Case Study

Key questions

  • How do we uncover gaps in relationships and make plans to bridge them?
  • What is sociometry with regards to choosing relationships or networks for success?
  • What are social networks?
  • How do we organise sociometric and social networks to understand our choice of relationships?
  • What are the limitations of sociometric data?

4.1 INTRODUCTION

By now the career seeker, who is your client, should be aware of his/her opportunities and preferences.  The career seeker should also by now be able to apply the career exploration, discovery and communication processes.

Consider the following case study:

Mpho is considering a midlife career change to grow his contribution to society and earn more. He is struggling to integrate new experiences, interests and relationships.  He needs to build a network consisting of experienced people so that he can learn from them.  Mpho also needs to discover the gaps in the areas of his relationships and make plans and take action to bridge them. We can also state this differently: How do we know what our strengths in relationships are and how can we make plans to grow and apply them?

Mpho visits you as his career guidance practitioner to gain more insight. Using sociometry you are able to help Mpho answer this question: How can he make and apply plans regarding the growth and application of his own strengths in developing required relationships?

4.2 WHAT USE DO SOCIOMETRY AND SOCIAL NETWORKS HAVE FOR CAREER SEEKERS?

Sociometry and social networks are techniques used to explore and become aware of interpersonal relationships throughout existing and new networks. You need to explore the participation of your client in networks and gain insight into current networks through a sociogram.  You might establish that your client

  • does not have insight into the functioning of members in a network
  • does not realise the importance of having access to a network
  • has access to a network/s, but does not utilise this access in his/her favour.

Members of networks use personal data regarding themselves and the purpose of the network to grow their relationships required for their work or goals. PCAR01V/102/2008 and PCAR01V/103/2008 contain tools like the Johari window, which can be used to assess the functioning of the individual within networks. This is to say that they know in which aspect of the group they will function best, be it writing, public speaking, presenting, organising etc. This knowledge can be applied to grow intra personal knowledge and facilitate introspection into your relationships.

Remember that the sociometric and social network processes raise your awareness of your current relationships, why you maintain them and what relationships you require for real success. One of the outcomes of an understanding of the importance of social networks is to build relationships and networks with people of your choice and to learn from them while you share your personal resources (knowledge, experience and values) with them. In this manner, you add value to them, gain from them and create a win-win situation.

Support your preferences of work and industry (selected in PCAR01V) by networking in the next modules. In this unit, we heighten your awareness of current links and networks. You must develop your personal development plan to access and contribute to networks locally, nationally and internationally.

Choose the people you associate with carefully. Partake in activities that will allow you to extend your network in your desired field. This includes the real life projects of which you choose to be a part. These relationships are like capital for future choices and productivity. People in your network are developed through deliberate choice by using your specific traits and preferences. These are principles you should apply throughout your career. Opportunity comes with people and this will help you gain access to both.

Module 2, Unit 4, Activity 1

  1. Open http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociometry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites
  2. Study the sociometric principles and identify how you would use them to increase your levels of success and grow your network.
  3. Use Dictionary and Wikipedia or a Google search extensively to learn more about the subject. The information will inspire you to think about the manner in which you formulate questions that you ask your clients. It should also create an awareness of the level at which you function.
  4. Discuss with your study colleagues, since each person grows relationships differently!
  5. Useful Sociometric tools can be applied widely in relationship building.
  6. Answer the following:
  • Where and how can you use networking which is aligned with your choices? (Refer to PCAR 01V).
  • How would you cultivate relationships differently from the manner in which your existing work group does? Write down two specific points.
  • Study http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_world_phenomenon and general networking. Investigate the exploration and discoveries of PCAR01V and explore interviews more widely. Discuss your findings with your study group. Practise your newly found skills on them. By doing this you will develop the skills required for effective networking and you will also be able to help your client more effectively.

Record your experiences by completing the above activities in your MiCareer Book as part of your assignments.

