Mitch Finley, a 29-year-old with a degree in finance, began working as a loan officer at a bank two years ago. Later, he began consulting for other businesses in financial planning. His career goal has been to begin his own
Mitch Finley, a 29-year-old with a degree in finance, began working as a loan officer at a bank two years ago. Later, he began consulting for other businesses in financial planning. His career goal has been to begin his own business. Recently, Finley started The Suite Thing, a development company using one of his original business ideas—the construction of two large hotel-like buildings containing suites (living room, bedroom, kitchen) rather than single rooms. The hotels are located in two cities that are important regional centers for the oil industry. Instead of renting the suites, he is selling them to large oil companies to meet entertainment and tax-planning needs. Finley had been using a brochure his architects had put together, but he was not pleased with its presentation. He had collected other company brochures that he liked and decided to call an advertising firm to design a new brochure and logo for his company. In the initial meeting, Finley told the advertising representative he needed a new company logo and a brochure folder that would hold his leaflets. Most important, the logo and kit had to be completed as soon as possible, because time was money to him. The advertising representative (very new on the job) acknowledged that his company could do logo and brochure layouts. The representative then asked Finley a few general questions about his two projects—what they involved, where they were located, and their surroundings. The agency rep said he would return within one week with his ideas. Two-and-one-half weeks later, Finley called the advertising agency and wanted to know if it had developed the materials. The representative came by later that afternoon with his idea. The agency’s approach centered on a hard-sell theme of “Beat the Hotel Game with the Suite Thing.” Finley, frustrated by the response delay and the inconsistency between the advertising agency’s offering and his own image of the project, said, “No that’s not at all what I want.” The advertising representative, taken aback, sat in silence for a time before responding in a frustrated voice, “Well, what do you see your project as being?” and reminded him of the time constraints Finley had given. Finley said he did not see hotels as his competitors, and he wanted a brochure and logo that used soft sell to introduce his idea to top-level executives as an investment. The next day the advertising representative returned with a more conservative, soft-sell piece. Finley said, “That’s kind of what I want . .. but not really.” Finley cannot understand why he did not get what he wanted the first time because “that’s their business and they should know how to do it.”
1. What are some possible causes of Finley’s communication problem? Of the advertising representative’s?
2. Identify how assumptions caused communication problems in this case.
3. What actions would you recommend to the advertising representative to ensure this did not happen again?
4. Do you believe there is a communication deadlock? If so, what should the participants do to resolve it?
This problem has been solved!