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Jim’s goals for the seminar are twofold: for participants to learn new com-munication behaviors and for participants to enjoy the seminar so they will want to attend future seminars.
The first group to be offered the program was middle-level managers in research and development.This group consisted of about 25 people, nearly all of whom had advanced degrees. Most of this group had attended several in-house training programs in the past, so they had a sense of how the seminar would be designed and run. Because the previous seminars had not always been very productive, many of the managers felt a little disillusioned about coming to the seminar. As one of the managers said, “Here we go again: a fancy in-house training program from which we will gain nothing.”
Because Jim recognized that the managers were very experienced, he did not put many restrictions on attendance and participation. He used a variety of presentation methods and actively solicited involvement from the managers in the seminar.Throughout the first two sessions, he went out of his way to be friendly with the group. He gave them frequent cof-fee breaks during the sessions; during these breaks, he promoted social-izing and networking.
During the third session, Jim became aware of some difficulties with the seminar. Rather than the full complement of 25 managers, attendance had dropped to about only 15 managers. Although the starting time was established at 8:30, attendees had been arriving as late as 10:00. During the afternoon sessions, some of the managers were leaving the sessions