Reference no: EM13671441
Situation: It's almost 6 P.M. and you're back at your office putting the finishing touches on next week's annual presentation to top management. Your stomach is churning, partly from hunger and partly from the stress of having missed another one of your twins' soccer matches. As the corporate director of product design at a large multina¬tional company, you don't need to be reminded about the importance of next week's presentation. Between 3 P.M. and a few minutes ago, you had hidden out in a remote conference room fine-tuning it. Your cell phone was with you but had a dead battery, as you just noticed.
Back at your desk, having just replaced your cell phone battery, you are staring in dis¬belief at a text message on your phone. The three-word message "WHERE WERE YOU!" burns into your mind. This particular text is from your firm's director of marketing. She called and then texted you an hour ago from her home after a late-afternoon meeting with two executives from a company that has been a customer for over ten years. During a quick chat in the hallway yesterday, you had promised the marketing director you'd attend today's meeting to provide technical support. This customer is one of your smaller accounts, but there is potential for a big jump in business this year. The marketing direc¬tor's idea was to have a brief "let's explore possibilities" meeting.
The plain truth is you simply forgot about the meeting. You've been on major over-load. You never bothered to put it on your electronic calendar because the commitment was made just yesterday and you thought you'd surely remember it. Well, you didn't!
Your mind races, weighing the situation and what to do about it. Losing this cus-tomer would be very bad for your career because your CEO is a table-pounder about customer service. Whom should you contact first-the marketing director, your boss, the customer, your family? And how should you communicate with them? It's dinnertime now. What about calling later tonight? Can everything but your family wait until tomor-row? Should you leave a voice mail or text message? What about e-mails? You know both your boss and the marketing director check their BlackBerry e-mails later each evening at home. Should you stop by anybody's home tonight to deliver a personal apology and explanation? What should you do? What should you say? How should you say it? Your stomach tightens a couple more notches.
Instructions: Working either alone or as a member of a team, quickly develop a commu-nication plan for this awkward situation. Your plan should involve (1) specifying your assumptions and objectives, (2) choosing an appropriate medium for each message (face to face, cell phone, telephone/voice mail, or e-mail), and (3) composing messages to the relevant parties.
Part 3 Organizing, Managing Human Resources, and Communicating
1. What assumptions did you make in this case? How did they influence your response?
2. What were your priorities in this situation? How did they influence your actions?
3. Whom did you contact first? How and why?
4. How did you communicate with each party? Why did you choose that way?
5. What practical lessons about communication did you learn from this exercise? Explain.