The action maze exercise about Joe Bailey is intended to present practical knowledge that individuals can gather on how to be effective leaders. The issue in the case does not have a straightforward solution that can address all challenges. Instead, the challenge is to be mitigated through the application of strategies that will minimize its effects. It is possible to run through the exercise several times because there is no right or wrong answer but rather the best and worst solutions to the identified problems.
The first run-through in the exercise ended with Joe being let go from the company, which was not the outcome I expected. As I was interested in learning what Bailey’s colleagues think about him and the issues he experiences in the workplace, and it resulted in false insinuations that did nothing to solve the problem. Besides, choosing the option of being tough on Joe led to the issuing of the warning letter, which did not lead to the result that I had expected and the situation did not change. I wanted to reach the outcome of Joe coming to work and following the rules, working his hours so that others did not have to cover up for his absence, but it did not turn out that way.
In the first run-through, I think the unsatisfactory outcome was reached because of the decision to involve Joe’s colleagues as well as being strict with him. The decisions that I made during the first attempt were not thought through enough, especially since I have taken rumors seriously and acted on them by being stricter with Bailey. I believe that professional managers are higher than this and do not allow themselves to use rumors in their decision-making. Moreover, for individuals who are struggling with work, the threat of being fired is not always a good motivation for improving their performance. It is necessary to understand why a person is having problems and help them work through them so that they feel supported and accepted.
To change the first outcome, it could have been more effective to get to the root of Bailey’s problem without getting information from his colleagues. In the real world, some employees may be completely honest when describing their co-workers, while others may feel that they are obligated to make something up to justify poor performance. Personal relationships come into play, which makes some reports unreliable and untruthful. The most appropriate solution for the problem with Joe would be to talk to him directly and allow him to explain everything, and then act on the information acquired from Bayley directly. A person who understands their mistakes and is remorseful can be given another chance instead of being issued a threat of being fired. In later attempts, the outcomes were changed when Joe was allowed to speak for himself.
I learned that responses that are based on careful decision-making and are thought through lead to better outcomes. Using third-party opinions about a problem can often harm decision-making and lead to unsatisfactory results in problem-solving. I learned that my style of conflict response could sometimes be too harsh because I did not take enough time to reflect and think about problems from different angles. As there are always several sides to one problem, I should be more aware of various perspectives of a conflict and consider them in my decision-making.