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Death to Smoochy August 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Graham J. Wieja @ 11:24 am

Procumbent Pearlwort on several to most greens at Belvedere Golf and Country Club. A very aggressive weed becoming more and more prevalent on Prince Edward Island. Several local courses have undergone complete re-sodding of select greens plagued with this weed commonly mistaken by members as “poa”.

pearlwort


Aggressive plugging out of pearlwort and replugging with bent from the nursery has shown to be effective in small areas, however the problem is too widespread. Tank mixes of straight mecoprop at a rate of 1 oz/ M sure did get its attention. In order to smoke it outright go a little heavier, a weeks time your greens will show more imperfections than you would’ve imagined. This issue certainly needs to be rectified as ball roll, ball speed, and greens consistency is becoming greatly affected.

 

Fusarium patch in August? August 16, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Graham J. Wieja @ 3:42 am

Nineteen out of Thirty-one days Charlottetown saw rain in the month of July. Hand watering hoses have been silent. It’s been a very cool and wet summer and there are indications of Fusarium (michrodochium) patch on a few greens. The orange-bronze mycelial ring is an indication of the Fusarium caused by the same fungus that causes pink snow mould, michrodochium nivale. Belvedere Golf club has seen a lot of traffic despite the wet weather so disease suppression on the poa annua greens isn’t strange for this time of the year. Fusarium or Michrodochium patch is surprising however. Generally you see it in the late fall around October or so. Dollar spot is active but we’ve seen very little suppression to date.

 

East bound and down… April 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Graham J. Wieja @ 2:38 pm

Internship on the east coast of Canada. Can’t wait!

 

Independent Study: Personalities in the Workplace March 29, 2011

Filed under: Independent Study: Personalities in the workplace — Graham J. Wieja @ 4:27 am

Independent Study Project
Understanding Personalities in the Workplace
Submitted by: Graham Wieja 0682311
Submitted to: Dean Baker
Date: March 28th, 2011

Project also available online at: https://thesoiledthoughtsofanaspiringsuperintendent.wordpress.com/


Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. The four personality types

III. Personality: Behavioural traits versus Behavioural Characteristics

IV. Strategies as an Employer Managing Personality Types and Personality Flexibility

V. Conflict and Conflict Management

VI. Conclusion

    I.Introduction

    This independent was designed to explore personalities in the workplace and how to better deal with co-workers and employers. I wanted to discuss distinct personalities in the workplace and how you can work with and for them. Studies have shown there are four key personality types: Expressive, Amiable, Analytical and Driving. Each of these four personalities has both their strengths and weaknesses and there are tactics to excel alongside them. Whether you are in a management position, or working for someone who is, each and every individual can take steps to compliment personality types and excel in the workplace.
    My end goal was to put a report together that outlines the four personality types and their own unique characteristics and quirks to better understand why we are the way we are and why we interact the way we do. My goal was to inform people about their own dominant personality style and how it may be perceived by others. Along with the perception, I wanted to open manager’s eyes to the application side of this ideology that they can adapt and temporarily adjust themselves to better manage others. This was important to me because in order to get the most out of your employees you must appeal to them and their style. Personality flexibility is a useful technique to achieve this goal. I will touch upon conflict management and shed some light on my personal opinions regarding it.

      II. The Four Personality Types

      Studies have shown there are four key personality types: Expressive, Amiable, Analytical and Driving. Each of these four personalities have both their strength’s and weaknesses . There are distinct tactics and ways to not only co-exist with them in the workplace, but excel alongside them. Whether you are in a management position, or working for someone who is, each and every individual can take steps to compliment personality types and excel in the workplace.
      In my independent study I will outline the four personality types along with the favourable and unfavourable characteristics that go along with them. From this I will draw up management tactics for dealing with each type of personality, as well develop strategies to work for each type of personality so stay tuned for that.
      The four personality types characteristics and explanation:

      Driver: Drivers are motivated self starters. They need to achieve results as fast and effective as is possible. They are direct and often overlook an individuals feelings when focused on achieving a goal . They are very pragmatic. Some other features of the driver personality are:
      o Objective-focused and action-orientated
      o Know what they want and how to get there, decisive
      o Effective problem solver, results driven person
      o Sometimes can be a competitive risk taker
      o Forceful and determined, relates to the ends justify the means
      o Direct and assertive, does not shy away from conflict
      Expressive: Expressives are highly energetic and animated people. They boast social skills and can generally fit into any conversation at ease. Decisiveness is often a weakness of expressive personality types. They generally need to think situations through and rely on others to excel. They are viewed as dramatic and impulsive.
      o Verbally animated, dramatic, confident, and enthusiastic
      o Can be impulsive, influential, and convincing
      o Good motivators, and generally effective communicators
      o Can be very confident and very competitive
      o Can tend to exaggerate, leave out facts and details
      o Optimism a plenty
      Amiable: You can depend on this person to be loyal to you. They are easy to confide in. Amiables will shy away from conflict as much as possible and reach decisions quickly. They are warm and sensitive. Amiables can be seen as push over’s. Some other attributes of the amiable personality type are:
      o Kind-hearted and sympathetic, shies away from conflict
      o Relaxed, mature, supportive, and stable
      o Loyal team player
      o Patient, preserving person can be highly sensitive
      o Often quiet and soft-spoken, effective listener
      Analytical: Analytical people are people who really think things through. They are logical and very fact driven. They can be seen as overcautious and boring. This is part of their charm. They are very thorough and do not like to make rash decisions. Sometimes this causes them to be seen as anti-social. Some other attributes of the analytical personality type are:
      o Highly detail oriented people that are cautious and controlling
      o Can have a difficult time making decisions
      o Tend to be very conventional, logical, and systematic
      o Tend to be highly critical people
      o Can tend to be pessimistic in nature
      o Very precise, orderly, and perceptive