 

 

 

Feedback:

On completion of the above task you will begin to understand the importance and value of a network. Networking opens up doors and opportunities that would otherwise be very difficult for you as an individual to access. By building networks you also develop trust relationships and acquire other people’s trusted networks. Your entry and access to people who can contribute to your personal growth, therefore increases exponentially.

Module 2, Unit 4, Activity 2

  1. Refer to your own information from your gathered in PCAR01V.
  2. Be the candidate and use your new awareness of social networks to become aware of relationships (existing and required). How would you grow one new relationship that will further your career options while growing awareness of interests, talents, aptitude, industry exposure and work choice?
  3. Write down an open and a closed question that will help you establish how your client can use sociometric principles and networking to grow his/her network. When your client uses these questions, he/she will become aware of the benefits that go with a wide network and good social relationships. .
  4. Record your experiences by completing the above activities in your MiCareer Book as part of your assignments.

 

Feedback:

Each person cultivates relationships differently. Be aware of the differences in your group. All of us have our preferences in how we like to build and maintain relationships e.g. meeting up with people at social gatherings for a drink or two or spending time with the people at your sports club or at the church. All of these are examples of places you can meet people, build relationships and form networks. Add value to others and they will introduce you to people you did not know before who can add value to you.

Module 2, Unit 4, Activity 3

  1. Refer to your own information from your MiCareer Book gathered in PCAR01V.
  2. Be the Facilitator and guide the candidate to use his/her new awareness of social networks to become aware of relationships (existing and required).   How would you help the candidate to cultivate one new relationship that will further his/her career options while exploring interests, talents, aptitude, industry exposure and work choice?
  3. Where applicable use Dictionary, Wikipedia or a Google search to clarify words and concepts. Remember that you are exploring and discovering. New information gets you and your client thinking and creates an awareness of where you are.
  4. Write down how you facilitated the networking process to grow the career seeker’s current network to one that is closer to the one needed for success. This will include matching aspects such as interests, talents, aptitude, and industry exposure as well as work choice.
  5. Record your experiences by completing the above activities in your MiCareer Book as part of your assignments.

Feedback:

Be aware that the new networks will be limited by current knowledge and abilities to communicate.  Communication skills from PCAR01V/102/2008 and PCAR01V/103/2008 must be emphasised all the time. Let the career seekers emphasise The Johari Window and Transactional Analysis, as you have used them to grow your awareness, to gain knowledge about yourself and to find words to describe that knowledge.

Module 2, Unit 4, Activity 4

  1. Refer to your own information from your MiCareer Book gathered in PCAR01V.
  2. Be the Observer while the facilitator in your study group guides the candidate to use his/her new awareness of social networks to become aware of relationships (existing and required).Take note of how people will interact and grow their interpersonal network differently according to their different interests, talents, aptitude, industry exposure and work choice. Observe these differences and remember that you can apply what you witness in your own context and experience as a Facilitator and Candidate.
  3. Where applicable, use Dictionary, Wikipedia or a Google search to clarify words and concepts.  The information will inspire you to think about the manner in which you formulate questions that you ask your clients. It should also create an awareness of the level at which you function.
  4. Write down how you observed and gave feedback during networking with your current and required networks. Also write at least one personal lesson you learned from the experience that you can reapply when building your own and your future client’s networks.
  5. Record your experiences by completing the above activities in your MiCareer Book as part of your assignments.

Feedback:

Be aware that the new networks will be limited by current knowledge and abilities to communicate. Communication skills from PCAR01V/102/2008 and PCAR01V/103/2008 must be emphasised all the time. The career seekers will need practise to develop the ability to effectively communicate their aptitudes and talents to prospective employers and develop their career development and support network successfully.

4.3 SUMMARY

In this unit we discussed sociometrics and social networks to become aware of choices about how to grow people in our networks as a medium to contribute to others. Contributions to others are mostly characterised by reciprocity: what you do to others, they do to you. You never require permission to make contributions to others. Contribution earns you and your clients access to resources and opportunities as explained in PCAR03X (Module 3).

