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  1. #1
    Senior Member copperfish17's Avatar
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    Default The F Style Management

    Here, I quote a good friend of mine:

    I really enjoy reflecting on human conditions, as you might have noticed. A crisis in my school's symphony orchestra made me think about management these days. I have long praised the "F" approach to management as a pragmatic method to increase loyalty among the employees. To cut it short, it makes people want to come to work because they know they have an understanding boss who will appreciate them and help them achieve their potential.

    The crisis facing the orchestra, however, is not because the conductor is harsh, incompetent or overly objective. She is anything but. The ENFJ conductor is an extremely gifted musician who happens to love her students (and is good friends with many of them), but one way or the other, we skip practices. She has threatened to "fire" those who skip practices more than a certain amount of absences, but she usually does not have the heart to carry it out. Like the ESTJ drama teacher (often described as her "counterpart"), she is charismatic and competent, but she lacks the intimidation factor. She's way too personal and loving, and doesn't make good her threats. Nobody takes her ultimatum seriously, and she ends up in desperate straits wondering why despite giving this orchestra everything, nobody really cares.

    We get into the orchestra based on a meritocracy, true, but an extremely informal one. She judges based on her observation of us during classes (how well we play in classes, tests, etc), and usually, if she knows you're good, you don't have to pass an audition to get in. Luckily, we have a lot of extremely competent musicians in our school, so auditions are rare. If you're not already in the orchestra or if you're not recommended by a member (then she'd audition you), she won't know you, and you basically have no chance of getting in. Before she knew I was good, she didn't let me in without an audition, but after having me in her class, I joined by invitation. What's wrong with our orchestra, therefore, is not incompetence, tyranny, but a lack of an impersonal structure.

    We have a lot of "elite" clubs in our school, including National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, International Honor Band, International Honor Orchestra, Varsity Sports, Model United Nation, et cetera. I can't help but notice that members very rarely skip these practices, but are perfectly willing to skip a Symphony Orchestra (that's what it's known as) practice. We're not any less elite. We have played at important events and venues such as the Shanghai World Expo (and the audience loved us) and the Sydney Opera House. In fact, I would argue that we play at a much higher level than International Honor Band, and such. But then we don't have an "Honor" in our name. Nope. And once you're in, it's hard to piss her off so much that she'll hate you enough to boot you. You're in, practically, for life (or until the end of your high school career, whichever comes first).

    We don't have a rigorous and competitive audition, nor are we pretentious enough to attach the "Honor" in our name to appear more glamorous (although that might be a good idea). The ENFJ has made the orchestra into a feel-good club instead of an formal structure. What she needs is to be more austere, not more loving. We need to have high publicized auditions, and I'm willing to introduce the idea to her as soon as possible. National Honor Society doesn't do much in our school, yet everyone goes to the meetings because the selection process is competitive and impersonal (doesn't matter if the coordinator knows you and loves you. You're not getting in if you don't meet their standards). It makes people feel like they've accomplished something if they're eligible to join this prestigious but relatively idle lunch picnic (which is essentially what it is), and they know that if they loaf around (such as skipping these meetings), they might get booted. Usually, personal relationships with the coordination won't salvage your place in the club if you do this.

    This concludes my treatise on the drawbacks of the "F" style management, which, despite its many merits, have pitfalls. It's just that much easier if you tie your organization to people's egos.
    (FYI, I'm a violinist in the said orchestra.)

    Thoughts? What do you make of this?

    Also, Antares and I will be documenting a reform plan to present to our wonderful ENFJ conductor. Any specific advices you can think of? ENFJ's, how much constructive criticism can you tolerate without being offended or hurt in some way? Are there lines that should not be crossed?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by copperfish17; 05-30-2010 at 09:38 AM.
    Enneagram: 5w4 5-9-2 (5w4 9w1 2w1) sp/so

    "Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience." - Greg King
    The worst mistake people make in political arguments is assuming that the other side is not trying to do the right thing. This simple oversight makes productive conversation nearly impossible.

  2. #2
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    I would imagine an ENFP in power would manage as a sort of a very sugarcoated version of an ESTJ, given that we would likely use our tertiary Te. The description above seems quite accurate for NFJs in power though.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    The ENFJ conductor is an extremely gifted musician who happens to love her students (and is good friends with many of them), but one way or the other, we skip practices.
    Whose responsibility is it to show up for practice? Yours.
    Don't blame the ENFJ-or anyone- for your own shortcomings.
    It lacks integrity.

  4. #4
    Senior Member copperfish17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    Whose responsibility is it to show up for practice? Yours.
    Don't blame the ENFJ-or anyone- for your own shortcomings.
    It lacks integrity.
    Alright, I should have clarified this. Many apologies.

    I myself have never skipped practices. (Remember I am quoting a friend here who's writing from HER perspective, not mine. Also, she was generalizing when she said "we".) I share a close relationship with the ENFJ conductor and she knows I'm one of the most reliable members in the orchestra. In fact she has once told me (quite recently too) that: "You're one my favorites because you never skip [practices]."