        III. Personality: Behavioral traits versus Behavioral Characteristics
        People instinctively act for the betterment of themselves. Motivating factors are essential to successful management of people because people are seeking the best reward possible for themselves. The tricky part of all of this is that motivating factors differ from person to person. We as bosses need to discover what motivating factors we can offer and find employees that fit this model.
        People have an innate need to feel accepted for who they are and be recognized for the contributions they can make as an employee. It’s like my football coach always told me, you look good you feel good, you feel good you play good, you play good you usually win. Who doesn’t like winning with the exception of maybe Charlie Sheen!
        Traits Versus Characteristics
        There is a theory that the personality has two aspects:
        1. Inherited behavior (traits)
        2. Learned behavior (characteristics)
        Traits
        Traits are responsible for telling our brain how to develop and function through the gathering and processing of information decision making. Traits can’t be changed. Traits are what drive the choices we make and how we decide to put them into action. Our behavior then tells other people how to interact and communicate with us, and defines how we’ll deal with them. Personality traits are important especially in instilling a value system within us and in determining what motivates us.
        Characteristics
        Characteristics imply how we act, express, and communicate ourselves with each other in a society. I believe they are the driving force to modern social structure. I feel this way because to me characteristics are what deem an individual socially acceptable. In essence, each human being is bound to do what is best for them. Why then do we see so people go out of their way to do something for someone else with absolutely no return on their investment? Why is it that when natural disaster strikes in one part of the world you see the absolute worst of society: looters, theft, civil war and unrest; whereas if you take the recent tsunami in Japan you see several stories of people coming together in massive amounts to try to achieve a goal as fundamental as having available fresh water? It has been instilled in them, through their culture, to do right by others when they are in need. The same cannot be said and is clearly evident in third world countries.
        I believe it all comes back to the desire to be accepted. Without the feeling of acceptance comes the feeling of inadequacy. To most, the feeling of inadequacy far outweighs the burden of doing something for someone else. In a sense it is a test of will, trait vs. characteristic within every one of us. On the one hand you have yourself, a human being driven to be free in all respects: from freedom of speech, to the right of lifestyle. On the other hand you subject them to society which by the very nature of it tells us to abandon our innate senses and seek conformity. Suddenly the ideology of blazing your own trail gives way to taking the path of least resistance.

      IV. Strategies as an Employer Managing Personality Types
      It is difficult to assess what type of person is sitting across from you during the interview process. The limited time frame in which you have to develop an opinion and get a sense for what type of person the potential employee is can make it extremely difficult to get the person that best fits your management style. The system is flawed and as such managers find themselves with employees that aren’t “plug and play” type players. In other words, these employees aren’t blue-chip prospects that fit right in from day one and it’s going to take some effective management strategies to get this person through the season. What’s important to factor in when deciding on how to use said employee is assessing their strengths/weaknesses and that person’s ability to work in a team situation. A person’s personality type plays directly into these two processes and generally determines in what role or capacity this employee will be used.
      “Personality flex” is the alteration of your natural tendencies, generally in social situations, to appease the difference between two individuals. In other words, it is changing your natural tendencies to better get along with individuals or a group. This is an effective way of getting along and even developing a friendship with an employer, employee, or co-worker. However, I do not feel the burden of changing one’s personality falls upon the employee. I’m of the opinion that employee’s must show respect for one another but should not be forced to have a bond or relationship outside of the workplace. This makes the hiring or selection process all that more important. A manager must be able to pinpoint with some accuracy how this individual will project out into the workplace much the same as any sports team’s general manager when it comes to drafting a prospect. You must be an effective evaluator of talent, and how it can project into real life situations as a part of your management style. In my opinion it is not the responsibility of an employee to adhere to “expectations” of employer’s when it comes to personality flex. The employee must comply with what is asked of them; attendance, punctuality, an honest day’s work, and respect for others. The employer must provide a workplace where this person’s strengths are promoted, developed, and encouraged. Their weaknesses’ are worked on and counter-acted with another employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
      In order to utilize personality flex a manager must first determine what type of personality they best exemplify. Knowing yourself is the only way you can understand what your expectations are and what you need to get out of your employee’s.
      As an analytical manager employees may relate to;
       Critical thinking based on factual merit
       Conservative, quiet attitude
       Thoroughness, accuracy and dependability
       Cooperativeness and patience
       Logic and accuracy
      As an analytical manager employees may not relate to;
       Lack of compassion and ability to form relationships through an impersonal approach
       Factual based decision making process, and lack of risk taking
       Dependability on third party knowledge and facts, non-trusting nature

      As an analytical manager there are minor changes you can make, involving personality flex, to appease your employers and create a better work environment such as;
       Setting realistic goals and developing a gameplan in the form of a checklist to accomplish said goals
       Qualify employees as opposed to quantifying employees: Recognize each and every one is unique and brings something different to the table
       Spending informal time with employee’s (lunch room talk, staff socials, team building exercises to boost moral) Anything that allows an employee to see you outside the formal work environment can go a long way to building lasting relationships

      As an expressive manager employees may relate to;
       Imagination and thought invoking nature
       Personable nature and enthusiasm
       Outgoing and competitive nature
       Opinionative and impulsive nature
       Loud, flashy, and dramatic style
      As an expressive manager employees may not relate to;
       Loud, flashy, and emotional side
       Impulsivity
       Demonstrative nature
       Ability to follow through on all projects and tasks
      As an expressive manager there are minor changes you can make, involving personality flex, to appease your employers and create a better work environment such as;
       Use factual merit in conversations as opposed to personal feelings and allow others to find out what you already know yourself
       Slow down your innate fast-paced processes and talk things through before acting
       Focus on small tasks as part of the big picture, in sequential order to avoid confusion or indecisiveness
       Provide a goal, and delegate within your crew to achieve this
       Maintain focus on individual goals and keep on track, others might not see the “whole picture”

      As an amiable manager employees may relate to;
       Caring, thoughtful, and co-operative nature
       Team-oriented focus and compassion for others
       Supportive and helpful nature
       Friendly, focused work ethic
       Careful but deliberate and effective decision making

      As an amiable manager employees may not relate to;
       Soft-hearted and compliant nature
       Lack of drive and initiative
       Careful deliberation and decision making processes
       Non- competitive stance
      As an amiable manager there are minor changes you can make, involving personality flex, to appease your employers and create a better work environment such as;
       Be as consistent, insistent and direct as possible when delegating. You must take charge of the situation in order to achieve the desired goal. Everyone must be on the same page.
       Build business relationships first. Allow the process of becoming a friend take its natural course instead of promoting the idea. Be a boss first, and a friend second.
       Stay on schedule through decisive decision making and action.
       Don’t waver on situations. Be prepared to make your decision known or prepare to delegate accordingly. Stand your ground and support your decisions.

