. Ladders, usually medal or wood, come in all shapes and sizes but usually all have the same amount of rungs on each right and left side. They have a rung at the top that balances both sides of the ladder. The top rung should not be STOOD on ever. Ladders are dangerous. You should use them at your own risk. Ladders are very objective, they are what they are. At times, it is really helpful to analyze interactions with the ladder. When you climb up a ladder or stand on top of the ladder, you are helpless, vulnerable, and likely to fall. The ladder is a symbol for interactions gone wrong to the point of “blow up” and “gridlock.” At the top of the ladder are when the situations are beyond the control of others and yourself in managing the situation any longer. Being up the ladder makes you defensive and unable to improve the situion. Up the ladder situations must be resolved quickly The Ladder of Dr. Severt I have developed this because of my countless interactions with others – and truthfully, I am not a people person. They are not my favorite, They stress me out and if I don’t have time alone, I will burst. I am also happy when I have great interactions with others. However, I don’t enjoy countless uncontrollable interactions with others. I hate it. In particularly, those same faces day in and day out that many come to call co-workers, I get tired of them, not really them but the way they are and the things they do. It sends me up a ladder. In order to keep my job, I cannot tell them I am always up a ladder. I think it means I am a natural introvert. Through practice, I have learned to make others feel loved and welcome but more importantly, I have learned to manage most things I could have never handled without these skills. In essence, truthfully, I hate people and truthfully, I love people. The ladder makes my complexities manageable. Your ladder is your ladder and so growing in your own versatility requires understanding your ladder with others. I would have never been rated number one out of 60 servers by a team of 5 managers on the attribute of attitude had I not learned to control my own ladder. This self- monitoring is something that each of us can learn. The Ladders of Billy the Busboy and Denver the Dining Room Manager, a simplified example I was hired from Mr. Kilmer, the owner of the Polo Fields Golf and Country Club. He met me when I was working as server at night in a fine dining venue. He knew I was also an assistant professor of hospitality management. He made me a job offer I could not refuse because he said he knew I could make his yacht phone stop ringing. As with many country clubs, many millionaire and billionaires were members. By nature, this involves outliers. It can lead to high maintenance things particularly when things go wrong. These times taught me many valuable lessons and using the metaphorical teaching of the ladder of inference helped me transform my interactions with others to a higher level. In a nutshell, I could easily identify potential ladders for me and others whether guests or employees and solve them quickly. This allowed a better service culture to emerge. These behaviors are contagious if they are modeled with consistency. That is what helped the yacht phone of Mr. Kilmer to stop ringing. These behaviors are a practice and style of living. They must be practiced to be utilized well. Still there are times when you will have to call upon an Emergency technique when solving opportunities. Else you will simply be emotive, personally involved, and defensive (i.e., up your own ladder), and if you stay there, you will not last in the job. LOL, for me with most jobs, I pretend that all employees know each other and may be out to get me. Since I talk a lot to many people, this pretense mode saves me. At Polo Fields it was no different. The start of the job was tiring and invigorating as I met hundreds of members and a hundred employees. We would deliver the country club experience together. One of the best employees that I had initially had hard time with was Billy. Billy was excellent with people but not me. He was cold, frowned, and said nothing. I found out that his brother was turned down the job of manager so I figured Billy just wanted his brother to get the job or maybe Billy did not like Southern people or out of the box people or thought I was too sweet or too soft. I came to all forms of “conclusions,” based on “assumptions,” I made based on what I interpreted as factual. I read Billy’s body language and the facts that were observable to me. I was wrong, prejudiced, and biased. Each night working with a great employee like Billy who was as cold as ice when interacting with me sent me up a ladder. Did he not know I was his boss? He is supposed to show me respect. What on earth is matter with him? Billy’s job was to bus the tables when they left and bring out the bread and fill the water glasses when the tables were seated. As a manager in this situation, there is a fine line between working your butt off and delegating. I feel a manager should know how to delegate but be able to help and show that you will work alongside your employees. My dining room goal was to have 100% authentic and genuine table visits with our members regarding their member experience and of course to make them feel at home. After all, isn’t hospitality, welcoming folks into your home with a warm reception, feeding them, sending them off with a fond farewell? To ease into my table visits, it made