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It is a meeting between Bhavna, your colleague, Sanjay, your boss, and you (Preeti).
“Preeti, yet again, you have displayed that you are a poor negotiator. Your lack of negotiation skills are getting us bad deals from our vendors and we are overshooting our budget”. She laughs as she says this. Only, her laugh sounds forced. She is hoping that the passing her words as a joke will cover up the real intent behind her conduct.
You feel insulted. You are a fairly skilled negotiator. Her words, you recognise, are meant to cause offense and to make you look incompetent in front of your boss.
It is a power struggle. She has been behaving this way for a while now, and her behaviour is beginning to grate on you.
Which of the following would be the ideal response to Bhavna’s conduct?
The conference call with your largest client has been going on for almost two hours, now.
Your client, a department head, had accused you of bungling up, when the error, in fact, had been caused by someone at the client’s end. When you pointed this out to the client, the client had gotten terribly defensive and accused you of “trying to act cheeky and cover up for your mistakes, instead of accepting them and apologising.”
Your client is equal parts angry and emotional now, continuing to pin the blame on you, showing little desire to listen to your logic and is threatening to shut the project down. Your manager, who is also on the call, is angry with you for upsetting the client and afraid that project might be shut down. Your client’s colleagues on the call are all silent.
What would you do in this situation?
John, your colleague and close friend, had found that Rajesh, the new lateral hire, regularly uses office stationery for personal purposes. Your own enquiry had confirmed this. But, when confronted, Rajesh clarified that in his previous organisation using office stationery for one’s own work was deemed perfectly fine. Rajesh also mentioned that he didn’t realise that this would be a problem, was deeply sorry about what he had done and that this would not happen again.
John, however, sees this as an integrity issue and feels that Rajesh should be sacked, partly also to set an example for others. He is gearing to bring this to HR’s knowledge and has also begun to drum up support from other team members for his plan. He has requested you for your support. You feel that Rajesh should be given another chance, but John is adamant. He mentioned that you need to choose whose side you will be on.
How will you respond to the situation?
Giving personal feedback; expressing anger
Raj, your team member, shared an inside joke about you in a cross-team meeting, where he was making a presentation. This joke was something that only your immediate team knew of. This made you a laughing stock in the larger team and left you feeling humiliated. You feel deep anger and hurt well up within you.
Which of the following would be the right way to communicate with Raj in this situation?
Denying a request/ Saying no
Your boss just walked into your cubicle and asked you to handle a couple of ‘critical’ (that’s what he said!) tasks that he said absolutely needed to be completed by EOD, tomorrow. Problem is that you already have more than the work that you can handle. You are already handling two large projects, the deadlines for which are fast approaching. There is no way in which you can see yourself taking on an additional task, especially if it is time critical.
What would be the right response to give your boss?