      As a driver manager employees may relate to;
       Logical decision making and efficiency
       Discipline and decisiveness
       Accomplishments and competitive drive
       Independence and task oriented approach
       Empowerment and ability to lead
      As a driver manger employees may not relate to;
       Bossiness and lack of delegation
       Controlling nature and secretiveness
       Tough mindedness and impatience for errors
       Critical nature

      As a driver manager there are minor changes you can make, involving personality flex, to appease your employers and create a better work environment such as;
       Be patient with others
       Set deadlines and allow employees to achieve them on their own initiative. Set time restraints but do not micro-manage.
       Take an interest in the person, not the worker. Show support in personal accomplishments and hardships alike. Give them the “human” touch.
       Share your opinions with employees. Don’t be a reclusive individual.

        V. Conflict and Conflict Management in the Workplace
        Through my years working on crews at golf courses I have come across several group dynamics. There have been those crews where everyone can get along and has a mutual respect for each other. The individual focuses’ are very succinct with one another’s, and the focus is on achieving the goal of maintaining the course. However, I have worked on crews with an obvious divide between them. Some divides larger than others, and often times can be traced back to one or two key issues. The issues can vary as much as the people that possess them so delving into that seems rather futile. One thing I can tell you with a great deal of certainty is these divides can absolutely tear crews apart and leave a manager reeling with endless dilemmas. An unhappy crew is an unproductive crew. An unproductive crew is equal to an unproductive manager, no matter the personality type.
        If the root of the problem is directly linked to one individual should the manager terminate said employee’s position on the crew? What are the repercussions if this is the desired course of action? Who will it affect and how long will the effects be felt for? Will this rectify the situation or has the damage already been done? These are just a few of the problems associated with this type of conflict.
        This topic is as user specific as they come in my opinion. By this I mean that each and every conflict within the workplace is like a snowflake, none are alike. And as such saying there is one true or correct mode of action seems quite ignorant. To be fair, no two people will think exactly alike because we all have different upbringings, different values, and different perspectives. What is “wrong” to one person, may feel “correct” to another. Where is the line as a manager? It has become distinctly apparent that objectivity, in other words, how a manager views one certain situation, will go a long way in determining how the conflict is resolved. Objectivity by its’ very nature is situation dependent which can be construed as unfair or biased by employees.
        Take for instance this situation:
        You have two employees. Employee A is a model employee who does everything asked of them in a professional manner day in and day out. Employee B is a sufficient employee. They generally do what they are told to, usually in the manner that they should but they have some character issues that pop up from time to time. Employee B does not get along with certain individuals in your crew. Now let’s say that both employee’s A and B are starting to show up late for work in the morning. Each have been late three times on separate occasions. You as a manager have given each employee verbal and written warnings for “strike 1, and strike 2”. You inform both A and B that “strike 3” involves a suspension without pay. Employee A, shows up late the next day and since they are so valued you as the manager decide to look the other way. Employee B shows up late the next day and you inform B that they are suspended without pay.
        It is obvious why you elected to suspend B, and not suspend A. “A” is valued, and despite their short-comings contributes a lot to the team. But are you being fair? Herein lies my point that just because A is more valued, does not mean your stance should waver. A manager must have a “poker face” where emotions are left at the door. I fully understand the rationale behind the decision just as clear as anyone else can, but can you justify this to your crew? Will the other employees now divide, with one group siding with you, and the other group siding with your inability to be fair? Are we all the same playing field in terms of being employees? Feelings of resentment towards special treatment can be a nightmare. And in my opinion, if this type of bias is displayed they are warranted. Fairness and equality need to take precedence as a manager. To restate, conflict management is user and situation specific. I don’t believe anyone has all the answers, but there are a few general guidelines that may shed some light on a very difficult human resources issue. Some guidelines to consider are:
         Have guidelines and standards in place for employees (personal conduct policies, expectations, etc.)
         Equality is key – treat EVERYONE the same, you can’t play favourites
         Match crews up to accentuate people’s positive attributes
         R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – find out what it means to everyone
         Open the lines of communication- don’t let a people harbour feelings of resentment. Address the situation out in the open and nip it in the bud.


      Conclusion
      When I first set out to do this project I found myself envisioning it through the eyes of the employee. To be fair, I’ve really only been the employee in my experiences and as such may have lacked the theories involving managing and management techniques. Through the process of my research I found my focus was shifting from how do I see it as an employee, to how do I see it as a potential employer. This is reflected in my final report as it is heavily geared towards the employer as opposed to the employee. To be fair, the manager or employer has a great deal more to gain from this and as such it should be geared toward that.
      Once I was able to account for this change, I found my focus shifting rapidly towards writing this as if I were a manager. I think this shift in focus has given me a greater insight into the challenges involved in putting together a staff to operate a golf course maintenance crew.
      I have a great deal of experience of working on a crew for superintendents that exemplify a lot of good, and some bad characteristics that I did not know how to deal with at the time. My solution back then was to ignore it, and to go along working in the same fashion that I’ve grown accustomed to no matter what the situation may be.
      By doing so, I found I harboured some resentment towards my employer because their handling of a situation was unfair. By this I mean, there were contrasting opinions on the handling of situations. These contrasts developed into riffs between the crew, and as a result conflict arose.
      I was unaware of how much personality factors into the day to day and overall health of a crew. An aspect of golf course maintenance that in my opinion is commonly overlooked. Who wants to go to work every day and have to deal with someone who is miserable, or for that matter go to work miserable yourself? Let’s be honest, this industry doesn’t pay well enough to be miserable at work. And yet it is a common occurrence around the industry and a problem that plagues several managers on a daily basis.
      I feel that through my studies I have gained valuable insight into just what makes certain people tick, what motivates them, and what drives them to come back to work every day. With that being said, I feel more importantly I’ve learned what angers and frustrates people to a point where you have a high turnover rate from year to year. So much money is spent on training and re-training individuals in this industry. It would be far more prudent for us as managers to spend the time to understand what makes employee’s tick, and how to retain them for prolonged periods of time.

