1. Do you consider your daily texting, Facebook updates, blog entries, e-mails, and other informal writing to be “real writing”? How might such writing differ from the writing done in business?
2. Sharing various digital media impulsively can lead to embarrassment and worse. Have you or has someone you know ever regretted posting a comment, photo, or other digital media online?
3. How do you feel about the work–life balance in today’s 24/7 “anytime, anywhere” digital workplace? Do you anticipate negative effects on your health and personal life?
4.Critics complain that e-mail is reducing the amount of face-to-face communication at work and this is bad for business. Do you agree or disagree?
5.Ethical Issue: Josh in the Accounting Department tells you that he heard from a reliable source that 15 percent of the staff will be fired within 120 days. You would love to share this juicy news with other department members, for their own defense and planning. Should you? Why or why not?
1. Author and teamwork critic Susan Cain claims that research “strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption.” In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, in articles, and public appearances, Cain cautions against the current emphasis on teamwork in the workplace. Cain cites studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist, according to whom “the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted. . . . They are not joiners by nature.” How would you, as a critical thinker, respond to these statements?
2. Evaluate the following humorous analogy between the murder of a famous Roman emperor and the deadening effect of meetings: “This month is the 2,053rd anniversary of the death of Julius Caesar, who pronounced himself dictator for life before running the idea past the Roman Senate. On his way to a meeting, he was met by a group of senators who, wishing to express their unhappiness with his vocational aspirations, stabbed him to death. Moral of the story: Beware of meetings.” Is the comparison fitting? What might the author of the article have wanted to convey?
3. Why do executives and managers spend more time listening than do workers?
4. What arguments could you give for or against the idea that body language is a science with principles that can be interpreted accurately by specialists?
5. Ethical Issue: After much discussion and even conflict, your workplace team has finally agreed on Plan B, but you are firmly convinced that Plan A is a much better option. Your team is presenting Plan B to the whole department and company executives are present. A vice president asks you for your opinion. Should you (a) keep your mouth shut, (b) try to persuade the team to adopt Plan A, (c) explain why you believe Plan A is a better plan, (d) tell the VP and all present that Plan B is not your idea, or (e) discuss one or two points you can agree on in Plan B?