sense to help while I visited the tables. In order to not interrupt and to be working, I would carry stuff to the table or bring back plates from the table. So I would go out and bring what I could to the tables to make conversation with the guests and make sure everything was going smoothly and answer any questions. One day we were in the weeds aka restaurant lingo for really slammed or busy. I started to do table visits. As usual, I go into the bus station and I grab the pitcher of water. Once done, I was on to the next thing, setting the water pitcher where I saw fit. Apparently, I left the iced water pitcher with the fancy napkin draped across the bottom at another location than where I found it. I went into the bus station and picked up another water pitcher in order to finish my table visits. Beside of me was cold rude Billy whose main job it was to get water and bread for tables when they were first greeted. He seemed like he hated me more than ever. I think he should be fired I thought. All of a sudden he mumbled. He mumbled again with disgust. Next he looked at me with a disgustingly angry look and said, “PUT THE F****** PITCHER BACK WHERE YOU GOT IT!” OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I see. I will go get you one. Oh my, you could have knocked me over with a feather. As I walked to get the water pitcher, I was suddenly enlightened. He hated me because I took his water pitchers. I always inadvertently left the water pitchers at a convenient location where I wanted to when I was finished instead of in the bus-station where I found the pitchers. After all, I was a productive manager on to the next busy task. The water pitchers were stored in the very back of the kitchen and the ice machine was way in the back on the other side. One unnecessary trip to the far back all because someone did not return the water pitcher is wasted service energy. From then on I put the water pitcher back where it belonged and Billy and I got along great. That blow up allowed me to ask Billy if that was the only thing I did that he did not like. I explained to him about my suspicions on why he did not like me. I think he was shocked to know I thought that much about my interactions with him. We were immediate buds after that moment. Billy used ADVOCACY in an aggressive stance and he was usually very quiet. HE stepped over the scale of AGGRESSIVE to ADVOCATE for himself and to me about the water pitcher. This ADVOCACY brought us both down the ladder. I was down with just a few choice words. In any industry, always clean up your mess and put things back where they go. Else those are rungs on the ladder for someone. Rung you may not even see that you unnecessarily created. Are you currently up any ladders? The Ladder of You Basically, the ladder of you focuses on the state of your collective interactions with others. Each interaction can be symbolized with a ladder. Usually, where you are on the ladder comes from a series of interactions or journeys with others. The worst times are when communications fail or is compromised. During these times, parties involved arrive at a conclusion. Usually each party’s conclusion has faulty components. The judgment or conclusion they made is based on how they find meaning out of the story. For many, it is due to past examples, their values, their beliefs, their prejudices. Because we all have these, there are many times when people are violently agreeing in a dysfunctional manner. Many times, they walk around “silently dissatisfied,” presuming that their conclusions are correct. Silent dissatisfaction is deadly to relationships and life journeys. In this way, it is better to let things get air and be heard rather than staying in silent or non-silent dissatisfaction. We call this being UP THE LADDER. The steps that you took to get up the ladder vary greatly with each interaction, and the perceived magnitude and seriousness of the interaction. It may take one minute to go up. It may take 20 years. Some people go up in a minute based on something and it may take others 20 years to go up the ladder for that same thing. That is why individuality is a priceless component of understanding others. Ladders of Service Provision Service involves millions of escalating situations daily. Nothing is wrong with escalating (i.e., going up the ladder) as long as you can de-escalate (i.e., coming down the ladder). However, people end things because they refuse to resolve issues. Though some things are unresolvable, it is always advisable to get down the ladder before deciding you don’t want to continue a situation. Some examples include situations where a roommate that will be kicked out, a job will be left, a friend will not be seen anymore, a guest will be asked to not return to your business, a marriage will be ended). Being grounded and down the ladder, after conducting advocacy, inquiry, and reflection allows you to make all of these decisions in a thoughtful, human, and objective manner. When you manage all of your ladders the right way, you authentically step into you own service personality. You find your genuine and authentic personal nature needed for dealing repetitively with many people over the course of a career or a lifetime. You do not need to use coping mechanisms to get through the day to keep from jumping off the ladder. By the way, when you are do need to use coping mechanisms, it is imperative that you learn your natural proneness to certain functional coping mechanisms