      Sources
      Turfgrass Information File Online via University of Guelph
      • You didn’t make the line-up but,.. , Aylward, Larry. 2007. Golfdom. July. 63(7): p. 8., TGIF # 127715
      • Get more out of your volunteers, Strigas, Athanassios. 2008. SportsTurf. April. 24(4): p. 34-36, 38-39., TGIF # 135114
      • Managing Conflict, Preston, Paul. 1979. GCSAA 50th International Turfgrass Conference and Show: Proceedings. p. 143-150., TGIF # 103551
      • Professional Enrichment, Anonymous. 1991. Golf Course Management. January. 59(1): p. 32, 34., TGIF # 20290

      The World Wide Web
      http://wilderdom.com/personality/L6-1PersonalityTypes.html
      • Communication Success With the Four Personality Types, Preston Ni M.S.B.A., http://www.nipreston.com/publications/excerpts/personalitytypes.pdf
      • Personality Types- WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? , Maya Kirpalani, http://www.lifepositive.com/mind/personal-growth/personality-types/self-understanding.asp

 

Strategies as an Employer Managing Personality Types

Filed under: Independent Study: Personalities in the workplace — Graham J. Wieja @ 1:20 am

It is difficult to assess what type of person is sitting across from you during the interview process. The limited time frame in which you have to develop an opinion and get a sense for what type of person the potential employee is can make it extremely difficult to get the person that best fits your management style. The system is flawed and as such managers find themselves with employees that aren’t “plug and play” type players. In other words, these employees aren’t blue-chip prospects that fit right in from day one and it’s going to take some effective management strategies to get this person through the season. What’s important to factor in when deciding on how to use said employee is assessing their strengths/weaknesses and that person’s ability to work in a team situation. A person’s personality type plays directly into these two processes and generally determines in what role or capacity this employee will be used.
“Personality flex” is the alteration of your natural tendencies, generally in social situations, to appease the difference between two individuals. In other words, it is changing your natural tendencies to better get along with individuals or a group. This is an effective way of getting along and even developing a friendship with an employer, employee, or co-worker. However, I do not feel the burden of changing one’s personality falls upon the employee. I’m of the opinion that employee’s must show respect for one another but should not be forced to have a bond or relationship outside of the workplace. This makes the hiring or selection process all that more important. A manager must be able to pinpoint with some accuracy how this individual will project out into the workplace much the same as any sports team’s general manager when it comes to drafting a prospect. You must be an effective evaluator of talent, and how it can project into real life situations as a part of your management style. In my opinion it is not the responsibility of an employee to adhere to “expectations” of employer’s when it comes to personality flex. The employee must comply with what is asked of them; attendance, punctuality, an honest day’s work, and respect for others. The employer must provide a workplace where this person’s strengths are promoted, developed, and encouraged. Their weaknesses’ are worked on and counter-acted with another employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
In order to utilize personality flex a manager must first determine what type of personality they best exemplify. Knowing yourself is the only way you can understand what your expectations are and what you need to get out of your employee’s.
As an analytical manager employees may relate to;
 Critical thinking based on factual merit
 Conservative, quiet attitude
 Thoroughness, accuracy and dependability
 Cooperativeness and patience
 Logic and accuracy
As an analytical manager employees may not relate to;
 Lack of compassion and ability to form relationships through an impersonal approach
 Factual based decision making process, and lack of risk taking
 Dependability on third party knowledge and facts, non-trusting nature

As an analytical manager there are minor changes you can make, involving personality flex, to appease your employers and create a better work environment such as;
 Setting realistic goals and developing a gameplan in the form of a checklist to accomplish said goals
 Qualify employees as opposed to quantifying employees: Recognize each and every one is unique and brings something different to the table
 Spending informal time with employee’s (lunch room talk, staff socials, team building exercises to boost moral) Anything that allows an employee to see you outside the formal work environment can go a long way to building lasting relationships

As an expressive manager employees may relate to;
 Imagination and thought invoking nature
 Personable nature and enthusiasm
 Outgoing and competitive nature
 Opinionative and impulsive nature
 Loud, flashy, and dramatic style
As an expressive manager employees may not relate to;
 Loud, flashy, and emotional side
 Impulsivity
 Demonstrative nature
 Ability to follow through on all projects and tasks
As an expressive manager there are minor changes you can make, involving personality flex, to appease your employers and create a better work environment such as;
 Use factual merit in conversations as opposed to personal feelings and allow others to find out what you already know yourself
 Slow down your innate fast-paced processes and talk things through before acting
 Focus on small tasks as part of the big picture, in sequential order to avoid confusion or indecisiveness
 Provide a goal, and delegate within your crew to achieve this
 Maintain focus on individual goals and keep on track, others might not see the “whole picture”

As an amiable manager employees may relate to;
 Caring, thoughtful, and co-operative nature
 Team-oriented focus and compassion for others
 Supportive and helpful nature
 Friendly, focused work ethic
 Careful but deliberate and effective decision making

As an amiable manager employees may not relate to;
 Soft-hearted and compliant nature
 Lack of drive and initiative
 Careful deliberation and decision making processes
 Non- competitive stance
As an amiable manager there are minor changes you can make, involving personality flex, to appease your employers and create a better work environment such as;
 Be as consistent, insistent and direct as possible when delegating. You must take charge of the situation in order to achieve the desired goal. Everyone must be on the same page.
 Build business relationships first. Allow the process of becoming a friend take its natural course instead of promoting the idea. Be a boss first, and a friend second.
 Stay on schedule through decisive decision making and action.
 Don’t waver on situations. Be prepared to make your decision known or prepare to delegate accordingly. Stand your ground and support your decisions.

