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Shell Handbook -Social Skill
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  02.08.30 - 010 1 Social skills Communication Communicating (1) If we are to do our jobs properly, we must know about things like processtechnology, process control, process equipment, technical maintenance, quality,safety and so on. If we are to communicate with one another and work together effectively, we also need to know about people. Obviously we all do to someextent. But it’s like the difference between a motorist and a car mechanic. Themechanic really knows about the workings of the car.It’s just the same with people—there is a big difference between what everyoneknows and what someone who has a real understanding of ‘how people function’knows. In this lesson we will be looking at:-   the way people function;-   the factors that influence getting on with and working in a group;-   the elements that motivate and demotivate people.This lesson covers basic knowledge of what makes people tick and how they areinfluenced. We call this knowledge psychology when it relates to the individual,and social psychology when we’re talking about human beings in groups.You need this basic knowledge to communicate in the right way and work withother people. Contents of the lesson 1   Dealing with other people2   Causes of behaviour 3   Personal factors4   Situation-related factors5   Interaction between individual and situation6   Role-playing behaviour 7   Rules, standards and expectations8   Role conflicts9   Observing and assessing behaviour 10   The role of the employee11   Behaviour and human needs12   Behaviour, frustration and stress The copyright in this material is vested in Shell Global Solutions International B.V., The Hague, The Netherlands and Shell Netherlands Raffinaderij B.V. All rightsreserved. Neither the whole or any part of this document may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means (electronic,mechanical, reprographic, recording or otherwise) without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.  Social skills 02.08.30 - 010 2 Lesson 1. Dealing with other people Anyone who has to deal and work with other people will influence the behaviour of his colleagues to a greater or lesser degree, both individually and in thecontext of the group. This comes very evidently to the fore in those cases wherethe behaviour of people in a plant departs from the rules of the plant and thewishes of the customer.If we want to influence the behaviour of other people, we will have to start byexplaining and understanding the behaviour we have observed. In fact, wefrequently understand human behaviour simply by intuition, but this is often notgood enough. We will then have to try to discover the causes of the behaviour inorder to understand why someone is behaving in a particular way. Bear in mindthat we are never looking for a single cause—there are almost always severalcauses.Behaviour is always dictated by a composite of different causes. There is often aconnection between these causes. If we can identify this connection, it is easier to take the ‘right’ action. In this context, you can in a sense compare human behaviour with the operation of a piece of equipment or a machine. Nobody hasany problems with a machine that is operating well or a production process thatis running properly. However, as soon as there is a departure from this state of affairs, as soon as there is a malfunction—in other words when the machine or the process does not ‘behave’ the way we want it to—we will have to searchcarefully and systematically for the cause of the problem.It’s much the same with human behaviour. As long as an individual working inthe plant behaves in an active and friendly way of his own accord, everythingwill go smoothly.However, should a change occur—should, for example, this individual loseinterest in his work, become more careless, start acting more aggressively—wewill only be able to influence his behaviour in the right way if we discover thecauses of this change in his behaviour. 2. Causes of behaviour  When we pursue the question of the causes that determine human behaviour, wefind that we can sum up the two most obvious factors as follows:-   the person’s temperament: his character, his disposition, his emotional lifeand the intensity of his emotions, his wishes and his goals. Most of these areinnate, hereditary factors, although they can often be developed;-   the person’s development: his upbringing, background and education, hisfriends and acquaintances, his work, the group or groups he works with, particular events that have made a deep impression on him, and so on. - behaviour- causes- factors  Social skills 02.08.30 - 010 3 If we examine this series more closely, we find that we can make a distinction between:a.   factors that are directly related to the individual; b.   external factors that influence behaviour: the situation.The causes that influence human behaviour can consequently be traced back tothe person and to his situation in an ongoing reciprocal interaction. We will start by looking at the factors that are related primarily to the individual, and then goon to examine the factors that relate to the situation. Question 1 Are there often several causes for observed behaviour?Question 2What are the two most obvious factors that influence human behaviour? 3. Personal factors If we ask ourselves what the motives might be for a particular course of action,for example lighting a cigarette, taking out life assurance, buying a car, itappears that there are three factors that play an important role:-   the person feels like doing it, has a need to do it: we refer to this as emotion ;-   he has worked out reasons, looked at it sensibly; we refer to this as thinking, thought  ;-   in part as a consequence of the first two factors he is aiming for a particular goal, he chooses from various options and finally takes a decision; we refer to this as wanting and call this will  .These three factors do not operate in isolation: each affects the others. We cansay that a person cannot think or want without his emotions being involved.Conversely, his emotional life is inevitably affected by his thinking.A hardened smoker finds it difficult to think objectively about the consequencesof smoking. If we tell him that smoking causes lung cancer, his addiction(emotions) will lead him to reason (think) that smoking has a disinfectant effectand makes him less susceptible to infectious diseases. His emotions have steeredhis thoughts in a particular direction, which will now govern his behaviour.Reassured, he carries on smoking.Continuing to smoke now has an apparently rational basis. We describe this as‘rationalisation’.This rationalisation of emotions is very common. We can deduce from this that people cannot manage their emotional lives without reasoning. - emotion- thought- will- rationalisation  Social skills 02.08.30 - 010 4 In observing human behaviour, which is always governed in part by thoughtsand emotions, we can now say:a.   Expression in the form of behaviour is sometimes primarily determined bythought. In a debate on technical problems, where rational arguments predominate, all sorts of emotional influences will also play a role. Peoplemay, for instance, regard a workmate as an ‘a’ or a ‘good craftsman’. Theseemotions will certainly have an effect on their thinking. b.   Sometimes behaviour is dictated primarily by the emotions. This comes tothe fore most clearly when the more extreme forms of emotions are a factor in behaviour. We have only to think of emotions like fear, anger and grief.We often see that the same emotions are aroused in the other person in responseto this sort of emotional behaviour. This can be the start of a serious row or leadto conflicts.Someone becomes irritated, gets angry, loses his temper, bangs his fist on thetable. His boss feels that he can’t put up with this, and he too starts banging onthe table.It is in precisely this sort of emotional situation that the people involved willhave to try to keep their emotions under control. In our example there would belittle point in the boss’s trying quietly to reason with the employee in an attemptto get him to understand that his complaint is unfounded. The behaviour of thisemployee is not being dictated by his intellect but by his emotions, and theseemotions are blocking his ability to use his brains properly.The boss would do better to exert a beneficial influence over someone’s behaviour by responding with other emotions:-   calmversusanger;-   self-confidenceversusfear, uncertainty.In practice we often form a snap judgement about someone’s behaviour. Weoften take action based on the observable behaviour, based on the ‘fact’ as wesee it, without sufficiently investigating the causes that have led to this behaviour.  Example One of the jobs of the apprentice bench hands in a workshop was to keep thearea around their lathes clean. One of the apprentices had set his machine toautomatic so that he could sweep up the cuttings around his lathe. As he took hiseyes off the piece he was working on for a moment, one of his colleaguesswitched his lathe off. Without commenting, he started it up again. Later on, thesame thing happened for the second time. He decided to watch out and see whowas doing this. Shortly afterwards, spotting a strange hand on the switch, hespun around and hit the ‘culprit’ on the head with his broom. The instructor came along at precisely that moment. He had the ‘victim’ taken to the first aid post, while the person who had lashed out was suspended. When aninvestigation brought the full facts to light, the suspension was commuted into aless severe punishment, and the real ‘guilty party’ was also reprimanded. - emotional behaviour
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