or decompressions else you will naturally begin to use your natural prone dysfunctional coping mechanisms. The service industry of hospitality has a burnout ratio for managers only second to the nursing industry in healthcare. The emotional labor required to please others can be depleting if you are not drawing from your TRUE and AUTHENTIC and HONEST service personality. True means related to your personality and how you would naturally solve a problem or how you will naturally interact with your guests. The hospitality industry employs many varieties of individuals. Certain jobs high in instant gratification demands may be also more prone to employee individuals you use coping mechanisms to take the stress. The industry has a responsibility to serve their industry by helping individuals find functional coping mechanisms for decompression shedding off dysfunctional coping mechanisms for decompression Understanding the Ladder The ladder of inference is a symbol for your relationship (i.e., interactions or a series of interactions) with someone. Sometimes in these interactions people are inappropriate whether employees or guests. This age-old tendency begins a negative cycle of interaction. Once started, it is difficult to break the cycle, easy to accept it as the norm. One example of how the cycle of staying up a ladder results in is that you may decide that you simply do not like certain people. Usually in interactions with others, you cannot simply do this as you are forced to interact with many people repetitively. UP the Ladder – Negative Situations Create Opportunities for Learning Lessons Escalating Situation When situations are escalating each person draws their inference and conclusions based on their values, beliefs, and past examples or role models to arrive at potentially false conclusions or to execute actions that are not helpful to the issue at the specific time. Thus in an escalating situation you can be entirely wrong but “UP THE LADDER.” You can also be entirely correct but still “UP THE LADDER.” Both must be resolved. Right and correct does not matter. Peace and resolve matter. The more fail points that occur in an interaction and the more conclusions drawn, the higher up the ladder we go. Once ‘up the ladder,’ communication is extremely difficult. It is hard to maintain internal peace, much less focus on interactions with others. That is why it is important to manage the ladders in your life with as little bias and prejudice as possible. A helpful thought to remember is this: be objective with each interaction, try not to take anything personally, and refrain from growing emotional. That does not suggest that you cannot be genuine, helpful, and easy to deal with. It does not suggest that emotions are wrong and that you cannot deliver personal service. All of us go up the ladder and come down the ladder in different ways and speeds. These ways and speeds are those that are natural to the personality and background and past actions of each of us.Being up the Ladder is limiting and can halt your personal and professional progress. Helplessness at the top of the ladder prevents relationships from being as productive possible. Did you ever work with two bright professionals who do not get along or do not speak to one another? What did their conflict do to the work climate? It colors it with something that has nothing to do with the work and mission of the company. Leaders must not only manage their own ladders of understand and manage the ladders of others. As a manager and service leader, you will undoubtedly have many occasions where you, other managers, vendors, guests, or employees go up the ladder. To progress in relationships and in effective communication, learning to recognize when you or others are up the Ladder and knowing how to go down the ladder and bring others down the ladder are essential. It requires practice and effort. When situations escalate, it is vital to de-escalate the situations to a point of norm. Three main techniques used in different levels and mixtures in different situations just as if you were following a recipe that has a standard but that is always changing are the key. They include advocacy, inquiry, and reflection. Advocacy involves making others aware of your reasoning, how you make inferences, and how you draw conclusions. Helping make others aware will help them understand you. Note, agreement it not VITAL, understanding is vital. Inquiry involves understanding the reasoning of others how they make inferences, and how they draw conclusions. Once you understand how others think about a certain situation, you will be properly equipped to discuss fail points with them and progress with the task at hand. Reflection involves getting a deeper understanding of your personal reasoning, how you make inferences, and how you draw your conclusions. This may be the most essential as many times, decisions and judgments can be subconscious and hence, if you don’t think about how you concluded, you may not really know. Each individual’s ladder of inference and solutions to those ladders can be standardized for use in dealing with many individuals, but also customizable for specialized problematic situations that WILL arise. These are things that are unique in occurrence and not repetitive. Down the Ladder – Grounded Behavior When used together, AIR principles can help you go down the Ladder or avoid going up the Ladders at all. Being a leader who solves escalating situations