As a driver manager employees may relate to;
 Logical decision making and efficiency
 Discipline and decisiveness
 Accomplishments and competitive drive
 Independence and task oriented approach
 Empowerment and ability to lead
As a driver manger employees may not relate to;
 Bossiness and lack of delegation
 Controlling nature and secretiveness
 Tough mindedness and impatience for errors
 Critical nature

As a driver manager there are minor changes you can make, involving personality flex, to appease your employers and create a better work environment such as;
 Be patient with others
 Set deadlines and allow employees to achieve them on their own initiative. Set time restraints but do not micro-manage.
 Take an interest in the person, not the worker. Show support in personal accomplishments and hardships alike. Give them the “human” touch.
 Share your opinions with employees. Don’t be a reclusive individual.

 

Personality: Behavioral traits versus Behavioral Characteristics March 14, 2011

Filed under: Independent Study: Personalities in the workplace — Graham J. Wieja @ 7:38 pm

People instinctively act for the betterment of themselves. Motivating factors are essential to successful management of people because people are seeking the best reward possible for themselves. The tricky part of all of this is that motivating factors differ from person to person. We as bosses need to discover what motivating factors we can offer and find employees that fit this model.
People have an innate need to feel accepted for who they are and be recognized for the contributions they can make as an employee. It’s like my football coach always told me, you look good you feel good, you feel good you play good, you play good you usually win. Who doesn’t like winning with the exception of maybe Charlie Sheen!
Traits Versus Characteristics
There is a theory that the personality has two aspects:
1. Inherited behavior (traits)
2. Learned behavior (characteristics)
Traits
Traits are responsible for telling our brain how to develop and function through the gathering and processing of information decision making. Traits can’t be changed. Traits are what drive the choices we make and how we decide to put them into action. Our behavior then tells other people how to interact and communicate with us, and defines how we’ll deal with them. Personality traits are important especially in instilling a value system within us and in determining what motivates us.
Characteristics
Characteristics imply how we act, express, and communicate ourselves with each other in a society. I believe they are the driving force to modern social structure. I feel this way because to me characteristics are what deem an individual socially acceptable. In essence, each human being is bound to do what is best for them. Why then do we see so people go out of their way to do something for someone else with absolutely no return on their investment? Why is it that when natural disaster strikes in one part of the world you see the absolute worst of society: looters, theft, civil war and unrest; whereas if you take the recent tsunami in Japan you see several stories of people coming together in massive amounts to try to achieve a goal as fundamental as having available fresh water? It has been instilled in them, through their culture, to do right by others when they are in need. The same cannot be said and is clearly evident in third world countries.
I believe it all comes back to the desire to be accepted. Without the feeling of acceptance comes the feeling of inadequacy. To most, the feeling of inadequacy far outweighs the burden of doing something for someone else. In a sense it is a test of will, trait vs. characteristic within every one of us. On the one hand you have yourself, a human being driven to be free in all respects: from freedom of speech, to the right of lifestyle. On the other hand you subject them to society which by the very nature of it tells us to abandon our innate senses and seek conformity. Suddenly the ideology of blazing your own trail gives way to taking the path of least resistance.

 

Personality Types March 8, 2011

Filed under: Independent Study: Personalities in the workplace — Graham J. Wieja @ 4:33 am

Today I am discussing personalities in the workplace and how to better deal with co-workers, employers, and their personalities. Personalities differ greatly from person to person however we all share common characteristics with others.

Studies have shown there are four key personality types: Expressive, Amiable, Analytical and Driving. Each of these four personalities have both their strength’s and weaknesses . There are distinct tactics and ways to not only co-exist with them in the workplace, but excel alongside them. Whether you are in a management position, or working for someone who is, each and every individual can take steps to compliment personality types and excel in the workplace.

In my independent study I will outline the four personality types along with the favourable and unfavourable characteristics that go along with them. From this I will draw up management tactics for dealing with each type of personality, as well develop strategies to work for each type of personality so stay tuned for that.

The four personality types characteristics and explanation:

Driver: Drivers are motivated self starters. They need to achieve results as fast and effective as is possible. They are direct and often overlook an individuals feelings when focused on achieving a goal . They are very pragmatic. Some other features of the driver personality are:

o Objective-focused and action-orientated
o Know what they want and how to get there, decisive
o Effective problem solver, results driven person
o Sometimes can be a competitive risk taker
o Forceful and determined, relates to the ends justify the means
o Direct and assertive, does not shy away from conflict

Expressive: Expressives are highly energetic and animated people. They boast social skills and can generally fit into any conversation at ease. Decisiveness is often a weakness of expressive personality types. They generally need to think situations through and rely on others to excel. They are viewed as dramatic and impulsive.

o Verbally animated, dramatic, confident, and enthusiastic
o Can be impulsive, influential, and convincing
o Good motivators, and generally effective communicators
o Can be very confident and very competitive
o Can tend to exaggerate, leave out facts and details
o Optimism a plenty

Amiable: You can depend on this person to be loyal to you. They are easy to confide in. Amiables will shy away from conflict as much as possible and reach decisions quickly. They are warm and sensitive. Amiables can be seen as push over’s. Some other attributes of the amiable personality type are:

o Kind-hearted and sympathetic, shies away from conflict
o Relaxed, mature, supportive, and stable
o Loyal team player
o Patient, preserving person can be highly sensitive
o Often quiet and soft-spoken, effective listener