In PCAR01V, Unit 4, we examined the use of networking to determine required access to industries and work skills. The practical application of sociometrics and social networks in PCAR03X will require you to refer back to this module. Always refer to relevant local and international websites, compare, and learn from the ones you used in this course and the ones you will use in the future.

Case study from Barry du Plessis
Why delegation?
Barry’s workload increased to the point that he could no longer manage the number of projects. As a team they identified the need to delegate.
Which individual career would benefit the most?
Elsabie was identified as the person to whom they would entrust a number of projects. She was presently functioning as a PA. She had experience in customer care but had no formal project planning knowledge or experience.
She was identified because she was someone who could grow from this opportunity. Her current workload could be rearranged with others to afford her the time availability. She had the potential to succeed.
What to delegate?
Barry identified those projects that he could assign to Elsabie that he did not need to be directly involved in.
How to delegate?
The following process of situational coaching took place between Barry and Elsabie:
Directing: Structure, close supervision, clarification of understanding
Delegatee has low competence, high motivation
Barry and Elsabie had an initial meeting in which the specific responsibilities Elsabie would be handling were detailed. The success parameters were also identified. In other words it was clearly outlined what the project would look like when it was completed and successful.
Barry and Elsabie initially met daily and on occasion bi-daily to discuss her progress. For these meetings Elsabie was required to bring five questions. The questions had to be written and there had to be five. This was hard for Elsabie at first but Barry refused to engage with her until she had got into this habit. In this way only the issues relevant to where Elsabie was at her stage of development and knowledge required were addressed.
Barry dealt with these questions mainly by asking further questions! He also asked questions that made her aware of possible issues she may not have thought of that she needed to address at that stage. Barry’s meetings with Elsabie were an investment of his time but he was motivated by the longer term value of Elsabie’s role in managing projects in the company. They also were innovative in finding time, sometimes talking while doing gym at the office gym, or telephonically, or via email.
Coaching: Some directing and some supporting
Delegatee has some competence, some motivation
Barry and Elsabie continued the method of using Elsabie’s five questions to guide their discussions. The number of their meetings decreased however, over the months, as she gained confidence and competence. They began to meet two or three times a week rather than daily.
Supporting: Listening and giving positive feedback
Delegatee has increased competence, sometimes lacks confidence
Elsabie began running with the projects. She began moving in the direction of the success parameters set for her. She increased her value to the company step by step. She would still occasionally phone Barry and ask some questions. He would occasionally check in to see how she was doing.
Delegating: Task is being handled on a day to day basis by delegatee
Delegatee has high competence and high motivation.
Over a period of four to five years Elsabie increased her earnings from R60 000 pa to R280 000 pa. She was promoted to the position of Senior Project Manager. Every now and again she will give Barry call as he remains a resource for her, but this happens rarely.
Read more on delegation
Read a coaching session

Case study from Barry du Plessis

Why delegation?

Barry’s workload increased to the point that he could no longer manage the number of projects. As a team they identified the need to delegate.

Which individual career would benefit the most?

Elsabie was identified as the person to whom they would entrust a number of projects. She was presently functioning as a PA. She had experience in customer care but had no formal project planning knowledge or experience.

She was identified because she was someone who could grow from this opportunity. Her current workload could be rearranged with others to afford her the time availability. She had the potential to succeed.

What to delegate?

Barry identified those projects that he could assign to Elsabie that he did not need to be directly involved in.

How to delegate?

The following process of situational coaching took place between Barry and Elsabie:

Directing: Structure, close supervision, clarification of understanding

Delegatee has low competence, high motivation

Barry and Elsabie had an initial meeting in which the specific responsibilities Elsabie would be handling were detailed. The success parameters were also identified. In other words it was clearly outlined what the project would look like when it was completed and successful.

Barry and Elsabie initially met daily and on occasion bi-daily to discuss her progress. For these meetings Elsabie was required to bring five questions. The questions had to be written and there had to be five. This was hard for Elsabie at first but Barry refused to engage with her until she had got into this habit. In this way only the issues relevant to where Elsabie was at her stage of development and knowledge required were addressed.