    The problem I'm trying to address here is that many members DO skip practices, coming up with all these excuses. I'm just pondering on how I can assist her in making this orchestra more, well, functional.

    A tweak or two in the system might solve the problem with skipping. This is what I ponder.
    Last edited by copperfish17; 05-29-2010 at 12:36 PM. Reason: Clarifications...
    Enneagram: 5w4 5-9-2 (5w4 9w1 2w1) sp/so

    "Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience." - Greg King
    The worst mistake people make in political arguments is assuming that the other side is not trying to do the right thing. This simple oversight makes productive conversation nearly impossible.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copperfish17 View Post
    I myself have never skipped practices. (Remember I am quoting a friend here who's writing from HER perspective, not mine. Also, she was generalizing when she said "we".) I share a close relationship with the ENFJ conductor and she knows I'm one of the most reliable members in the orchestra. In fact she has once told me (quite recently too) that: "You're one my favorites because you never skip [practices]."

    The problem I'm trying to address here is that many members DO skip practices, coming up with all these excuses. I'm just pondering on how I can assist her in making this orchestra more, well, functional.
    Functional? Gee, your overwhelming passion and intensity is knocking me off my feet. Lol.

    Yes, I know you quoted your friend.

    Look, did it ever occur to you to come at this from another angle?
    If you are a committed member of the orchestra and you value that orchestra then why don't you two do something about it?

    Are you legs broken?
    Is your mouth broken?

    Are both of you utterly incapable of going to other members who are slacking off and putting a flame under their asses?
    I assure you, if that orchestra means enough to you then you will do it. Come hell or high water.

    If you think it's because an ENFJ "lacks impersonal structure" or whatever nonsense was flying out of your friend's mouth, you are mistaken.
    If the people who are not showing up lack the passion to be in that orchestra, then you know what?
    They shouldn't be there.

    Let's see how far you are willing to go for something you believe in.
    Maybe the problem is, you don't believe in it at all.
    If all you want to do is "assist" someone in making something "functional," then perhaps you are no different from the others who lack the passion to even show up.

    Don't pass the buck to the conductor.
    If you want change, then you better be prepared to be the vehicle.

    The choice is yours.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    She's talking about high school and you are talking about integrity.

    Kids, when you give them an inch, they take a whole mile.

    I had an ESTJ high school teacher and she intimidated everyone. She was downright scary. There was this one student who was always late because of his bus schedule and it was the first class in the morning and at one point, she publicly humiliated him for being late. Poor boy. She asked him to come up and everyone to clap because he was actually on time that day, heavy heavy sarcasm.

    For an ENFJ - hmm - once a teacher establishes herself as being too nice, it's hard to go back. Kicking the ones who skip the most is an option - and the others will shape up if they need it in their high school transcript or ... they enjoy it ...

    She will probably be offended and might not be able to carry out the plan since it's not her plan, you know. It'd be like 'pressure to perform', it wouldn't be something she could do naturally.

    I think what she could do simply is inform the kids that after a certain amount of absences, they wouldn't receive credit for being part of the orchestra. In high school, a lot of kids join groups just to get it on their transcript/resume to get into good colleges, so that's a point.

    I'd say mention it casually to her - but don't make it a formal plan because then, she'd be forced to take action even though she'd feel uncomfortable just to save face in front of the two of you - ...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    She's talking about high school and you are talking about integrity.
    You can be in high school and have integrity.

  8. #8
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Nonsense.
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    Teacher (Idyllic), ESE-IEI (Si-ESFj), SLue|I|, Sanguine-Melancholy
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  9. #9
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Well I kind of agree with Jaguar that it's more preposterous to approach the teacher with a preconceived "plan" for HER to get kids to come to practice more often when, if it mattered to them that much in the first place, they could have done something themselves to fix the problem. It seems like a shrugging off of responsibility (not to say that it's their responsibility in the first place...it certainly is not...but if they see things as being such a problem that they are personally concerning themselves with it, then they need to try and solve the problem themselves. Otherwise leave it alone, or let the teacher figure something out on her own.)
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  10. #10
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    This concludes my treatise on the drawbacks of the "F" style management
    Your high school friend concluded an entire treatise on “F” style management by the analysis of a high school orchestra? Wow.. this statement is laughable.

    Coming from an ENFJ standpoint I would approach the situation as Jaguar described. Your conductor teacher sounds cool as hell and I would have a huge problem with my classmates if they were disrespecting her like this.

    I know you’re not the one that disrespects her and misses class, but why don’t you stand up for her if your classmates are doing this? (Especially since you say you like her and you have an established rapport with her.)

    People in high school do lack integrity, so that’s why this is the best approach to take.

    You and your friend need to put your classmates in ‘check’ and be the ones to demonstrate integrity. (assuming you are strong enough to do so)

    A formal plan definitely won’t work, not only because you’re talking about high school. But also because that’s probably the worst way to approach an ENFJ.

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