MGT 240 Week 7 Assignment Interview and Reflection Essay
For this assignment, you will write a reflection on what you learned about management in the course. As part of the assignment, you will conduct an interview with a manager of a local business to get a first-hand perspective on the challenges of management and the techniques others have found successful for effective leadership, motivation, and communication.
Select a manager of a local business to interview and contact the person to set up an appointment. You may conduct your interview in person or via phone.
Prepare a list of at least 5-7 questions for your interview. Your questions should focus on how the manager executes the four functions of management functions as well as the challenges related to motivating and communicating with employees and/or clients in the business environment. In particular, try to discover how the demands of technology-mediated communication, such as communicating via social media channels, impact manager-employee relationships.
Remember that managers have many commitments so try to schedule your interview well in advance of the assignment’s due date. You should present the attached consent letter to the person you intend to interview.
After you complete the interview, write a 1,000-1,250-word reflection on what you learned in the interview and this course. Address the following in your response:
1- What are the most valuable things you learned about the four functions of management, in a practical sense, as well as motivation and communication techniques?
2- Identify some of the significant challenges you believe you might face as a manager.
3- Discuss your own personal strengths and weaknesses as a manager. What do you think you need to work on to improve your own capabilities?
4- How might you apply what you learned in your interview and this course to be a more effective manager?
In an appendix at the end of the essay, provide an interview summary that includes the following information:
1- The name of the person you interviewed and number of years he/she has been a manager
2- The name of the company at which he/she is currently employed
3- How long the person has been a manager at the current company and what their managerial level is
4- Date of the interview and whether it took place in person or via phone or other type of medium
5- Contact information for the person you interviewed
6- The list of your interview questions and responses provided
7- Signed consent letter
Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a grading rubric. Instructors will be using the rubric to grade the assignment; therefore, students should review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations for successful completion of the assignment.
You are required to submit this assignment to Turnitin. Refer to the directions in the Student Success Center. Only Word documents can be submitted to Turnitin.
Dear [Insert Participant’s Name]:
Thank you for agreeing to participate in an interview. This interview is part of an assignment for an Introduction to Management Course at Grand Canyon University. The assignment asks students to garner first-hand perspective on the challenges of management and reflect on what they have learned in the course.
Information collected during the interview will be used solely to complete the assignment and may be shared with class members and the instructor. Attached you will find sample questions that demonstrate the types of questions you may be asked during the interview. If you have additional questions or concerns, or you would like to withdraw your consent to participate in the interview process, you can contact [insert your instructor’s name and email address].
Again, thank you for taking the time to participate in an interview and contribute to the educational experience of business students at Grand Canyon University.
[Type or sign your name]
Sample Interview Questions
1) What communication strategies have you found most useful for communicating with your employees?
2) What barriers to effective communication have you experienced? What have you done to overcome them?
3) What strategies have you found effective for motivating your employees?
4) What leadership qualities do you think are most important for managers?
5) How do you manage difficult employees or employee conflict?
6) What do you think is most important for promoting and maintaining effective manager-employee relationships?
7) What advice would you offer a novice looking to get into the field of management?
8) What should students of management be doing in college to prepare themselves for the field?
A Reflection and Application of the Functions of Management
Learning the importance of management functions combined with the importance of communication has opened my eyes to many things I have seen in the past done by both good and bad managers. With that knowledge, I now understand why organizations tend to desire managers with experience and adequate training. The combination of both thought hard to find at times can be the keep to an organization’s success. The key to having the most efficient and productive employees is hiring great managers. Through this paper, I will touch on the functions of management and how they related to me, combined with how I can learn to be more successful using my strength and weakness to my advantage.
Four Functions of Management
A manager’s services can be categorized into four different functions planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. All these steps are equaling important each building on the others showing organizational success when properly executed. Active managers will spend as much time planning and organizing as they will lead and control the daily tasks to result in a completed milestone or goal. Proper knowledge of these functions can help you be an efficient and successful manager.
Planning is a continuing step that you will need to have flexibility with the biggest mistake in planning is setting it in stone and unwilling to make changes along the way. Each department may require specialized goals or team goals to work on for the overall success of a project. Organization takes planning a set further breaking down identifying each task and finding the correct person to initiate the assignment can be vital to the project.
Leading is the interpersonal level that involves communication, motivation, and encouraging employees. The skill here is being able to direct employees voluntarily who believe in who you as a leader and the vision of the organization. The last step and follow-up of leading are controlling the final function of the project. The level of controlling does not mean to micromanage but rather keep an eye on progress to ensure that deadlines are met, or adjustments along the way are taken into account, due to unforeseen circumstances.
There are many challenges as a manager of a department or organization. Some of the more significant problems are bringing out the best in your employees and apportioning with underperforming employees. Each presents their individual challenges to overcome as well as similarities. Each employee will need a person solution to address the problem at hand. We all have bad days or day we are off our game training to teach employees to overcome this will be critical to a productive work environment and helping to prevent underperformance while encouraging their best.
Many employees are quite enthusiastic when starting a job, but research has found that nearly 85 percent of companies report a loss of morale within the first six months with a continuing decline the longer employees stays. Findings have shown individual managers’ behaviors, and styles are contributing the problem. To maintain the level of enthusiasm management must understand three goals, Equity, Achievement, and Camaraderie. Employees need to be respected and treated fairly in all areas pay, benefits and policy. The common equity of how you treat your employees will have a significant effect the quality of work. Following with recognition of achievement will continue to bring a sense of pride to the job. Lastly, camaraderie produces productive relationships ensuring a task force that can work together for a common goal (Everse, 2014).
Personal Strengths & Weaknesses
The ability to know your personal strengths and weaknesses can help you a great deal in making the right decisions. Because you can now focus the way, you manage around your strengths and make it look almost effortless. Personal strengths come naturally for a person and can often be overlooked my us. Knowing your weaknesses can be just as useful as knowing your strengths, you have the ability to but more focus on your weakness when knowing your strength. The natural ease at which your strength comes will give you more effort to improve your weakness.
My personal strength is developing a working system of organization to create the most efficient way to complete a job. I find that learning as much as I can about a task or job helps me do this as well as being open to outside viewpoints. The ability to take a step back and observe will let me work out in my mind the problems and solutions to bring about my job in a timely and productive way that reduces stress for my coworkers and me.
My weakness is not being able to say “No” this can often affect my strength if I let it, and get overcome with work or try to do everything on my own. I often want to do everything myself for lack of trust or the ability in my coworker or employees. Recognizing this has been a help though in learning to step back and let others do this I am too busy to do or rather do not have the time to do. The ability to learn to say “No,” is quickly helping revolve the work I am doing to me more successful.
While taking this course the biggest lesson, I have brought away the vital importance of communication and the four management functions. Each step is important and cannot be overlooked without failure. While getting you message across listening is just vital to communication. Strategic listening can be a major tool in the role of leading. The ability to show vision and motivation by believing in what I do for an organization can help lead and motivate while still bringing beneficial changes and increasing the bottom line of profit.