resolving them to a simple solution allows you to have great influence with others. “Grounding” or grounded behavior is necessary for personal or professional progress. As you use AIR principles, you will become an artisan of human relations allowing you to get the most from your relationships. When mastered, the concept can multiply your satisfaction with those around you, their satisfaction with you, but most importantly, it allows you to better execute the mission of the organization for which you work using an efficient but a doing it better than that mentality. You will also experience extrinsic and intrinsic benefits. It feels good and it pays well. But if not taken genuinely, if not applied and practiced, the tools do not work. So if you cannot take this material seriously, likely, you will benefit more than most from the material. You have to be honest and realize the situation. When the ladders are high and you are at the top, the situation has escalated to a point where behaviors must change and each party must interact with each other to solve the issues. For these times, you may need an emergency technique. The reason you must have an emergency technique is like you need a recipe. If you don’t have it you cannot always create a good outcome. Many times in human interactions people misbehave especially consumers/customers/guests. Everyone wants their way. As a leader you must remain calm, professional, non-emotive, and rational no matter how irrational the behavior of the guest may be. Some companies say they fire their guests when they behave poorly. I challenge you to also get you an emergency ladder technique for those water pitcher situations that arrive daily in life. It may save a life. That life may be yours. A personal recommendation that I have adapted from southern hostility or hospitality is the Bless your heart theory (BYhT). You can use it too or come up with an original technique that works for you and store it in your mental toolbox. I use the Maddie Zuckerman example to who you what bless your heart theory entails. Ladder of “Misuba Zuckerburg” When I worked at a country club in Ann Arbor, MI., there was a woman there, named Misuba, who used to drive the other employees to tears. Misuba Zuckerbug came from New York or one of those assertive states. They are my personal favorites to wait on. They know exactly what they want and they tell you and they hold you accountable to that. Easy. So in that respect, she made my job very easy. Most days, M could be found making a scene out on the Golf Course; screaming her head off to employees. Then my manager would have me go to her, and ask her, “What’s wrong?” Then I would just listen to her complain and not say anything. I would consider the good of M and if she was strongly inappropriate I would consider the bad that may happen to her tomorrow such as her cat would be run over on the way to see her husband who had just been checked into the emergency department for chest pains after finding out their business was going bankrupt. This self-monitoring and emotional labor helped me listen to someone in brat mode. The whole time I plant my feet firmly in the ground, look deeply and intently and genuinely with compassion into her eyes, sincerely and actively listening. I would think, think, think, oh no poor M look at what is happening to her tomorrow, bless her heart. I would finish by when she was done with the story and at about the same time looking into her right eye rolling my eyes over to look just at her right eye when she was finished. By this time, she was in her right mind and would always say things such as thank you Denver, you are amazing. I just needed to vent. Bless Her Heart. These stories are based on a true company with true people and names have been altered to protect the identity of those individuals. Take your service glasses out and find ladders everywhere and find a way to solve them. Perhaps you have none. But maybe you see ladders developing. Use advocacy, inquiry, reflection and solve this items. Bring escalating instances to de-escalating incidences When communication breakdowns threatening optimal service delivery, use the bless your heart theory. The story of M Zuckerburg coming up in the module illustrates a hardwired. Hardwired means something incorporated so deeply into behavior that it takes over subconsciously when conscious interactions are out of my control. I subconsciously developed this to cope with many stressful situations from my life. I did not know I used the theory until a great mentor of mine pointed out that in our time together as she had taught me valuable writing lessons that I had also changed her life. I said, “How.” She said, for the most part was the way you live your life around the Bless Their Heart Theory! Thank you Jill, I am finally listening to you about a decade later but in fact taking head of your advice. I trust her so deeply and then she said. “that is one of the teachings you must share with the world.” I was not sure I believed her and then individuals told me that this theory helped them. She was right and now I decided to write it down and share it with the world. Bless Your Heart! The next part of the teaching is helping you go deeper into helping others understand you, understanding others, and understanding yourself. Formative Assessments from Module 2: SR3 and SR4 Summative Assessments: Service Quilt & Essay Examinati]]>

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