The Sentimentality Blues

* Bob and Ruth Smith were enjoying life. They had just¬† moved into their new home, and Bob’s salary¬† was enough to allow Ruth to be a “stay-at-home-mom” for their four-year old twins.

* Bob was the manager of an Engineering Design Group for a manufacturer of machine parts. The Design Group consisted of three engineers, three technicians, and a secretary. He was highly regarded by upper management as a candidate for future promotion to higher levels of management.

* Ruth’s sister Mary was married to Tom Banks, an engineer that lost his job as the result of a company down-sizing. After two months of unemployment the emotional and financial stress was taking its toll. With three young children, a large mortgage payment, and a weak job market; the family’s future looked grim.

* Unexpectedly, one of Bob’s engineers left the company for a positive career move. Bob had an opening in his group that had to be filled! Immediately, he was being pressured to fill that opening with Tom! Bob explained that Tom did not have the experience to meet the requirements of the open position. As time passed and the pressure from both families became relentless, Bob filled the open position with Tom. Because the family names were different, Bob did not indicate that he and Tom were related through marriage to sisters from the same family!

* It did not take long for Tom’s lack of experience to be the root cause of several serious problems; resulting in damaged customer relations and large financial loses.

* Both Bob and Tom were fired! The company gave each of them an appropriate severance package.



* Which supports and barriers were in play?

* What were the dynamics?

* Who, or what, won the Tug-of-War?

* Discuss the outcome with your friends and family.

* Use Post #4 as a reference for the dynamics, and the relationships, between supports and barriers.