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Organizational Behavior - Interpersonal Relationships and Action Analysis Paper

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Andres Heilbron

March 2, 2016

FME-Organizational Behavior Paper Assignment:

Interpersonal Relationships and Action Analysis Paper

“I pledge my honor that I have neither received nor provided unauthorized assistance during the completion of this work”

Sign: Andres Heilbron

FME1001-09 OB Paper Assignment

March 2, 2016

Professor Murphy

International Barriers

        Before coming to Babson College, I thought my nationality would never mentally affect me in any way throughout my journey through FME class, but I was wrong. The first couple of weeks of class I was really happy, but as the explore phase teams got smaller and smaller; I started to notice changes. The way I started to handle myself was not positively affecting my role in my group. I felt that I could not relate to the people in my team, making me an outsider. I began to face reality; I started to face the challenge of not being home. Nobody approached me and I approached nobody. I was simply there; I was just there watching how my tasks got less and less important. I was ready to give up. I was ready to become a follower; until, I understood that my lack of action, would affect my grade in the class. To understand this situation, I focused mainly on why my language, my first impression to my group, and how my culture and stylistic differences affected the way I approached the subject. By engaging and confronting the problems I had with my group, I was able to improve my personal social identity in my eyes and most importantly, in the eyes of my group.

        First of all, in order to understand my values, the reader has to know my given social identity. I was born in Panama City, Panama, a Spanish speaking country. In Panama, I went to an international high school, a place that I felt; my English was going to develop thoroughly. Right until the beginning of college, I had no problem with my English, but as FME went by, I became insecure about my speaking abilities. This insecurity started emerging because I got to experience what being good at public speaking really was, not what I had previously thought. My language barrier changed me; I no longer had dominant characteristics. In Panama, my English was never truly challenged. If an argument arose, I simply changed to speaking Spanish. Because of this, I initially had trouble communicating with my group. I felt as if I would not be able to express my point of view correctly. This behavior hurt me as well as my team. All my ideas, my feedback, and my knowledge remained in my head; I was afraid of being put on the spot. While I should not blame my place of birth for my struggles, it is also true that had I been born in an English speaking country, I would not have been afraid to express myself with my FME group. I knew I had the character, even the DISC assessment indicated this, but one’s mind is the strongest indicator of character.

        As the author J. K. Rowling once said, “A good first impression can work wonders.” In my case it is the opposite: a first bad impression slowed me down. As the explore phase went by, I noticed how teamwork vanished. Even when tasks were being assigned, my team did not expect me to contribute anything to the group. The equity theory was not being performed; some group members were even stripping the few tasks that I did have. I deserved it. I was not showing any kind of emotional intelligence towards my surroundings. I was careless and lost. I knew I had it in me, but I was too scared to try to climb the hole that I, myself, had dug. After finding out that my participation affected my grade, suddenly, I was no longer scared. I realized that working simply for a grade was not the right idea, but in that situation, that is all I had to keep me going. In life, one has to find a drive to keep pushing one’s self, and as bad as it sounds, my drive in the education system is getting good grades. After I decided to start doing something for my group, I knew I had to take small steps. My first action was to work on my communication. I had to break the interpersonal barriers I had with my group members in order for them to let me develop into a better team player. Being able to communicate appropriately helped me break the ice between my peers. It released the tension that I had initially created with my “actions”.  By putting my effort out there, I got noticed by my group. I introduced a challenge to myself in order to incentivize my motivation towards the project. After a while of being present for anything that the group needed help with, I got involved in everything that I could. This was crucial for the remainder of the explore phase, since it laid out the appropriate conditions for an effective team.

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