February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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94 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 D on't you remember: sometime after he filled out the job appli- cation, you first saw him wait- ing in your lobby, and then you took them to your office for an interview? He looked like a professional, or at least like an adult, so you hired him to help out in the printing department. But once he got on board, you noticed a subtlety; there was something a tad "different" in his demean- or, he often seemed to feel put-upon, left out, maybe even shunned by his coworkers, as though he were being victimized. You are an upbeat individual and you felt bad for him, but when you investigated to see if he was being mistreated or dealt with unfairly, you came up empty hand- ed—there was no indication of abuse and most comments about him, his demeanor, and his conduct ranged between neutral and positive. Fair treatment notwithstand- ing, you suspect he spends his time mov- ing through life as a victim and he spends far more time in his victim role than as the adult you thought you had hired. If you're thinking, "Well nothing like this has never happened to me," ei- ther you have only ever hired one employee and got really lucky, or you are not looking closely or objectively. Unfortunately, we all fall vic- tim to some less than stellar be- haviors that come out in some form of victim, martyr, hero, villain, parent, or child, and this conduct is often the key to the conflict, drama, and politics in your shop. THE COST We know drama and conflict cost an immeasurable amount of time, quality, and through- put in a work environment, but doesn't it seem at times drama's just part of the gig, or perhaps it is part of our genetic code, hardwired into the species? The core of my prem- ise herein is taken in part from Dr. Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis; a most elegant and effective method of looking at human psychology and dysfunction. Transactional Analysis is a meth- od by which we can define and sort into categories the conduct of those who have been paid to, or at least who have been expected to, act as adults. Who, conversely, without apparent provocation, transform ef- fortlessly into acting either like par- ents or like children. Some of these actors are even "chameleon-like," assuming either role depending on the day, the work- load, or phases of the moon. Each one of these roles has its own set of unique characteristics. For instance, a parent acts authoritative, dogmatic, omniscient, outspoken, and in charge where right is might. Perhaps they have usurped this lofty position or perhaps their misconduct is an unintended result of one's title within the company hierarchy. Conversely, a child is going to react accordingly to this dysfunc- tion, perhaps with subservience, perhaps with rebellion. In this simple but all too fa- miliar scenario, the two [adult] actors are at odds, boundaries have been crossed, territories violated, civility may have been lost, but resentment and hostil- ity is inevitable. The parent in our story wants to be appreci- ated for their noble, if misplaced efforts, and tend to seek grati- tude and want to be thanked, preferably in public. The child wants attention, and negative attention is sometimes better than getting no attention at all. IT'S COMPLICATED As if it weren't enough to have adults acting like parents and/ Joe Clarke has spent the past 45 years in the lab and engineering de- partment in prepress and on press as a research and development and technical researcher as well as a man- ager of screen print production. He has received a number of print-related patents and is a member of The Academy of Screen and Digital Printing Technologies and a Specialty Graphic Imaging Associa- tion fellow. Clarke has presented hundreds of papers, written a couple books, and published more than 600 technical and man- agement articles for which he has earned numerous industry awards. Currently, he is president of Clarke Product Renovation, a Chicago-based corporation that brings product and process technology to the screen printing industry. He contributes fea- ture articles on textile screen printing exclusively to Printwear. Reach him at Motivational Profiling Determining workers roles and how to address them B Y J O E C L A R K E

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