Barry dealt with these questions mainly by asking further questions! He also asked questions that made her aware of possible issues she may not have thought of that she needed to address at that stage. Barry’s meetings with Elsabie were an investment of his time but he was motivated by the longer term value of Elsabie’s role in managing projects in the company. They also were innovative in finding time, sometimes talking while doing gym at the office gym, or telephonically, or via email.

Coaching: Some directing and some supporting

Delegatee has some competence, some motivation

Barry and Elsabie continued the method of using Elsabie’s five questions to guide their discussions. The number of their meetings decreased however, over the months, as she gained confidence and competence. They began to meet two or three times a week rather than daily.

Supporting: Listening and giving positive feedback

Delegatee has increased competence, sometimes lacks confidence

Elsabie began running with the projects. She began moving in the direction of the success parameters set for her. She increased her value to the company step by step. She would still occasionally phone Barry and ask some questions. He would occasionally check in to see how she was doing.

Delegating: Task is being handled on a day to day basis by delegatee

Delegatee has high competence and high motivation

Over a period of four to five years Elsabie increased her earnings from R60 000 pa to R280 000 pa. She was promoted to the position of Senior Project Manager. Every now and again she will give Barry call as he remains a resource for her, but this happens rarely.

Read more on delegation

Read a coaching session

Case study from Leigh Harrison
Failing to delegate
I have been notoriously bad at delegation. Two situations illustrate this:
I was asked to organize a spiritual development weekend to be led by an international guest speaker. The weekend had a particular structure according to a standard format as established by the organization I was working with in the States. I was given clear guidelines on the structure and what would be required.
I did all the marketing, advertising and confirming the reservations of the participants myself. I arranged the venue, and made all the other pre-weekend arrangements.
I did organize that my sister-in-law led the times of worship which included morning devotional times as well as daily communion sessions. However, she understood that she would only provide the music and I would organize the theme and structure and lead these sessions!
Over the weekend I took on the roles of registrar, bursar, bookseller, counselor, worship leader, entertainer (I organized an evening of games and an ice-cream party for the Saturday night) and logistics co-coordinator, which included shopping for the participant’s incidentals. On top of this our guest speaker came down with a virus which slowly over the course of the weekend prevented her from speaking so I did her final day’s talk!
Needless to say by the end of the weekend I was so exhausted I myself got sick!
I was appointed regional co-coordinator in Gauteng of an organization called Christian Listeners. It was based in UK but was being established in South Africa with regions also in Cape Town and Kwazulu-Natal.
My job was to establish Christian Listeners in the region by running CL training courses that would lead to the training of CL tutors. I was part of an initial group of 10 trained by the overseas “mother” organization, of which 7 said they would continue to offer their time and resources to the growing of CL in Gauteng. Over the course of five years we ran over 40 listening courses and three tutor training events. I initiated a committee to assist in the running of the organization and I met with the other regional co-coordinators annually.
By the end of these five years there were two of us still keeping the organization going? It now no longer exists in Gauteng.
There were external factors to consider such as the fact that the kind of person required to be a CL tutor is the kind of person who is already very involved and in high demand and has little time and energy to give to another volunteer organization. Offering these courses involved a lot of preparation and traveling time as well as the course time, and time is a rare commodity in Gauteng. Various unforeseen personal events resulted in several team members leaving.
