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1 .Well, you've both been looking at different styles of managing individuals, in companies and the workplace.
2 .How's the research going, Philip?
1 .Well, I've been looking at why individualism, I mean individual difference, are such an important area of management studies.
2 .When you think about any organization, be it a family business or a multinational company, they are all fundamentally a group of people working together.
3 .But it's what these individuals contribute to their places of work that makes you realize how important they are.
4 .Of course they bring different ideas, but it's also their attitudes and their experiences of learning.
5 .Diversity is important in these areas too.
1 .So why do people behave so differently from one another at work?
1 .There are lots of reasons, but research has shown a lot of it comes down to personality.
2 .And the other factor is gender.
3 .It's a well-known fact that men and women do lots of things in different ways,and the workplace is no different.
1 .Did you look at the effects of this variation on companies?
1 .Yes, I did.
2 .On the positive side, exposure to such diversity helps encourage creativity which is generally an asset to a company.
3 .But unfortunately individual differences are also the root of conflict between staff and they can lead to difficulties for management, which can sometimes be serious.
1 .Thanks, Philip.
2 .So now I guess the two main things to remember here are to identify individual talent and then to utilize it.
3 .So Janice, you were looking at identifying different talents in workers.
4 .Do you think this is easy for managers to do?
1 .Well, currently teamwork is in fashion in the workplace and in my opinion the importance of the individual is generally neglected.
2 .What managers should be targeting is those employees who can take the lead in a situation and are not afraid to accept the idea of responsibility.
1 .That's true.
2 .Janice but unfortunately many managers think the entire notion of encouraging individuality amongst their staff is far too hard.
2 .That may be true but I think one of the most important tasks of managers is to consider the needs of the individual on one hand and group co-operation and conformity on the other.
3 .It requires creative thinking on the part of management to avoid tension.
1 .So Janice, what kind of people do you think companies should be looking for?
1 .Well, it has to start from the very beginning when companies are looking for new employees.
2 .When the personal department is choosing between applicants they need to look for someone who's broken the mould and can think for themselves.
3 .Instead, people making these decisions often use a range of psychological tests to see if a person is a problem solver, or will do as they're told.
4 .I'm not convinced these qualities are actually the most important.
1 .So do you think being a good team player is overrated?
1 .No, It's not overrated.
2 .You do need to learn the rules and learn them fast.
3 .No individual can get around this if you're working in an organization.
1 .So how should managers deal with this?
1 .Rewards. When an individual demonstrates, the behaviour the organisation expects, some kind of incentive can be given.
2 .What's important here is that this happens right at the beginning, so new recruits learn the rules of the system immediately.
3 .Also the incentive should be something the individual actually wants, and this isn't always just money.
1 .To come back to you, Philip.
2 .You were saying that recognition of good performers is essential.
3 .What else should managers be looking for?
1 .Well, managing people means you not only have an understanding of your employees, but you also recognise the culture of the organization.
2 .In fact, for some organizations creativity and individuality may be the last thing they want to see during working hours.
1 .Very true.
1 .Yes, but managing people isn't as easy as it looks.
2 .For example, change in the workplace can be quite tricky, especially if there's a need to increase profit.
3 .And at times like these managers may have to give priority to profit rather than individual staff needs.
1 .Yes, and that creates difficult situations for people.
1 .Yes, but what's important is that managers are able to deal with quite high levels of personal stress.
2 .During times of change they should be thinking not only about the strain on their staff but take time out to think of themselves.
1 .Absolutely. So what are the implications of that for...