Analytical: Analytical people are people who really think things through. They are logical and very fact driven. They can be seen as overcautious and boring. This is part of their charm. They are very thorough and do not like to make rash decisions. Sometimes this causes them to be seen as anti-social. Some other attributes of the analytical personality type are:

o Highly detail oriented people that are cautious and controlling
o Can have a difficult time making decisions
o Tend to be very conventional, logical, and systematic
o Tend to be highly critical people
o Can tend to be pessimistic in nature
o Very precise, orderly, and perceptive

 

h.r. February 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Graham J. Wieja @ 12:37 pm
 

Human Resources Independent Study February 1, 2011

Filed under: Independent Study: Personalities in the workplace — Graham J. Wieja @ 7:00 pm

This semester for my special studies project I have shifted my focus from the golf course and its’ sustainability, to those dedicated individuals who collectively run the course as one unit. My focus this semester will be in Human Resources. Along with the help of long time superintendent Dean Baker, currently at the Club at North Halton, in Georgetown Ontario. I intend to explore and discuss distinct personalities in the workplace and how you can work with and for them.

Studies have shown there are four key personality types: Expressive, Amiable, Analytical and Driving. Each of these four personalities have both their strength’s and weaknesses obviously. But did you know there are distinct tactics and ways to not only co-exist with them in the workplace, but excel alongside them? Now you do! Whether you are in a management position, or working for someone who is, each and every individual can take steps to compliment personality types and excel in the workplace.

The goal is simple. Put the best product out to your customers or membership day in and day out. Easier said than done. Personalities are part of the fun of working on a crew. They can also be the reason why going to work every day is a chore. Stay tuned to the soiled thoughts throughout the semester as I will explore and share my findings about personalities in the workplace and how to co-exist when all hope seems lost!

 

Sustainable Management Tips for Golf Course Maintenance December 11, 2010

Filed under: Independent Study — Graham J. Wieja @ 12:21 am

Golf Course Fertility Effects and Environmental Sustainability

December 10th, 2010

Preface

This independent study began as a goal to learn certain things such as:

· the mobility of certain nutrients in the soil (Nitrogen and Phosphorous)

· effective and efficient management plans regarding providing proper fertility rates for C3 turfgrasses

· the effects the common forms of nitrogen and phosphorous used have on the environment

· the effects the pesticide products we commonly apply have on us and the environment

My goal was to develop a manual for sustainable golf course management, targeted towards lower budget courses, promoting ideas that are both environmentally and budget pleasing. This manual is to include cultural practice guidelines (irrigation, aeration, mowing) as well as integrated pest management strategies.

Throughout my research I have developed an underlying goal which is defining and promoting “sustainable golf”. In other words I am of the opinion that golf course superintendents will need to represent the image of steward of the land. They must accept responsibility for the property they manage. This includes not only the turfgrass, but the eco-system residing within and outside the acreage.

Advancing compatibility with the golf course and the environment is the true test. Superintendent’s responsibilities go well beyond that of the playing surface. I believe sustainability in terms of golf course management is committing to continual improvement of the property. This encompasses the planet, the people, and the profitability. A superintendent must assess the long term importance of all these in order to manage on a day – day basis.

Educating the public about the benefits and positive attributes a golf course can have on not only the economy but the environment will be imperative in this process. There is a negative perception of what golf course management involves. This has lead to government legislation regulating superintendent’s management practices. Superintendents must promote the idea that courses are valuable green spaces that provide entertainment as well as the opportunity to protect and enhance our resources for the future.

What is Sustainable Golf?

Environmental protection and sustainability is now more than ever an important issue in the golf course management industry. In Ontario provincial wide legislation has been laid out and strict enforcement is beginning to come into effect when it comes to pest management. Efforts are being made around the world by superintendents to promote a more ecologically friendly image. This is to promote their property and their passion as well. Focus is drawn on these factors:

· Water

· Energy & Resources

· Environmental Quality

· Landscape & Ecosystems

· People & Communities

Golf courses must be efficient and responsible consumers and conservers of water. This can involve practices such as evapotranspiration and deep and infrequent watering techniques. It is important to minimize water consumption and protect water quality.

Golf management practices will require economical management techniques and a transition to cleaner and cheaper energy to remain environmentally sustainable. Superintendents must enhance landscapes and ecosystems by sustaining and improving what people love about the game, the nature aspect.

Sustainable golf is only possible with the support of the public. Superintendents and golf professionals alike need to remove the negative perception the general public has about golf course management. This can be achieved through hosting open tours and educating them about the benefits and positive attributes a golf course has. This is a game of respect and integrity and superintendents must represent the image of steward of the land to better promote their profession. Sustainability is all-encompassing but it comes down to preservation and promotion of the land.

Nitrogen and Nitrogen Loss

· Nitrogen is the most deficient macro nutrient required for healthy turfgrass.

· It is responsible for color; growth, density, competition with weeds and overall stress tolerance to factors such as traffic and heat.

Nitrogen can be lost in the soil through these processes:

· Leaching

· Denitrification

· Volatilization

· Crop removal

· Soil erosion and runoff

The major concerns regarding golf course management are leaching and runoff.

· Nitrogen loss from the soil system is greatly affected by soil type and climate. Sandy California composition greens soils are most susceptible to leaching. Leaching is the downward movement of product to ground water

· Leaching is more likely to occur on older, established putting greens as opposed to new ones

· Research at Auburn University has indicated that for new greens, USGA compositions leach more than sand based

· Nitrogen added to the soil has multiple ways of transforming into plant availability

· Inaccurate and negligent applications of synthetic fertilizers, which golf courses often use, can affect the global nitrogen cycle

· Runoff is especially dangerous when Nitrogen enters lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans

· Nitrogen is a catalyst for eutrophication in salt water or in estuaries (where fresh water converges with salt water)

· Environmental fate of N suggests it is better to apply lower rates more frequently to reduce the risk of loss of N to the environment (spoon feeding)

· Water-soluble fertilizers leach more than slow-release because they dissolve quickly

· Slow release nitrogen applications are not ideal for greens. Generally members and customers do not want the “lull” in colour that occurs

The Human Aspect

Over application of Nitrogen can be detrimental to human health. Nitrogen in the form of nitrates, nitrites, or ammonium are especially susceptible because of their capabilities to leaching. Drinking water that is rich in nitrate can cause health issues. The most severe issue is Methemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome. Methemoglobinemia occurs when nitrates in drinking water are ingested and converted into nitrites. These nitrites promote methemoglobin which is very adverse to oxygen. The infant’s tissues and organs are deprived of oxygen and they develop a bluish coloring. Long term effects include digestive and respiratory problems and can be fatal. Blue baby syndrome is most common in agricultural settings.