However, the bottom line is that I was not able to fulfill my mandate and this was largely due to a failure in delegating.
What I learnt
From these experiences I learnt the following:
As competent as I may be I cannot do everything myself. I need others.
Trying to do everything myself is detrimental to my health and relationships as I suffer all the symptoms of exhaustion and stress.
I need to communicate my expectations clearly, as well as negotiate well enough in advance exactly what people are prepared to do and what they understand their role to be.
Even seemingly small tasks are important and can take more time than you think, so finding someone else willing to do them is worth it.
You have to work within the priorities people have in their lives.
Failure to delegate effectively results in a lack of strength, energy and continuity in your organization.
My growth in awareness through the Aleph processes
As I have experienced the processes and mentorship guidance through ebio and Aleph I have come to a new and deeper understanding of delegation. This has impacted on my belief system and opened up a way for me to delegate with greater freedom and confidence.
There have been some fundamental shifts in my belief system and they are as follows:
I believed that if I could do it I should do it. My unconscious belief was that if I had the competency I had the job. In fact I was being lazy if I didn’t do everything the job required. This did not come from an overly developed sense of pride, although I see the pride in it now, but from a sincere belief that it was my responsibility to do everything I could to ensure the job was done well.
I now realize that not only do I have limitations I need to take into account, but that my competency does not determine everything I do, and in fact can limit the development of other people’s competency. I have realized that I have a core passion and that I when I focus my time and energy on that there are others who can grow from my competencies and passion in a way that many can contribute to a job well done.
I had a rather narrow-minded view that if I didn’t enjoy doing something it was probably something most people didn’t enjoy doing so it would be mean of me to ask someone else to do it. You may notice in this a strong martyr streak in me! Yes, I chose to do the jobs I hated because I thought no-one else would want to do them!
I now realize that God has created a wide variety of people with limitless areas of enjoyment and what I hate may be the thing someone else delights in! It truly is a celebration of the uniqueness of individuals and the differences between people in which we all compliment each other.
I believed that by delegating to someone I was burdening them. It made it very hard for me to ask anyone to do anything. I therefore always did it most apologetically giving plenty of space for the person to excuse themselves from a particular task. No wonder I got let down so often!
Working at the gym of the ebio offices has taught me that being delegated to is a joy, privilege and an opportunity. It means that another person is willing to invest in me. It means that I am being trusted with responsibility that will help me to grow and expand my skills and knowledge. I now see that by not delegating well and often I am depriving others of key learning opportunities that will allow them to find their unique expression and contribution in the world.
After my failure time and time again to delegate effectively I reached the conclusion that I could not delegate. I decided that I was just an independent worker that needed to find an environment in which I found my niche and got on with the job at hand, without having to work in a team that would involve any kind of management, leadership or delegation.
Thanks to John Maxwell and the way his ideas are integrated in the ebio processes I am learning that I can fail forwards. My failures are not an indication of an unalterable character trait but rather opportunities for me to learn and grow. It is humbling; there is no doubt about that! But if I can find the lessons then my failures have not been failures at all but stepping stones.
I am therefore making new choices to learn to delegate more effectively that I can be a more active team member, sharing my skills and competencies with others that we may all grow and get the job done effectively and joyfully
Read more on delegation
Read the coaching session

