Discussion Questions for Week 3
Impression management is illustrated in this tale through the scenario of Stanley’s defiance to adorn the company’s uniform and the way this act is interpreted by his fellow workers. He is perceived as daring and is portrayed as a special person. It goes a long way in providing varying points of view on how one dresses for the workplace and how that is a part of their personal brand. Socialization is illustrated in the way Stanley seeks advice from his mentor, the company consultant, who makes him understand the reason behind his colleagues’ reaction. Dr. Faust, in offering insight shared the perspective of what happened when another colleague dressed down to work in a grease-stained shirt while on the manufacturing floor. I have never had an experience similar to Stanley’s in this tale nor have I attempted to create a persona at work or school. The man in the grease-stained shirt gets away with dressing the way he does by doing his job well and managing to endear himself to the workers in a way other managers could not do in their suits. The man in question feels at ease with the way he is dressed, a factor that workers in the manufacturing floor admire. In as much as he understands his position in the company, he is not afraid to shed off his executive suit when need calls for it. In my previous experience, I have not known anyone similar to the man in the grease-stained shirt.
Ben and Kerry would be offended if they were aware of Faust’s calculated efforts to manipulate their impressions. Both men are senior members of the company whose opinion is valued, therefore any actions to alter their thoughts regarding perception of a certain matter will not be taken kindly. I do not think Faust’s approach is ethical as it shows a lack of respect and consideration to the audience that will be viewing the presentation, even though it is for a good cause. Faust used his knowledge and understanding of the audience’ expectations to his own advantage. Yes, Faust’s strategy of giving management what it wants to hear is viable in the end as it ensures the program will be supported. The main reason for using the strategy was to ensure that all loopholes regarding the program were dealt with early enough in anticipation for the audience’ reaction. Faust wanted to reduce any chances of the proposal being rejected by the management. I have experienced similar behavior from a manager. This is usually the case when the information that is provided goes contrary to what they expected. Since the manager does not want to consider the facts as they are, they will ask for more proof. I have utilized calculated impression management in promoting my work whereby I will be assertive in my self-presentation. This is with the aim of giving a more confident outlook on my work, and the results are usually positive in almost all cases.
In my own words, the lesson learnt is that every leader should have his or her style, which is genuine. If they try to imitate another person’s leadership style, they may lose their credibility and lower their effectiveness. This is evident in the way Stanley was trying painstakingly to be like Kerry Drake whom people admired. He did not realize that in doing so he was alienating himself with the very people he was seeking approval. Yes, I have experienced an example of behavior similar to that described in this tale. One should go about portraying an image or persona by first making sure that the persona is aligned to one’s true character and nature; otherwise, it is bound to fail.
Lesley’s strategy to gain acceptance is through impression management. She adopts her own style instead of trying to be like one of the boys, which included getting to know her work well. She spends a lot of time preparing in an effort to compensate for the perception that she could not possibly be an experienced technical expert. The similarity with little Kerry in the preceding chapter is that both Stanley and Lesley were eager to gain acceptance in their respective professional fields while the differences are that Stanley wanted to be accepted by portraying another person’s character while Lesley maintained her true identity. Another difference is that Lesley eventually was accepted, but Stanley ended up being disliked by his colleagues. Lesley’s impression management compares with Faust’s as he prepares his presentation in Just in case in the way both of them plan to manipulate other people’s impressions. Both characters use calculated strategies to get what they want. Lesley had to use a different strategy of performing her work than the senior representative that she trained under because she realized that what worked for him did not necessarily work for her and that most people disregarded her because of her gender and youth.
Ascribed status is a form of social stratification whereby some people in society are given low status due to certain beliefs that society holds concerning them. Such beliefs could include race or even religion. Self-fulfilling prophecy is either positive or negative expectations that influence a person’s behavior towards the same expectations causing them to be fulfilled. A person may therefore act in a certain way only because someone else has influenced his or her actions, but not out of choice. Attribution theory relates to ascribed status and the self-fulfilling biases in that both affect the way people socialize. In an office setting, the theory influences the actions of management on the subordinates. In the experiments at the end of section two, the nature of human behavior and ascribed status is said to come from the situations in which they find themselves.