Phosphorous

· Phosphorous is important for plants because it stimulates early plant growth(germination of new seedlings, establishing new sod)

· Phosphorous promotes plant growth and is generally widely available in the soil

· It is not mobile in the soil

· Fine particles found on or around putting greens are most susceptible to be lost carrying phosphorous from soils and transported via surface runoff

· Loss is greatest (run-offs) in summer during thunderstorms

· Seeding can be dangerous because there is no plant cover combined with loose soils and immobile phosphorous available

· Phosphorous can pose a threat to water quality as it enters through storm drains and sub-surface runoff

· Eutrophication occurs and blooms or flourishes of algae grow rapidly when freshwater lakes and rivers are polluted with phosphorous

· High levels of algae decays and a lack of oxygen results. A reduction in water quality occurs.

Eutrophication promotes excessive plant growth in plants such as algae and plankton. It favours simple life forms as opposed to complex organisms and fish pools. Lack of available oxygen (anoxia) is the cause. In freshwater situations excessive phosphorous that enters the water causes eutrophication. Saltwater eutrophication occurs due to excessive nitrogen. This problem is amplified by residing very close to sea level or near an estuary.

http://freehold.injersey.com/2009/10/23/saving-the-pond/

Sustainable Management Strategies

My management plan is broken down into the topics: cultural practices, irrigation, fertility, Integrated Pest Management, and communication/education. It is not a step by step guide but an educational tool. Applying the management principles outlined below should promote a very sustainable golf course through optimizing equipment and management principles and minimizing environmental impact. Promotion of wildlife and re-establishing native species is also a fundamental principle.

Cultural practices touch on thatch control methods and topdressing. Thatch is one of the most difficult management problems superintendents will face. It is such an issue because it increases the instances of issues like: suppression of insects/weeds/diseases, scalping, localized dry spot, soil percolation rates, and pesticide effectiveness. Thatch is a layer between the canopy and the roots. It is the living and dead: stems, crowns, stolons or rhizomes, and leaves of turf.

The proper management of thatch is essential to your turfgrass health as well as your budget. A lot of surface runoff and the contamination that comes with it is directly attributable to thatch issues. The cost of golf course management is going up and superintendents are going to be relied on to cut back on chemical and fertility applications. It is unlikely that members/customers will accept a decrease in playability conditions no matter what the budget is and therefore cultural practices are an ever increasing issue.

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/thatchcn.htm

Cultural Practices

· Controlling Thatch
• Core cultivation (pull cores)
• Solid tine aeration to relieve compaction
• Verti-cut to reduce thatch in two forms Deep and Shallow
• Deep (dethatching)
• Shallow (grooming)
• Topdressing to stimulate microbial activity in light and frequent intervals
• Proper fertilization rates according to plant need (soil test analysis)
• Controlling traffic to reduce compaction and stress
• Proper irrigation according to plant need (through the use of evapotranspiration / Weather stations

· Core Cultivation should be done in the Spring and in the Fall because it allows for recovery time not during your peak season
• Physical removal of thatch affects approximately 3-5% of the turf depending on tine size and spacing. Topdress afterwards to fill holes
• This process introduces oxygen into soil as well as stimulating microbes
• Proper water management (increased infiltration rate)
• Relieves compaction , provides a healthy condition allowing turfgrass to compete against the suppression of insects and weeds and certain diseases.

· Solid Tine – Venting
• Introduces oxygen
• Increased microbes
• Shoves organic matter into soil (breaks it up)
• Relieves surface compaction

· Verticutting (vertical blades which slice through turf)

Shallow grooming- tickles the turf
Deep dethatching- rough, physical removal. The greens will look beat up for a few days.

Deep
• Breaks up stolons
• Improves cut
• Physical removal
• Introduces topdressing

Topdressing

· Topdressing is done to firm and smooth the surface

· Light and frequent applications should be applied to match the current soil profile

· Matting the sand in promotes recovery and promotes microbial activity

· Topdressing protects the crown

· Creates pore spaces (water holding capacity)

Irrigation

· Calibrate the nozzles on your heads to achieve consistency. Replace if necessary.

· Have irrigation performance test completed. Make necessary changes

· Computerized systems are so much more efficient

· Throughout a droughty period consider syringing (a light mist) to cool the plant down

· Select drought resistant turfgrass cultivars to overseed with

· Deep and infrequent irrigation will promote deep roots and a healthier turf

· Creating wetlands, watersheds, and catch basins to retain water

Fertility

· Provide enough mineral nutrients for optimal growth

· Optimal growth is when the plant has photosynthetic capabilities to re-cooperate before being mowed again

· Optimal Growth is finding balance between recovery and excessive growth

· Spoon feeding is a good way to achieve this optimal growth

· Find a combination of granular and foliar applications through growing period

· Feed the roots and the shoots

· This process mimics slow release without the “lull” in colour

· Spoon feeding gives you more control

· Spoon feeding minimizes burn potential

· You should see less loss to environment through this process because there is more plant uptake

IPM

· Increased budgets for disease control

· Curatively spray upon first sight through the use of scouting and monitoring

· OMAFRA weekly podcasts on disease and insect suppression during growing season http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/updates/turfgrass/index.html#text