Case study from Leigh Harrison

Failing to delegate

I have been notoriously bad at delegation. Two situations illustrate this:

Situation 1

I was asked to organize a spiritual development weekend to be led by an international guest speaker. The weekend had a particular structure according to a standard format as established by the organization I was working with in the States. I was given clear guidelines on the structure and what would be required.

I did all the marketing, advertising and confirming the reservations of the participants myself. I arranged the venue, and made all the other pre-weekend arrangements.

I did organize that my sister-in-law led the times of worship which included morning devotional times as well as daily communion sessions. However, she understood that she would only provide the music and I would organize the theme and structure and lead these sessions!

Over the weekend I took on the roles of registrar, bursar, bookseller, counselor, worship leader, entertainer (I organized an evening of games and an ice-cream party for the Saturday night) and logistics co-coordinator, which included shopping for the participant’s incidentals. On top of this our guest speaker came down with a virus which slowly over the course of the weekend prevented her from speaking so I did her final day’s talk!

Needless to say by the end of the weekend I was so exhausted I myself got sick!

Situation 2

I was appointed regional co-coordinator in Gauteng of an organization called Christian Listeners. It was based in UK but was being established in South Africa with regions also in Cape Town and Kwazulu-Natal.

My job was to establish Christian Listeners in the region by running CL training courses that would lead to the training of CL tutors. I was part of an initial group of 10 trained by the overseas “mother” organization, of which 7 said they would continue to offer their time and resources to the growing of CL in Gauteng. Over the course of five years we ran over 40 listening courses and three tutor training events. I initiated a committee to assist in the running of the organization and I met with the other regional co-coordinators annually.


By the end of these five years there were two of us still keeping the organization going? It now no longer exists in Gauteng.
There were external factors to consider such as the fact that the kind of person required to be a CL tutor is the kind of person who is already very involved and in high demand and has little time and energy to give to another volunteer organization. Offering these courses involved a lot of preparation and traveling time as well as the course time, and time is a rare commodity in Gauteng. Various unforeseen personal events resulted in several team members leaving.
However, the bottom line is that I was not able to fulfill my mandate and this was largely due to a failure in delegating.

What I learnt

From these experiences I learnt the following:

  1. As competent as I may be I cannot do everything myself. I need others.
  2. Trying to do everything myself is detrimental to my health and relationships as I suffer all the symptoms of exhaustion and stress.
  3. I need to communicate my expectations clearly, as well as negotiate well enough in advance exactly what people are prepared to do and what they understand their role to be.
  4. Even seemingly small tasks are important and can take more time than you think, so finding someone else willing to do them is worth it.
  5. You have to work within the priorities people have in their lives.
  6. Failure to delegate effectively results in a lack of strength, energy and continuity in your organization.

My growth in awareness through the Aleph processes

As I have experienced the processes and mentorship guidance through ebio and Aleph I have come to a new and deeper understanding of delegation. This has impacted on my belief system and opened up a way for me to delegate with greater freedom and confidence.

There have been some fundamental shifts in my belief system and they are as follows:

  • I believed that if I could do it I should do it. My unconscious belief was that if I had the competency I had the job. In fact I was being lazy if I didn’t do everything the job required. This did not come from an overly developed sense of pride, although I see the pride in it now, but from a sincere belief that it was my responsibility to do everything I could to ensure the job was done well.
    • I now realize that not only do I have limitations I need to take into account, but that my competency does not determine everything I do, and in fact can limit the development of other people’s competency. I have realized that I have a core passion and that I when I focus my time and energy on that there are others who can grow from my competencies and passion in a way that many can contribute to a job well done.
  • I had a rather narrow-minded view that if I didn’t enjoy doing something it was probably something most people didn’t enjoy doing so it would be mean of me to ask someone else to do it. You may notice in this a strong martyr streak in me! Yes, I chose to do the jobs I hated because I thought no-one else would want to do them!
    • I now realize that God has created a wide variety of people with limitless areas of enjoyment and what I hate may be the thing someone else delights in! It truly is a celebration of the uniqueness of individuals and the differences between people in which we all compliment each other.
  • I believed that by delegating to someone I was burdening them. It made it very hard for me to ask anyone to do anything. I therefore always did it most apologetically giving plenty of space for the person to excuse themselves from a particular task. No wonder I got let down so often!
    • Working at the gym of the ebio offices has taught me that being delegated to is a joy, privilege and an opportunity. It means that another person is willing to invest in me. It means that I am being trusted with responsibility that will help me to grow and expand my skills and knowledge. I now see that by not delegating well and often I am depriving others of key learning opportunities that will allow them to find their unique expression and contribution in the world.
  • After my failure time and time again to delegate effectively I reached the conclusion that I could not delegate. I decided that I was just an independent worker that needed to find an environment in which I found my niche and got on with the job at hand, without having to work in a team that would involve any kind of management, leadership or delegation.
    • Thanks to John Maxwell and the way his ideas are integrated in the ebio processes I am learning that I can fail forwards. My failures are not an indication of an unalterable character trait but rather opportunities for me to learn and grow. It is humbling; there is no doubt about that! But if I can find the lessons then my failures have not been failures at all but stepping stones.
    • I am therefore making new choices to learn to delegate more effectively that I can be a more active team member, sharing my skills and competencies with others that we may all grow and get the job done effectively and joyfully

Read more on delegation

Read the coaching session