Case Study: I’m Fine!

Sunny has reported to Carlos for six months, but she isn’t sure they’re a good fit.

In fact, Sunny has been upset with Carlos for days.

Sunny spent hours prepping for a meeting in which she was to give Carlos a detailed update on the project she had been working on for the last four months. As she launched her presentation, Carlos abruptly asked, “Is this presentation going to take long? I have a meeting in 30 minutes that I can’t miss.”

Sunny was offended that Carlos was in a hurry and didn’t appreciate her careful preparation. This was not the first time Carlos had acted this way.

Despite her hurt feelings, she told Carlos, “It won’t take long. I can rush through it if you’d like. I’m sure your next meeting is very important.”

Unfazed by her sarcastic tone, Carlos sat down and began scribbling on his notepad.

When Sunny finished her presentation, she asked if Carlos had any questions. He said, “No. Great job. I’ll see you next week for the update meeting.”

Yesterday, Carlos ran into Sunny and asked, “Are you okay? You seemed upset during our meeting yesterday.”

Sunny replied, “No. I’m fine.”

Case Study Worksheet:

  1. What might Sunny’s natural communication style be?

Dominance          Influence          Steadiness          Compliance

  1. What might Carlos’ natural communication style be?

Dominance          Influence          Steadiness          Compliance

  1. What communication pitfalls is Sunny making?
  2. What communication pitfalls is Carlos making?

Suspecting Sunny’s “I’m Fine!” might not be a true reflection of her feelings, Carlos has sought you out for coaching/advice.