· Big issue is leaf wetness

· Whip tees, fairways and greens minimizing canopy wetness in morning

· Instituting storm water management strategies to reduce or eliminate soil erosion, water pollution, and siltation

· Instituting buffer zones near water systems to avoid pollution and runoff

· Know your water entrants points, know your water exit points

· Be aware of the water quality coming in and the water quality coming out

· Continually checking reels mowers for proper contact and height ensuring good plant health

· Small discrepancies in height settings can stress and scalp the turf weakening the plant and promoting the onset of disease or infestation

· Mow once and then roll instead of double cutting to reduce plant stress

· Continually sharpen bedknives, blades, reels of all mowers even rotary mowers reducing damage and promoting a clean sharp cut as opposed to tearing

· Roll occasionally instead of mowing reducing stress

Education and Communication

· Change the perception that golf must be played on green grass, accept dormant grass

· Embrace golf’s roots of links style golf (un-kept areas, fescues) as opposed to the “Augusta state of mind” where everything is lush and mowed

· Educate about the benefits (positive attributes), change the attitudes of general public

· Push local, provincial, federal legislation for incentives to put more efficient ferti-gation systems in

· Walk path around golf course for public with educational signage about environmental stewardship

· Networking with industry professionals and turf scientists on latest developments

· Promote the idea a course shouldn’t play the same way every day. However, a hole should play the same as the next seventeen on that specific day.

Sustainability Ideas

· Eliminate alternate tee boxes ( reduction in resource consumption if possible)

· Out of play areas converted into natural habitat with native species established

· Increase wildlife by increasing habitat

· Individual tests on individual holes. Soil test several greens. No two holes are the same are they?

· Save clippings for both fertilization and soil generation

· Clippings have some nutritional content, collecting all of them in a manure spreader and then dispersing them throughout the rough is a cheap and effective way to fertilize an area that otherwise wouldn’t see any nutrients.

· Clippings can also be mixed with sand and after being turned over once per day with a loader will yield an excellent pile of topsoil

http://www.countrymanufacturing.com/manurespreaders.htm

Conclusions

Through my studies of the fate of our fertilizer and pesticides and sustainable management ideas I have learned many things. Firstly the dangers involved with applying common pesticides used in our industry can be found on the product labels and I did not go any further than that. I have learned the ways in which our synthetic fertilizers end up in the environment. There are several processes that cause this pollution on golf courses. I feel a lot of them are by misapplying fertility products and poor turfgrass management.

Thatch is almost impossible to remove once it has set in but discouraging the growth of more or excessive thatch is a very effective principle. This will improve water percolation and infiltration to the soil. This will improve pesticide and fertilizer efficacy and limit waste. There are several cultural management practices superintendents can use to reduce the amount of thatch a stand of turf has. These practices can be used in conjunction with an integrated pest management plan and sound irrigation techniques promoting the optimal growth of turf.

Golf course management is steering sharply towards environmental and economical sustainability. Future golf management practices will require economical management techniques, while being environmentally sustainable. Water conservation/ quality and pesticide management are at the forefront of the scrutiny golf courses receive. Superintendents must educate the public about what exactly is going on within this property. This involves dismissing the common misconceptions about our chemical use, but also informing them of environmental protection and promotion. Sustainability means committing to continual improvement

Sources

Turfgrass information file (http://turfweb.lib.msu.edu/starweb/TGIF/servlet.starweb ) via University of Guelph Library Sign in:

I. http://turf.lib.msu.edu/ressum/2007/45.pdf , Nutrient and pesticide runoff from golf course fairways caused by simulated and natural rainfall, Bell, Gregory E. 2007. 2007 Turfgrass and Environmental Research Summary. p. 45. , TGIF # 132589

II. http://usgatero.msu.edu/v05/n06.pdf , Surface and subsurface nutrient transport from a golf course watershed, King, K. W.; Balogh, J. C. 2006. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online. March. 5(6): p. [1-14]. , TGIF # 110193

III. http://www.pestfacts.org/pdfs/phosphorus.pdf , Phosphorus, Urban Runoff & Aquatic Weeds, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment. 200X. Washington, DC: Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment. 22 pp., TGIF # 106456

IV. http://www.agcsa.com.au/files/u2/Research_Nutrient_loss_11_2_pg_52-55.pdf , Long-term monitoring of nutrient loss in golf course runoff, Starrett, S.; Su, Y.; Heier, T.; Klein, J.; Holste, J.; Paloma, M. 2009. Australian Turfgrass Management Journal. March/April. 11(2): p. 52-55., TGIF # 146207

V. http://usgatero.msu.edu/v07/n06.pdf , Nitrate leaching in bentgrass putting greens , Guertal, E. A. 2008. USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online. March 15. 7(6): p. [1-6]., TGIF # 134410

VI. http://grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_maintenance_finding_answers_40/index.html , Limit Leaching, Kerkhoff, Karen L. 2006. Grounds Maintenance. February. 41(2): p. 4., TGIF # 135441

VII. http://stri.lib.msu.edu/itb/articles/244-16.pdf , [The economy, course construction, maintenance, and sustainability], Isaac, Steve. 2009. International Turfgrass Bulletin. April. 244: p. 16. TGIF # 148585

World Wide Web:

I. http://www.usga.org/course_care/articles/environment/research/The-USGA-s-Environmental-Strategies–What-we-ve-got-and-what-we-need-/ , The USGA’s Environmental Strategies: What we’ve got and what we need

II. http://www.grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_maintenance_proper_fertilizers_minimizes/ , Proper use of fertilizers minimizes environmental effects, Thomas L. Watschke

III. http://equilib.org/1/?p=382 , Bahía Beach Resort & Golf Club Honored With Environmental Heritage Award, Jun 16, 2009 – RALEIGH, N.C. – Miles M. (Bud) Smart, Ph.D.,

IV. http://www.auduboninternational.org/

V. http://www.gcsaa.org/

VI. http://turfdiseases.blogspot.com/